from adult material into music. So I figured this was a common thing.” Mitch humorously
conveys, “I thought I might be onto something that was different, but no.” Certainly Branson
isn’t the first adult film performer to transition into the world of pop; the iconic Colton Ford
has successfully made the move having just released his sophomore album Under The
Covers. Proving that their is an audience ready to accept these new and talented emerging
“I’ve been working with COLT Studios for two years, but I’ve been
doing my music for 10, but just as a hobby. I’m really excited to
finally have found the direction and the ability to market my music
properly -- I’m very excited about that!”
The album is certainly full of exciting club thumpers and interesting late-night beats that will
keep any club kid jumping, but there’s one track in particular that I feel proves that amid the
shadows, there’s a surmountable ray of light. Among Darkness Of Pleasure’s 13 tracks,
there’s one that feels the most commercial. Branson feigns disappointment when I make
that suggestion. “‘Should I Fall In Love Again’ is one of the oldest songs -- I wrote it in the
90’s. I wrote it as I was coming out. It was a rough time for me emotionally.” But Branson
is still pleased to learn that at least one of his songs has struck a nerve with this listener,
but Darkness is loaded with sexy, dance-friendly tunes that Branson fans will be dying to
sink their fangs into.
The next single is “C U In Hell” -- “don’t ask what I was thinking when I wrote that song, but
there’s a lot of different meanings behind it.” The song was inspired by Branson’s own
examination that people should explore diversity and think beyond their own narrow minded
ignorances, especially when condemning homosexuality. “It bothered me when I’d go on-
line and I’d see these extremists groups suggesting that gays are ‘going to hell’. I felt that
people needed to educate themselves to understand these diversities.” That’s what came
to mind -- that and the historical perceptions of hell. Branson eludes to the seductive
association with the concepts of hell, some more elusive than others but otherwise
interesting attractive. “There’s a beauty in everything,” he says.
www.ambiente.us NOVEMBER | NOVIEMBRE 2009
Stepping into the Darkness with Mitch Branson
by JC Alvarez
I’ve had a charmed year, I’m willing to admit. As far as the talent and personalities that
I’ve been fortunate enough to interview, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some
particularly extraordinary individuals. All have inspired me with their dedication to their
creative drive and reluctance to comfortably sit within the confines of societal
expectations; enforced limitations. I’ve depended on borrowed naiveté, as I can be
quite a jaded individual. To my credit I am incredibly open minded and an infinitely
Meeting Mitch Branson, most popularly known for his work for the men’s adult film
leader COLT Studios has made me believe that there are still moments left for me to
be swept off my feet -- not so much in the romantic way (although I wouldn’t be
opposed to the idea; a nod and a wink to the possibility) but more by Branson’s
fearless ambition to be provocative and daring enough as to pour himself into a new
endeavor: Mitch Branson the music producer.
We’ve all taken particular refuge at times exploring the dark recesses of our
own psyches; challenged ourselves to understand our own sense by sitting in the shadows
not knowing what will be made to materialize. Some artists comfortably explore these
mysterious corners in private using their experience to inspire and covet some subtext, and
others still create a soundtrack to the effect much as Branson has done. “Usually when I
start producing, it’s random until a theme comes to mind. At least that was the case with
Darkness Of Pleasure,” Mitch Branson’s first album release.
There’s certainly much pleasure to be found in the darkness.
Branson’s fascination with the darker exploration of our nature has
lent to an interesting foray into ambient/trance sounds; something
you’d find pounding off the walls, late night, within the shadows of
any after-hours event.
He makes no qualms about his inspiration: “my obsession with horror movies and sex”.
The first lyric that oozes out of the album’s lead track “Intoxicating Sonar” is after all “I’m
feeling horny tonight.” And if that doesn’t make Branson’s intentions clear track two (and the
first single off of Darkness) “Control Me” has Jonathan Luke and Kestral, Branson’s
featured vocalists on this project revealing the joyful obedience found in a little consensual
This could have lent to Darkness Of Pleasure feeling a little contrived somewhat in nature
due to it’s musical producer’s notoriety in the adult industry. But that’s not the case at all. In
fact, Mitch Branson’s fame as a leading contender in erotic film and his position as a COLT
Man currently featured in the studio’s upcoming Hot Bods video release, make him the
likeliest musician to be exploring and communicating
sounds about lust, love, orgasms and all things erotic.
The man after all has considerable experience in
evoking fantasies and appealing to one’s own
deepest, hidden desires.
Certainly Branson’s fans will find solace or an unusual
new bond with the marquee idol. Revealed here as
more than just a pretty face and the picture of a
masculine Adonis. On this new endeavor we must
introduce Mitch Branson as a musical artist. “My
sound is always evolving, but that’s where I was at
the time.” Meaning that for Branson he’s ready to
move out of the Darkness which has just been
released, but is a work that has been in the making
for almost 2 years.
Branson had the predictable stops and starts of any pop artist on the road to self realization;
his road lead him in many directions. “I used to sing -- I was in a band in the 90’s called
Internal Differences. We never released anything, although we were working on songs.
Ultimately we broke up...(dramatic pause) because of our internal differences. I learned so
much though and moved on my own.” He continued to work on his music mostly as a
hobby, all the while trying to figure out what to do with himself.
Handsomely rugged and built like a brick house, it’s no surprise that Branson worked as a
fitness model until he was “discovered”. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he
was surprised when he received a note via e-mail. “I had been scouted by COLT Studios --
I was asked if I had any interest in becoming a ‘future COLT Man’. I suppose it was a
fantasy of mine. I was flattered and surprised -- mainstream modeling wasn’t working for
me.” At 5’11” and a former body builder, even wearing “magic shoes” to meet the 6 foot
standard, Branson just stood out. The adult film industry fortunately gave him the tools to
develop and create a brand. “So many
people think you’re misdirected or seduced into this industry...you hear all these different
things. I can only speak for myself -- it’s been a very positive experience for me.” It’s a job
for Branson, and one that he is grateful for. Certainly it has afforded him a certain amount
of celebrity and notoriety.
“When I became a COLT Man I went to John Rutherford, the President of COLT Studios,
and told him I was thinking of releasing an album and he was very supportive about the
idea.” As such it’s not uncommon to find Branson promoting his album on the usual promo
tours for COLT. In fact, it has opened up Branson’s fan base considerably. The successful
branding of Mitch Branson the adult film star, is leading to considerable success for Mitch
Branson the musician.
“Mitch Branson is actually the one that has helped to bring all this to the public,” he jokingly
adds, “I thank Mitch for the connections.” And it’s interesting that Branson is considerably
conscious of the distinction that has been built around his brand. “Working for COLT really
helped; I learned how to market a product.” For the man
himself is extremely soft spoken, quite humble and has an
intoxicating youthful exuberance about him, never mind the charm
and wit hidden behind his smile. Qualities you wouldn’t normally
associate with one of the most lusted after and sought out icons in
the adult film arena. “I’m quite shy until the camera rolls,” he laughs.
It certainly helped to build and manufacture a public image that
has since lead to more opportunities and allowed Branson to realize
his musical ambitions. “I was trying to discover myself -- meeting
people, and the path in life that I wanted to take. Someone heard
my music from the early 90’s -- didn’t care for my voice,” he admits,
“but they liked the arrangement of my music.” He swiftly got to
work on putting a home studio together, mostly compromised of
commercially purchased computers and software “I really enjoyed
the production side of it. I started working on ambient music with
my own computer in 2003.” He laughs, “It took me a year to figure
Having been inspired by 80’s dance/pop acts, Branson easily produced and mastered
creating musical works that would be the stepping stones for the tracks that would
eventually appear recorded onto Darkness Of Pleasure. “I’ve always liked electronic music
-- especially new wave -- to me it’s ‘future music’. I’m big on science fiction.” And certainly
his exposure to the soundtracks to the films within that genre continued to inspire him to
take greater risks with his own musical experiments. “I like to infuse organic instruments
with electronics -- but on Darkness there’s a lot of sampling and a lot of editing.”
And even though Branson had been intimately connected to his music, to him it was little
more than a fanciful past time. It wasn’t until he spent a day dabbling on the internet that he
realized that perhaps the time had come to examine his passion seriously. “There was a
fan that e-mailed me, and I discovered that I was featured on this ‘porn to rock’ website --
and it had all these artists, artists from the 80’s (for example) like Samantha Fox, Dale
Bozzio from Missing Persons, who had translated
And Mitch Branson is someone who certainly has
cornered the market on that!
Mitch Branson’s Darkness Of Pleasure is available for
digital download on iTunes and Amazon.com; as well
as the remix singles for “Control Me” and “C U in
Hell”. For more on Branson you can follow him on-
www.facebook.com/mitchbransonmusic and www.
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