In conversation with…The Brazen

A couple of weeks ago, Yorkshire based band The Brazen released their electric new single “Delusion”. Critics and fans alike praised the track for being a brave new sound for the band that are rooted in classic rock. Last year the band toured far and wide across the UK and had a whole host of support from radio stations, blogs and news outlets alike following the release of their album “Laser Lips”.

The new track has taken the indie-rockers to a new level though. Although I’m sure still heavily influenced from heroes Queen and the Stone Roses, The Brazen have modernised their sound to be more like The Stereophonics or Feeder. It marks significant progress and a more vocal heavy sound that is mixed with strings, keys and as always, wonderful guitar notes. The band launched the single at 360 Club in Leeds to a sold out crowd alongside some fantastic local bands, including H2N favourites Able’s Army. We caught up with Trev from the band before their set to chat all things “Delusion”.

Talk to me about Delusion then.

Erm so Delusion was one that I mainly wrote, it was one of those weird ones it hadn’t been around long, we took it to practice and within ten minutes we had it done. That just doesn’t happen normally but this was one of those songs where it just happened. We’ve been using this producer called Ed Heaton for quite a while now and he’s been amazing. Kieran O’Malley did strings for us; it’s just one guy with a violin who did it all, he’s so good. You’ll be say in the room with him and you’re like okay okay, then he puts it out to the speakers and I was amazed. So the song itself is written around people not listening or believing everything you’re saying. Ryan wrote the lyrics about some trouble he was having at home erm I think it really just adds that bit more to it. When i wrote it it was very happy sounding haha but I don’t write lyrics. When Ryan gets a go on it he knows what he’s doing though!

And the B-side?

Yeah, we’re releasing this with the B side which genuine came from nowhere. We did a gig on London where we were just being the boisterous band we are. Were a bit out there (and I’m getting funny looks from my photographer) (no I’d go with out there that’s about right) both me and the guitarist use wireless so we get in the crowd a lot. This guy came up to us after the show and said who do you think you are Mr Bigshot and I was like where did that come from. I started off, and I had a lot of input on the lyrics. I didn’t think we would get it past the censor because it says go fuck yourself. We thought nobody would play it but yeah that song is about that experience saying who do you think you are Mr Bigshot.

With the new songs seems to be a bit of a shift to more vocal heavy music was that deliberate?

Yeah it’s where were pushing the new sound. Everything were writing now is very vocal driven and this new stuff me and Ryan are getting more writing and the new songs are going to be more like delusion. Were all huge fans of Kings of Leon and Stereophonics so that’s where were going. With the last one we didn’t know really how to create an album, we spent half a week recording delusion where before we’d try to an album in three days and obviously Kieran comes in to do his part and it takes a long time.

And the reception, how has that been?

Yeah it’s buzzing. We put it out for a bunch of reviews beforehand and he kept coming back saying that review was really positive. It’s had great airplay and people have been so nice about it. Everyone’s gone through hardship before so everyone has been so lovely about it. Were driving towards that so people receiving it well that’s great. We’re gonna take a few months off and just write. We write so much in isolation so we’re gonna get together few guitars few beers and write. People aren’t buying albums, they’re listening to EPs.

We’ve also done a video – we released that video and we basically had a guy come in to do filming for us. A very dear friend of the band gave us this space and then he only said he can come in the daytime. The mood is quite dark so we ended up filming ourselves on iPhones. Our guitarist rob edited it all so to say it cost nothing really we got a great video out of it. It took all night though haha.
Why here tonight, what made you choose the 360 Club?

This is one of our favourite venues in Leeds. We’ve done a few launches so far in Birmingham and we did a four day stint down in London. We did Camden, somewhere south of the London and we had the most amazing time. We’ve got Manchester which were doing with Black Sonic Revolver. They’re as mad as us and when you put us all together it gets a bit hectic but it’s all good fun.

How do you find the Yorkshire scene as a whole at the moment, do you get to many gigs?

Yeah i go to a lot of gigs. I took this guy (their photographer) to see Glass Caves in York last week. We went for the whole thing and it was just phenomenal. I was just watching these guys go mad and it was great. I’m still really good mates with Holly and Rob Hughes in York, I’ve followed his open mics for years, I literally just don’t know where it comes from either he’s incredible.

Thinking back to last year and Laser Lips release, big year for you guys?

It was bananas. The album launch we had Dangerhounds, we had Black Sonic Revolver and we had Edgar Duke. Basically it was brilliant, it was at the old Milo bar, both times we were in there and the place was bouncing but the support posts holding the speakers up were not holding up. We had the place bouncing but on the night of it but there was no sound engineer booked, they promised us one and there was nobody down there. I did it for most of the bands then it got to us and we were like ahh but luckily as we got on stage our producer arrived and he kindly stepped in for us. We had a good night that night, we went back, and we did Yorkshire V Cancer and a day festival at Milo for Macmillan. We had a girl say she nearly went through the floor.

Have you got something top of a music bucket list for you guys?

I personally think it’s all about festivals. Were doing one in Birmingham like a three dayer which will be cool, I’m absolutely gutted because I’m away for it. It’s called Bands on the Beacon. So yeah we know a lot of bands on that but yeah I’m away so Jacob our mate is filling in. Musical bucket list is playing bigger festivals so we wanna now rock up play to a big crowd and do all that. Time to start ramping it up.

Any recording plans for 2017?

I think end of the year we’ll be ready.

If we were having this chat this time next year what would you like to say has been done?

Definitely releasing a couple more singles between now and then, then it’s into planning mode and ramping up the amount of gigs and just who were playing with. We’re playing with a great bunch of people at the moment but there’s more to be done. The biggest thing though is the sound and direction so moving away from album one to planning, doing the music how we want to do it. The last album took a week and a half to do and get out so we’re taking a bit of time this time. We’re gonna do the music how we want it to be done. We’re gonna make sure they’re 100% before they go.

If you could change one thing in the industry today what would it be?

For me, I absolutely hate pay-to-play, London is a massive culprit for that. At the end of the day they’re getting free entertainment and it sucks. For me it’s more about people actually getting out watching gigs. We want to make sure as much as anything we’re out there watching gigs and we want to see more people out there from the younger side as well. I think after watching The Glass Caves we need to do a few more open age gigs. We do a lot of 18+ only so a few more open age gigs might be good.

Finish off with, one highlight and one lowlight of The Brazen so far?

So highlight, although it hasn’t actually happened yet, we’re gonna be played on BBC introducing at the beginning of May which I know is going to be a highlight. The lowlight, erm, we played a lot of gigs starting out to nobody, it’s bad when you get bad sound back and we don’t sound good ourselves. We did one gig when we’d done four gigs in four days, we have a functions band as well and Friday we did a wedding, Saturday we did an acoustic set and a wedding, Sunday a acoustic set and a wedding and then on the Monday we went and supported a band called Wide Eyed Boy now, we were so tired and been up in the Lakes doing weddings, got down to Birmingham for the gig, nobody showed up, the other band were phenomenal and I’ve never felt like “holy crap we’ve got so much work to do”. We went away did a million practices and we’ve sold our tickets out twice over for tonight. That was definitely a low for me, we were all shattered and that band, they were called Whitecliff then, were amazing.

And have you had a highlight or lowlight I asked the photographer?

Literally one of the last gigs we did, some random girl went up and stood next to the drummer for the whole show, was texting away, talking to the drummer and I was just like what the hell is going on. There isn’t a single photo that she was not in. Highlight for me The Milo gig was a great atmosphere; it was epic.

Thanks to Trev for the excellent chat and good luck with the rest of 2017!


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