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interViewing brYan sorensEn

Victoria Blair
April 19, 2011

I recently did an interview with Grimsby's very own Funky Cowboy: Bryan Sorensen. A polished artist, his music sounds lay brilliantly somewhere between funk, rock and acoustic hip hop, and every time he plays, fantastic parties happen! The "brYan sorensEn" band consists of Bryan (vocals, guitar and talkbox), Rich Hone (drums) and Nick Pinelli (bass and synthesizer pedals).

"Rich and I met in high school after a concert band rehearsal. I've loved his drumming ever since that first moment that I heard him play...

A few years ago Nick was working at a bar that I was playing at. He was taking notes while we played. Eventually, we asked him to jam with us (originally on guitar). One night, we needed a bass player and he volunteered... Since that night, Nick and I have spent a lot of time recording our shows, working on our parts, and developing sounds.

...having said that, I will on occasion add other musicians."

Victoria : Do you do original songs or covers?

Bryan : We are a for the most part, a "live" band. I do write, record and perform originals, but our real love is to play for people. I'd like to think that there are two things that make us interesting: Firstly, we take our musicianship seriously. Every night, we strive to play the best that we can. Secondly, the band's "sound" is really quite unique. Let me explain.

I focus a lot on rhythm playing. Furthermore, and perhaps most notably, I've really worked hard to take the guitar talkbox to new places. People associate it with the whole Peter Frampton "thing", which is fine, but I've used it to play not JUST solos, but also re-worked versions of dance club tunes (ie Daft Punk and Fedde LeGrande). It really allows us to play songs that you'd probably never hear most bands play.

In fact, one of my favourite moments in the show is when people hear me talkbox the first verse of "Papa was a rolling stone". People are always grooving along until they hear this wild sound... It always turn heads.

Furthermore, both Rich and Nick have really their own sounds as well. Rich uses two sets of high-hats and two different snares. For a while there, he was also using two different kicks (a small one for "break downs" and a large one for the four-on-the-floor club beats. Often, he sounds like a DJ who plays the drums.

Nick Pinelli has really created his own spot/musical voice in this band. He uses bass synth pedals with octavers. The result is a great, huge multi-layered bass sound that is both "felt" as well as heard.

The three of us make this kind of "groove trio". Even when we do play songs that aren't typically considered "dance songs" (like Dick Dale's "Misirlou", or Big Sugar's "Diggin' a hole") our music always seems to aim for one place in particular... the hips.

I should also mention that most of our YouTube clips are of live shows, or studio recordings. All of my recorded material (original and cover) can been seen/heard on Youtube/Facebook or my website (

V: Do you have any merchandise/albums?

B: I don't design t-shirts, or clothing accessories... I'm a musician. As for CDs...(Do people actually buy CDs???) Probably not a good idea to invest in something that will be gone in few years. It's easy to find me online (join our Facebook group: The BrYan SorensEn band, or visit the website we post all of our dates). Quite simply, it's best to come out to our shows and enjoy the live music.

I should mention that up until now, I've tried to capture the band's musical moments. However, I've just recently begun working on a montage of all the dancers at our shows. [..] I have to admit...we do have some really great dancers that come to our shows!

V: What is your biggest achievement?

B: My biggest musical achievements occur when the band manages to get to that "place", when it feels as though time slows down/stops and you've lifted the room a couple of inches off of the ground. My goal is to get there as often as I can.

We are always playing somewhere..."

Check out the Funky Cowboys song "Vibrate" on the link below, it'll have you dancing in no time!

- Victoria Blair -
Vibrate - brYan sorensEn (the Funk Cowboy)