By Juliet Cote | July 1, 2023

Brett Wachtel builds community and connection through harnessing a shared passion for music. The journalist, photographer, manager and founder understands the way music can become a safe haven and often create a transformative experience. Songs and lyrics can change your life, and Brett’s work encompasses all aspects of music, both past and present, in his personal and professional lives. From managing the five-piece rock band, Uncle Skunk, to creating an epic music Instagram blog, FN Good Music, to putting on events, and curating fire playlists, he really does it all. And it’s FN good!

We caught up with Brett and learned more about his background, inspiration and music journey:

What was the first concert you attended?
The first concert I attended was actually the first Global Citizen Festival in 2012 when I was 14 with Neil Young & Crazy Horse, the Foo Fighters, and the Black Keys!

Where are you from/when did you move to nyc?
I’m from New Jersey and moved to Brooklyn in November 2021.

What do you do? 
Related to the music industry, I’m a freelance journalist, manager of a band called Uncle Skunk, concert photographer, and run the music blog called @fngoodmusic on Instagram. FN Good Music is really what I’m building all of this around and am expanding it into a larger project with the aim of being a hub for people who love music, both past and present.

Who/what do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from a lot of people, and it’s not always a good relationship, because you really need to be able to find inspiration in yourself. But over the years, it started with artists like John Lennon, Paul Westerberg, George Harrison, Lou Reed, and Bob Dylan. As I’ve gotten more into the depths of music and history, I’ve really drawn inspiration from a lot of the “behind the scenes” people because I think that’s where I fit in more. People like Hilly Krystal, Danny Fields, Lester Bangs and Seymour Stein. I find a lot of inspiration in the people who give music the ability to be heard by the masses because otherwise so much music just fades away because unfortunately, it is 50% a business.

What does live music mean to you?
Live music means everything to me. That’s not to say I haven’t had bad live music experiences. But when you go to a show, and there’s that energy in the air, especially when it’s intimate, there’s really nothing more incredible. A band can really create a temporary world for an audience. I’ve been lucky enough to see Bob Dylan in concert, and being in that atmosphere is something I’ll never forget. Hearing songs and lyrics that changed my life is an inexplicable feeling that becomes spiritual. I imagine live music to me is how some people feel going to church or any place of worship.

Tell us about the music you make and your journey as an artist
I don’t formally make music. I play guitar, but just for the enjoyment of it. I’ve written lyrics here and there as they’ve come to me but haven’t tried to properly record a song yet. Maybe one day. I don’t think I would be bad, but it’s not something I’m ready for. The journey has been interesting: Something I’ve learned but still haven’t quite mastered is the “doing” aspect of creating, which is why I’m really grateful and proud of myself for following my instincts in creating FN Good Music. It could very well have been a “what if” had I succumbed to insecurity. I can really live in my head at times and not make a decision out of trying to make the “best” decision, but ultimately there isn’t one. It’s important to just stick your head in the water or else you can really torture yourself trying to calculate the right timing for everything.

Connect with Brett Wachtel, Uncle Skunk and FN Good Music.

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