Dual threat alert: Actor and musician Bryan Greenberg, perhaps best known for his recurring role on “One Tree Hill,” is bringing his indie-acoustic sound to the Blind Pig this Wednesday. Greenberg’s second album, We Don’t Have Forever, is slated for a January 2011 release, and he currently stars in the HBO series “How to Make it in America.”

Bryan Greenberg


Wednesday at 8 p.m.
The Blind Pig
Tickets from $10

Despite his success in TV and film (he had roles in “Prime” with Meryl Streep and “The Good Guy”), Greenberg is no stranger to the trials and tribulations of show business. When the Omaha, Neb. native first moved to L.A. to pursue an acting career, he faced the typical initial rejection that most struggling actors meet. When success seemed especially far away, he turned to music for solace.

“I just needed something else positive to invest my creative interest in, and music was always there for me,” Greenberg said in an interview with the Daily. “So sometimes, when the roles weren’t coming and things were hard, I would just focus on my music. It’s been growing and growing ever since.”

Although Greenberg finds creative fulfillment in acting, he said there are certain aspects of performing live music that acting just can’t match. When filming on an isolated set, he said, he can’t experience the proximity of fans and their reactions to his work in person.

“(On set) everyone has a bubble put around them, but as a musician you can see an immediate response. I love that,” Greenberg said.

His interest in music began early, as he learned how to play the guitar at age 12 and was writing songs throughout his undergraduate stay at NYU. Greenberg’s first musical influence came from the classics.

“I learned all the Beatles’ songs,” he said. “I had a big Beatles book, and I would go through it and learn all the songs.”

Greenberg isn’t afraid to take a little help from his friends. Kid Cudi, a co-star in “How to Make it in America,” lends his vocals to one of the tracks from We Don’t Have Forever. Greenberg was not worried about mixing Cudi’s hip-hop style with his own acoustic-based sound.

“He’s the kind of artist whose style is versatile. It’s not strange to hear that Kid Cudi is singing on an indie track,” he said. “He’s really pushing the boundaries as far as what genre is.”

When asked about the difference between his new record and his 2007 debut Waiting for Now, Greenberg said his music has matured.

We Don’t Have Forever is a lot more focused than the last record. I really wanted to capture a vibe, a great essence.”

Prompted to reveal his own “Best of 2010” list, Greenberg was momentarily stumped.

“Aw man … what have I been listening to? Black Keys is sick. I like Kanye’s new album, and Cudi’s too.”

As a working actor and touring musician with a new album on the horizon, balance is key in Greenberg’s busy career. Luckily for Greenberg, the two trades inherently complement and strengthen each other. With both acting and music in his creative arsenal, switching from one vocation to the other is actually ideal.

“It great to go on tour for a couple weeks, and when I’m burnt out on that, I go film my TV; and then after that I’ll go to the studio,” he said. “Neither one feels like a job.”

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