Neal Briant was born in Philadelphia but has called Tucson home since 1999. Raised in a black Baptist church where gospel and R&B was king, Briant says the deep, rhythmic bass lines and drum beats have stuck with him. Briant is percussionist and vocalist with 8 Minutes to Burn, percussionist with Top Dead Center, and founder of The Lineage Project. 8 Minutes to Burn perform on Saturday, June 1, at Sky Bar and headline the FaR OuT Band & Fan Jam in Snowflake on June 8 and 9.
What was the first concert you attended?
The Jackson's Victory Tour at the now long-gone JFK Stadium that was in Philadelphia.
What are you listening to these days?
A lot of different jam bands. The String Cheese Incident, Particle, Moe . . . the Grateful Dead, the Band and Widespread Panic.
What was the first album you owned?
The first one that comes to mind is Light Up the Night by the Brothers Johnson that featured the bumpin' single "Stomp."
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don't get?
A lot of people like newer pop music like Justin Beiber and Miley Cyrus but I don't listen to it because it doesn't seem to have much substance.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, Marvin Gaye and Jimi Hendrix.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
The cast of Glee. I was in glee club when I was younger and the show has been a part of the inspiration for me to perform.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
I wrote a song that is entitled "Ash to Ash and Dust to Dust" and it has a message to humanity about getting from "I" back to "us." I would want everyone at my funeral to be reminded of that challenge.
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
James Taylor. There was a time in my young life when I was introduced to James, who seemed like he was talking directly to me about the trials and tribulations of life.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
James Taylor, Greatest Hits.