Brian Kroll: 10 Facts That You Didn’t Know

Brian Kroll is a musician from Long Island, New York in the USA. He recently chose South Africa to release his new single and video. There’s probably a lot that you don’t know about him. I had a chat to Brian via Skype and he divulged a few things…

Here are 10 Facts that you didn’t know about Brian Kroll

1. He’s not going to say that he spent his 21st Thanksgiving holiday in jail

“My mom kept yelling at me, like Carrie’s mom in the Stephen King movie ‘Carrie’…and the Dee Dee Ramone song….’You’re a sick boy, you’re a sick boy…we’re going to get you the help that you need…you just wait here…and we’ll have you put away…’ I talked out loud ‘they’re not going to do this to me again….'”

“This time I threw the family out of the house…While in the county jail, waiting for my fate…I ended up having inmates who dropped out of school in 8th grade waiting in line to read ‘The Stranger’ by Albert Camus…One guy said…’you don’t fight (I told them it would ruin my guitar hands)…but I had people making believe they were reading a book that they couldn’t understand…”

Brian Kroll

“I didn’t set out to do that…It turns out that my charges were dropped by a judge who gave people maximum sentences…because he was impressed with me, my university grades, my references from townspeople, professors…working full time, etc…”

“And, my conditions of probation’ 1. You can never live at home again because that’s the only time that you don’t do well…2. You need to get intensive psychotherapy…two to three times a week….”

“I wanted to die when I was first in jail, my body was writhing and I had to bang my head against the cell wall to make it stop…When the cell doors slammed at night…I wanted to die…my heart dropped to the floor…then, as I stood their shaking…”

“I realized ‘I can’t die now…I haven’t done my music yet…Yeah! If I die now, they win (my parents)…I have to do my music…whatever it takes..however long it takes…I’m going to do it…I can’t die now….”

2. According to Brian, sometimes eating too much can save your life…

“I took Valiums from my dad’s sock drawer…not all at once..I took a few…they didn’t work fast enough…so I took a few more…they didn’t work fast enough either…this went on until I was seized in the epiphany that I might overdose and die…”

“My friends came over on their bicycles to bring me to their house so their mom could take me to the hospital when she got home…I had to stop on a small bridge because I had to hear ‘High Flyer’ by UFO…I was wobbly already…(high flyers, wailing birds, I’m so far out to see…lyrics)…”

“Well, their mom took me to the hospital…and they put the tube up my nose into my stomach to pump it…I remember the nurses asked…what did you eat? I said…a can of tuna fish…we see that, they said…what else? Two yogurts…we see that too…what else? a container of cottage cheese…yes, we see that too…You know, it’s a good thing that you ate all that…I asked why?”

“I was told that all of that food coated my stomach and slowed down the absorbing of the Valium…and it might have saved me….So, years later…when someone asked me why I eat so much, I told them ‘hey, you never know…eating too much saved my life once…”

3. Brian Kroll had two long term psychoanalysts

“One died of an overdose, the other one got ran over while on his power walk (the driver had sun in their eyes and didn’t see him)…And, I’m still here….”

“I went to the funeral of one of them…Ironic to have an abandonment issue that people will die if you get close to them, let them in…and then…they really die…and it confirms that you’re not always crazy to feel that way…”

“When I was in tenth grade European Cultures class, the teacher called out ‘Brian, What are you doing’? I looked around, everyone had their thick school book out. I didn’t notice because I was so into reading my rock and roll music magazine…”

“I told the teacher, in front of the class ‘can’t you see I’m reading my magazine?’ The teacher said ‘bring that up to me’…So, I walked up to his desk, gave him my magazine…and proceeded to go back to my desk and take out another magazine to read from my stack of guitar/rock music mags.”

“When the bell rang, my teacher was so into reading my magazine, that the whole class walked out and he didn’t notice…On my way out, he said ‘great magazine’…and handed it back to me..”

4. In first grade, he ate lunch at their apartment while the other kids ate in the school cafeteria with each other

“I felt left out…One day, I was angry that I had to eat at home and not sit with the other kids…I walked through our parking lot, back to school and looked up at the cafeteria and pictured everyone eating together…while I was lonely and outside by myself…then I looked up and saw the fire alarm…”

“Suddenly, the thought crossed my mind…as I reached to pull the white lever on it…and as I pulled the level down ‘If I pull this, everyone will be outside here with me…’ Just then, I heard the fire alarm bells ringing throughout the school in Brooklyn…it freaked me the ‘f’ out…”

“I looked up and saw two tall security guards who asked me why I pulled the fire alarm…I was so angry, I looked them in the eyes and said ‘I didn’t do it’…”

“They answered ‘we saw you do it’ Me: ‘Did you see me do it if I didn’t do it’…I stared them down…Security Guards: If you didn’t do it, then who did? Me: Those two tall kids….they ran behind the building…go catch them…! Guards: Why didn’t you say anything? Me: If I snitched, they’d beat me up…When the guards shrugged their shoulders, my first thought was ‘if they believe that, then they deserve to be lied to’…..”

5. He used to work at a drug store / pharmacy

“I did the lottery machine, deliveries, the cash register…I was naive…People said ‘you work at a drug store’? One day I asked my boss, what are those?”

“He told me that the box contained expired drugs that were supposed to be destroyed, documented….so, I helped him not get a fine by not doing that…I ate, over time much of the expired things in that box…then threw it away…Nice guy I am…saved him a fine….”

6. Brian Kroll met his girlfriend while he was delivering Italian food

“She was given six months to live….Wondering if I should go out with someone in that predicament, I thought ‘I can try to keep her company until the end’….”

“The doctors told her that she had a 50 % chance to live through a surgery….but if she didn’t do it, she’d have 100% of dying within six months…She wasn’t sure if the surgery was something that she wanted to go through…Here I am, the delivery guy…asking personal questions….and said ‘if you have a 50% chance of living with acceptable quality of life, why not do it?”

“If you put it off, you have zero chance…I asked a female friend of mine…what do I do? Go out with someone with six months to live?”

“Her answer was, you know me, you already chose your answer…I say ‘Shove Statistics’…if you haven’t found the love you wanted yet, at least you’ll have it for six months…or you may never find it again…if you haven’t found it yet…and regret it forever…I say…go for it”! Now, that was many years ago….So much for the rock and roll lifestyle…lol “

7. He met Mike Wuerth (the singer/bassist/producer on ‘Everyday Is Halloween (In My World) through a friend who was Linkin Park‘s sobriety road crew coach / guy back in the day

“I wanted digital recording lessons…and Mike was supposed to be the guy…But, I really failed at my lessons and he offered to help me arrange/demo tunes…my goal…I asked him to sing on one tune…his answer ‘why would I sing on your tune? it’s your tune’…”

Brian Kroll Logo

“So, I found one tune he liked enough to sing on…And, now he’s sung on over 65 songs…I was ready to quit music…so I told myself…because I couldn’t take the aggravation of the previous people that I was working with…Who knew that I was stepping into the future of my music? I was burnt…done…”

8. He had approximately 3,000 hours of psychotherapy / psychoanalysis, over ten years of acupuncture treatments

“When I was eighteen, I got thrown out of the house in suburbia (the same house that I lit on fire three years later…I knew that I shouldn’t live at home…because living with crazy people when you’re not crazy can make you crazy…when you’re feeling what they can’t feel….I threw a chair through the picture window…”

“My mother kept telling me…you’re sick…you’re a sick boy…I was in a good mood…I said, you know what ma, you’re right I’m sick…and threw the chair through the window…Are you happy now?”

“I went outside the house, and my father tried to get me to fight him, but I saw my friend’s father down the block…who I knew would not take my side…Since I had just gotten paid from my supermarket job, I ran through the side streets, through the park…through the tunnel and down the railroad service road to the taxi…”

“I took the taxi to the record store (we had one then)…bought a Led Zeppelin tee shirt, asked the woman if I could change shirts in the store…in front of her, threw my brown tank top in the garbage…”

“The woman said ‘why are you throwing out a good shirt? My answer: because the cops are probably looking for me in a brown tank top…my asshole father probably called the cops because I’m to big to control…I’m taking the train to Brooklyn to stay with friends…”

“The cops are not looking for a tall guy wearing a Led Zeppelin tee shirt…When in Brooklyn, I called my dad the next day to find out if he called the cops…”

“He asked how I wasn’t arrested because there was an all out bulletin for my arrest…a tall guy wearing red shorts and a brown tank top…I told him…I’m not stupid, I bought a new shirt because I knew you…I asked him to call it off so I could go back to work…”

“At the end of his life, I was his best friend…and tried to save him even though he couldn’t even save me from the damage he helped cause…”

9. He knew at one point that he was non-functional but that was a good place to write songs from

“Since I was on a journey to heal, in psychoanalysis, at the university, sitting alone in my basement apartment with barely any furniture..”

“I was reading a lot of psychology, existential philosophy stuff…taking an independent study in Existentialism and Psychoanalytic Sociology while being in a rockabilly band and also listening to heavy metal….”

“It dawned on me, a kind of premonition/vision….that I’d write my way out of myself…and maybe record the songs one day…because I was anonymous, alone, scared, bored and unfulfilled…kind of the voice of agonized conscience over everything….”

“I wrote lyrics in notebooks….My first album’s worth of tunes was never released….and I’ve redone it recently, so it’s new…So, I was into writing and going as deep within myself as I could…I think that I went a little too far…and took way too many pills and ended up doing other things….powdered…”

“But, that’s a long time ago…and I lost myself on the road to find myself…over and over…I tried to figure out everything never realizing fully that my main problem was trying to figure everything out…I needed a change in experience…”

10. All his songs, for the most part…are him somewhere… there’s no surprise and nothing special about that

“But, I tried to transform the ‘me that never was, wasn’t allowed to be, never could be into the songs that helped me create me into who I came/grew to be’…..I had to write everything…I was, am driven….it’s not about anything in particular…it’s about becoming to me….”

“I have no target audience…I don’t give a rats ass if they sell or not when I’m writing songs…or recording them…I have complete artistic freedom if I’m paying the bills for creation…It scares me morbidly to Have To write something that has to sound a certain way…I don’t write designed stuff, I have no gift at ll that way…unless I make fun of it and it comes naturally….”

“I like being the man behind the curtain, in the studio, in acupuncture….anonymous…but it got so lonely…and I wrote most of what I set out to this is kind of like the afterlife in this life….”

“There was a time that I couldn’t finish one complete song…that was a goal of one dead psychoanalyst….for me to be treated as an artist failing in his chosen craft, rather than viewing my guitar playing and musical aspirations as a symptom of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder….”

“He was right, bless him…Ironic that the head shrinker that I saw after I was a perhaps accidentally overdosing, accidentally self destructive person….died of a Heroin/Cocaine Overdose…and I’m still here…But, the most therapeutic thing that he did for me was not when he was a Psychoanalyst…with two private practices…one in NYC…”

“It was when he wore jeans and sneakers at the outreach clinic, and he came to my furnished room in a converted nursing home basement to see me play guitar….I plugged my 1956  Gibson Les Paul Jr. into an old Fender Pro Amp…”

“I played for him, his jaw dropped…he said ‘you ask me what to do with your life, you have it right here….you don’t need to go to college…”

“(I went so my Grandpa Kroll would die knowing that I’d be a somebody)…But, it was Grandpa that told me when I was eight…or seven…if music makes you happy do it, these people on the radio can’t sing…”

“He played the rock radio station for me as soon as I was old enough to sit in the infant car seat…My dad bought/made me a record player when I was three, gave me stacks of records…as if to say ‘Son, I’m a workaholic, your mother is a nut, I’m not going to be around much, but may this record player and these records serve you well’….”

“I thank you dad, R.I.P for being against who I was and wanting to do music, throw me out of the house for going to see Kiss…and other shows…for throwing me out of the house…and for fighting with me…till you died….because it helped make me into the person that I became….For being the real life suit corporate accountant that fueled my obstinacy to be me and never become you…”

Well, there you have it, 10 facts that you didn’t know about Brian Kroll. If you haven’t listened to his new single (“Everyday Is Halloween (In My World)”) yet, do yourself a favour.

Watch this space for updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

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