Brick + Mortar
|Brick + Mortar|
|Also known as||BRMR|
|Origin||Toms River, New Jersey, United States|
|Genres||Indie rock, Drum and bass, Pop music|
|Labels||Anchor & Hope Music|
|Associated acts||Black Rhythm|
Brick + Mortar is an indie rock drum and bass duo founded in Toms River, New Jersey in March 2008. The duo consists of frontman Brandon Asraf (bass guitar, vocals) and John Tacon (drums, electronic samples, vocals). The two members have garnered a notable amount of regional success since their formation and partnering with independent label Anchor & Hope Music. They are currently signed to Photo Finish Records / Island Def Jam Records. The duo is a significant part of the musical and artistic culture of Asbury Park, New Jersey as it is the first electronic drum and bass pop duo to have such success in the area.
Asraf and Tacon began playing music together when they were in middle school, initially beginning as a drum and bass improvisational duo. The two bonded further over their shared interest in the artistry of songwriting. They had many attempts at playing music with other people but "it never worked. It always ended up with Brandon [Asraf] and I", according to John Tacon. Their first band together was called Black Rhythm.
The members each took private lessons for their respective instruments at a young age, however, were largely self-taught in their knowledge of theory and performance.
Asbury Park and 7 Years in the Mystic Room
In 2008, Asraf and Tacon renamed their project Brick + Mortar, and began focusing more heavily on the use of electronic samples in their music as well as relying less on improvisation and more on structured pop songs. With the promising rise of the Asbury Park musical scene, the duo began performing regularly up and down the New Jersey coast and building a reputation as one of the strongest live acts to come out of the state.
Brick + Mortar's consistent performances quickly gained them a strong following as one of the best live bands in the Asbury Park music scene, eventually rewarding them with opening spots for larger national acts such as River City Extension and Jimmy Eat World  at such well-known venues as the Starland Ballroom and the Stone Pony.
In 2010, the band released their first studio LP, recorded independently, entitled 7 Years in the Mystic Room. The record garnered a great deal of positive feedback by critics and fans.
The duo's high energy shows, positive local press, and successful first record had not gone unnoticed by music executives. In December 2010, Brick + Mortar were invited to perform at a Sony/Jive Records showcase the performance venue Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. After a sing-off with a heckler in the audience, the duo won an award presented to them by Senior V.P. of the label.
Anchor & Hope Music and CMJ
After building much of their success on their own, Brick + Mortar signed to an independent music label, Anchor & Hope Music (publishing label of acts such as Squeeze, Glenn Tilbrook and River City Extension). This move supported the duo in successfully gaining a performance spot in the "No Pulp Music" showcase in the CMJ Music Marathon.
Brick + Mortar continue to build their fanbase as well as showcase for additional labels. During the later part of 2011, the duo released a number of new singles as well as performance videos after partnering with video artist/media group Humble Humans.
In January 2012, Brick + Mortar announced on their Facebook page that they had "officially been invited" to perform at the 2012 South By Southwest Music Conference at the "House of Creatives" showcase.
In 2013, Brick + Mortar announced that they had signed to Photo Finish Records and would release an EP titled Bangs.
- 7 Years in the Mystic Room (Anchor & Hope Music) (2010)
- Bangs EP (Photo Finish Records) (2013)
- "Heatstroke" (A&H) (2011)
- "Move to the Ocean" (A&H) (2011)
- "Bangs" (Photo Finish Records) (2013)
- "Locked In A Cage (Photo Finish Records) (2014) - #36 Billboard Alternative Songs
- "Move to the Ocean" - Remaster (Photo Finish Records) (2014)
- "Local Noise: Brick + Mortar | The Aquarian Weekly". Theaquarian.com. 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- Brick + Mortar. "Rhythm Livin USA". Rhythm Livin USA. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- McCall, Tris. "Brick + Mortar to perform at Maxwell's with Waking Lights". The Star-Ledger. NJ.com. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- Holliday, Katie (2011-11-20). "Brick + Mortar". Music Without Labels. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- Beat, Star (2010-09-11). "Brick & Mortar opening for Jimmy World Eat on Sept. 24". Star Beat Music. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- "7 Years In the Mystic Room". iTunes. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
- "Brick + Mortar @ Le Poisson Rouge 12.15.10 - Photos". The NJ Underground. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- Friday (2010-12-17). "Brick + Mortar performed, participated in a sing-off & won a trophy @ Le Poisson Rouge 12.15.10 - Home". The NJ Underground. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- "CMJ 2011 Photos: Brick & Mortar". No Pulp Music. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
- "Welcome - House of Creatives - SXSW | Seasick Mama". House of Creatives. Retrieved 2012-02-09.