Brian Wheat, 27, a Lockport native who has traveled the world (Australia, Fiji, Morocco, Spain), now lives and works in Buffalo. He's a high school science teacher and -- with his band, Groggy Darlin' -- writes, performs and records original music. Their recently released CD, "Where Have You Been," is available at www.brianwheatmusic.com.
Brian Wheat and Groggy Darlin' will play at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the University at Buffalo's South Campus as part of WBFO's "Live in Allen Hall" series. The concert, free and open to the public, will be broadcast live on WBFO, 88.7 FM. For more information, go to www.wbfo.org.
How have your influences, Cake, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Iron and Wine, and Neil Young, affected you?
I love their music, and the fact that they are all both musically and lyrically there. They are each unique in that, before they existed, nothing or no one sounded like them. I'm appreciative of that.
Do you consider your lyrics dark?
No. I'm trying to write about things that most everyone will experience and which may be difficult. I try to tap into those things, which also may require more thought to process.
I enjoy that about music, and want to create it for others, to get them thinking and feeling more involved.
The theme of nostalgia -- ideas, things and places in the past -- runs strongly through the work. It has hope -- not as in the opposite of despair, but just hope. There is a duality, considering all things that you can, relative to situation.
There is also a hint of spirituality in the lyrics...
I am not a religious person, but I do religiously believe in quality in the things that you do, and things that you are. Maybe that is my spirituality ... the journey to a more thorough understanding of all things ... on your way to understanding that for yourself. It's an ongoing quest for knowledge.
After all your travels, how does it feel to be living in one place and working a day job?
My new challenge is to be content -- not complacent -- in a place. When you've had a quest for knowledge, tried to discover and push and challenge yourself, you may also want to discover if you can live in a place or a moment 100 percent ... or are you thinking about a far-off place?
The challenge is trying to find a counterbalance. The album out now is sort of about going out and coming back; not that much of being back. Maybe the next album is a little more of that.
-- Jana Eisenberg, Special to The News