Brand New

Brand New Biography

Brand New's bio? It's really not Rocket Science: 1) Band forms with limited skills and vast desires. 2) Band records first album, then loses the hard drive containing it, then re-records their charming yet fumbling debut (Your Favorite Weapon, just so you don't have to look it up). 3) Band gets in a van and doesn't come home for 14 months, somehow learning to play their instruments and matching skills to said desires, hitting tours with everyone from Finch to Dashboard Confessional to Taking Back Sunday. 4) Band ends YFW with a New York show to over 5,000 kids and proceeds to procrastinate writing new songs until… 5) Band enters studio with producer Steven Haigler (Pixies, Quicksand, Local H) who is not amused, causing tension heretofore unseen in the history of recording. 6) Bassist Garrett Tierney’s car is stolen in day two of recording. Seriously. 7) Band creates stellar yet still fumbling sophomore album, much to the amusement of their management team, who had thought them just plain mad at this point. 8) Band ignores music industry, puts head down and goes out on tour again.

Deja Entendu (Triple Crown/Razor & Tie) is the sound of Brand New painting itself out of a corner. Their first album hit hard with 50,000 buyers who took the time to learn the words, then later scream them back at the band on a nightly basis. The difficulty came as BN grew beyond those seven chords and hoped that their listeners would too. "We wanted to change the things about the last record that we were unhappy with.” says singer Jesse Lacey. “We are growing, and we respect our fans enough to know that they are going to grow also. We would be cheating them to give them the same record again." Writing more than the anticipated pop-punk album saw Lacey often chewing down styrofoam cups and writing song lyrics just seconds before he sang them in the studio. When he sings "I hope this song starts a craze, the kind of song that ignites the airwaves", he means it. He doesn't really know - he can only hope.

Really, Brand New had no choice but to evolve from YFW. Guitarist Vin Accardi was only 17 at the time of that album’s recording, and has proven to be able to play those songs not only in his sleep, but also hanging from rafters and spinning in circles. Brian Lane (drums) offers, “The first record we basically wrote within our whole teenage years. Some songs were written two or three years before the record came out. With the new one we put our ass on the line and delved out into a new thing, where we had no clue what would happen.”

The songs on Deja show definitive growth in songwriting, without overshooting the minds of kids who don’t know Abbey Road from Penny Lane. “Guernica” emerged after Lacey’s grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, prompting lines like “If I could I would shrink myself and sink through your skin to your blood cells and remove whatever makes you hurt but I am too weak to be your cure”. Just when you think this is an album about distortion, songs like “The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot” come along to slap you acoustically. Not to be forgotten is the newly jaded side of Brand New, which explores when managers, labels, agents and lawyers get their claws on the prize money (“Concede to do the work for free. We prey as wolves among the sheep and slit the necks of soldiers while they sleep”, from the pleasantly titled “Good To Know That If I Ever Need Attention All I Have To Do Is Die”).

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