Saturday, December 22, 2012

Interview With Bright and Early (12/7/2012)

Bright and Early has been chugging away since the release of their Louder Than Words EP back in 2010, and the band is now finally approaching their first full length album. Vocalist John Browne's unique, powerful voice leads the formerly pop punk group which is now heading on a more rocking direction, and the band could soon be heading towards busting towards widespread relevance. Browne answered questions from us regarding the band's upcoming album, a possible EP release, covering The Movielife, producing for other bands and far more which you can read below.

You guys are in the middle of recording a new album. How’s it been so far?

We’re not actually recording the album yet, we’ve just been writing songs and talking to different producers and things like that.  We don’t know what we’re going to do yet. We may put out an EP before doing the full length. There’s a ton of songs written but nothing’s for sure.

Your last EP continued your move away from the pop punk of the earliest material. How’s the progression of the album compare to this last EP?

It’s tough to say. We never really considered us a pop punk band. We always just did our thing. I don’t feel like we get lumped in with the majority of the pop punk stuff that’s out there, I feel like we’re more, especially with the new stuff, we’re moving more towards a rock and roll type of thing. I’m not sure how to explain it, we’re just trying to nail our own sound down, and until we do, we’re going to keep writing. It’s definitely a lot different from the old stuff though. It’s more melodic, a little deeper in regards to musicianship. I’m not sure what to say about it really, but I’m excited.

This is your first full length after a couple EPs from the last few years. How different is it writing and recording a full length album than putting together a five song EP?

The first EP was just us needing to get some songs together so people would know we existed and could play some shows and get out there. The second EP came to let people know what we were up to and to show the people we play for at shows and stuff that we’re changing a bit. We wanted to really hammer it home with the full length and define what we sound like and show who we are and what we do. It’s tough because when you’re writing a full length album, you don’t want it to be a couple good songs and several others just to fill it up just to take up time. Especially nowadays because people download a lot more singles than they do albums. First off, we didn’t want people to donate to a Kickstarter and then just spend it on something that people aren’t really buying a lot of these days. It’s just a whole lot of money wasted by a whole lot of people that don’t really care. What we wanted to do was pretty much get the best songs we can and just keep it that way. I know that everyone says they try to do that, but that was basically the plan. Just come up with a killer album from front to finish.

The first song off the album, “Black and Blue,” was recently released. Can you tell us about the song and its creation?

We recorded that song in my apartment. We did demos for the full length. We basically demoed all the songs and I mixed them myself and they came out pretty good. We got hit up through SonicBids to do this contest, and I’m pretty sure we made the top 25 out of 200 or so. We needed a song to put up so we were like “fuck it,” and put that one up. Even though it’s a demo, we’re not the type of band that pulls out a lot of polish in the studio, we don’t want to fake anything or sample all the drums, we just try to keep it all real. So there isn’t a lot of difference between the early demo songs and when we actually put them out.

Stargazer Lily was released on the acoustic EP from earlier this year. Is that song still planned to be on the album?

Definitely. It’ll be a full band version instead of the acoustic one.

How different is the full band version from the acoustic one?

We wrote it as a full band first. We liked the song so much that we did it on the acoustic EP too, and put it out a little early. That song kind of has a feel like Dear In The Headlights or Muse. It’s a lot heavier and has some different levels to it as far as depth and thickness as the track goes. It’s heavy, but a lot of people hear heavy and think of metal or breakdowns, but I don’t mean that sort of heavy. There’s a lot of sound and a lot of noise and changing of tones, things like that. Lots of dynamic changes.

You were looking for a label to put the new album out on. Has there been any progress on that front?

It’s been pretty interesting. We’ve met with a bunch of people and we’ve talked to a few labels as far as production and management go. The basic idea is that maybe we weren’t as ready as we thought we were to release a full length and we have some things to work on regarding the band. It’s tough because we want the album to be successful rather than to just put it out there, so we’re just working on a lot of the behind the scenes stuff and hit the road hard again and to get another van. We just don’t make it public, we don’t post about every little thing as a band. We’ll post when there’s a big tour or if we’re doing any kind of real show, but we just kind of exist and make music and that’s about it.

You guys recently released the cover you did for a Movielife cover compilation, which was the opener off Forty Hour Train Back To Penn, “Face Or Kneecaps.” How was recording that cover?

It was fun. We wanted to do something that would respect the band. Not to mention any names, but some others that were on that compilation or the Alkaline Trio CD felt like they were disrespectful to the band. I know a lot of people are fans of these bands, but when you take something that was so honest and real and turn it into something that is the opposite, I don’t feel that’s a tribute at all. We just wanted to do it as our version of punk rock or pop punk, I really felt that The Movielife was just a hard rock band that had some poppiness to it, but I couldn’t have considered them punk rock or anything. I just wanted to make our cover badass for that.

Why did you decide to choose this specific song?

They gave us a choice between a few of them, and that one was the one that I felt we could do best based on the way we play and the way we are as a band. The guy who put it all together from Pacific Ridge, his name is Wayne, he picked a few of the songs for each band, because he wanted the bands to do certain tunes. He kind of organized it all.

You produced No Such Noise’s latest EP. What made you want to start producing records on the side of being in a band?

Whatever band I’m in, I’ve always been involved in the studio. I used to sing for a band The High Court, and I recorded a lot of the album we put out. I feel like that if you want to have an identity as a musician and a band, you should really have your hands on a lot of the tones and the sonic sound of the album. It’s one thing to just write a good song, it shouldn’t end there. If you’re making music, you should decide the textures and the sounds and all the different feelings that you’re putting out there. I feel like a lot of bands fall short there. I knew the guys in No Such Noise because of Joe Fuscia, he used to play bass in Bright and Early for a while. I knew that their songs were good, but none of them had ever had experience working in a studio on production. When they hit me up asking “could you help us put these songs together,” we basically sat down and kicked the shit out of them together. Pulled this out, pulled that out, made this bigger, all that stuff. I didn’t do the recording on that stuff, but I did a lot to help them and pull it out. But production is just something that every band and musician does no matter what, and when you have a lot of experience especially in catchier stuff, it’s impossible to not want to do it I feel. 

Do you have any other production projects coming up?

A band called Paper States just released an EP Tuesday called Be Alone. I did the production for that stuff and then they recorded it with Kory Gable. I’m actually going to do two more songs with them in January. I produced, or arranged a song, with a band called Neighborhood Kids, they’re a pop act. People would not expect me to do a lot of things I do. I worked on some stuff with Steve from Punchline and The Composure. Steve has a side project called Blue Of Colors. I’ve got a lot of bands lined up in the new-year to work with and we’ll see what we can put together. I feel like I can help a lot of people with finishing their songs and making them hit harder.

What are the band’s upcoming plans for the next few months into 2013?

Not entirely sure, but it’s been talked about. I think we’re going to do an EP instead of a full length album. We’re going to do a video, and write a lot more songs. The thing about doing an EP is that we still plan on putting out a full length album very soon. It could be right after the EP, it could be a little while after the EP, I’m not sure. We have so many songs that we’re just sitting on and we don’t know what to do with them. We just want to make the right moves as a band and exist for the long haul.

Any touring?

We’ve stayed active. What we do is tour weekends right now. We’ll hit Boston and Connecticut and New York and then come home, or we’ll go and hit the Pittsburgh and Ohio area, or West Virginia/DC area. We just try to hit them when we can and stay current. We definitely plan on touring a lot more after February. We had some member changes over the past year. A lot of different little things have happened. We’ve had to rebuild the band a lot to a certain point. There’s a lot coming, a lot of songs, a video. Lots of stuff. I hate saying it’s a new era for Bright and Early, it feels cocky, but it’ll definitely be a big year for us in 2013.

Any last things you want to say?

If anyone doesn’t have our music, go check it out at our Bandcamp. 

I'd like to thank John again for answering our questions. Bright and Early hasn't disappointed me yet, and from what I've heard of the band's new direction, the new record may surprise quite a lot of people. You can listen to all the band's music on Bandcamp, and be sure to like them on Facebook.

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