Brody Price on Local Live, March 24, 2024

Brody Price on Local Live, March 24, 2024

March 24, 2024 in Local Live

by dj lemonhead

Brody Price is a prime example of the influence that Texas’s diverse soundscape has on bands that hail from the state.

While its country roots are most obvious, the group also relies heavily on the DIY nature of Dallas and Austin indie-rock bands. This combination - played very loudly - results in a discography of twangy, jammable songs that draw in a multitude of audiences.

Brody, the lead guitarist and vocalist, is joined by Zack Wiggs on the pedal steel guitar, Michelle Ayoubi on bass and Jake Hall on drums. These musicians come together in an impressively cohesive manner - considering they live in two different cities - displaying their talent and comfort on stage both as a group and as individuals.

Their most recent single, “How It Feels,” showcases the band's knack for shifting dynamics, starting off mellow with a catchy guitar riff and driving bass line before building in both intensity and volume, emphasizing punchy drums and overdriven guitar to reach its crescendo.

The band expanded on this musical journey during their live performance in the KVRX studio, flexing their instrumental muscles as they enamored audience members. Afterwards, they joined us in the booth to chat about their musical influences, live shows and experiences across Texas music scenes.

Read our interview with Brody Price below.

Q: Please introduce yourself and your role in the band, and tell us what your favorite appetizer is.

Jake: My name is Jake, and I play the drums. My favorite appetizer is the classic: chips and queso.

Zack: I'm Zack. I play pedal steel. My favorite appetizer is these fried green beans from a Chinese food restaurant called China Family. China Family rules, and their fried green beans are killer.

Michelle: Hello, I'm Michelle. I play bass in the band, and my favorite appetizer is crab rangoons.

Brody: And I'm Brody. I play guitar and make up the songs for the band. My favorite appetizer currently has got to be hummus and pita bread from a restaurant by our house.

Q: If anyone hasn't heard Brody Price, how would you describe the sound of your music?

Brody: I think that it's obviously very country-leaning. Country music has a really big piece of our heart, whether it's traditional or non-traditional, so that will always be a part of this band. I guess it's country-tinged indie rock, so to speak, that gets really loud at times. People have said that it sounds like Built to Spill, but a country version. Or a country version of Pavement.

Michelle: Alice Cooper.

Brody: Yeah, Alice Cooper, we get that a lot.

Zack: We share management, too, so that's good.

Brody: We share a manager with Alice Cooper, and that's...I don't know. It's been a lot.

Q: Are there any specific artists who have been big influences on y'all in making that kind of music?

Brody: We get this a lot while touring, when people hear a heavy country band and they're like, "It's a new thing," or something like that. And I think with bands like Wednesday, MJ Lenderman and people like that, they're like, "Oh, y'all sound like them." But my favorite band in high school, and when I was pretty young, was a band called Centro-Matic. It was a Denton-based, really heavy southern-leaning band, fronted by a guy named Willie Johnson. I feel like we reference that band. Every time we're mixing a song, we use a handful of sounds to try to sound like Will's band. Anything else?

Zack: Will and Jason Molina and the Drive-By Truckers. I mean, we're really stoked to be compared to folks like Wednesday and MJ because they're awesome. They're sweet, sweet people. But yeah, we do feel really compelled to be like, This is not new. This is something that's been happening for a long time, and there are a lot of folks that really paved the way for alternative/heavy country music to be made. We're really thankful to have them pretty close to home; Will's a good friend and a mentor to a lot of us. We feel very grateful to have those influences.

Q: What is your songwriting process like?

Brody: It's just all made up, just not shooting down any ideas. You write something, and you don't really know what you're writing about. Then all of a sudden, you have a song that wasn't there before. I oftentimes don't say that I write the songs. I like to use the phrase "made up." I make up the songs because it's not really that mystical of a thing. It's just sitting down and coming up with something. You write 30 of them, and hopefully you can keep 10. Usually I'll make up the songs on guitar, and we'll write certain parts then bring it to the band. Everyone else adds their own little flavor to it. It's fun to write with other people and not just by yourself all the time.

Q: Your single "How it Feels" just came out. Is that part of a bigger project? Was that something you have had in the works for a while?

Brody: We're making another record right now, and it'll be a part of that record. It's really fun to just release things, so that one we recorded, and then 10 days later it was already out. We just wanted to put something out as fast as we could, and that's what we did. But yeah, it'll be a part of a record that will come out in 2030, or something. Or 2035.

Jake: It'll either be the heat death of the universe, or the album will come out.

Q: How did you guys start playing together?

Brody: Well, the band has changed so much. It's always in some form or fashion this group with other people added in or subtracted or other people filling in. My friend Marshall records this band. During COVID, it was him and I pretty much in the studio the whole time. Then through that process, all remotely, we started working with Zack, who played pedal steel on the record. Jake has played drums with us since before COVID. Then, Michelle came on after COVID for their first time ever playing on a stage or in a band and has jumped in and now plays with everyone.

Michelle: I'm dating Zack, the pedal steel player. The scandal is dropping! Our friend David played bass with Brody before and had to leave. Brody was like, "I need a bassist," and Zack conveniently said, "Well, I know a bassist." Meaning I learned bass during COVID and was like, "No, you don't!"

Zack: "I know someone who has the potential to be this bassist." And you've been crushing it.

Michelle: I'm really happy to be the bassist.

Brody: It's so fun. It's fun to play music with your friends, and drive around with your friends.


Photo by Natalia Moreno-Campos.

Q: What was each of y’all’s musical background before the band?

Jake: I've always drummed, since I was in fifth grade. I did high school drumline and jazz, a little bit into college as well. That was my main entry point into it - that and a bunch of church music that I don't sing anymore. Between those two things, drumline and church music, that's how I got here.

Zack: I had a pretty similar background. I've been a singer and a drummer for most of my life and then just picked up different things along the way. I started playing banjo in high school and played in a band throughout my college years, went to school for voice and then started playing pedal steel in 2018/2019. I've just been completely enamored with it, and now that's what I mainly do.

Michelle: I'm definitely the least experienced, I'd say, in the long run. I had a very hodgepodge [experience] playing flute in middle school and then learning chords on a guitar in high school so I could play "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley.

Brody: It's the most covered song of all time.

Michelle: Yeah, so I didn't really become serious about playing music until COVID. I was just needing a hobby, so that's when I picked up bass. I originally was trying to learn guitar better, but Zack [said I] would like bass, so.

Zack: Now you're a better guitarist than I am, so that's cool.

Brody: My parents would take us to this venue outside of San Antonio called Floore's Country Store, and we'd always go out and see country bands. My dad took me to see the Drive-By Truckers play there with another band. As a seventh grader, I saw Jason Isbell, Patterson Hood and all these people that are huge now. Patterson Hood was playing a Gibson SG, and I was like, "I have to play the electric guitar." That's why I have the guitar that I have. That, and School of Rock was big. I have to plug Zack for a moment: Zack started playing pedal steel in 2018 and now, he won the award for the Austin Chronicle’s Best Miscellaneous Instrument.

Q: What else was in the miscellaneous category?

Zack: I feel even weirder saying the other nominees because they're all heroes of mine, so I really cannot believe that it turned out the way that it did. Kym Warner is a mandolin player. Carolyn Trowbridge is this incredible multi-percussionist, but I think she was nominated for keyboard percussion. Thor Harris was another one who I'm a massive fan of personally, musically and professionally. I think he's the coolest. Yeah, it was a lot of other folks, but pedal steel has taken it home for a couple of years. Gary Newcomb won a couple of years ago, and he's a good friend, a mentor and just a wonderful, wonderful human being. It's cool to get to see pedal steel in the spotlight for a couple of years at the Austin Music Awards.

Q: If you were a first time listener, what would be the ideal scenario or setting to listen to your music?

Brody: Can it be a show? I think that we as a band have the most fun playing in basements and DIY settings. We did a tour last year, and I think one of the best shows was playing in this basement in a college house in Boston. It was so dark, and we got to play so loud. Whenever we can play really loud, it’s always the most fun that we have.

Zack: Shoutout Pasta Planet.

Jake: Just live, especially if you feel in physical danger at some point. Just by being on the roof, or in a basement or whatever. That's probably the ideal moment to listen to our music.

Michelle: I do think if you had to listen to it not live, I imagine listening to it in your home while a thunderstorm is happening. It's kind of cozy, but then sometimes you're like, "Whoa, this is intense."

Brody: I like listening to music while riding public transit or on my bike. Or just kicking back after a long day working in the mines, covered in dust.

Michelle: It's been a long day of flipping houses.

Jake: Just got off of your shift as a little league umpire.

Michelle: Working under the hood of your cyber truck.

Q: Is there any specific song that you think would be a good first listen, something that sums y'all up?

Brody: The song we just put out, "How it Feels," is by far the best picture of what we sound like live currently. It's kind of funny because you record a record, and then you put it out. Then a lot of times, by the time it comes out, as a band you already think, "I don't feel like this represents us right now. We sound totally different than this." So I feel like because we got to put it out so quick, this is what we sound like right now. Really big, natural, overdriven guitars and lots of feedback. What would be one from the record?

Jake: I feel like "Satellites & Dust" or "Dying When I Met You."

Zack: I go through waves of feeling which song is the best representation, and right now I think "It Was You" is pretty close to that as well because it does get a little jammy live and a little psychedelic, but then it also has some cacophonous, heavy sounding stuff. I think that one for me is the balance right now, but I agree with the other takes, too. They're great.


Photo by Danelo Gonzalez III.

Q: How has your sound evolved over the years?

Brody: We've learned to listen to one another. I think we've learned to listen to one another on stage, and also respect each other's space, both in terms of volume and actual playing. We can be mindful of how loud Zack is playing, and then I can come down or come up to that. We're always looking at one another onstage and kind of figuring it out as we're going between songs, so I feel like the communication has been the most fun thing that has been really noticeable.

Zack: Whenever we were making the first album, I met you the day that we came in and did...I can't remember which song it was, but now we've toured together for two-and-a-half-ish years. I think we're gonna have a better answer for you in a couple of weeks after we make the record, but I do think that it's been largely informed by the way that we communicate live. That's so much of it.

Michelle: I think that it especially translates, in my time playing with all of y'all, that we've really known how to handle dynamics together, too. In the new stuff that we've written together, it's really explored how to lean into quiet moments and lean into big moments and tell narrative, rather than being one note across the board. I feel like, in my experience with interpreting the record, we've really tried to incorporate that in songs, and it's become really important to all of us to do that.

Jake: Probably the most consistent comment that I get after shows is [about] the dynamic range. The people, they like that. We were trying to figure out the sound in early days, pre-COVID, and it was just loud. We loved being loud and noisy, and it was really cool. Going from that to the musicianship that everybody that is in this band and has played in this band has brought, it's really fun.

Q: Half of you live in Austin, and half of you live in Dallas. How does that work with this band dynamic?

Brody: Jake and I both live in Oak Cliff, which is a neighborhood in South Dallas, and we love it. I lived here for six years and then moved up there, but [Austin] is still the musical home because all the bands that we've played in are here. All of our friends that play, even after moving, are still here, so we play way more shows down here than we do in Dallas. We rehearse down here. A lot of times, I'll write a song, take a video of it and send it to them. Then we'll all get in a room and have made up parts for it, or something like that. It takes a lot of scheduling.

Jake: A lot of voice notes.

Brody: Lots of voice notes. Lots of driving with Jake, just us two.

Jake: Listening to lots of podcasts and our own thoughts.

Q: The Austin music scene is a lot bigger than the one in Dallas, but other than that, how would you say that the two compare?

Brody: What we really enjoy is the recording and studio culture of North Texas. There's some amazing studios that have the most impressive discographies of stuff that's come out of there. We'll always be grateful for studios, and our label is from Fort Worth. But I think that, in Oak Cliff for example, there's not really a venue. There's a venue if, like, Wynonna Judd is gonna come to town. For bands like us, we don't have a venue, so mainly DIY stuff is what we do. We just put on a big show at our neighborhood farm. The neighborhood itself wants music so badly to come through Oak Cliff, but if you're going to do it, you have to do it on your own. Find a coffee shop that will let you do a show, or the movie theater. Texas Theater will host shows. Without going to Deep Ellum, there's not really other venues in town, so it's very DIY-oriented.

Jake: Those are pretty much the two options. We just got done playing a show in Deep Ellum on St. Patty's Day, which was insanity.

Q: What has touring been like?

Brody: It's been so bad. No, it's so much fun. At our level, being a DIY band, it's really, really hard to make a tour happen and to plan and get it booked. It takes so long, but when you're out doing it, it's the most fun thing in the world. And we're getting a lot better at it. We just did a run in the fall, and it was by far the most smooth run that we've ever done. At this point, we've kind of gone everywhere. We've been up as far as Canada, basically, and [done] a lot of the South, a lot of Chicago.

Zack: So great. I love going to Chicago.

Brody: We kind of planned it around seeing our friends, and playing shows with our friends that we don't get to see.

Brody and Michelle

Photo by Natalia Moreno-Campos.

Q: Do y'all have any pre-show rituals or traditions that you do?

Zack: No, I don't really think so.

Brody: I used to drink excessively. It didn't go well, so we're trying to not do that anymore. I don't know...we soundcheck. Tune.

Michelle: There's always a little bit of a look and a moment of, "Hey, love ya. This is gonna be fun."

Brody: After the show, before we get off the stage, everyone always gives each other hugs and says that we love each other, no matter how bad or good.

Q: Do y'all have a favorite venue that you've played in Austin?

Zack: Hole in the Wall ‘til I die.

Brody: The front stage at Hole in the Wall rules. Playing on a Friday or Saturday at Hotel Vegas, inside. [There's] the feeling of not sound checking, and you load your stuff in while everyone's in the room. You literally get your stuff on stage, and then as soon as everything's set up, you just start. It's so fun.

Zack: We've had some of our best shows inside at Mohawk. We played once outside, and it was obviously incredible because that stage is insane. But the inside at Mohawk is so great. [It] sounds awesome. Everybody's always really, really wonderful there.

Michelle: The staff at Mohawk always make it such a fun experience, and I feel like we have so many good memories playing there. Specifically when the sound guy altered [Brody's] voice on stage in between songs.

Brody: They're like our friends at this point. Yeah, we covered Nirvana's In Utero album for a whole show, and in between songs they were taking my voice up and down octaves and adding all this reverb. I didn't ask him to do it.

Zack: You sounded like the South Park version of Satan.

Brody: Yeah, so that was dope.

Q: What other Austin bands would y'all like to play with?

Brody: There's so many friends that we do get to play with all the time, but I'm trying to think of someone that we don't get to play with very often.

Zack: We're big, big fans of Alexalone and Proun.

Brody: Yeah, my friend Jamie fronts a band called Proun that's awesome. They're from North Texas. Jamie's one of the best guitarists I've ever seen. Like truly, truly one of the best. I love Being Dead so much. They're friends and just always [put on] the most fun show ever.

Zack: They have no right to rip as hard as they do for being as funny as they are, and vice versa.

Brody: And they're just the nicest people. That's been one of the funnest parts of playing, touring and just getting to know other bands: when there's a band that absolutely rips, and then you get to know them and they're the kindest people in the world.

Q: Do y'all have any bands or artists you listen to that would be considered off the wall considering the music that you make? Maybe someone from a totally different genre?

Jake: I'm a big fan of the drumming in funk, hip hop and R&B, and I have a jazz background. There's a lot of stuff in that realm that I really love listening to, but I'm not technically proficient enough to do it.

Michelle: I personally love Kate Bush, prior to the rise of her in Stranger Things. All of her music is so dramatic and can be really bizarre, but it's so emotional. On its surface, if you're just listening in passing, it can sound like, "Okay, what is this?" But if you take time to listen to her albums in full and the narrative behind them, I just think they're so profoundly beautiful.

Brody: There's a songwriter named Natalia Lafourcade from Mexico that has a couple of albums called Musas, which are traditional Spanish folk songs, and I think that might be some of my desert island music. So yeah, lots of Spanish music. It's in my blood from growing up in San Antonio.

Zack: Mine's not gonna be surprising at all. I have been listening to a lot of old music. As a steel player, there's so much to listen to, with some of the great players that were often paired with some of the great vocalists. This player Hal Rugg was Loretta Lynn's steel player for a long time, and I'm really, really obsessed with his vocabulary on the instrument right now. I'm fully in my Ry Cooder era, too. We got to go watch Paris, Texas recently, and that was my first time seeing it fully and in the proper format and atmosphere. It really just knocked my socks off. It was incredible. You know, Paradise and Lunch. We have a band friend out of the Hudson Valley in New York called Blue Ranger that is very, very directly and deeply inspired by Ry Cooder's work, and I love them a lot. Very stoked about them. Not surprising as a steel player. It's all slide and Americana stuff, but [they're] things that feel like they have a different angle at the formula.

Brody: We all listen to Alice Cooper a lot, too. And at this point, school is out. We're here for it.

Find Brody Price here:



Photo by Natalia Moreno-Campos.

Musicians: Brody Price - guitar, vocals; Michelle Ayoubi - bass; Zack Wiggs - steel guitar, vocals; Jake Hall - drums


Production Manager: Emma Kositsky; Set Design Director: Cooper Stephenson;

Audio Director: Aiden Sharabba; Audio Interns: Nathan Crews, Ethan Rangel; Video Directors: Zahra Ahmed, Cassie Quintela;

Photo Directors: Trevor Keig, Abraham Vidal; TSTV Producer: Darren Puccala; Interviewers: Morgan Lenamond, Darren Puccala;

Volunteers: Bella Lopez, Rob Paine, Kailyn Bagtas, Mason Krueger, Fernando Alvarez, Natalia Moreno-Campos

All Photo's thanks to KVRX's Natalie Moreno-Campos and Danelo Gonzalez III.

Stay in the loop with the KVRX newsletter