THE BROWNING INTERVIEW

By Stephanie Stevens

THE BROWNING RELEASES TRUE MASTERPIECE IN “END OF EXISTENCE”

What can you say about THE BROWNING the guys just keep getting better as years go by!  They bring this apocalyptic, despotic, doomy heavy crushing brutal music to your hearts and ears. Every time a new album comes out they reclaim their sense of sound but add so many elements and new indicators that they are growing as musicians and songwriters. This time with the newest album END OF EXISTENCE on the verge of release I was fully blown away with the music and sound of the album from start to finish.

A pandemic does the band good as Jonny McBee’s took his time and not only wrote the album but recorded, engineered and mixed the whole thing in his new home with wife and newborn baby. The band recently released CHAOS REINS the second single to be heard off the album and it signifies Mcbee was going in with a notion to make the heaviest of heaviest tracks to date. END OF EXISTENCE, the song introduced what the band had been cooking up through 2020 and was a great sneak peak of what the album has to offer. With a fictional theme as McBee creates a universe and delves into the storyline through this fantastic collection of tracks.

 

I personally was introduced to the band by the song CARNAGE which I thought was a truly brutal track and had so much diversity in it but after getting through this new album END OF EXISTENCE I have so much respect for Jonny McBee because he pushed the limits and truly shows he is a true talented artist.

 

I was very honored to be able to chat with McBee about being the solo man doing all for this record, asked him about my favorite track on the new disc, looking back on the career of THE BROWNING and what the fans mean to him

END OF EXISTENCE COMES IS THE NEXT RELEASE FROM THE BROWNING. WHERE DO YOU FIND THE BIGGEST GROWTH IN YOUR SOUND HAS BEEN AND IS THERE ANY TRACK OR PART OF A SONG YOU REALLY REALIZED THAT THE GROWTH WAS PROMINENT?

There’s a lot of reasons as to why I feel that EoE is the most mature sounding album for The Browning so far. This style of electronic infused metal is pretty difficult to master and no-one has done mastered it yet. But that’s one of the great things about the genre. There is no limit to the sounds, and creative direction. As a whole, this album and the sounds within it give a visual atmosphere that I don’t think I’ve ever achieved. The album overall has a tone, and an auditory theme where I feel my past works were a little more random. I also feel my voice is way more powerful than ever before.

 

I READ THAT YOU DID ALL THE INSTRUMENTS, ALONG WITH WRITING ENGINEERING AND MIXING THE ALBUM. THAT’S A LOT OF WORK FOR ONE MAN, WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO DO THIS AND HAS THIS BEEN A PART OF YOUR BANDS CREATIVE OUTLET FROM THE BEGINNING?

I started The Browning when I was 14 or so as a Myspace solo project and made it a full band in 2010. On the song writing side, it has essentially been a solo effort since the beginning, with ideas here and there from different members over the years. I have always had an engineer mix and master the previous albums. Every album I realized more and more, no one cares about my music as much as I do and the engineers were more-so there to collect a paycheck and move on. I knew if I invested the time myself into the mix and master, I would create a unique and very thoughtful final product. I don’t care about the industry standard on how an album should sound. I care about it sounding like The Browning. I am very proud of the unique and punchy sound of this album, but more importantly, the proper care, attention, and time that was put into making it sound unique.

 

YOU WRITE THE ALBUM THROUGH 2020 DID YOU FEEL MORE AT EASE AND IT WAS EASIER TO EXPERIEMENT BECAUSE YOU HAD THE TIME OR DO YOU LIKE THE PRESSURE OF DEADLINES?

I never give myself a deadline. I put so much time into manipulating each aspect of each song, I know a deadline would never be met. I have a lot of respect for my label, Spinefarm Records, for allowing me the time I need to create what I do. But even with no deadline, this album was a very stressful project. I had a baby early 2020, built a house for me and my family by myself, and had to figure out how to financially survive the covid shutdowns. It was all very hard. But in the end, the album came out perfect, and my family and I are in a better position than ever expected. I am very very happy.

 

THE ALBUM ALSO HAS A THEME THROUGHOUT WHICH YOU HAD TO MAKE A FICTIONAL SCENARIO AND CREATE A UNIVERSE CAN YOU DELVE INTO WHAT YOU VISUAL SAW THAT MADE YOU PUT IT INTO A LYRICAL STORY?

I personally am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. The issue being, I write extremely dark music and have nothing personally to relate to the extremely dark nature of the sounds on this album. So I created a very dark, and aggressive story to fit the music. 2020 was insanely chaotic in the world. I hate to see it. Ive always talked about the faults of humanity but those were never more apparent to me than last year. I often think about what a waste of consciousness the human race can be at times. So, I created an inter-galactic dragon to come and take away that wasted potential.

 

ONE OF MY FAVORITES OFF THE NEW ALBUM IS THE TRACK NO MAN CAN BECOME A GOD. WHY DID YOU PICK THIS TITLE AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE GET OUT OF THIS SONG?

No Man Can Become A God is a follow up to my song called Dragon, which is the story of a king that destroys his kingdom trying to kill a dragon, to gain immortality for himself. It is actually the base for a trilogy of novels I am working on. This is a story of consequence, greed, and morality. Some people feel they are above others and their needs supersede the greater good. In this song I devote my soul to the dragon. I stand by anyone who stands up to tyrants and self-proclaimed deities.

 

THE LAST TRACK FEARLESS IS ANOTHER EAR CATCHER, HOW DO YOU FEEL THE END RESULT OF THIS SONG CAME OUT AND WAS IT AN EASY PROCESS FROM CREATING TO CAPTURING THIS TUNE IN THE STUDIO?

This song I wrote with a specific direction in mind. I wanted a musical follow up to my song Skybreaker. Skybreaker is a great song, but I wanted to make a follow up that had a bit more energy and Fearless really came out perfect. I wrote this song pretty naturally, its a pure The Browning song. This may have been one of the more “painless” songs on the record to actually do. Maybe because I had Skybreaker as a really good base for influence.

 

LOOKING BACK ON THE CAREER OF THE BAND AND THE MEMBERS YOU HAVE HAD AND HAVE. WHAT CAN YOU SAY THEY HAVE GIVEN YOU AS A ARTISTS YOU NEVER WOULD OF HAVE IF IT WASN’T FOR THEM?

The main people that have toured as part of The Browning over the years are the majority of the closest friends I’ve had in my life. I’m not particularly a social person, and touring was actually a very isolating thing for me. They gave me a sense of not being alone in the early stage grind, and struggle that it is to be a small band touring full time years ago. Cody, Brian, Collin, Rick, and Kyle all are very professional and easy to work with people, that without them, touring would have been a nightmare.

 

BEING IN THE TRENCHES AS A ENGINEER AND MIXING YOUR OWN MUSIC DO YOU TEND TO GET A 2ND OPINION BEFORE FINALIZING STUFF OR DO YOU FEEL YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR LOOKING FOR GOOD ENOUGH THAT YOU GO WITH YOUR GUT?

Being in a “trench” is a very good way to put the process I went through doing this album. It wasn’t only second opinions, but an infinite amount of iterations and changes brought on by myself and the opinions of others. I had a tone I really wanted to go for, and I am my biggest critic. My wife and some friends were telling me it was perfect for so long, but I couldn’t stop myself from perpetually editing and making the slightest of changes. I showed this to a slew of different people as well. Family, current and previous band members, other producers, even big fans that I know and trust. The biggest thing I was learned from it was that everyone was more paying attention to the song itself, and not the production. In my opinion, I would rather have a creatively written song with unique production, than an industry standard copy pasted “pro quality” mix.

 

BEING IN THE BROWNING FOR SOMETIME NOW WHAT HAS YOUR FANS GIVEN OR DONE THAT MADE YOU REALIZE YOUR DOING SOMETHING SPECIAL WITH THIS BAND AND YOUR BRAND?

I’ve written my last two albums live in front of fans, who I more-so consider friends now. I know their names, where they live, their favorite bands and foods. I have been directly connected with them for the past 6 years now on a personal level. They have supported me through so many hardships and life changes, and they truly care about my wellbeing and want to support me living a creative life. No matter how much success I have with the band or other businesses, I will never ever forget the past 6 years that my friends carried me completely. The Browning also has a very die-hard fan base that always returns to shows and makes it the most energetic shows imaginable. I remember everyone’s face, and I always hang out and talk with them at shows. I appreciate it all so much.

 

ONCE THE ALBUM IS OUT IM ASSUMING YOU WILL BE HITTING THE ROAD HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT DOING A TOUR FRONT TO BACK OF JUST THIS ALBUM OR DO YOU FEEL THAT FANS WANT THE OLD STUFF TOO? WOULD THAT EVER BE AN OPTION DOWN THE ROAD?

Each album I put out always gets massive amount of play live. Each album I write I feel is the best music Ive done, so I always want to play it for everyone. We keep around like five to six old songs in an hour long set, but it is always at least seventy percent new material. This album is especially heavy, so it will likely be played in full!

 

SPEAKING OF TOURING WHAT IS THE BIGGEST THING YOU HAVE MISSED ABOUT ROAD LIFE AND DO YOU FEEL IT WILL BE THE SAME ONCE YOU SET BACK OUT ON THE ROAD SINCE THE WORLD HAS CHANGED A BIT FROM THE OLD DAYS OF TOURING?

Touring absolutely will never be the same for The Browning. The past two years I have a whole new life. Happily married with a baby, I could never be away from them for months at a time. I have started a knife company, Fearless Knives, that my family and I travel full time for and we love what we do. I have some really creative ways that I can make touring work into my life and it will be really good for the band, and my family.

 

IF IT WAS THE END OF EXISTENCE FOR US ALL WHAT IS YOUR TOP 3 THINGS YOU WOULD DO BEFORE IT WAS ALL SAID N DONE?

If there was an unavoidable end, I would one hundred percent be focused on my daughter, my wife, and our souls moving happily into the unknown. I guess that is my goal in life, and in death. I wouldn’t run, I wouldn’t be scared. I would do whatever makes them laugh, and smile. I would hold them, and tell them I love them.

KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THE BAND

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