Interview with Chris Braide

Chris Braide is an in demand producer, songwriter and performer who regularly works with some of the biggest names in popular music. He has also recently provided the soundtrack for the animated film Leap and songs for the hit movie Wonder Woman and the popular romance drama, Fifty Shades Darker.

In the last few years, Chris' deep rooted love of progressive rock has been reflected in his band project, This Oceanic Feeling (2015) and his DBA releases with Geoff Downes. Never has that influence been more prominent than on the new Downes Braide Association album, Skyscraper Souls. Highlighted by an 18-minute epic title track, this adventurous display of prog/pop is their most fully realised effort to date.

In this, his second interview with DPRP, Chris graciously shares his thoughts on many subjects including concept albums, Roger Dean and the magical journey that progressive rock takes a listener on.

This interview is published in conjunction with CD & DVD Reviews Issue 2017-084 which has a review of Downes Braide Association's latest album Skyscraper Souls and Chris Braide's Singer Songwriter.

Downes Braide - photo from press kitDownes Braide, photo from press kit

Chris Braide interview with Patrick McAfee, October 31st, 2017

DPRP: It's been two years since the last Downes Braide Association album, but you've certainly been busy working with many popular artists (Sia, Marc Almond, Robin Schulz, Elle King, Halsey, Lea Michele, etc). There's also been film work (Leap, Wonder Woman, Fifty Shades Darker) and even a Grammy nomination (Best Pop Vocal Album with Sia), so congratulations on that. With all that you are doing and with Geoff busy touring with Yes, how did it work out to be the right time for a new Downes Braide album and what was the process that you and Geoff utilised to write and record the new album?

Chris: "Well, as I think Geoff mentioned in a recent interview, he stored up a lot of ideas while on the road. When you are on tour, it can really be quite boring. You play for an hour and then travel for eight, so he stored up quite a few bits and pieces, and I've done the same actually. I've been working with a lot of the people that you mentioned, but I also had a lot of bits that I'd been working on in isolation, I suppose, for my own pleasure. Geoff and I had talked about doing something again and yeah, it just felt right. Also, I had done a project (This Oceanic Feeling) with Ash Soan and Lee Pomeroy at about the same time as the last DBA album and it was so much fun to have a real rhythm section. So I spoke to Geoff about it and said: 'How about we do something with those guys' and he loved the idea. It turned out that Lee couldn't do it because he was busy with Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman, but that's how it started actually. We thought, why don't we merge the two bands? It's a pretty progressive idea, so we went from there."

I recall reading an interview with, I think, Bill Bruford, years ago where he said that back in the 70s, the record labels would originally sign bands or artists to a three album deal. The theory was that by the third album, they should have fully jelled. I think that sort of fits here because, although the first two Downes Braide albums were outstanding, there is a definite difference to Skyscraper Souls. It sounds really confident and to me it's easily the strongest album that you've done together. To your point, there is a band feel to it and it has more of a live, collaborative energy to it. What would you attribute that to, and is that the vision you had in mind while planning the album?

Kate Bush - The Dreaming, album coverKate Bush - The Dreaming, album cover Chris: "Yeah, I think so. It felt like this time, it had to be something different. It couldn't be another electronic 80s pop record with progressive delusions or whatever you want to call it. We can't just do that again. We've done that twice and I didn't want to do that. I felt like I would be bored doing that. I know what Geoff and I can do when we get together and I thought, what if we actually take it up a gear and make one of those records? I think progressive rock fans like bits of Downes Braide stuff, but there is also kind of a huge pop element to it, which they might not be such big fans of. I don't know, but I felt like we should do one of those kinds of records for real. Get a band to be dynamic and do a big-long-side-one kind of thing, which the title track is. It just felt like the right thing to do. Also, I was listening to a lot of Kate Bush at the time. Ariel, Sky of Honey, all that kind of stuff and I was getting back into those big, epic kind of side-long pieces."

I think for a progressive rock fan, there is definitely more to chew on with this record. In fact I think the cover alone (by Roger Dean) will be getting prog fans' attention.

Chris: "I have to say, that wasn't a cynical ploy to grab people who like that genre of music. I'm a big fan of progressive rock and I love Roger Dean's artwork. For me, it was an absolute thrill. It was kind of like, if we're going to do that (with the direction of the album), then we've got to get Roger to do the sleeve. It was a no-brainer and it's really been lovely."

It's a very different looking cover for him. His trademarks are there, but I don't view it in terms of trying to sell the album that way, because it is a different looking work for him, but fantastic nonetheless.

Chris: "Yeah, I think so. I showed it to people that aren't really into that kind of stuff. You know, people who would normally think that it was kind of 70s and that kind of thing, but they loved it because it looks quite modern actually."

(For vinyl and Roger Dean enthusiasts, Plane Groovy Records is releasing a vinyl version of Skyscraper Souls as a transparent blue album with a gatefold sleeve and limited edition liner notes by Geoff and Chris.)

While we're on the subject of the title track, it is easily the most traditionally epic prog song that you, and I would even say Geoff has ever written. In fact, it's one of those songs that has so much depth, that each listen brings something new. There's a lot to it. I think it's truly one of the best epics I've heard in quite some time. In part, it sort of even feels like an epic that would have come out of the Downes/Trevor Horn era of Yes, had they done that. What was the inspiration to to do an epic and are there epic tracks that you're particularly fond of?

Chris: "Yeah, I love Close to the Edge, I love Tales from Topographic Oceans and Tubular Bells. I loved the War Of The Worlds album when I was a kid. I have always loved those records that take you on a journey, and obviously I'm a big Genesis fan as well. I just like being taken into another world. I'm an Aquarius, so I think I spend my life in the air. I'm in the sky a lot and I don't like to come down to earth too much. Sometimes I have to, like everybody does, but I'd rather be up there. (Laughs). I think that genre of music suits my personality perfectly because if I have a pair of headphones on and I'm alone with a bit of peace to myself, just take me away and play me brilliant music and I'm happy. I just wanted to do one of those types of songs because I know how joyful it makes me feel at times. You know, just to be transported. I need to get away from reality sometimes, so I wanted to do that for myself, to enjoy the process of creating it and feel like: Yes, I've done one, I've finally done one of these things that I love so much. I've done my own! I also wanted other people to feel that they could escape as well when they hear it."

The biggest compliment that I can give to you about this album, is that as strong as the epic is, the back half of the album doesn't suffer for it. It's actually a very gutsy move to place an epic towards the beginning because there's that danger that the album can end up lopsided, if the back half isn't as strong. One of the things that I admire about this album is that as strong as the epic is, the second half, which consists of more tightly structured pieces, is some the best material that you and Geoff have done together. Tomorrow, Lighthouse, Darker Times, all of it is really strong. So for me, in terms of you making a traditional prog rock album or just a full fledged album in general, it's really successful from that perspective.

Chris: "Thank you. That's really great to hear and I think having the album sandwiched between Prelude and Finale, which essentially is the same song, really ties the whole thing in as well and stops it from being lopsided. I know what you mean. Sometimes you get one of those records and you think, it's all about side one and the rest of it feels like it has been tacked on. I'm not naming any names, but there are things that I have heard over the years that felt a little bit like that. I'm glad that you feel like that about the album, because I didn't want it to be like: "Well, we've done a big, long song and now we have a few extras." Certainly, that wasn't the intention. I wanted it to feel like it was a movie almost, like you are listening to the adventure of Skyscraper Souls."

Downes Braide - Pictures Of You, album cover 1 Downes Braide - Suburban Ghosts, album cover

It's really successful in that respect. Upon first listen I was really really taken by the epic, and I was almost afraid of a downturn, but then the back half of the album was also so strong. I was particularly fond of Suburban Ghosts, which I thought would be a tough one to beat. As I was sitting there though, listening to the Skyscraper Souls album for the first time, I was thinking: "Wow, these guys just keep keep doing it." With the overall tracklisting in mind, would you consider it a concept album? There are reoccurring themes, you mentioned the prelude and finale, Glacier Girl is also referenced a few times.

Chris: "Yeah, I wondered recently, what is a concept album? People sometimes say: "Well it isn't really a concept album because it's not really about one thing". I think that lyrically, all of my work is rooted in some kind of soul searching. I don't know, it's some kind of esoteric thing. I'm not sure why, I just sort of do it. It's some type of stream of consciousness and I listen back and say: "Oh, I'm writing about that again." I'm very much into philosophical stuff and it just comes out in my writing. So, what is a concept album? Because I feel that anything that has a certain feeling throughout is a concept album to me. Whereas, the idea that a concept album is about the knights of the round table or whatever, that isn't the case for me any more, personally. I think anything with a feeling throughout is a concept album. So yes, I think Skyscraper Souls is a concept album from my point of view."

For me, as a listener, narration on an album can be a tricky thing. Sometimes, it's either overused or invasive and I find myself saying: "Oh enough with this." The way that you placed narration on this album is really perfect. You mention in the publicity material that it is done by a friend of yours (Barney Ashton Bullock) and I have to say that it's placed logically, it blends into the music and enhances the overall listening experience.

Chris: "Well, thanks. He is fantastic. He has such a gift with the English language. He's a poet and a playwright in London. We are actually working on a play at the moment and he has such a great way with language. I really gave him carte blanche to say whatever he wanted in the theme. He recorded a few bits and sent them to me and I would sort of chop them up and make them work. Like the bit at the end of Angel On Your Shoulder, it fits perfectly. I'm suffused in you. I would never say that. I would never write that and he sent such beautiful things. I agree with you that narration can be a bit corny if not done right, but he did such a great job."

In terms of effectiveness, it reminded me of some of the work that the Moody Blues did with narration years ago. You kind of mentioned this earlier and I wanted to bring up the fact that Stephen Wilson recently released an album (To the Bone) in which he attempted to recapture the spirit of some of the great progressive pop albums of the 80s. Artists like Tears for Fears, Kate Bush, Talk Talk, XTC. Though you and Geoff drove things in a different direction this time, I still feel that there is some element of that on the new album. You both capture that prog-pop vibe really well and there is an accessible sound to it. As I was listening to Skyscraper Souls, I was thinking that whilst many people will hear this album, there are many who may never know of it, who would really love it. With that in mind, and as someone who works in the more commercial rock and pop music scene, do you see a day where the top 40 will again embrace a more adventurous way of doing things?

Chris: "I hope so. You know it's good that Steven Wilson did that record, but I felt at times that he was influenced by us. (Laughs). We were doing that with Surburban Ghosts and also with the first record, which was less fully realied. Suburban Ghosts though is definitely progressive with pop and all that you mentioned, Talk Talk, XTC, all of my favourite bands, as well as Buggles and all that stuff. So when Steven Wilson did that, I thought, well maybe we've influenced him. I may be completely wrong and he will read this and say: "What!!?? Not at all!". But it felt like: "OK, maybe we sent out a little taste of something". I hope more people do it, because I love that epic, lush, orchestral sound of 80s pop records. I miss it. Thank goodness for people like Kate Bush putting out records like 50 Words for Snow and Ariel because it's still in existence with those acts, but obviously, they are heritage acts. I'm not sure about new stuff, but everything's cyclical. I'm sure that at some point, something will come back and some kid will be listening to his Dad's record collection and use what they hear."

You mentioned Kate Bush, and Glacier Girl is noted as homage to her. It's really a beautiful track. She was recently nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and to your comments about her, do you see Kate as an influence in the music scene nowadays?

Chris: "With certain acts like Bat for Lashes and Florence and the Machine, I think they are definitely influenced by her music. It's interesting though, because she is very feminine, but she was influenced by very male, kind of music. Pink Floyd and Genesis and it's interesting that those female-led acts that I just mentioned are influenced by her and the feminine element of that. What I loved about Kate is that she is this beautiful, exotic creature that was making quite tough, sort of progressive rock music at times. Some of those records, I mean really, I will absolutely take with me to the grave. Delius and the whole of Never for Ever are just wonderful."

Glacier Girl is also a bit of a family affair for you, with your kids performing on it. As I was listening to the song for the first time, I thought to myself that she (Kate Bush) would be proud and or honoured by it. The elements are there and particularly the end section with your children, really captured that Kate Bush vibe.

Chris: "When they did that, I said, I want you to sing on this. I taught them the part and then they were on the mic'. I am in the control room and it's just like - Oh my God, it was like goosebumps. There's something about capturing your kids like that, when they are still children. The Dreaming album was a big influence on me, which is why Andy Hodge, the bass player on Skyscraper Souls, who took over from Lee Pomeroy, played a lot of fretless bass. He picked up on that Kate Bush element as well. He sent me back this part with a fretless bass and I said that was exactly what I want! I told him to go and listen to The Dreaming album. There's a song on there, All The Love, where there's a choirboy singing. It gives me chills, so I was trying to, kind of, emulate that really. It's beautiful, but its also haunting and kind of unsettling."

It's interesting because The Dreaming is one of those albums that was ahead of its time. When it was released, it was so unique, that some people didn't really know what to make of it. Now, 30 plus years later, it is still astounding. You think back to the fact that the album is from 1982 and is very early in her career. The creativity is off the charts.

Chris: "It's incredible. I listened to it again the other day actually, all the way through and it's just perfect."

I agree. One key difference between Skyscraper Souls and the other two DBA albums is that you have Andy Partridge on it, Ash Soan, Kate Pierson, David Longdon from Big Big Train, Matthew Koma, Tim Bowness and others, which brings a very different element to the album. It certainly adds a different flair, so I wanted to ask what led to their involvement with this album?

Kate PiersonKate Pierson, photo credits unknown Chris: "Well, starting with Kate Pierson, I worked with her a couple of years ago on Guitars and Microphones which is a solo album that I'd done with her and we became good friends. I love Kate's voice. So, it was a case of: 'I'll write more songs with you on the next album, but you have to sing on this.' It was like a mutual friendship thing really. She loved the track. She did those gorgeous harmonies. Especially the note on 'Falling' in the chorus. It's pure Kate Pierson. She sent me back the file and I was like: "Ahh yes, just perfect"! Its so great.

With Andy Partridge, we've been working together, writing a little bit and got to know each other. I had a bit of trepidation with all of these people, because I hold them in such esteem. I'm such a fan and I could never lose that fan part of my personality. I just really love music and when people have made music over the years that has touched me, I'm sort of in for life. Andy's one of those people I feel that way about. I've had the wonderful opportunity to work with a lot of my idols and to help them with their own careers. It's a lovely thing, but I did reach out to all of them with a bit of trepidation because I thought, what if they say: 'What, a progressive rock album? No, I don't think so mate'. But they all came back and said: 'Tell me when and what you want. It was lovely."

Marc Almond, offical press photoMarc Almond, official press photos With that in mind, there is a track, Skin Deep which is an actual duet between you and Marc Almond. It's the only song on the album that is a clear duet, so I was curious as to what led to that end result because it is very effective?

Chris: "So, I wrote the song with Geoff, the lyrics, and I sang the vocal originally. There's a version with just my vocals and that was going to be the version on the album. I'm listening to it one day and I'm thinking that it almost sounds like a Marc Almond song because the lyrics have a kind of bitterness about them, with the character in it. It just made me think of him. So I reached out to him and said that I have this song, have a listen to it and tell me what you think. Marc came back via email and said: 'Yes, yes, yes, and yes.' He absolutely loved it and it was like an unspoken thing. He knew what I was getting at with the lyric. He didn't ask me who it was about or what it was about. It was just obvious that he could sing on it. It's one of those things where you have a connection with a fellow musician. It's almost like telepathy and he did the vocal on the song and what a great vocal it is."

No doubt about it. You have a very successful career both writing and producing for other artists as well for your own album releases. I've recently heard your singer songwriter album, which I thought was great. It made me wonder if you ever find yourself writing something for another artist and are a bit torn, perhaps thinking: 'I want this one for myself.' Does it ever prove to be a challenge giving up your work to others in that way?"

Chris: "No, not really, because I've always been quite good at tapping into the psyche of somebody. I had sort of an astrology read once and they said that I was virtually psychic or whatever. I'm not saying that, but they said that. So, anyway, I've always had the ability to, almost, take on the people around me. I kind of know instinctively what somebody needs or wants for their own project and I kind of jump on that. Obviously, there is always an element of me in it, but I am working for them. So, there's not really been too many occasions where I thought, this sounds too much like me or I really want this for me. Which is why I have, well, this album for instance, Skyscraper Souls. It's very much like, this is mine, you can't have this. That was the intention. It wasn't like these songs were written for other people and I've done versions myself. The absolute intention was that there is my work with others, and now this is for me."

As I said earlier, I think the new album represents your best songwriting with Geoff. There is a really natural musical chemistry between you both. What do you attribute that to?

Chris: "Gosh, it's funny, I don't know. You just have that. It's like I was saying about the track with Marc. I suppose, if you're a fan of someone initially and you like what they do, then chances are they will probably like what you do because you recognise in them what you have yourself. It's like anything in life, isn't it? If you're attracted to someone, they are probably attracted to you, if you're lucky. Because you see yourself in someone, and it's the same in music. You kind of hear yourself in the other person. I have always been a fan of Geoff's chords and his melodies, the way he plays synths. I was always a big fan, so it's just some kind of unspoken thing. When he sent me a chord progression for Skin Deep for instance, it's just automatic. I'm off. I'm writing it. I don't even have to discuss it. Its one of those magical things. It's great!"

Seems like you have a similar thing with Sia because you work with her on a regular basis. People tend to lump pop artists together, but I think she is a really creative, compelling and unique talent. It seems that you have that same spark with her in terms of writing together.

Chris: "Exactly, yeah. When I've written with her, I'm at the piano for maybe three minutes and that's it, she's off. Before we know it, we've half written it. It's not like we're scratching our heads for an hour saying: What do you want to do today?' 'Hmm, not sure.' It's never like that and I think with all great musical partnerships, it is a sort of telepathic thing almost. You just kind of go 'Blahhggh' and it's there, you're both into it."

Leap / Ballerina, album coverLeap / Ballerina, album cover Recently, you provided the music for the animated film Leap (titled Ballerina in Europe). Did you enjoy that and do you see film work as something that you would like to do more of in the future?

Chris: "Yes, I did really enjoy it and I am working on a couple of others at the moment. I think Skyscraper Souls is a good example of something that without vocals, could be a soundtrack. It's really all a part of that love of big, long epic productions, where you can take someone on a journey. Even though with Ballerina, it was a series of pop songs, there were elements that were brought back, and themes that were repeated, and the orchestra would play a melody from an earlier song. I just love that. Why should a song end after three minutes and thirty seconds and you don't hear it again? I want to hear those themes that make me emotional. In fact, I watched About A Boy, the other night. It's a great film from 2002 and I thought what a great soundtrack it was by Badly Drawn Boy. It's simple, but it's emotional. Themes kept coming back every time you saw them walking around, tears in their eyes, they played that little theme. I really love film for that. It enables you to bring something back that is emotional, instead of it rushing by and you never hear it again."

You made the comment about music not needing to end after three minutes and thirty seconds. When my daughters were younger and I would be playing music in the car, they would see that a song was 14 minutes long and be so perplexed about it. Luckily, they have expanded their musical horizons a bit over the years, but it's so true that music doesn't have to be limited in that way.

Chris: "Exactly and it's not like it's 14 minutes of the same thing going round and round. Sometimes I hear things that are four minutes of the same thing going round and it drives me mental. (Laughs)"

This Oceanic Feeling, album coverThis Oceanic Feeling, album cover

I completely agree. Well, I hate to be greedy with the great new DBA only just hitting the streets, but is there anything else in terms of new music that we can look forward to? I think the last time that we spoke, you had mentioned the possibility of a second This Oceanic Feeling album, so any chance that is still on the horizon?

Chris: "Yeah, possibly. I was talking to Lee Pomeroy the other day and he had just heard Skyscraper Souls. There is a guitarist on the album, Dave Colquhoun, who plays with many people. Rick Wakeman being one of them and Dave is a really outstanding player. Lee, bless him, introduced me to him and Dave's now a good mate and played all those glorious guitar parts on the album. So Dave played Lee his copy of Skyscraper Souls because they are both in the UK at the moment and Lee emailed me afterwards and said: 'Bloody hell, I've just heard the album and it's absolutely fantastic. I wish I was on it.' (Laughs) So I said: 'Well, there's always another one' and he replied: 'Absolutely, when are we doing it?' That was the last that I spoke to him, so I think he is keen to do something."

You reminded me of something that I wanted to ask when we were talking about all of the talented artists on Skyscraper Souls. Along with all of the great electric guitar work, there is a moment in Glacier Girl where a mandolin comes in and it takes the track to another level. That said, I think the guitar work on the entire album is really fantastic.

Chris: "The mandolin on Glacier Girl is Andy Partridge. He played the mandolin, the acoustic part and the sleigh bells on that track. Andy is great because he sees music in pictures, so I was trying to get this icy feel. It kind of maybe subliminally led me to write that lyric. Then Andy took it one step further and put sleigh bells on it and it really sounds like the snow or something."

I think one of the great things about this album is that although it was created remotely in many ways, you and Geoff really captured the feel of an album that was made by a band or musicians working closely together. Some albums that are made remotely have a bit of a pieced-together feel to them but that isn't at all the case with Skyscraper Souls. It has a very collaborative, musically tight feeling to it.

Chris: "Yeah, I think so. That was definitely the intention and I think when you are working musicians that you have a connection with, that helps. I know that when Ash Soan puts drums on something, he knows the way I write. It's funny because sometimes, if I am working on a separate thing completely, which I'll get Ash to play on later and I just have a drum machine going, I will pull one of his old drum parts from another song, just as a temp. It's amazing, because all the fills line up. It's like all the drama seems to work in a completely different song because Ash knows the way I write. He knows where I'm gonna go, what I'm going to drop there. It's quite interesting when you work with musicians that you know instinctively. If I had a bunch of session guys who didn't know me from Adam, it might not sound so much like that. There is definitely a glue to it."

There is one last question that I wanted to ask. It's not prog related, but I just happened to be listening to an album that I hadn't heard in a while (Love & Work by Graham Gouldman) and I never knew until reading the liner notes recently, that you co-wrote the song Daylight, which is about the late Andrew Gold. I am an Andrew Gold fan and feel that he was an extremely underrated singer and songwriter. It's a beautiful, extremely moving song and it struck me that I probably should have realised that you were involved. I wanted to mention it to you though because I think it is a truly special song.

Andrew Gold album coverAndrew Gold album cover Chris: "Thank you. I am fan of Andrew's as well. You know, at the end of the song, there is a little sort of vocal, which is me. I don't know what it was, maybe subconsciously, I was kind of trying to sound a little bit like Andrew. When I sent the vocals back to Graham, because I was in LA and he was in England, he called me and said: "I've got tears in my eyes mate, listening to this." It was so moving, it moves me now just talking about it because he was, I mean, I loved Andrew Gold. He was brilliant. I was so sad when he died."

For the longest time when hearing that song, I thought that it was a clip of Andrew that was used and then I read an interview with Graham a month or so ago, where he said that the work you had done, and that that moment on the song moved him tremendously. Andrew is one of those artists that most people tend to remember from those early hits like Lonely Boy and Thank you for being a Friend, but he continued to write and record outstanding music until he sadly passed away.

Chris: "One song of his that absolutely annihilates me whenever I hear it, is a song called Hannah, have you heard it?"

Oh yes, off of the Intermission album.

Chris: "Oh my God, that song. I mean, that just makes me think of my kids and time passing and he just nails your heart to the wall. There's another one on that album as well, called The Night Show, which I absolutely love."

No doubt about it. He was a storyteller, but there was also a personal angle to his songs. He spoke from his heart. You could hear it in his lyrics, and to your point, listening to his music as a parent, he had that ability to be truly relatable and to touch your heart. I did want to mention Daylight before we wrapped up, because it is really an exceptional song.

Chris: "Thank you. You were lovely to do that. When John Wetton died, I was so emotional that day and I didn't know John. I mean, obviously Geoff and I are good mates, but I never got to meet John. I was completely aware of everything he had done, UK, Asia, Roxy, all that stuff. I felt like, really, how can I process this emotion that I feel for someone that I have never even met? So, I did a cover of The Smile Has Left Your Eyes. The only way that I can kind of deal with that overwhelming feeling, is to make music. It's just how I deal with life, just to make music and get it out somehow. So I did that on that day and it's the same thing with Daylight. Obviously, Graham was devastated when Andrew died, but I was such a fan of his as well, that it was just a way of feeling connected somehow, to say 'thanks'."

Speaking of John Wetton, I have been a fan of his since I was 12 years old. He was outstanding. To me, from a talent perspective, he was just at a different level than most. Again, like Andrew, maybe not as appreciated as a songwriter and performer as he should have been.

Chris: "Absolutely. What a voice he had. I loved his version of Afterglow from (the Genesis album Wind & Wuthering). He did a great version of that."

Chris, thank you again for your time today. I am a big fan of the music that you are making and I can honestly say that Skyscraper Souls is one of the best progressive pop albums of the last 25 years. You and Geoff have outdone yourself and I think people are really going to love it.

Chris: "Thanks! So glad you like it. Cheers!"

Interview by Patric McAfee

Further Reading

This interview is published in conjunction with CD & DVD Reviews Issue 2017-084 which has a review of Downes Braide Association's latest album Skyscraper Souls and Chris Braide's Singer Songwriter.

Downes Braide - Pictures Of You DPRP album review

Downes Braide - Suburban Ghosts DPRP album review

This Oceanic Feeling - Universal Mind DPRP album review

Previous DPRP interview with Chris Braide

Photo Credits

Downes Braide: Christopher Braide - official website

Marc Almond: Marc Almond - official website

Kate Pierson: Kate Pierson - official Facebook page