Vocalist/performer Bryce Vine encapsulates the best of both coasts. Born and raised in a humble apartment in New York City he moved to Los Angeles before high school allowing him to fully absorb the “Cali” lifestyle. Bryce has developed a sound that is a keen blend of singable radio-friendly pop and laid back, in-the-cut hip-hop; A California brand of positivity mixed with the mantra, “You only live once.”
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Mike O’Keefe: Was getting involved in music something you always wanted to do or was it an evolutionary process?
Bryce Vine: I was 13 years old and it just hit me. I liked music. I like listening to songs in my dad’s car and singing songs when I was a little kid with my mom. It didn’t really hit me that it’s what I wanted to do until I was 13 years old. From there I just knew it.
MO: That’s cool that you were pretty much always around it. That’s cool how things find their path.
BV: Yeah, but no one else was a musician. It still kind of came out of nowhere.
BV: Yeah, I was born in Manhattan, New York. My family was out there and then somewhere around six or seven everyone relocated out here. So, I was raised in Cali by New Yorkers. Then I went to college in Boston at Berklee College of Music. So, I went by to the East Coast.
BV: Weather and women, man. It’s just easier to live here. I can put on an outfit right now and be fine for the rest of the day no matter what. You can’t really do that on the East Coast. It changes all the time and it’s cold man. So cold.
MO: Yeah, it’s starting to get cold now, I’m actually in New York. Definitely would rather be out in California.
BV: But, I love people on the East Coast much better.
MO: Who are some artists that you can credit with influencing your music? Why?
BV: This is going to be a weird mix. I’m going to say Blink-182, Third Eye Blind, Kid Cudi and 2 Pac – Outkast even, maybe.
MO: That’s great. Those are definitely some of my favorite artists. Blink-182 is probably my favorite band of all time.
BV: Yeah, man. They’re absolutely one of my favorite bands. They’re all for different reasons. Third Eye Blind’s lyrics are some of the best I’ve ever heard. The writing that Steven Jenkins did, the lead singer, it made me want to focus on writing good songs first – putting time into lyrics. Using words that we’re typical. Blink-182 made me want to make it fun and not take it too seriously all the time. When I get on stage I like to [mess] with the audience, talk to them and joke around. Really have fun. That’s what it’s supposed to be.
Outkast, Kudi and 2 Pac for obvious reasons. They’re artists, they’re writers and they rap. They use all the tools of their intelligence, that they clearly have, to make music that doesn’t really demand to have integrity a lot. Rap doesn’t demand to have integrity. You could say anything and make millions, or be like 2 Pac and Cudi and make a difference. Those are the people that I like to take after.
MO: Right, it’s timeless music. How does music and travel fit together?
BV: Oh man, that’s a great question. I guess if you’re smart or if you’re writing your own stuff then you kind of use it to feed the fire of creativity. You see things that you wouldn’t have seen. You meet people that you wouldn’t have met. You grab things, put them into your mind and store them for later so that when you have the pen to the page all those things can kind of flush out. It’s just a different kind of inspiration. I never understood why artists complained about being on the road. I mean, I get it, you’re out for six months at a time. You miss sleeping in your bed, but I have never had more fun and been more happy than being on the road. I’m not touring on a bus either. You’re not going to get more low budget than the way I’ve done it. It’s what you got into [music] for.
MO: If you could perform anywhere in the world where would you go? Why? Even an iconic venue or a place that means something to you.
BV: You know, obviously one of the big dreams, or check-off points, is to just blow out Madison Square Garden. New York is my favorite city still. I love visiting. The short trips that I get to go there to play a show are always a new experience. The day that I get to sell that out will be a big one for me. In the world, I’ve got to say Japan.
MO: Nice and definitely a different culture that would be awesome to experience. When vacationing are you looking for relaxation, adventure or a mix of both?
BV: Yeah, a mix of both. Probably do more doing a bunch of stuff. It’s definitely a mix of fun and relaxation. Like, I’ll sleep as much as I want to, but if we’re doing an adventure we really see every crack of the city.
MO: Yeah, you’ve got to have a balance. Every country has a festival or celebration that stands out. What is one that you would want to travel to?
BV: This isn’t really that special, but I always said that I wasn’t going to go to Coachella until I was playing it. So, I still haven’t been there. That always just looks fun.
MO: When visiting a new location what is the first thing you do?
BV: Well, if I have time for a nap that’s the first thing I do. That’s the one thing. I love to sleep. When I get the opportunity to sleep I take it, unless I’m somewhere that I’m so excited to be at. That’s exactly what I want to do. I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I just landed in Japan, but if I’m in Omaha, Nebraska [I’m sleeping]. The first time I went, I loved it. Great city and so much cooler than people give it credit for. If I went again I’m going to sleep all day and go out at night. I did the other stuff already.
MO: Everyone has a list of places they haven’t been to, but want to go. I know you mentioned Tokyo already, but what would be another?
BV:Barcelona, Spain for sure. Playing in China would be rad and just because their women are so beautiful, Australia. I’ve been to Australia, but I haven’t played there.
MO: Yeah, that flight [from the United States] is really long. Lastly, what’s the next trip and what for? Do you have any plans upcoming for tours or shows?
BV: I’m playing some random [stuff]. I got booked for this Jewish frat convention in Texas. I think it’s like in two weeks. I’m stoked. It just sounds so random. I wish my agent was on the phone. I honestly don’t know where I’m going until right before I go. My manager is the best.
MO: That’s cool I’m sure you’re going to have a good time.
BV: Yeah, always a good time. It’s about the people your traveling with too. My DJ is super fun. My manager is awesome. We’re friends and we enjoy each other’s company. Traveling with them is a blast.