Invading Bamboozle Left: Brave Citizens

It might be hard to believe that Brave Citizens’ goliath-sounding debut EP “Revolutions” started as a laptop recording project between two friends utilizing closets and garages to record and share ideas between Los Angeles and San Francisco. But for vocalist and UC Irvine alum Andrew Capra and guitarist Adam Bialik, it’s all that was needed to inspire the musical revolution that introduced Brave Citizens to the world.

When the final mixes of “Revolutions” hit the Internet in late 2007, the resounding response fueled Brave Citizens to hit the ground running. Capra and Bialik — along with added band members Jarred Dooley (bass) and Alex Jones (drums) — brought their live experience to the masses while the band’s buzz quickly spread throughout the music press and blogosphere.

Brave Citizens launched its maiden tour voyage in early 2008, quickly racking up thousands of touring miles throughout the west coast. The band was then named “Unsigned Band Of The Month” by Alternative Press Magazine in May and was handpicked to play a string of dates on the 2008 Vans Warped Tour. In the midst of non-stop touring and the continued success of the “Revolutions” digital release, Brave Citizens set Oct. 7 for the physical release of the deluxe edition of the album. To support the new deluxe edition release, Brave Citizens have launched a nationwide tour in over 70 cities, including stops in Irvine to play at the annual Bamboozle Left and Wayzgoose festivals, all while assembling the pieces for its debut full-length release.

The New University spoke with vocalist Andrew Capra and drummer Alex Jones ahead of the band’s performance at Bamboozle Left this Sunday taking place in Irvine’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre.

New University: How does it feel to be going on tour across the country?
Brave Citizens: Ever since we became a band we’ve been all about the live show, so we’re excited to bring that experience to kids all across the country who have been listening to the record online and getting into the band. So we’re super excited to bring that to them and show them what we can do live; it’s so much a part of what this band is all about.

New U: What are some of the highlights from your nationwide tour?
BC: I guess seeing the grand view of it all; we’ve had great shows all around, Boston, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and had great shows in Sacramento and San Francisco. A lot of the time it’s the really unsuspecting or unassuming shows that turn out to be really great.

New U: You’ve played Warped Tour and SXSW. Your music has been played on KROQ and you’ve had artist features on AOL and Myspace Music, and your song was played on MTV’s “The Real World.” How have you dealt with this sudden success and popularity? Has it changed you or the band at all?
BC: The fact of the matter is we still eat 60-cent cans of beans from Walmart! We’re definitely not “famous” by any means but we work really hard, all four band members as a full unit. We’ve just been really diligent about doing as many shows as possible, spreading our music to whoever will listen and being really proactive.
The band is a really great artistic outlet for us but it’s also a business for us because it’s our job; it’s our life. We conceptualize what we want to do regardless of the outside world. Nothing has changed based on anything, as far as us playing Warped Tour or SXSW. We’ve started a plan and we’re sticking to it. Nothing is really going to change that.

New U: How does it feel to be playing Bamboozle Left?
BC: We’re really honored to be playing Bamboozle Left with a lot of bands that we grew up listening to, but we’re really excited about it. It’s a nice compliment to end the tour in our backyard.

New U: Any bands you’re personally looking forward to seeing?
BC: 50 Cent! (laughs) We’re looking forward to seeing The Bronx, and Thrice always puts on a good show.

New U: What can your fans expect from your full-length album when it’s released?
BC: Even though we’re still in the album cycle for “Revolutions,” we’re really excited about our new material. It’s darker, it’s more dynamic, it’s rougher around the edges, and we’ve taken the best attributes of our material and individual players and tried to amplify them as much as possible. The rock parts rock even more and the soft parts are even softer. It’s going to be a really emotional piece of work that reflects what we’ve been through this past year. Finishing this tour and making this tour come to life.
We’ve just gotten through realizing that, so now we’re ready to write the next record and put it out and bring it to life. Then from there, it’s back on the road constantly. We’re continuing to make these things a reality because it’s just the four of us, making these things happen, so we come up with plans and stick to them.