October Brigade is the creation of long-time Chicago area musicians Eric McLear and Jerome Cunningham. Writing, collaborating, and performing together in a variety of projects they bring their brand of musical stylings to life and share the results of that creative process. They spoke to Tunebubble about their influences and ultimate dream... Find them on Tunebubble
Tell us about your music journey – how long have you been making music and what first got you into music?
Eric: I’ve been a lifelong musician, learning a variety of instruments in school (flute, sax, piano, drums, percussion, etc.), eventually settling on piano and keyboards specifically. A huge Duran Duran and Depeche Mode fan, became fascinated with sound creation and programming. Joined a band in Chicago called “Colour Huemanity” where I met Jerome and we played all over Chicago for several years. That was the friendship and collaboration that stuck, and we have since collaborated on several projects, always looking for new and interesting ways to keep making music. October Brigade is the latest version of our collaborative efforts.
Jerome: Been jamming music in a serious mode since middle School.
My Pops had music on a turntable 24hrs and the records would play and stack up until the needle on the record couldn't move.
Then he would stack some more.
From Duke Ellington to Jim Hendrix James Brown/ Jazz Soul Rock
Played mainly Funk music then I spent 4yrs in the Airforce 2yrs in Germany and played nothing but funk and 70s Rock on my stereo.
Spent 2 years in Georgia I wrote songs with Warren Allen Brooks who later got a record deal with Atlantic and wrote #1 hit song for Stevie B Song "I will always love you"
I then came home and formed different bands and I would team up with my bro Eric McLear in our band Colour Huemanity.
We had songs on local Chicago radio and were mentioned in the same news alongside Smashing Pumpkins to come out of Chicago.
I wrote a song called Chase of The Face that landed us an Audition Star Search.
Later I would tour and play bass in the Dove Nominated Band Church Of Rhythm.
I did a crazy bass loop sample that was placed on the song called One Girl Revolution for my friends in the Grammy Nominated band Super Chick. The song was placed in the movie Legally Blonde and other TV shows and movies.
I wrote in the band Jam160d which teamed me back up with my bro Eric McLear.
We did a song called If Jesus was your neighbor " which won a billboard Magazine Songwriter Achievement Award.
I later wrote and played in band called Spin Circus & Funky Christians feat Graffiti Poets
Then teamed up with Eric McLear in the Project Assassination Street and the Current Project October Brigade
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Martin Gore, Ruelle
It’s been a strange year, but have you found this be creative opportunity?
This is exactly why we came up with October Brigade: we were really interested in creating new music while tapping into the power of technology and the internet to find some amazing musicians to work with. We really let the song go wherever it wants, and encourage those we work with to feel free to follow their own creativity and intuition for their contributions to the song. We’ve worked with some amazing musicians we’ve found on sites like AirGigs and Soundbetter: guitarists in Serbia, Italy, and the Netherlands, a drummer in London, and vocalists from LA to Israel, just to name a few!
Which music artists have had the biggest influence on you?
Depeche Mode, NIN, Gary Numan, Delerium, Prince, Rage Against The Machine, Chilli Peppers, Outkast, Duran Duran
Give us your top 10 favourite songs right now
Liel Bar-Z - Issues
Anate - Blue Jeans
Ruelle - Live Like Legends
Blue Encount - Bad Paradox
Janet Devlin - Nothing Lost Something Found
Dayglow - Close To You
Orion Experience - Obsessed With You
Gary Numan - Intruder
Bullion - Hula
Phildel - The Deep
What have you got lined up next?
More really interesting and diverse stuff with musicians from all over the world.
What’s the biggest dream you have for your music?
To hear one of our songs in a movie, and to never wake up from this musical dream we’ve been in our entire lives.
Is there anyone you would love to perform with?
Nile Rodgers, Duran Duran, Gary Numan
Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your music?
Music is the universal love language we all need.