What are your names?
How did you come up with your name ‘Only Bricks’
It comes from the chorus of the song “Risk It All,” by The Vamps. The line is “I’d risk it all, I’d rather crash, I’d rather crawl, than never have your love at all, with only bricks to break my fall.” To us, it signifies taking risks, not only in relationships or for love, but also with respect to our music and life in general.
What is your genre of music?
Give us a little background about you as a band and as individuals.
Only Bricks is an indie pop band comprised of husband and wife songwriting duo Anne DiGiovanni and Joseph Lewczak. We’re songwriters first, but we’ve always loved recording and playing live so that part will never go away. We’re actually not full time musicians. We make our living as lawyers. Anne works at the streaming and live TV company Hulu and Joseph works at a New York based law firm.
How did you meet each other?
Joseph hired Anne as a summer intern while she was still in law school. Anne joined the firm’s cover band, Generator Honey, as a lead vocalist, and we started writing songs together shortly after that. We got married almost a year ago at a beautiful winery in Sonoma, California.
You released your EP ‘Foundation’, tell us more about the record.
This is our first original project together, though we’ve been writing together for years – life has always gotten in the way. But about a year and a half ago, we had the space to get serious about making a record. It’s a compilation of songs about our relationship, past relationships we’ve had, life events and how we’re moving on from them. Most of all, we wanted to write upbeat, relatable songs that make people smile.
What was the recording process like?
We worked with our producer, Ryan Stockbridge, on every track. Though he lives in LA, we worked exclusively via e-mail, sending him our rough vocal and guitar demos of songs that he would build out to fully-produced tracks. Then we would re-record final vocals and guitar in our home studio. We ended up using our bedroom closet as a vocal booth to cut down on reverb, which was an interesting experience for Anne since the closet light only stays on if the door is open. . .
What was the writing process like?
We usually started with a melodic hook that one of us had come up with individually, with or without lyrics (often, the title of the song). Sometimes we had most of a chorus to start. And then we sat down in our studio to try different chords and melodies on guitar and piano until we made progress building out the chorus, then the verses, etc. We would spend hours throwing possible lyrics down to see what stuck. Since we’re married in addition to being creative partners, there were multiple levels of conflict happening any time we clashed over a lyric or how to structure a song, but somehow we managed not to kill each other.
Describe each track in two words.
Twisted – one-sided love
(Your Love Gets Me) High – ultimate euphoria
Helpless – anthemic surrender
Hello Goodbye – self-destructive reunion
Afterthought – empowered defiance
California – no regrets
Get on the Floor – dance jam
What is the message you wanted people to feel on this record?
We wanted people to feel the ups and downs of life and love while being moved to just dance it out.
Will we see any Music Videos?
We’re currently in pre-production on a video for “Twisted.”
Do you have any shows coming up or a tour in the works?
We’re booking future shows in Los Angeles, and are planning on playing at least one gig when we are in New York City over the summer. Look out for Austin and San Francisco, as well. No tour planned yet, but we would love to make that happen.
What else can we expect from you guys?
Our EDM remix of “Twisted” is coming soon. We’ve also started to write a new batch of songs, and are jumping into collaborations with other songwriters, producers, and artists in LA, so who knows where they will lead.
Would you be up for collaborating with other bands or artists, if so how could they contact you?
Absolutely! Collaboration is one of the great keys to creativity. Just send us an email:
Who are your influences?
Everything on pop radio, present and past, but in particular, P!nk, Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, Betty Who, The Vamps, Mariana’s Trench, Smallpools, Jukebox the Ghost, and Lizzo
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Joseph: I find that “inspiration” comes from the most unexpected places. Dreams. Melodies that pop into my head. Fragments of conversations. Ultimately, the craft of songwriting is less about inspiration and more about hard work. It’s about spending the time and working around the melody and rhythm and editing until you have something that works.
Anne: I get a lot of inspiration from my relationships, romantic and otherwise. I find that I have so much more to write about when the people around me are making me feel something.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
We want to be writing songs on a professional level, for TV, film, other artists. We would love to play as Only Bricks as much as possible, but our main passion is songwriting.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Joseph: Well, there’s work, so that takes up a lot of time. I also teach a class on Advertising and the First Amendment at UCLA law school. Otherwise, I love seeing upcoming new indie acts around town, traveling, eating good food, running on the beach, and hanging out with our dog, Whitney!
Anne: I’m fairly religious about my yoga practice, and I love hiking on the weekends with friends. I’m also a mentor for teen girls with the WriteGirl program. And my day job in TV creates an imperative to keep up with shows, my favorites being The Handmaid’s Tale, Unreal, Younger, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Where would your dream venue to play in your hometown?
(Our current hometown, Los Angeles): The Wiltern
What would be your dream TV show to have your music played on?
If you could collaborate with one UK Artist or Band who would it be?
If you could collaborate with one US Artist or Band who would it be?
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Don’t give up.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Practice your craft (songwriting, singing, playing an instrument, whatever) every day – and don’t give up.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Joseph: I am here in this critical ocean to kill whales for a living and not to be killed by them for theirs. Herman Melville
Anne: We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. Arthur O’Shaughnessy
You get off a plane in your hometown,
Anne: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Joseph: East Brunswick, New Jersey
1/ where is the first place you visit
Anne: My (one of two younger) brother’s house
Joseph: I have no family in my hometown anymore, and few friends, so I haven’t been back in a long time. If I went back today, I’d probably visit my old house.
2/ where is the first place you see
Anne: I usually pass by my high school – Loy Norrix High – on the way in from the airport, which brings back horrible and wonderful memories
Joseph: Coming to East Brunswick you pretty much can’t get anywhere without using Route 18, the commercial hub of the town.
3/ where is the first food place you go and what do you get
Anne: Jimmy John’s for subs on the best bread ever (RIP sprouts), everything at Big Burrito, and Sweetwater’s Donut Mill
Joseph: There’s not much left from when I used to live there. It would probably be either the Colonial Diner, Magnificos Ice Cream or Bella La Pizzeria (OK, I can’t believe that place is still there).
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Joseph: (1) guitar strings; (2) guitar picks; (3) my guitars; (4) my guitar rig (pedals and amp); and (5) to be myself and to have fun.
Anne: (1) water; (2) lip gloss; (3) my lyrics; (4) my phone for capturing social media content; (5) water; (6) did I say water?