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Excerpts from Jason Bradley’s interview with The Sun Post (link will be posted when interview is made available online:
-How did you and Rob Kerr come to collaborate in the first place?
Rob and I met about five years ago. He had finished an album called “War and Peace”, and I was playing with a couple of amazing local musicians, Todd Bergren (guitar) and Daren Lucas (bass), that had also started playing with Rob in Vera Zero. They had suggested to Rob to bring me in to fill out the band, and we’ve been working together since.

-What other projects have you and Rob worked on? How did they (or how didn’t they) influence At the End of the Line? Is the song a departure from your other work together?
The first thing we did was to re-record a couple of Todd’s guitar solos on the War and Peace album in my home studio. We all recorded a video for the song “I Bleed” together, which was based on Carol Reed’s “The Third Man”. After doing the live thing for a time, we wrote, recorded, and submitted a song called “Trax” for the soundtrack of a Hollywood movie by the same name. Unfortunately, the movie got shelved before it even began shooting. Rob has brought a number of songs to me since that I have co-written with him, and recorded demos of. I hope they get finished at some point. After “At The End Of The Line”, he has recorded the basics for another song in my studio, but the film release has been the priority.

Rob will usually write a vocal part and some chords, and then he’ll bring it to me. I’ll listen to the song over and over, and it will begin to take shape in my head. I will begin to hear things as if they were already tracked. That’s how “At The End Of The Line” came about.

This song is different. Most of the other songs we’ve worked on together have been up-tempo songs. This one started so bare bones, and then having to write an intro of specific length for the opening of the film is a big change. It needed to sound vulnerable, and I think we achieved that.

-What stands out to you about the Kindertransport as a story? Why did you feel the need to tell the story?
It’s amazing that more people don’t know about this! I mean, even though the Nazi death camps weren’t yet operational, Jewish parents understood that something really bad was looming on the horizon, and they had to put their children on a train and said goodbye (for what turned out to be) forever in most cases, placing them in the care of complete strangers that spoke another language and practiced another religion. As a parent, that is a terrible choice to have to make, but one that saved the lives of 10,000 Jewish children.

I felt that this story needed to be told because it isn’t widely known, and should be. When history gets buried, and we forget, it repeats itself. Look at how many more people were killed by Stalin and then Mao because the history was suppressed. Now, we’ve got Islamic State fanatics that are driving Christians from their homes, kidnapping their children and selling them into slavery, crucifying them, and beheading them, all while broadcasting it on the internet! Like early in the Darfur genocide, almost no one is reporting on this! Boko Haram is burning down churches and kidnapping girls in western Africa. There are Nazi groups popping up all over Europe, including the Golden Dawn Party from Greece, which now hold seats in the Greek and European Parliaments. We said “Never forget”, but I’m afraid we are forgetting, and this film couldn’t be timelier, in my opinion.

-How would you characterize your musical style? How does At the End of the Line fit into that style?
I’m definitely a rock ’n’ roll guy. I like to write songs that carry energy, with harmonies in the vocals and instruments. I’m a sucker for instrumental hooks, as well. Attention to detail can be the difference between an average and a great song.

“At The End Of The Line”, definitely carries energy. It may not be a physical energy, but it is an emotional one. To this day, I can’t watch it without getting choked up. As each layer is added to the last, it goes deeper, without ever losing that sense of brokenness that defines the song. Harmonies are downplayed a bit in this piece, which gave it a sense of openness. The background vocals form a type of instrumental hook, as there are no words uttered, only “ooo’s”, which could have been played on an instrument, but using the voice made it sound more haunting. Again, details matter: what’s in, what’s out… each layer was added for a reason, in a specific order, and at that exact time.

-Are there any musicians or visual artists you would consider to be influences on this project? Are there any who have influenced your work in general?
I don’t know about this project… there are small elements of David Bowie, George Harrison, and Radiohead that provide some little surprises throughout the arrangement, but no dominant influences that shape the work.

I’m just a fan of music. I love the music my parents exposed me to, the stuff I grew up on, and current music. It all gets mixed around and the output is cumulative of that. I’ve heard things in my songs that have been influenced by The Beatles, Foo Fighters, Shawn Mullins, and U2. That’s a huge spectrum, but yet there’s something that comes in to make each song distinctly mine. I definitely tap into something beyond myself when I write and perform, and I believe that is the glue that holds it all together.

-What makes you consider this a “short film” instead of a music video? Do you plan to show it anywhere, maybe?
Well, the emphasis of the film is more on telling the story of the families than it is on the music. The performance shots are there to add to the overarching theme, using shots that move forward (like the train) at the beginning and away at the end. It’s all about creating an emotional response.

We have entered the film into a number of festivals already in San Francisco, L.A., New York, Martha’s Vineyard, Australia, Berlin… and one in Paris, where the person that confirmed they had received it called the film “brilliant”! We will continue sending the film to festivals around the globe (including here in the Twin Cities). We also sent it to the Kindertransport Museum in Austria, in the hopes that they will show it on loop there.

-Do you plan to work the song into your regular performances?
Yes, I do a stripped-down version at my solo acoustic shows.

-Do you plan to produce similar work about WWII or other pieces of history?
Hard to say… I’m a history buff, but it’s difficult to force myself to write about something specific. It’s kind of, “How does the creative bug bite me?”, and then following it. For me, the sum of a completed work is dependent upon all of its parts. It all has to feel right together. A lot of the songs I write by myself are pretty personal. I know that Rob is big on bringing in great stories from history, film, and literature, so I’m sure that there will be more similar work, in that sense, but the finished songs will be dependent on what each narrative calls for.

-Anything to add that hasn’t been touched on?
I would urge people to go out to iTunes to purchase the track, and share the movie on social media. The more people see and hear the story, the greater awareness we will have of the atrocities happening in our day. Hopefully, we can raise enough voices in opposition to stop them.

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