First question, what's the move from NY to LA been like so far for you guys? Also, what prompted the change in scenery?
Derek: It has been nothing short of amazing. Honestly, I feel like LA has always been the place for me, I just didn’t know it yet. I grew up a skateboarder, I went to film school, I play music and I love tacos and sushi - this is really the promise land! As it relates to the band, we were all trying to move in together and trying to figure out a plan to get us in a more productive headspace. We knew we needed to record a new single and a new record and just couldn’t find the inspiration. LA became more viable when I started seeing a girl that lives here in North Hollywood. I was visiting back and forth and started to understand the lay of the land and fell in love instantly. Once September rolled around, we just decided to beat the winter and find a place here and in October we got in the van and drove out. The move has already proved positive for us, in the last six months we’ve played some amazing shows, released a new single working with amazing producers, were cast in a commercial, got some radio play and now we’re halfway done with a new record.
Ryan: It's been incredibly surreal and gratifying from the moment we began the drive over. The journey and the experience of living together full on has only made us stronger. A major factor was the weather, we were getting burnt out each winter and felt like it was a necessary change for our psyche. Personally I've always felt a pull to the west coast.
You guys have been playing together for 10 years now. How would you say time and experience have helped you develop BRAEVES?
Ryan: Well first off, we are friends and family before considering ourselves bandmates, and that in itself is a huge factor to making anything last (much like being married). I think we are all just really honest with each other, and we all want to make the best stuff we can. We have three very strong distinct personalities and that is far more a blessing than a curse. As the years go on it becomes less about the individual and more about the group.
Derek: We have failed a lot. We made bad decision after bad decision over the years. As it relates to making records, promoting/choosing our shows, band members, too many things to count. But just like any small business, year after year you begin to start building on something. And that’s what we did, you start to learn what the strengths and the weaknesses of the group are and you press that till it starts to naturally come to the surface. In my opinion, being in a band is rarely about playing music. Some of our best songs took a day or two to write, but it’s about managing relationships, organizing, scheduling, and everyone being on the same page knowing that we have to sacrifice so much every single day in order to make this work. Coping with that fact just takes time to really wrap your head around.
Congratulations on the new single! I really dig "Bitter Sea." The lyrics are amazing. Can any of you maybe give us a peek into what the creative process was like for this single?
D: The three of us were in talks about leaving NY and possibly relocating to another city. We were feeling a little burnt out on the NY music scene and just feeling a bit drained in general, Ryan definitely used that to express himself in the lyrics of "Bitter Sea.” He then came to us with the chord progression and Tom and I instantly knew how the song would play out and what kind of vibe we were going to create. Something straight forward and punchy, that still has some atmospheric elements to it. We then messed around with new some new bass parts, keyboard parts and some additional instrumentation and percussion that give the song its flair. It was also the first track we self-produced, so it was nice to really lean on each other for ideas and figure out how to execute them properly.
Any other upcoming projects or shows you want to clue people into?
D: June 30th at the Satellite and July 16th Chinatown Summer Nights via Buzzbands LA
Alright, last question. What would you all say is something you looked or look forward to in regards to the BRAEVES new relocation?
R: Hiking & Tacos are pretty essential.
D: Playing at the Trubadour and meeting Tom Cruise, I’d imagine he’s around here somewhere.
Thank you so much for your time and for coming out to the first year of the South Bay Film and Music Festival. It was awesome watching BRAEVES perform live!
T: It was our pleasure.
Now that the first year of the South Bay Film and Music Festival is over we'd love to do a quick recap of how things went at our music showcases. Thursday, June 2nd at the South Coast Botanic Gardens was a day worth marking off on your calendar. The festival's first music showcase featured two awesome artists from 6:00-8:00 PM. Following the musical performances we did a screening in the garden of the film Stand By Me for its 30th Anniversary.
Everything began with singer-songwriter Isla June in the large open venue. There’s a definite influence in her music that brings to mind artists like Nancy Wilson or Peggy Lee. The SoCal native’s emotive voice and brand of folk bring a romantic sensibility to music. This romantic layer brought a relaxing feel to the venue as people gathered around to listen, chat, and eat. Her latest track “White Flag” highlights Isla June’s haunting vocals with mournful lyrics.
Up and coming folk and soul artist, Nick Shattuck also joined us at the Garden. Since his relocation from Western Wisconsin to Southern California in 2011, Shattuck has been making a name for himself as a talented guitarist with a distinctive voice. Despite being a local artist, his Midwest roots are evident in his music. Shattuck engaged with the audience as his set went on and got people pumped up for the nigth. His EP, “Up Late, Dreaming,” is an engaging collection of music with strong lyrics.
These two artists' distinct sounds were exciting to listen to at the South Coast Botanic Gardens. The day was relaxed, and the venue was warm reprieve from the breezy beach city down the road. Overall it was a fun night out with good company, good food, and great entertainment. Make sure to check out Isla June and Nick Shattuck online if you missed the show.
The South Bay Fest staff is excited to officially announce our line-up for Saturday, June 4th, at The Standing Room! If you’ve been on the lookout for some worthwhile rock music discoveries, this is it.
We’re covering all sorts of rock sub-genres on the 4th day of the festival. It all starts at 8:30 PM with The Braeves, an indie-rock band who recently made the move from NY to LA. Their sound is a mellow mix between dreamy soul and ethereal rock, which sets up a perfect balance for lines like “Pulling the scales out from my eyes/I’m not the anchor this time.” Their move to LA is in part due to the recording of their new single, “Bitter Sea,” which is set for release this month.
Joining The Braeves is another trio, Foxtrax. The blues and soul-inspired, alternative rock band plans on releasing their new EP, “The Cabin,” in July of this year. With an emotive rock sound they’ve made their own, they are definitely a band worth checking out.
San Diego natives, Short Stories are sure to kick up the vibe with some pop punk. Their album, “Only Time Will Tell,” showed off some killer and controlled vocals from Tony Silva, topped with gritty melodies that are carried perfectly by the rest of the band.
Hoist the Colors will also be joining us at The Standing Room. The band started from humble beginnings in singer Josh Linden’s living room and has since created some awesome tracks and a local following. They immediately bring to mind upbeat chanting at a pub a la Dropkick Murphys. The punk-folk band is sure to rock the room. Cross your fingers we’ll get a taste of their upcoming album, “Mourners,” at The Standing Room.
All these bands are local with new projects in the works, so it’s bound to be an exciting night. Not to mention this event is worth attending just for the venue. Co-owned by Pennywise’s very own Fletcher Dragge, The Standing Room is an open and relaxed restaurant with, God bless them, something other than Budlight or Pabst on tap. There are numerous, raving Yelp reviews you can look over yourself about the food, and since there’s no cover charge for the night maybe get there early for a Hapa Burger. I suggest you check out the venue and music all out yourself June 4th.
Music Blogger: Fernanda Vidaurrazaga
After receiving a BA in creative writing and a BA in media and cultural studies from the University of California, Riverside, Fernanda’s main focus has been music. Hoping to bring attention to quality local artists, her love for writing has brought her closer to music stories that matter through music blogging