There’s really nothing brand new about it. Four talented musicians from Long Island found each other and started out playing local clubs and bars. A record label (Triple Crown) picked them up and they recorded their debut album (in this case, 2001’s ‘Your Favorite Weapon.’)
The newness for the aforementioned musicians, who call themselves Brand New, comes from the success of their sophomore release ‘Deja Entendu,’ a delightful offering of modern, intelligent rock.
While pop-infused ‘Your Favorite Weapon’ was spawned in the midst of pop-punk’s peak popularity, the boys of Brand New have carved a new modern-rock niche for themselves with ‘Deja Entendu,’ released in June 2003.
Only a couple of years in the making, remarkably humble Brand New are earning some serious respect in the music world with singles from ‘Deja’ that include ‘The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows.’
Singer Jesse Lacey, guitarist Vin Accardi, bassist Garrett Tierney and drummer Brian Lane can also be found gracing the cover of Alternative Press magazine’s December 2003 issue.
‘We’re all completely blown away by what’s going on,’ Accardi said. ‘[But] I don’t want … our music getting shoved down people’s throats. I want people to find out about it and love it and be into us as much as we are into them finding out about us.’
Brand New’s members joined forces without having sights set on success or mainstream appeal. Nevertheless, upcoming shows at the House of Blues in Hollywood and The Scene in San Diego are sold out.
‘We’ll play it off like we’re used to [selling out shows] just because if you seemed like you’re scared about it people are going to know,’ Accardi laughed. ‘Hearing that a show may be sold out that far in advance is pretty scary.’
Brand New will donate a portion of the proceeds from the San Diego show on Nov. 14 to the San Diego Fire Relief Fund to aid families affected by the recent fires in Southern California.
‘We’re going through California on tour and basically the entire state is burned down and there are kids that are still going to come out to our shows regardless of what may or may not happen to them or their families,’ Accardi said. ‘I don’t really know any other way to say ‘thank you’ or just let the people there know that we really care a lot and it’s just great that [they’re] still coming out to support us.’
Brand New’s community projects include contributing to KROQ 106.7’s annual Christmas compilation CD.
‘It was a way to get us to do something away from what we are normally doing and maybe refresh our heads,’ Accardi said. ‘They were like ‘it’s all for charities’ and we’re like, ‘why not?’ That’s awesome, making music to help people in some way.’
Even when they’re giving back, Brand New is still, well, brand new to mainstream success and currently suffer the demands of relentless touring.
‘We’re constantly on the road so I don’t get to see the video, I don’t get to hear the song on the radio, I don’t get to see the magazine. I’m just sitting in the van driving to the next show,’ Accardi said. ‘You don’t really get to enjoy it the way that anyone else does and even if I am home and I get to see it I’ll change the channel or turn it off because I’m weirded out by it.’
Brand New formed almost by accident; the band’s members came from other local New York bands first. Accardi met Lane at Lane’s recording studio, and their time together prompted early experimental recordings. From there, according to Accardi, everything just seemed to snowball.
‘[At] our third show, Triple Crown approached us to make a record,’ Accardi said. ‘And we were like, ‘alright, sounds like a good idea, why not? That’ll be fun, let’s make a record.’ It was all very, very natural. Everything just kind of fell into place for us and we’re all grateful for it.’
Brand New’s creation ‘Deja Entendu’ has won much media praise. AP magazine boasts that Brand New’s ‘next-big-thing status is imminent (and deserved).’ MTV.com declares that ‘Deja’ demonstrates ‘another level to the band’s sound. When they’re not shouting and thrashing, Brand New are eminently capable of hushed, melodic vocals, atmospheric guitar textures and relatively complex song structures.’
Accardi added that the music itself stands as a powerful reminder of why he, Lacey, Lane and Tierney put up with the strain of touring.
‘I picked up a guitar when I was 10-years-old and I wished to be in a band like Nirvana or Pearl Jam or anything like that,’ Accardi recalled. ‘I taught all my friends to play instruments just so I could play. And as cheesy as it is, that was always in the back of mind. I always knew I had to be doing something involving music and of course, the top of that list is being in a band.’
Amidst serious music matters, Brand New leaves plenty of room for fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Accardi says that Brand New’s members are pretty casual when it comes to pre-show bonding.
‘Before they get onstage [some bands] have their hands together in a circle and they’re praying or they have this little chant that they do,’ Accardi said. ‘We don’t even know where the fuck each other are before we get onstage!’
Brand New gets downtime in early December before their European tour in mid-January. Accardi plans to spend his open schedule doing absolutely nothing.
‘I don’t do anything,’ Accardi said. ‘I don’t want to move. Everything is so fast when you’re on tour that you just want the easiest thing possible for your entire day when you’re home.’
Brand New will play sold-out shows in Los Angeles on Nov. 13 and in San Diego on Nov. 14.