By Samantha Johnson
Some say that four careers would be too many. For Brad McClellan, it’s challenging but not impossible. As an English teacher at Reno High School, nutritionist, basketball coach, band member and a father to top it all off, McClellan said he still plans on doing more with his music going into the future.
In April 2015, McClellan released an album with his band, A Year From Monday, entitled “Yggdrasil” after the tree from Norse mythology. Now that the group has released its album, McClellan said he’s focused on promoting it through iTunes, Sonicbids.com and radio stations before he starts writing new songs. He described A Year After Monday as “mainstream alternative,” and a mix of pop, alternative, new wave and ‘80s new wave.
Although he said he had been sitting on a list of songs for a couple of years, he said the process of songwriting was more natural to him than other artists. He said his inspirations come to him anywhere at any time, instead of painstakingly working over lyrics and melodies in a studio.
“That’s the miracle of it. I’ll go to a movie … and I’ll come out of the movie and all of a sudden there’s this melody in my head,” McClellan said. “I don’t know, I’m channeling some other dimension, it just comes, but it sure is fun when it comes.”
McClellan said he encourages up-and-coming musicians to be open to criticism and to have groups of people review songs and critique them before releasing an album. He explained that that’s where he saw other musicians fail, that they would take feedback personally instead of learning from it.
“Ultimately you’re trying to please a lot of people,” McClellan said. “The more open you are the more you might catch something that will help your song do better than maybe it would have if you didn’t listen to that and make changes.”
McClellan said going into the future, the band isn’t interested in going on tour or anything of that nature until all the members have time to meet. Most of the work done for “Yggdrasil” was done over the summer or during periods when McClellan didn’t have to teach classes or train basketball players, but he said that he plans on working toward another album soon.
“When you’re in a band, it’s like being married but times four,” McClellan said. “The bands that last a long time are very impressive to me.”
He also mentioned that A Year From Monday has had in total around 23 members over the years, but he wants to continue as long as he can. Since McClellan has so many other career paths in his life, he said it was challenging but that he always seems to return to music.
“It’s fun, it keeps life interesting,” McClellan said. “I feel like I’m alive when I’m doing stuff that I care about.”
To learn more about A Year From Monday or listen to the group’s album “Yggdrasil,” find them on iTunes or like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ayearfrommonday.
Samantha Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SamRayJohnson.