Music is a powerful medium which often attaches itself to periods of time or experiences in our lives. These life experiences and the emotions associated with them can resurface whenever a person hears a certain band or a certain song. This concept has inspired one local musician to create an electric compendium of Gulf Coast music.
Meet Brett Mouron. In addition to being a dedicated husband and father, Mouron is a Production Designer for the Red Square Agency and a freelancer with Dapper Designs. He is also the father of an electronic compendium of Gulf Coast music called “The Gulf Coast Music Depository.”
Mouron began his love affair with the Gulf Coast music scene as an active participant. A musician in his own right, Mouron was a member of several bands such as Sweet Nothings, Me & T and Wormwood Inn, and his time with these groups has inspired him to take on the task of collecting Gulf Coast bands.
“I think mainly just being a musician during that time period and playing a lot of shows at the time gave me a lot of material and reason to be nostalgic,” Mouron explained. “I can’t say that I go to shows much these days, but then again, I don’t think there is as much camaraderie as there was then.”
However, Mouron’s personal nostalgia is not the only inspiration for his creation of the GCMD. During his time in the Gulf Coast music scene, MySpace was the most popular social network for bands. Many Gulf Coast bands that were performing at that time filled their MySpace pages with tons of information and pictures. Over the years, bands have chosen to use other social networks, and MySpace has gone through many changes and updates. Ultimately, many bands’ MySpace sites have lost their galleries, biographies and other information. Mouron finds the GCMD as a way of salvaging what MySpace has lost as well as a way to introduce Gulf Coast bands to future generations.
“My ultimate goal is to have new people discover old music and not care that most of these bands aren’t around anymore,” Mouron said. Hopefully, it will be a platform for other musicians to say, ‘I was in that band, but I’m in this band now. You should check it out!’ It’s a win-win for both musicians and people who love music in the South.”
Visitors to the Gulf Coast Music Depository can experience past notable bands such as The Blivits, The Negative Protons, German Honor Society and many more. Just clicking on a band’s name reveals their bio, line-up, hometown, performing status, pictures and video, but the GCMD does not stop there. Mouron provides a player featuring music from all bands featured on the website. There are also several bands such as Graveyard Safari and The Difference Engine who have donated albums to the site. These albums can be downloaded free of charge. Mouron has even caught up with members of The Blivits and Recovery Period to chat about their past experiences in the local scene and where they are now. Through his interview with Ryan Keller (Coming to an End/Hospital), Mouron was given a taste of the local scene in the late ‘90s before he became active as a musician.
“It was a bizarre walk down memory lane,” Mouron said. “They (the bands) remembered stuff that I had long forgotten. That’s the whole purpose of the site to not only expose these old bands that were wonderful, but also to jog our memories.”
The GCMD also features an extensive and impressive gallery of show fliers. For this task, he relied on social media as well as the personal collections of friends. Steven Weber just happened to be one of those friends. When Cell Block was Mobile’s only underground venue, Weber acted as their flier designer. This generous artist provided Mouron with dozens of fliers. Mouron has been pleasantly surprised with the number of people who have kept their flier collections through the years.
“I really wish I had (kept a flier collection) now,” Mouron said. It’s funny. I’ll see fliers with Sweet Nothings and Recovery Period or Me & T playing with someone, and I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s my band.’ I’ve been really lucky to have friends that have kept collections and were more than willing to scan each and every one of them and send them my way.”
Mouron is just starting his collection of bands, and he still has a number of bands that he would like to add, like Mobile bands such as XBXRX and Adelle. Mouron also wants to include Pensacola’s This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb as well as St. Augustine’s Moments In Grace (formerly Postcard Audio). For him, it is as easy as making contact with one of the members of these bands. So far, his biggest challenge has been making sure the material featured on the site is complete and pristine.
“It’s like I’m putting other people’s babies on display,” Mouron said. “I want to make them pitch-perfect. I want to make them right. I think I’m my own worst enemy. I’m constantly going back and double-checking names and errors in biographies and stuff like that.”
Currently, all the bands featured on the site could be considered underground. Mouron explained that the reason for this is that he initially contacted immediate friends who were in the featured bands. However, he is open to featuring Gulf Coast bands with original material that meet a certain criteria.
Bands wishing to be included in the GCMD should provide Mouron with a biography, pictures, audio, video footage and a full band line-up. He also requires bands who wish to be included to have performed live shows and “not just be your nephew’s garage band that never saw one show.” Ultimately, Mouron gets his greatest pleasure from being able to have a musically interactive hobby for all to enjoy and providing new sounds for those unfamiliar with the bands featured on the GCMD.
You can find this project at www.thegcmd.com.