Bryan Odell is your average 22-year-old. He went to college at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He loves music and the Dallas Cowboys. With a self-proclaimed nerdy personality and signature blue shirts, he seems no different from any other Nebraska native.
Except for the fact that he hangs out with heavy metal rock stars.
Odell is the creator of BryanStars Interviews, the most popular music interview channel on YouTube, with over 170,000 subscribers and almost 40 million views worldwide.
“When I was 18, I was going to school for broadcast journalism,” Odell says. “I got an internship at a TV station, and they would send me to do these ridiculous stories. I got to do a story on ethanol, and how corn prices were going up. I realized that was not what I wanted to be doing.”
Determined to turn his career into something more enjoyable, Odell began interviewing bands at concerts he went to, and uploaded the interviews to YouTube. Before he knew it, he was interviewing some of the most popular rock bands in the genre, including Korn, Creed, and Slipknot.
“I was able to do some big stuff because I was with the TV station. But the videos really gained a following on YouTube. The questions got crazier, and it really became a fan driven show. I started interviewing more underground bands like Black Veil Brides and Sleeping With Sirens. It really just became it’s own thing, which is asking rock bands the most ridiculous questions I can come up with, while still having an overall message of positive, feel-good energy that makes kids laugh.”
With his interviews getting more attention, Odell slowly saw his dream of becoming a YouTube star was coming true. Last year, he won YouTube’s NextUp competition, a search for the biggest up-and-coming YouTubbers in the country. Now, he’s taking the BryanStars brand to the next level: launching his own national tour.
“I work with bands so much, but I’ve never actually got to see what their lives are like,” Odell says. “I asked one of my favorite bands, Late Nite Reading, if I could go on tour with them. It started out as just a couple of days, then we made it a week, then two weeks. It turned into this month long thing. We were like, ‘If we’re gonna go out for a month, let’s make it an event that people have to go to. We’ll call it the BryanStars tour, get four up-and-coming bands, and we’ll make it … like Alternative Press tour or Warped tour or Glamour Kills. Maybe we can do it every year.’ That’s how it evolved. I pitched it to my fans and they really liked it.”
Rocky Loves Emily, Farewell, My Love, and Catching Your Clouds will be joining Odell and Late Nite Reading on the 21-day tour. There is a stop in Milwaukee on October 21, but these bands won’t be the ones performing.
“BryanStars tour isn’t really playing in Milwaukee,” Odell explains. “We’re all just going to be at the All Time Low show (at The Rave), basically rocking out to All Time Low while meeting viewers. Late Night Reading will be performing (as an opener) and I’ll be doing an interview with All Time Low. I guess it’s like a hybrid of BryanStars tour meeting the All Time Low tour. … We’re just gonna just hang out and have fun. Anyone who wants to come out should definitely do that.”
While Odell says the BryanStars tour is the next evolution of the BryanStars brand, his dream is to have his own TV show, a combination of Ellen Degeneres’ talk show and Ryan Seacrest’s music news radio show. Until then, he plans to keep interviewing popular bands and promoting his videos.
“I’m just a normal, suburban, kinda nerdy kid, so to go into this world of rockstars, girls and drugs and all this crazy stuff that goes on, hanging out with rockstars, seems pretty crazy. … I spend most of my time working my butt off trying to make sure that everyone I can possibly tell knows about my show. That’s why I’m doing this interview.”