Interview with Brent McAtheyBy
For all fans of the show Brenster & Carrum, we share an interview conducted by Lisa Lankins to the winning musician Brent McAthey.
Lisa: Have you entertained in this type of show before?
Brent: No, not really…. It was a concept I always thought would be great, and since I never had the opportunity to play in Las Vegas, I thought why not try and bring that type of show to Mazatlan, and having the Venados Show room in The Hotel Playa Mazatlan to perform it in, it all made perfect sense.
Tanya performed in big production Broadway shows when she was singing in some of the biggest resorts in Playa Del Carmen before moving to Mazatlan 3 years ago, so I learned a lot from her in what it would take to make this show work.
Lisa: Is it difficult for you and Tanya to work so closely together and keep up your great relationship? I know you seem to be very much in love on stage.
Brent: Funny you should say that. That part doesn’t need to be rehearsed. The reason it SEEMS that we are in love on stage, is because we ARE, even off stage, haha.
She is the greatest thing in my life, and her 2 beautiful children, they have changed my life for the better.
You can’t fake TRUE chemistry and we have it on and off the stage.
Of course, just like everyone else, we have our differences, (mostly about picking songs for our show, haha) but I know I am the luckiest guy in the world to have her in my life. She is a beautiful woman inside and out, and an amazing talent.
I also want to thank all the artist and their accompanying musicians who believed in this project and came to Mazatlan and gave such great performances.
Patricia Conroy, The Good Brothers, Gary Fjellgaard and Joan Kennedy.
Lisa: Did we convince any of them to move to Mazatlan?
Brent: I don’t know if any of them will be moving to Mazatlan in the near future, but I do KNOW they will ALL be returning to enjoy our amazing city again. They all LOVED it here, but we KNEW they would.
Lisa: How many times per week do you rehearse?
Brent: Tanya and I spend a lot of time, first, choosing the music to do so that it is diverse so that each show is different.
We rehearse at home and then twice a month in the Venados showroom.
Not just the music but the choreography, and we both do at least 3 or 4 costume changes throughout our 2 hour straight performance. There is a ton of work that goes into each show.
Plus building a light show specific to each concert. It’s a lot of hard work.
Lisa: Brent, I know you’ve taken some flack over the tracks you use, that you don’t have a band, can you explain the process of your tracks and why you use them?
Brent: Well Lisa, flack is an interesting way of putting it. haha.
I guess for the few out there who are bothered by this means of showcasing the music we do, I would explain it this way.
In order to have live musicians on all the different genres of music that Tanya and I cover on our part of the show. From country, that has fiddles, steel guitars, 2 or 3 guitar parts, to the big band music with big horn sections, to the spanish music Tanya does an amazing job on with mariachis, etc. We would have to have at least a 15 piece band to cover that material PROPERLY, and since I am a realist, I know that it is simply not financially feasible to do it that way. So that is why we do our portion of the show in this manner. There is a lot that goes into putting the tracks together that some people don’t understand either, from equalizing and balancing them to all sound great. As I have stressed in the past when questioned about being true musicians, Our VOICES are our instruments, and Tanya’s is one of the best you will ever hear. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter what kind of musical back up you have, if you can ENTERTAIN the people that is all that counts.
We have both toured a lot in the past with BIG bands, but are diverse enough to be able to do it both ways.
Lisa: You started thinking about this quite a while ago, how did it turn out compared to your expectations?
Brent: Yes Lisa, this venture has been in the works for about 3 years. I had always wanted to bring some of my Canadian recording artist friends whom I either, recorded with or toured with in the past, to come see what Mazatlan had to offer. I knew it would do several things.
First- it would give the people who live or visit Mazatlan some GREAT entertainment with high caliber, famous performers.
Second- I knew that by having those artists here, treating them right, and giving them a great experience that they would return up north of the border and help promote what an incredible place Mazatlan is with every opportunity they had.
These artists are constantly touring all over North America, and are reaching mass and diverse audiences with a positive message about all that Mazatlan has to offer. That was the ultimate goal of this project.
Too MOST people, hearing that from celebrities has a greater impact than the negative reports sometimes heard and seen in the media up north about Mexico, and specifically Mazatlan.
Every artist that came here has promised to spread this positive message, and just from the number of other recording acts that have contacted me, and asked if they can be on the show in the future, tells me that word is spreading like wild fire about how GREAT Mazatlan really is.
So to answer your question, this show has been a success WAY beyond my expectations, and will continue to grow into what I hope will be a highly acclaimed and sought after show for years to come.
Lisa: How many seats are there at Los Venados showroom at Hotel Playa Mazatlan?
Brent: This incredible showroom has different options for seating capacity. The fact that we feed and drink everyone, with the all you can eat and drink special included in the 500 pesos price it`s necessary to have the big tables and chairs. With this set up we can accommodate about 400 people. With a concert seating only set up (which may come one day with the popularity of the show) we can seat about 650 people.
Lisa: How many of the 5 shows so far were sold out?
Brent: We completely sold out 3 out of 4 of the special guest’s shows, and our Christmas show was close where just Tanya and I performed. We would love to have our final show on April 11th a sell out, and encourage everyone who hasn’t made it to our show yet, to come see what so many people are saying is one of the best all round shows Mazatlan has to offer.
SPECIAL NOTE - We are having a BIG dance floor IN FRONT of the stage for this last show, by request of our loyal followers who love to dance.
Lisa: So obviously it’s going to continue in the next high season, who will the next guests be, can you tell us?
Brent: Yes Lisa, I am so happy to announce that The Brenster and Carrum Show WILL continue next year with a new name.
It will now be called The BRENSTER AND CARRUM COUNTRY CONCERT SERIES SHOW.
Dr. Francisco Cordova ( Secretary of Tourism for Sinaloa) SECTUR and The Mazatlan Hotel Association, along with The Hotel Playa Mazatlan with their one of a kind showroom, have all committed once again to being behind this project to help promote Mazatlan, here and abroad.
This project could not have happened without their support, and I am truly grateful.
We have dropped the CANADIAN out of the name, because next season we will have some U.S. artists on the bill that I am very excited about.
I am still in negotiations with some of the artists, and working out scheduling, but I can tell you that the audience here and those who will travel to Mazatlan specifically to see these shows will not be disappointed.
A few of the artists from this year will return, and the new ones will be sure to please.
Lisa: When does the next season for your show start?
Brent: The next season of The Brenster and Carrum Show will start in Nov. 2014 and will run again once a month thru April 2015. I hope to book a special guest on all 6 shows next season.
The dates will be…
Friday Nov. 21st/2014
Friday Dec. 19th/2014 ( Christmas Show )
Friday Jan. 16th/2015
Friday Feb. 13th/2015
Friday Apr. 13th/2015
Lisa: The Secretary of Tourism was very supportive of your efforts, is he planning to continue his support into the next season?
Brent: As I mentioned above, Dr. Cordova has been unbelievably supportive. From his initial commitment to helping sponsor some of the costs of bringing the artists to Mazatlan, to attending the concerts, and being the mediator at the press conferences before each show. He was even on stage singing during the finale of the Joan Kennedy show, his love and appreciation for all kinds of music shows in the effort he has put forth to make this so successful. All of us here in Mazatlan are so grateful for EVERYTHING he is doing to make this a better place. Thank you Francisco!!!
Lisa: Everyone of the artists you invited that I talked to were so thrilled with the show, the professionalism in which their trip and performance were handled, who are the people who help you with all of that?
Brent: Great question Lisa. There are so many people that are needed to put a show of this stature together to make it successful.
First, I have an amazing team of people who work not FOR me, but WITH me at Brenster Productions.
My Manager, Rafa Tostado, who does everything from the website, posters, and all the graphic designs, to organizing and somehow getting every media outlet to the press conferences, contracts, organizing film crews, and a million other jobs to many to list, he is truly the heart beat of our production company.
There are sound and lighting crews, makeup and hair dressers, for Tanya, I haven’t need a hair person for quite a while now, haha.
All the media to get the word out, and may I add, that You, Lisa Lankins and MMC have done an incredible job promoting, writing, and doing interviews with each artist before each concert. Thank you so much.
Of course, Lance Vient GM at The Hotel Playa Mazatlan and all the staff there who look after the people during the show.
There are so many people behind the scenes that people are unaware of, but without them this wouldn’t be the success it has become.
All our sponsors who stepped up and believed in this project from the beginning. Like Athina’s Spa, who pampered our guests for a day.
A great friend of mine who wanted to remain anonymous who took our guests out deep sea fishing , because that’s just the kind of generous guy he is.
Diego’s, where I do the Beach Bash, and La Catrina where Tanya does a show every Wed. nights were both amazing sponsors.
There are just so many people that it takes to make it all come together… I thank them ALL.
Lisa: What would you like people to walk away from your performances with?
Brent: Simply put…. a smile. And a feeling of knowing they were entertained.
All the time, energy and hard work has paid off when you know that has been accomplished.
I want to thank everyone who supported The Brenster and Carrum Show this season and I promise you it will only get better as time goes on.
I encourage anyone who has not been to the show, to give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed.
It is a great value for Entertainment you will not find anywhere in the world, other than right here in OUR beautiful Mazatlan.