Brian: On DC Music Rocks we're shining a spotlight on the great songs, artists, and incredible people behind the DC regions local music scene. DuPont Brass is a unique soulful brass ensemble hailing from the DC metropolitan area. The group began with five music majors from Howard University trying to raise money for tuition during the Christmas season.
Brian: They now have grown to an eight piece ensemble consisting of brass, a rhythm section, and vocalists. They're gaining popularity from playing at local metro stations. DuPont Brass started out professionally playing for weddings, banquets, and other private events in the surrounding area and through their training in both classical and contemporary styles the young group has developed a sound that mixes varied genres of music including jazz, hip hop, and R and B.
Brian: Their latest release entitled Eclectic Soul which you just heard ILM, that's off that, is a testament to that sound and overall the mission of DuPont Brass is to uplift the spirits of people with their music. Not just at the DMV but all over the world.
Brian: So I've been a fan of these guys for awhile, I've been following since way before this latest EP came out and I've been such a fan. So for my fanboy moment, it's just, thanks for being here guys, this is really cool.
Brent: Thanks for having us.
Anthony: Thanks for having us man.
Brian: This is awesome. Now, alright, so describe, first and foremost, you got to, since they're listening to you now, introduce yourselves and your role in the band.
Brent: Well I'm Brent [Gosset 00:01:33], I'm the tuba player and then the behind the scenes man. So you'll see me playing on stage and then you won't see me again because I'll be running around.
Brian: And you'll be the biz guy, I love it. Alright Brent, thanks for being here.
Anthony: I like to call Brent Yonce though, because even though he says you won't see him then one minute you won't, people love Brent. People will flock to him. I mean you know for good reason. He's a great tuba player. So yeah.
Anthony: My name's Anthony. I'm the music director for the band so I pretty much write all the music, or 90% of it. I choose what we play and like even other peoples songs, I kind of like executive produce it, kind of like tweak it here and there.
Brian: Got it, because I was going to say you guys, if they haven't heard you, you play covers and stuff too. Other songs that people know. It's like your own twist on them which is also really cool.
Brent: That's the guy with the magic touch.
Brian: That's it. Now do you play during the shows too or you really-
Anthony: Yeah I play trumpet during the show and you know I'm also kind of, field general for us playing and stuff.
Brian: Gotcha. A field general and trumpet player and producer and I love it. That's really cool. Now, and the story behind your name? Tell me the story, why is it called DuPont Brass?
Anthony: So we were, I mean as most college students are, we were super broke, had no money, you know and we wanted some so. They were playing without me, it was just four of them that were going to Georgetown and playing and weren't making very much money.
Anthony: I was in one of my classes, I'll never forget this girl, her name was Jill, she was like hey I always see a lot of brass people playing outside of DuPont circle, maybe you might want to go there. I was like you know maybe. So we arranged some Christmas tunes, Brent bought this Canadian Brass Christmas book and I was just like kind of writing covers of other Christmas songs and I was like hey guys lets just go to DuPont instead.
Anthony: So we went to DuPont, set up in between that Krispy Kreme and Panera Bread and just you know took our best shot at it.
Brian: That's awesome and that first one went so well that you decided not only is the band going to stick but we're going to call ourselves DuPont Brass? It was that good?
Anthony: No. I mean well, we hadn't, we didn't have a name, like one of our, our trombone player was like hey we're the Christmas time band.
Anthony: But we just, I remember, one of my friends who was in marching band with us, he was like hey bro are you going out with the DuPont crew today? I was like DuPont crew? That sounds kind of cool. So I was like I know I want DuPont int he name, I was like what about DuPont Brass? I just texted everyone and was like how do you all feel about that? They were like that's cool, and it just kind of just stuck.
Brian: Nice. There it is DuPont Brass, came across it, and because you'd been playing at DuPont. That's cool. I like that. The DC region connections, are you guys like actually born and raised here? Or what's the story?
Brent: Well I'm actually from Chicago and I came out here to go to Howard University. That's where I met all these guys.
Brian: Nice. Alright. What about you Anthony?
Anthony: I'm actually from outside of South East DC. So from a place called [inaudible 00:04:47] Maryland. It's closer to National Harbor now if you know about National Harbor.
Anthony: Couple other guys, our guitar player's from South East, our main soloist and trumpet player is from [Forestville 00:04:59] area. So we have a lot of people from the area and if you listen to our music we kind of have like a little bit of a like go-go thing. Like bubbling under the surface. Not like an intention of ours but just kind of something that naturally happens.
Brian: Sure. Absolutely. If they haven't seen you live then describe, so the pieces to the band, what are they going to see. Like if they come to, you said there's the show on June 23rd, what are they going to see on stage for that?
Brent: Well it's going to be two trumpets, two trombones, sousaphone/tuba, for those that don't know what sousaphone is. Then we have drum set, keys, guitar and a vocalist and then one of our trumpet players also doubles as an MC.
Brent: So he steps to the mic every once in a while as well.
Brian: That's amazing. Talk about you guys on the personal side. So you two outside of DuPont Brass, what do you do outside of DuPont Brass?
Anthony: I'm a huge fan of just, like other peoples music. I know that sounds so cliché but I literally just watch YouTube interviews or like of my favorite rappers or I'm always following my favorite rap beat or something like that and then if I'm not watching like hip hop moves then I'm watching basketball. Like I'm a huge basketball fan, I do the same thing with that. I know all the latest stuff that's going on with Lebron James and Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving. So I'm just kind of a basketball and music nerd for real.
Brian: Nice and do you play them to or do you just watch them? Like play basketball too?
Anthony: Yeah I mean you know I play basketball as well as anybody else in any pick up game but I'm not like you know, guys any good. I would never say that.
Brian: Well you know, but I guess I'm wondering, do you actually, do you spend time playing or are you mostly watching?
Anthony: Mostly watching, sometimes playing.
Brian: Alright, so basketball and music. I love it.
Brian: Alright Brent, talk to us man.
Brent: So outside of DuPont Brass I also teach part time. I teach part time at [inaudible 00:06:54]School of Arts.
Brian: What do you teach?
Brent: I teach two [inaudible 00:06:57] and sight singing and ear training.
Brian: Wow. Okay.
Brent: Then I just started working at the community center last week.
Brian: Congratulations man, that's a cool gig. Alright. Especially for somebody who's teaching music and all this stuff. Like boy you get to see it on another level which is awesome.
Brent: Being behind the scenes on a macro level is pretty cool. Then outside of that, I love everything tuba. I like listening to a lot of new music. My favorite genres are probably like funk, soul, progressive metal and like, ... big band jazz. So I'm always like searching that circuit for new stuff.
Brent: Then video games for real, for real.
Brian: Yeah? What are we talking about? What system? What games?
Anthony: Halo, X-box 360.
Brent: X-box, X-box 1. [crosstalk 00:07:52].
Brent: Okay, but yeah.
Brian: He has arrived.
Brent: When I had a lot of time, talking about back in high school days I used to play a lot of X-box but I mean it collects a lot of dust now but I still love to play.
Brian: You still love to play.
Anthony: Also I will let you guys know that Brent and myself are really good at spades.
Brent: Oh yeah. Come see us!
Anthony: We beat at least five people at every cook out we go to.
Brian: Oh my God and now wait a minute if they don't know what you mean when you say spades, what is that?
Anthony: It's a card game. A lot of people-
Brian: Oh we're talking about a straight up card game spades. Nice.
Brent: And dominoes, fives.
Brian: Oh there it is.
Brian: Dominoes and spades.
Anthony: Cook out bullies.
Brian: I love it, oh man. That's cool. Alright. Check that one out. Now my favorite question to ask, always have to ask, if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be? This is for both Brent, start with you man.
Brent: One piece of advice, what would it be?
Brent: So, I pretty much just, what a lot of people don't see about me, I have a lot of successes that people are able to visually see. Or it seems like a lot of successes, but behind that image of a lot of successes is like multiple failures and falls and steps.
Brent: So I would just tell most people, excuse me. I would tell people, most people, don't worry about your failures, don't publicize your life so much. Just learn from your mistakes. Gain from your stepping stones that you fall short of, and then turn everything into a positive spin that you can move forward off of. Everything has something to gain from it, whether you like the experience or not.
Brian: Everything has something to gain from it, whether you like it or not. I dig that. Thanks Brent. Alright your turn.
Anthony: So I mean, I'm going to do a two part thing, super quick though. Number one I just think, you know do the work. Especially while you can. I mean, like when you're young. When you're in college or high school, that's the time you don't have anything else to do but to just work on you. Then number two once you've done that work, just believe that you're worthy. You know what I mean? I mean we deal with that sometimes too, like oh I don't know should we charge these people that much? Do you think we're worth that much? Like you're worth that much, so just believe in yourself and believe in whatever thing you're selling. Believe that you deserve it.
Brian: I love that. Yes. Believe you're worth it and you're worth that much, aw so good. I love it and now for those folks who want to find out more about you guys and the cool things happening with DuPont Brass, where do they go?
Brent: Dupontbrass.com and then you can follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, @dupontbrass-