Every once in a while as Digital Guitar Player comes across new up and coming guitar players. In fact, this month we spotlighted Brandon Niederauer, an 11-year-old guitar prodigy out of Long Island, NY. A few days after posting our up and coming guitar player for September we were fortunate to connect with Brandon for a face to face interview before he went on stage to play with the great Eric Lindell band for four songs. Our editor Stan Sher got to sit down with Brandon and learn more about this young blues guitar prodigy. Stan Sher says, “Brandon is just such a nice, charming and humble young man. I am so glad to have connected with him.” Let’s see what Brandon had to tell Stan.
Digital Guitar Player: How old were you when you started playing?
Brandon Niederauer: I was 8 years old.
DGP: Wow! How did you get so good so fast?
BN: Lots of teachers. My dad disciplined me because he knows that when I’m into something I have to keep my focus going otherwise I will give up and move onto something else.
DGP: How many teachers have you had?
BN: I have 3 different teachers that I study with once a week and 2 other teachers that I see once month.
DGP: When did you first start plying with famous musicians?
BN: It was 2 years ago while visiting New Orleans. A man named Sidney Smith invited me to jam with George Porter Jr. It was late, around 12:30 am and here I am staying up late waiting to go on stage. It was my first experience and I was like “wow”.
DGP: Do you have a band?
BN: I am currently in two bands. The first band is called BX2 and was formed just one year after I started playing. BX2 is a hard rock, blues, funk with a little bit of metal. The other band is called Lions on the moon. This band plays a pop rock style. I love both bands. In BX2 I am the also the lead singer while in Lions on the Moon I sing backup.
DGP: Tell us about the equipment that you use to play.
BN: I play Gibson Les Paul guitars and use a Fender Vibrolux Reverb amplifier. I use Dunlop gator 1.5 mm picks. I have two distortions, the Ibanez Tube Screamer and the MXR Overdrive. I also use a Cry Baby Wah by Dunlop as well as a Pigtronix Class A Boost, EarthQuaker Delay and EarthQuaker Reverb.
DGP: Tell me about this guitar that you are about to play. It does not look like a Gibson Les Paul.
BN: Singleton guitars recognized my playing and asked me to go online, pick a guitar of choice and told me that they would build it for me.
DGP: So what famous musicians have you played with?
DGP: You certainly have been playing a lot. Did you release any recordings yet?
BN: Lions on the Moon just recently went to studio 2 weeks ago. The album is getting mixed and mastered right now.
DGP: How do you balance school and music?
BN: It’s a fine line between how much time off I can get from school. I have school smarts so we work it out with my teachers. Sometimes I will spend 3 days straight and do all of the work. The limit to miss school is 40 days and last year I missed 38. I get really good grades.
DGP: Who are your influences?
DGP: You mention Derek Trucks. I am sure you know that he was also out making a name for himself a young age just like you are doing now. I remember when Derek Trucks, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang were starting out just in their teens. They were recording and touring. Do you see yourself doing the same in the next 5 years?
BN: Hopefully yes.
DGP: What are some hobbies?
BN: I like to play basketball and go swimming. I like to also ride my bike and go skiing.
DGP: The first time we saw you was a video of you being on the Ellen DeGeneres show. What was it like to be on Ellen?
BN: Someone saw me play and recommended me on twitter. I went though lots of interviews and after 2 months it was on my dad’s birthday we got the good news. I was nervous but had fun at the same time. It was my first time being broadcasted worldwide.
DGP: Brandon. Thank you so much for spending a few minutes with us. We have been following your music activity and are so proud of you. We are looking forward to watching you jam with Eric Lindell tonight.
BN: Thank you.
As readers can see Brandon Niederauer is a true gentleman and when you hear him play you will be blown away. After the interview Stan Sher caught up with Gary Niederauer. Gary basically told Stan that Brandon is living the dream right now while also being humble and keeping good grades. He added, “As long as he takes care of his priorities he will be allowed to keep growing as a musician. Gary is a great father and role model for Brandon. We are including more videos of Brandon playing. However, please feel free to visit the up and coming guitar player article that was written about Brandon last week. We at Digital Guitar Player have been honored to meet Brandon and will support him going further as a guitarist on the rise.