An interview with Sy Brand

Sy is one of my favourite people on the internet and I thought “why don’t I ask them some cool questions”? Here’s what they said:

What is your favourite city in the world?

Apart from Edinburgh, where I live, either Venice or Berlin. I love water, so Venice is perfect for me. And Berlin has so many different sides to it and such incredible art and history.

What’s the most unusual item you take everywhere you go? 

Probably my pin collection. I have around 20 of them on my jacket. A few Twin Peaks ones, a shot from Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, a machine from a Soviet Arcade Museum I went to in St Petersburg, some Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky ones. My favourite is the demon cat face from the film Hausu by Nobuhiko Obayashi, which is one of my favourite films and is just completely wild and unpredictable and beautiful.

Why do you do what you do?

I do my job (C++ Developer Advocate at Microsoft) mostly to earn money to do other things, although I do enjoy the freedom I have to help people, educate, help shape the industry and C++ community. I write poetry to try and capture feelings, images, work through my thoughts on gender, relationships, etc. These days I’ve been spending a lot of time on filmmaking. I want to help people see the beauty that’s in so many everyday things: tiny gestures, light reflecting off water, the sounds around us.

Where do you go to relax?

Into Apex Legends or experimental films. Apex is my perfect “brain doesn’t work, want to blow off steam” activity. I play with a friend of mine multiple times a week; I love the teamwork aspect of it, how I can use it as an excuse to hang out with people and just have some fun.

69, 280, or 420?

69. It’s just very round and nice.

How do you say goodbye in your culture(s)?

I’m Scottish, so you could hear “bye the nou”, or perhaps “fuck off”. In Scottish Gaelic you could say “mar sin leat” as a kind of “see you”.

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