You will never experience anything quite like a Brick + Mortar show. The band is known for wild antics that include an array of props, costume, and fun in every form. We’ve seen them dress like the Pope, distribute “pills,” and wave oversized hands over the crowd. It is a sight, complimented by emotionally rich lyrics and heartbreaking songs. We talked with frontman Brandon Asraf ahead of their Bottleneck show on Monday.

Brick + Mortar / Photo by Fally Afani

IHLM: Your songs are absolutely beautiful, endearing, and dramatic— yet your live shows are bright, colorful, and fun as hell. What prompted you to start performing your this way?

BA: “I used to think that my life was a tragedy, but now I realize, it’s a f**king comedy.”

Touring the way you do can be exhausting. What do you do to keep morale (and onstage antics) high?

BA: “Our friends in the band CHEW recently guided us around Atlanta and gave us a real taste of the city’s culture. Thinking back that was a real treat and a stress reliever for me. As a kid I traveled to places like Morocco and Gibraltar and enjoyed living with the locals my dad knew and getting a brief sense of that life for a minute. Tour is not vacation in the sense that you are focused on a goal and have to use your free time sparingly.”

Why do you feel it’s important to keep performing this way?

BA: “I have always handled my personal pain with a a joke and a smile. I think the show is a fitting representation of what I feel like on the inside. My partner in slime Richie Brown sometimes paraphrases an Oscar Wilde quote onstage that totally sums up why I choose to be ridiculous. It’s goes something like ‘life is too serious to be taken seriously.'”

What do you want fans to take away from your show?

Brick + Mortar / Photo by Fally Afani

BA: “I want them to have some sort of meaningful experience that is personal to them. To make the words that I write make some sense or change this world in a positive way. I want them to remember our show in tough times and I will always hope it makes them smile.”

What would you like to see more of in live music?

BA: “Risk taking and personal performances, I feel like that is happening though, so I have no real complaints.”

List the items in a Brick + Mortar fan starter kit:

BA: “1 open mind & 1 pair of headphones.”

Brick + Mortar bring their “What Matters Most?” Tour to the Bottleneck on Monday, October 21, with Dentist.