Brian “Clash” Griffin has been writing songs since the age of 15 and performing in the central Ohio area since 2000. As an activist, he has passionately performed at many rallies, demonstrations and protests over the years promoting the causes of human and animal rights. He has recorded 3 albums of original music (Late Bloomer (2003), HomeFront and LoveLoss (both 2005)). Recently, Brian formed a new group, Brian Clash and the Coffee House Rebels and has been working with Columbus Rock and Blues Legend Willie Phoenix on a new album (Morning Soldiers) to be released in spring 2014. More information and samples of his music can be found at  Band Camp and on FaceBook

FP: Put together your fantasy band, dead or alive.
My fantasy band would be one that includes the many performers that have influenced me on my musical journey. Right up front, center stage, would be Woody Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Ochs, Joe Strummer, John Lennon, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan and the Late Great Pete Seeger. Also playing would be Joan Baez, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Todd Snider, Joan Jett, Stevie Van Zandt, Billy Bragg, Buddy Holly, Amy Grant, Walter Egan, Hamell on Trial and T-Bone Burnett. The E Street Band and the Clash would be backing up everyone. For a local touch, I would include Willie Phoenix, Donna Mogavero, WaterShed, Ricki C., Billy Zenn and Mark Reinhart of the band Rich Meaty Taste. I would be up there as well, (it is MY fantasy!) blissfully jamming away with my 4 chord attack!

FP: What’ the best, most exciting concert, music event you’ve been to?
I would have to say that would be the first Real concert I went to which was Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band live at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum, Sunday, September 13, 1981. I was 17 at the time and upon getting to the show, I was amazed by all the Bruce fans (my people!) gathered in one place. The show begins, and Bruce plays for over three hours, at different times it was joyous, sad, quiet, loud and everything in between. I was dancing, singing, yelling and jumping. By the end of the show I was exhausted and numb and, as I made the drive back home, I tried to process what I just experienced. Bruce, through his songs and performance, elevated the experience of being ALIVE and reveling in the pure joy of Life. It was something I would never forget.

FP: What is the best (or most important) thing about the music scene in Columbus?
As someone who has been active in the Columbus music scene for the last 15 years (and as a listener even longer). I would say the best thing is how diverse the scene is. Any night, you can hear music covering the whole style spectrum. There is truly something for everyone! Also important is the support local radio and media can give to local music so that it is heard. My only wish is that more people would realize what a vast musical treasure they have within their reach, and that they would support local performers who have in many cases, given a lot to follow their dreams.

FP: What's the most important issue (political or otherwise) going on in Columbus?
I feel right now the most important issue facing Columbus (the nation and the world) would be the plight of the lower and middle classes. As an activist, I have seen first-hand with the rise and fall of the Occupy Movement, what power the people have when they stand together for one goal and, locally and nationally, how far we have yet to go. Local government should work WITH its citizens to solve the long-standing problems of poverty and inequality instead of trying to find ways to strangle the voice of the people. We need to value ALL life and people, not just the “One Percenters” If we are able to do that, then Columbus would be truly an amazing place to LIVE.

FP: Tell us about your favorite gig or performance.
 There are many that pop into my mind, but one I keep coming back to was when I was part of the massive crowd protesting Senate Bill 5 at the Statehouse on February 22, 2011. The temperature was in the 20’s, there was light snow falling and my fingers were numb but the power of the people gathered there was inspiring. I was playing “This Land is Your Land” and other songs, getting strength from those standing and singing with me. The crowd was locked out of the Statehouse (our House), but they eventually had to open the doors and let the masses in. The people had spoken! As a bonus, a photo of me performing made the front page of the Columbus Dispatch, something I never would have imagined!


Upcoming Shows

3/7/14- Dicks Den –Band Performing as part of the Townes Van Zandt Tribute

3/14/14- The Tree Bar -Solo show opening for Blues Hippy and the Soul Underground

4-19-14- Bossy Grrl’s Pin Up Joint – Solo show with special guests