Brand New’s Jesse Lacey has done a rare interview with RockZone Magazine and, in peak Brand New News, it’s in Spanish. With a crack team of Reddit users armed with Google, we’ve translated the whole thing. Here are the sixteen things we learned from it.
There IS a new Brand New album.
“We have a new album to put out but the thing is, it’s not ready. Hopefully it will be out this year. We still don’t know if it will be an EP of seven odd songs or the traditional album of 14. We’ve been working on a lot of songs but sometimes it’s good to leave them to rest before you deal with them. Somedays we feel ready to release them, others we feel like they need more time. “
There might be an old Brand New album.
“(The leaked ‘Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me’ demos) were like abandoned children and, as people listened to them and fell in love, it helped rescue them. I think some of those songs are among the best I’ve ever written so we wanted to give them the importance they deserve. I think that the tapes are going to be released soon .”
There’s a reason ‘Mene’ sounds like a TDAG-era song.
“Mene is older than the new songs we have written. We probably started working on it when we were working on The Devil and God. We rediscovered it recently and we liked it. Ten years ago we didn’t.“
But it’s a good indication of what’s to come.
“I don’t know how well ‘Mene’ represents the new material. I think it has more melody than our last record. When you listen to “Mene’ you can follow it and sing along and that’s the same with our new music. On Daisy the melodies were more complicated. I don’t want to make music I get tired of hearing and I think that’s what we tried to achieve with this new album. We don’t want to bore people so we’re trying to get back to that moment where it was easier for our music to be understood but still treating it with maturity. More than anything, I think the new songs are catchy.”
Promoting the band previously would have meant losing part of themselves.
“There was a time when we had to choose one path or the other. The path to get the great stuff would have made us lose that last bit of ourselves, our last bit of identity. We would have had to abandon certain things that were intrinsic to us, not just as a band but as individuals. It made us ask the questions, ‘Are we famous?’ or ‘Are we musicians with family and kids?’ I don’t think you can have both things. It came to the point where we took a step back and thought, “Maybe we’re not cut out for this,” but then we decided, “Maybe if we appreciate all that we have, we can maintain it and try to see what we can create in our own environment.”
But now Brand New are ready for that next step
“We are very thankful for the people that follow us and that come out and see us, but sometimes I use to think that this isn’t what we wanted. I would feel overwhelmed by so many people supporting us, and even now, it’s something that has always scared me. Now that we are older and this path is gentler, I feel more comfortable and prepared to take that second step. I think years ago that would have probably have destroyed me.”
“We’ve always had that wonder floating in the air, ‘How much longer…?'”
“We are always concerned about how everyone is. I am inspired but that does not mean I can inspire anyone else. I can, for example, have twenty songs that I want to work on but the others might not like them and I can understand that, sometimes it’s my fault the songs don’t happen. Other times we’ll agree on an idea and we’ll start working on the song immediately. We put our family and friends first and the band is second so there’s no need to create music for there to be a good relationship between us. Sometimes it’s difficult to be inspired but that helps us realise we have a job to do. So we’ll take the time to reflect on things until we are inspired.”
You think Brand New are mysterious? Try being Brand New
“I don’t know if I mentioned this before but the mystery that exists around our band and the level of respect our fans have towards the band, is a mystery to us. The reality is that we don’t even know what’s going to happen next.”
This is just the day job
“This is simply a job I feel very fortunate to have but we try to give it everything we’ve got. When we have a good show or a good session in the studio, I go home satisfied at having done a good job, just like every person who works hard at what they do. I feel like I have earned this.”
Family comes first
“I try to be more thankful than proud because there are other things that I feel more proud of. I am proud to be a husband and a father. The people that come to see me think I am a musician but I am not, even if I do dedicate a lot of my time to it. If I thought the same way the fans do about myself I would be a disaster. I always try to see myself as the person I am when I am with my wife or son at home and I try to be that person.”
Life on the road is hard
“Everything is so strange. You wake up every day in a different city, where people are waiting to see you. The first thing that comes to mind is ‘Who am I? Who am I to these people that they are willing to come out and see me?’ I always have to remind myself that these people haven’t come to see me, they’ve come to see what I’ve created.”
“There is nothing special about us.”
“It is difficult for me to understand the fact that so many people come out to see us. We try to maintain a perspective about who we are, what we do and are always thankful for what we have. We try to keep a positive attitude because it is hard. I feel bad saying that it’s hard because we have a wonderful life, we have the opportunity to travel to all these wonderful places. It is my dream life but at the same time we want to conserve our humanity in all of it. We put an emphasis on staying humble and modest because there have been moments where I haven’t been either. It’s important for us to remind ourselves every day that there is nothing special about us. We are only fortunate. What is special is the opportunity that the fans have given us and that is why we always want to remind ourselves that we should be thankful for what we have.“
Jesse Lacey likes Madrid
“I have never been here before. I came here with my wife a few days ago and we had the chance to tour the whole city, have a few beers and get the feel of the place. It just feels so vibrant – the people seem more happy, more at peace and relaxed. I myself have even felt happier. In New York, for example, the people lived stressed lives. Everything is very fast-paced, they live anxiously trying to get what they want as fast as possible. Here the parks are precious, the climate is excellent. I want to move here.”
Jesse Lacey really likes Kevin Devine
“He is my best friend. I have a special connection with him as a musician and as a person. His personality is unique and from the first moment I met him, I felt instant adoration, but it goes beyond that. I adore his music and he’s currently the best guitar player I know.. He can fill the room with only a guitar because he knows a million chords. There are so many things I could never do and he always leaves me fascinated when I see play.”
Jesse Lacey also likes these bands
“We have formed a family with Manchester Orchestra, Thrice, MewithoutYou, O’Brother and now Dinosaur Pile-Up and The Xcerts. There’s so much that compliments us all, not just technically but they are all people who we can tour with in total harmony. I have no doubt that having that mutual support both creatively and personally has got us to where we are now.”
Our Spanish is hella rusty.