NMF ’22 Interviews: Southeast Ohio’s own Brandon Reisig reflects on varied musical influences, working with Lisa Bella Donna, and more

Posted on:

< < Back to

NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WOUB) – The 2022 Nelsonville Music Festival takes place September 2 -4 at the Snow Fork Event Center (5685 Happy Hollow Road) in Nelsonville, OH. The festival is presented by Stuart’s Opera House, a non-profit organization focused on providing access to the arts and arts education in Southeast Ohio. 

Leading up to the three-day festival WOUB Culture is profiling a number of artists performing at the festival. You’ll find all of those interviews right here on

A promotional picture for musician Brandon Reisig. Brandon's profile is dark and the background is pink in color.

Listen to WOUB’s conversation with Brandon Reisig embedded above. Click on “play” in the Soundcloud widget. A condensed and edited transcript of the interview can be found below.

Emily Votaw: What was your first musical memory?

Brandon Reisig: My first musical memory was actually just growing up in Athens. My dad had a record collection and I would listen to Devo and Black Sabbath and all kinds of different genres of music. And that’s kind of was like, ‘man, I need to get into this!’

Emily Votaw: What were some of the records that stood out in your father’s record collection? You mentioned Black Sabbath and Devo, two really cool examples — but were there any in particular that really stick out in your mind as being influential to your decision to become a professional musician?

Brandon Reisig: Well, definitely those two. Like I said, albums like “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and Devo’s “New Traditionalists” and “Duty Now for the Future” were huge for me. My dad also had a lot of local stuff and, you know, I started playing music pretty young. All my friends were playing and Athens was a great town for that. Going out to shows as a 12 year old to see Brainiac, that was a big one. Brainiac was a huge influence on me and my music and especially the weirder stuff I remember finding, like the Butthole Surfers and Big Black. You know, for a 12-year-old, hearing the Butthole Surfers can change your life!

Emily Votaw: Absolutely. I’d, I’d argue that the Butthole Surfers can change your life at any age! But especially at such a young, impressionable age, you know, for sure. How did you first come to be interested in making soundscapes?

Brandon Reisig: Well, a lot of that came from my love of bands like Devo and Butthole Surfers, more synthesized and experimental stuff. I started circuit bending, like rebuilding speak and spells and whatnot to get more musicality. And, you know, when I started, I was in punk bands. And I thought that even using pedals was cheating! Unless it was a fuzz pedal — and you know, the older you get, the more you realize, ‘oh, all these people that I love are using all kinds of crazy stuff!’ And so from circuit bending and making weird noises from that, and then you start running those through pedals and trying to see like how long can I get away with doing this? Can I make people feel a certain way with just a speak spell on a delay pedal or Casio keyboard I found at a thrift store for 50 cents that I cracked open? And so that kind of slowly but surely nudged me into synthesis. And then there’s the rabbit hole that is modular synthesis and, you know, becoming friends with Lisa Belladonna, she’s been a huge influence on that and very supportive. Now I have a room full of modular synthesizers and tricked out speak and spells <laugh>.

Catch Brandon Reisig at the 2022 Nelsonville Music Festival on Friday, September 2. Find more information about the fest at, and keep tabs on all of WOUB Culture’s preview coverage of the fest at