All Questions Answered by Sam Endicott
What did you guys want to be when you were growing up?
So how did The Bravery begin? How did everyone meet? Why start a band?
John and I went to college together, Mike and Michael went to college together. We met through an add in the paper. Anthony was friends of a mutual friend in the NY band Bishop Allen. John and I both grew up on punk rock, but then we moved to NY and started going to underground dance clubs and hearing this great indie-electronic music. It was like techno for people who liked rock. So we thought, how cool would it be if we took those kind of sounds and beats and combined it with a garage-y, live rock band.
What influences did everyone bring to the table?
We all love classic rock--like the Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Zeppelin. I'm a big punk rock guy. John's the electronica guy--knob turner, filter tweaker kinda thing. Michael's the chops guy; he loves jazz—especially gypsy stuff, like Django and all that--but he's also a straight up shredder. He worships Slash. Mike is all about rockabilly and old country. Anthony is the straight-up rocker; he knows every Journey song note-for-note.
Forget asking about the significance of your name now, what other names were you thinking up when you first started the band?
At one point we were talking about calling ourselves The Lashes. But then we found out there was another up-and-coming band from Seattle called that. It's funny, because we eventually met those guys and bonded over the name thing, and now we're kind of friends.
What was your very first show as The Bravery like? How did you score the gig?
We opened for my friend's band The Animators. It was at an absolutely tiny club in Brooklyn called Stinger. There was like 15 people there, mostly siblings and ex-girlfriends. After we played there was a knifefight. Though I don't think any of our siblings or ex-girlfriends were involved.
What were the early days of The Bravery like? Endless shows, endless practice, both?
Yeah, if we weren't practicing we were working on the album, if we weren't working on the album we were putting up fliers. That's pretty much all we did. We'd stand outside Tower records all day handing CDs we burned.
How do you write songs? Is it a group effort or more of a solo composure?
I generally come up with the basic chords and vocals for the song, then the other guys get involved coming up with parts. John will make sorta remixes of what we come up with, and then a lot of times the we use the remix stuff in the final version of the song.
What was recording your debut album like?
A lot of it was recorded before we even started playing live. It started with me and John, coming up with stuff in the basement. Then we met the other guys and they got involved. It was incredibly amateurish. The equipment we used was beyond shitty. And it took a long time, since it was mostly for fun on the weekends and stuff--at least that's how it started. But as the live shows started to take off we started taking the whole thing more seriously.
How’d you get picked up by Island Records?
We put our album on line and would hand out copies of it all over the place. And this started to attract a lot of attention. Suddenly some major radio stations started playing the mp3s from our website, which almost never happens. So that started attracting even more attention, and that's when the labels started calling us. Our experience with Island has been really good. I guess some bands have horrible major label experiences, but that hasn't been the case for us, fortunately.
What inspired the cover work for your debut, as well as those for your singles?
All the artwork was done by an artist friend of ours from NY named Finley. We just really like her stuff, so we used it for everything. By the way, some people have criticized some of the artwork as being sexist. I'd like to point out that the artist is a woman. So if you have a problem with how she portrays women, you should take it up with her.
What was recording your new album like? Better or worse than your previous studio work?
Different because we did most of it in Atlanta with producer Brendan O'Brien. But we did a lot of it the old way too--just in the basement in NY. So it's like the best of both worlds.
Can you give us any insight to what your new album is going to sound like? Similar to your debut or completely in a different direction?
It still sounds like us, but it's very different. It's a lot more organic, less synthesizers. A lot of unusual sounds, like the last one, but this time the sounds are created by unusual acoustic instruments. Like strange organs, vocal effects, a string quartet. That kinda thing.
When can we expect it to be released?
Early next year.
Favorite song of all time?
"Heroes" by David Bowie
Your current music videos are all really interesting, but "Fearless" is definitely my favorite. What was it like recording that video?
That was the most fun day of my life. They just strapped us to boats and did it for real. It was also kinda the most terrifying day of my life. Here was the advice they gave us: "If for some reason the boat flips over and you're trapped underwater, just try not to breath. We'll get someone out to you." That was reassuring.
What’s next for The Bravery? What can we expect you to be up to come the album release?
Full on touring madness again.
It’s suddenly 2036. Are you still making music? Are you still in The Bravery? Is The Bravery alive and well, putting out albums? How would you like it all to be?
We'd like to do this for the rest of our lives. As time goes on, I'd like to produce other bands as well.