Brooke Moriber took the stage at The Bitter End a historic venue in Manhattans Greenwich Village. She shared the stage with talented Nashville musician Bill DiLuigi. The two played a beautiful set together. As part of this set the two debuted music from Brooke’s not yet released “Cry like a Girl’ album.
Following the set I had the opportunity to sit down with the two in a GIGsoup exclusive Interview. We talked about their writing process, Brooke’s powerful new album, her time on Broadway, and much more.
I usually ask this question at the end of the interview but decided to start with it today. You both have performed on some really big stages, so I am always curious when it comes to the small stage of karaoke what your go-to song is? Do you have a go-to karaoke song?
Brooke: Oh, Hunger Strike! Yes! I’m usually Chris Cornell, and someone else will be Eddie. Although Eddie is my everything so (laughs)
What about you Bill?
Bill: I would say if you can still find it ‘Psycho Killer’ by The Talking Heads. That’s a good one.
So you two have done a lot of co-writing together, we just heard some of these songs here at your concert at The Bitter End performed live. We just heard you debut a new song you co-wrote together. What is your writing process that you do together?
Brooke: umm I mean it’s different. Like when I’m writing alone it’s different for me, when I’m co-writing it’s kind of like for me you just sit down and talk about whats going on in each others lives and figure out what is the most timely thing that has been on your mind and go from there.
Bill: I think with the song you mentioned ‘Steal the Thunder’ we had an idea about empowering and giving a positive message and then we didn’t really have a title. That was both in our minds that week and in our hearts. We started kicking things together and we were like “Thunder! Lightning! Rain! Steal the thunder from the rain!” and eventually it unlocks itself and that’s where we’re landing no we know where we are going.
You recently released a new single ‘Cry like a Girl’ what has the reception been like for this song? And how did it feel as you performed it tonight?
Brooke: I feel great about it because I feel like we’re at a time where people are really understanding women’s worth and I feel like this time in the world right now to release this song is so important. It was interesting for me to write it with a man and have a male point of view and have a female point of view and we kind of butted heads about a few things. It was a strong thing and the perfect combination. We kind of had this idea of that kind of Good Will Hunting scene where he finally breaks down and thats what it is. It’s about allowing yourself to do that so that you can move on.
So with ‘Cry like a Girl’ it is the title track of your new album coming soon, what can we expect from that album?
Brooke: Yeah so right now we are just riding the single wave for ‘Cry like a Girl’ I think we are going to be releasing ‘Steal the Thunder’ as the next single, and then we are going to release the entire album. The timing should probably be in two months for the full album. But don’t hold me to that because things always change. But it’s done! The album is complete so that’s good.
How would you describe your music?
Brooke: As a singer and a songwriter I feel like the most important thing that we can do is find a way to connect with other people, and for me writing is a healing process. So I feel like as far as any subject matter that I do it really comes from a place of strength. If you want to talk about genre its hard because it’s somewhere between pop, somewhere between Americana, and somewhere between country. ‘Cry like a Girl’ is the most country single that I have. The album was recorded in Nashville so I would say its Americana Pop but it is a very empowering album and a very emotional journey throughout the whole thing.
Bill: Can I interject one thing? If I had to give a one word snippet sound byte it’s like Celine Dion stepped on the set of Nashville.
Brooke: Oh I love you! Just so you know people in Nashville go crazy for Bill he’s like the song writer.
I wanted to ask about your time on broadway, and what the differences performing on the broadway stage and on a stage like tonight? And how the crowds are different?
Brooke: Um completely different. When you are on stage doing a broadway musical you are in character and you are not yourself. So you get to hide behind that, which is the fun part. You do not connect with the audience at all they connect with your story. Then on the other hand when you are doing a live gig of music it is all about connecting to the audience so you know when I made the transition from doing theatre to this it took me a little while to realize that it is okay look them in the eye and see them connecting to your music. That is the reward you get.
I wanted to ask about Les Mis, I have never seen Les Mis but am anxiously awaiting for the day that I do. One of my best friends is obsessed with Les Mis and on a road trip gave me a full track by track description of the play with each song of the soundtrack. That friend told me the way to tell if a production of Les Mis was good was if it passed the cry test. So from your connection to the play and being in it at the age of eight, is that the true way to know if the play was good?
Brooke: Oh yeah totally! So I actually have a funny story my first performance of Les Misérables was the first performance and only performance where the audience left laughing hysterically. Nobody had taught me the curtain call so I’m this tiny little eight year old and I didn’t realize you get your own bow and all that. The leading ladies grabbed my hand and pulled me out with them and they kind of shoved me forward to take my bow I must have taken too long and all of a sudden I hear something like a stampede coming behind me and it is all the men in the ensemble with their arms folded like woooosh to the front of the stage and here I am this tiny little eight year old “Where do I go? I can’t get through what am I going to do?” So I finally found a way to duck underneath two arms and run through and the audience was howling. So I think I made history.
And performing in that role at such a young age, did you know at eight years old how big of deal that was?
Brooke: I did, because I didn’t think I would get it. It was my first audition I ever had and my parents never wanted me to be in this industry, my mom used to be an actress. I begged them and sang over the phone to a manager someone from American Tale and shes like “I’m going to get her an audition for Les Mis.” and I remembered hearing the little girl in the recording and always thinking I want to be her oh my gosh! So three months of auditions later and I got the role, it was my first thing ever and um I did know how big of deal it was. What I didn’t realize is that the industry is not always gonna be that easy, you’re not always going to get every audition.
Is there anything else you two would like to say as this Interview closes?
Brooke: I think one of the reasons why Bill and I write really good music together is because we connect like we have become friends through this and we go deep. You know each others lives so I don’t know I think the way to take away from it musically and in life is to always be true to yourself and that you don’t have to hide. Don’t be afraid that people are going to think less of you because of something you are going through or that you think is shameful.
And Bill you have an album coming out soon too right?
Bill: I do, it is going to be coming out here at the first of the year. It is going to be an album of Americana songs. I am getting excited about it, it is all things i’ve written myself over the last eight years. Some of the best players in Nashville are on it.