Irish singer/songwriter Bry experienced a massive fan increase after Grammy winner Twenty One Pilots took him out as support act on their tour in the UK and Europe. This was at the end of 2016 perfectly matching his album release. The former YouTuber aims to perform in every country and managed to tick off 65 so far. We met with Bry for a little chat ahead of his sold out London show, talking album, touring and answering fan questions.
A few words about your new album. Why is it selftitled?
Selftitled cos I couldn’t come up with a name. Everything sounded crap or pretentious. Also I used to have a different name. I used to go by Bribry and we figured the best way to inforce your new name on people is to selftitle your first album so that Bry just sticks. It took a lot of time for me to get people to start calling me just Bry instead of Bribry. It is very hard to un-teach people a name as I found so I tried many album names but they were all quite shit so when it comes to my second album I’m in serious trouble as obviously you can’t have another selftitled album unless I call it Bry 2.
Do you have a favourite song on the album?
Yes it’s Disarm and is going to be the next single. So if I’m ever going to have a massive radio hit all around the world that’s the song that’s going to do it. It is also my favourite song to perform live as I honestly think this one is my big chance of a huge hit.
Do you plan a video for it?
Yeah I’m trying to get the girl that plays Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter, Evy Lynch, in the music video. She hasn’t replied to me for like 3 days so that’s worrying. But she did say she wants to do it. I thought this is perfect cos she’s my favourite actress and I figured I wanna go big for this one, I want to get a really big actress in it so hopefully she’ll do it. I also already told loads of people on this tour that this is going to happen so I hope it will.
What inspires you to write your songs?
All I write my songs about is my wife, my best friend and my family. So when it comes to album two I should probably start writing about other things but for now that is all I like to write about. Nothing inspires me more than those people really. I just like to write about them. My best friend has actually more songs on the album than my wife does which is worrying. I think I wrote about 4 about him and 3 about her. But he is in my band now so I don’t love him as much as I used to. Cos when you are in a band with someone you just get a bit annoyed…unless I write a few songs about being annoyed about him. So that way it wouldn’t be as bad if I write more songs about him than my wife cos all of them will be like god you are annoying.
How was the UK part of the tour?
Very good cos I did the Twenty One Pilots tour and all the audiences have like tripled in numbers. I played places like Manchester and Birmingham a year ago to about 150 people and now there are 300-400 who turn up on this tour. And in Europe they upgraded the Amsterdam venue to 1500 capacity which is the biggest I’ve ever done. So all the shows in Europe in April are like 600 people.
So I assume you look forward to the European part of the tour then?
Yes that is going to be my new home for the next year cos I’ve been doing this in Ireland and the UK for like 6 years and suddenly now I have an audience twice as big over there than I ever had here which is really cool. Amsterdam is the biggest one so I really look forward to that one, but also all the German shows. Because Germany is great. And for some reason Finland is mad. Venues have been moved there to like a 1000 capacity there as well so it is just bizarre and amazing to see all those audiences.
How did you get to support Twenty One Pilots on their tour?
I just messaged the singer. I thought it would be really funny to send him a message myself and be like ‘Hello’. He followed me on Twitter so I was like ‘I know this is the worst thing you can do but you have a tour I’d love to support you’ and I made a little joke or two and he gave it to me. It was a very unprofessional thing to do but it worked. I’m gonna do that for everything now. I’m just gonna message anyone anytime i want something and be like ‘Hello’. I’m trying to get The 1975 as they are playing in Belfast and Dublin so I send someone a message again basically. I don’t know all you can lose is your pride and I don’t have much pride.
What was your favourite moment from this tour?
People are jumping now and stuff. I used to be an acoustic guy so my audience would literally consist of 100 people just kind of standing there and listen. Whereas now I mean my music is kind of I don’t know what you would call it probably Indie/Pop or something but in my head I like to pretend that I’m a rock star. So when I see the crowd is jumping and do all this kind of stuff I’m like oh look at me and my band so that’s very cool.
Do you have plans for an Irish tour?
No I’ve done it too much I think. I think I need to take a little break from Ireland and I think they need a break from me too, cos they are probably sick of seeing me. And Twenty One Pilots didn’t go to Ireland so there is no kind of crowd increase over there in a way of ‘hey lets go back and see him again’,
Have there been any special days or pranks on the Twenty One Pilots tour?
Everyday was wonderful. I got pranked on the last day of tour. Josh the Twenty One Pilots drummer came on and covered me in toilet paper. I was pouring my heart out to the crowd and was like ‘Thank you so much you’ve been wonderful’ and I just felt this entire toilet roll kind of filled me. I just stood there grinning like an idiot. There were a few funny things. I walked into their interview that they were doing for German television and I didn’t know as I thought it was the door for the toilet so in the background of the interview you can just hear me walk into the room going ‘omg I thought it was the toilet’ and leave. So I kind of made it on German television.
What are your future plans? Do you have plans for a new album?
No not for a while cos I’d hopefully be touring for the next year at least. Hopefully some festivals in the summer and keep going around all the European countries. I’d like to break America. That would be nice. Cos America likes Irish people. I had one show there before and that went alright. It is obviously very expensive to go when you have a band and bring the band over and stuff but I’d love to take over America especially like the big American radio.
What do you miss about not being in Ireland anymore?
The Irish friendliness mainly. Like living at my current place I still don’t even know any of my neighbours while in Ireland you meet someone and you are best friends within a week. Also Killarny in County Kerry is my favourite place in Ireland.
What is your favourite place you’ve ever been to?
Iceland or New Zealand, one of those. Iceland is amazing, walking around in the morning at like 3am and it was still sunny. And New Zealand is like Ireland, just that every mountain is like ten times bigger and people over there are even friendlier than in Ireland.
Would you get a dog and what would you name it?
I love Corgis. I just think they are hilarious with their tiny legs. I would give it a funny serious human name cos I like when people do that, like Steven, Ron or Michael. It would be a fat Corgi with little legs but the problem is I’m never home so I wouldn’t be able to care for it unless I take it in like a little bag.
What is the most awkward fan situation you had?
It is actually not funny but I got the gender of a kid wrong recently and it’s killing me. I think it is great that everyone is expressing themself the whole girls dress like boys, boys like girls and stuff like that. I mean I am wearing make up myself so I think it’s great when people just go for it. Anyway so this person asked me to do a video for their little sister and I thought it was a boy, so I was like ‘hey I am here with your brother’ and her face just fell. So I went to apologise later on. I also get a lot of Panda Teddys, what I guess to be fair is my own fault but I love Teddys so I can’t throw any away.
Do you miss doing YouTube videos?
No, not really as it was really stressful. The only reason I did it is because I was afraid people would forget about me but I think when you tour enough people will continue to come back to see you. I also occasionally join friends and appear on their YouTube channels so I am not completely gone from it.
What is the song with the most meaning to you?
Pieces, as it is about the depression I had in my late teenage years.
What was the first moment when you felt famous? And do you think it will get more difficult at some point to meet fans after the show?
I don’t feel famous. I’m always just like ‘god I hope they come back, I hope they come back and it’s not just a crazy little phase in their life’. So every day I’m terrified of having just a tiny little shelf life. I never sat back and enjoyed what I achieved so far. In regards of meeting fans. I only get about 20minutes to meet a few hundred people so that’s very brief. But I guess the reason they should go in the first place is to hear your music cos not every artist comes out at the end of the show. I’m not sure at what point of your career people decide not to come out anymore but I would never choose not to do it anyway, if it’s doable then I totally would do it cos it’s just a way of saying a simple thank you for coming really.
How do you feel about it, when fans tell you that they met friends because of you?
That’s the best thing. Someone can come to you and say something like ‘you are my favourite singer’ and you say thank you and a year later they are like ‘I can’t believe why I ever liked him’. While if they made a friend through you and they stay friends with them and they think back of why they are friends and go ‘oh because of that Bry guy’. Thats the best compliment you can get. An even better story: a couple met at one of my shows and they are getting married now and chose one of my songs as their wedding aisle song. So thats very flattering.