CARS HOMES JOBS

Indie-rock band The Bravery records all the time and everywhere

Thursday, July 23, 2009
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The Bravery opens for Green Day Saturday night at the Times Union Center
The Bravery opens for Green Day Saturday night at the Times Union Center

The Bravery is taking a break from the studio. Sort of.

The band, while in the middle of recording its third album in a church in Woodstock, got the invite to open 20 shows on Green Day’s “21st Century Breakdown” tour, the last of which hits the Times Union Center on Saturday. The shows are The Bravery’s first in nearly eight months and give the band a chance to perform some of the new material it has been working on.

But just because the band isn’t in a studio doesn’t mean that they won’t be recording new ideas as they come.

“We’ll record in a nice studio, and then the next day record in the bathroom of a hotel or the back of a van,” said lead singer and guitarist Sam Endicott, while on his way to the Copps Coliseum in Toronto.

“It’s all over the place, but I think that with us, what’s important is capturing a really spontaneous moment, something that you can’t always plan for that happens. A lot of that comes from forcing ourselves to record in any situation — if something comes into your mind, you grab whatever guitar is there, pick up whatever microphone you’ve got, sit down and record right there.”

Green Day, with The Bravery

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Times Union Center, 51 S. Pearl St., Albany

How Much: $49.50, $25

More Info: 487-2000, www.timesunioncenter-albany.com

And with The Bravery, there is no such thing as a demo.

“Whatever’s recorded winds up being on the album,” Endicott said. “That spontaneous, often amateur sound, makes it that much more interesting.”

The album, scheduled for the fall, is the follow-up to 2007’s “The Sun and the Moon,” which was re-released in 2008 with a remix album as “The Sun and the Moon: Complete.” After touring incessantly behind that album, the band was ready for a break, but now relishes being back on stage again.

“When you’re on tour forever, after a while, after a long time you just get so sick of it, like, ‘This is the last thing I want to be doing right now,’ ” Endicott said. “Then you get home, you’re home for a couple of weeks, and it’s like, ‘What . . . am I gonna do with myself?’ After a break like this, it’s really good to be back up there.”

And of course, these are high-profile shows, opening up for Green Day and all. The Bravery landed the spot because of Green Day drummer Tre Cool being a big fan.

“Everybody says that it’s weird how different we are from them, but in a good way, and people like it,” Endicott said of the shows so far. “I think normally they get bands more similar in style to Green Day, and we’re very different, but I think that’s what they were going for, and the crowd seems to get excited about that.”

Expanding fan base

The large cross-section of fans in Green Day’s audience also gives The Bravery a chance to expand its own fan base.

“The weird thing about Green Day’s crowd is that you don’t know what . . . to expect,” Endicott said. “You’ll get older people who were into Green Day 13 years ago, then get people who are really young who found out about Green Day last year, and everything in between.”

But The Bravery still has plenty of their own fans in the audience. The group’s star has been steadily rising since Endicott, keyboardist John Conway, guitarist Michael Zakarin, bassist Mike Hindert and drummer Anthony Burulcich came together in New York City in 2003.

Endicott and Conway were classmates at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, where they played in mock-ska outfit Skabba the Hutt before Endicott joined The Pasties as bassist after moving to New York City in 2000. However, he soon began writing material that would become The Bravery’s first, self-titled full-length, released in 2005.

After spending time on New York City’s underground circuit, the band broke through with the single “An Honest Mistake,” which, like the rest of its early material, melded 1980s new wave with punk and indie rock sounds. Along with bands such as Las Vegas rivals The Killers (the two bands feuded for a time), The Bravery spearheaded the “new new wave” movement in the mid-2000s. But according to Endicott, it wasn’t intentional.

“There were a lot of bands during that period that were inspired by new wave music, but we never thought of ourselves as trying to re-create a new wave sound — we just discovered keyboards and thought they sounded really cool,” Endicott said. “So we’ve never intentionally sounded like new wave; we’ve just tried to find different sounds and incorporate that into our music.”

Indeed, “The Sun and the Moon” took a different direction from the first album, incorporating more acoustic instruments and fewer synthesizers. The remix album, or “The Moon,” as Endicott refers to it (the original album is known as “The Sun” now), was recorded entirely while the band was on tour.

“That was the most basement-style, amateurish that we’ve ever been,” Endicott said. “There was no studio with that. Whatever you’ve got — you’ve got a guitar, got a Casio — plug it in, record in the car while driving to the show, and it’s really interesting to work in that way. Whereas ‘The Sun’ side was all in the studio.”

The as-yet-untitled new album will feature a mix of sounds from the first two albums — the acoustic elements of “The Sun” and the dancier elements of the self-titled. However, according to Endicott, it sounds nothing like either record.

“John had a dream one night that we were recording underwater in a giant aquarium, and that dream became, well, an inspiration for us,” Endicott said. “A lot of it sounds like it’s underwater. It’s dreamier, spacier, but it is also very energetic.”

Sorting it all out

However, the album is far from complete. Because of the band’s practice of recording everything it comes up with, there’s a glut of material that needs to be sifted through.

“When we go into the studio, especially on this record, we basically just made a . . . mess — go in and record everything all night, every day, and worry about it later,” Endicott said.

“When we left, we left with 1,000 tracks, and we just have to go through them with a machete and find the nuggets.”

 
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