“This is one of our first shows as an unsigned band in eight years or something like that… and it feels really nice, to not have anything cluttering up our lives anymore”
– Jesse Lacey @ Clifton Park, NY, 4/28/10 (source: here)
If you have ever experienced a Brand New concert (or 8, or 13), you should know that it is difficult to actually enjoy it – the fans usually ruin it with their fangirlish screams. Everyone at their shows just assume that Brand New, who used to be signed to Interscope, have the same concert morals and values as their peer bands that have been as successful as them (Ever been to a Taking Back Sunday show? God, they love to entertain. Do we really need to wear suits on stage?)
ANY ways, their shows usually start with the members walking on stage, and end with them walking off stage in the same fashion. Music is played in between. Isn’t that all we really need? They don’t feel the need to put on a “show”, they’re just there to share their music with those who are willing to hear. Jesse Lacey once said that was his goal was “to write some songs that mean so much to people, and sound so beautiful, that people want to fall apart and sleep forever,” and I can’t help but to wonder how it must feel to have reached that.
The 4 (sometimes 5?) band mates and friends have been consistently humble, gracious and modest – some qualities more bands needs to acquire. They are indifferent to anyone and anything that doesn’t have to do with genuine noise. They have never been all about “the scene” and selling out. They’ve never done anything to please anyone but themselves, and while they got a small taste of selling out, they let it go, because as soon as you give into all this corporate pop music bullshit, you’re automatically disgracing the music you make because it becomes about something more than music. Brand New has always made the nobel choice in order to a keep the sounds they make and the words that come from their brains genuine and sacred. And that, is one of many reasons why fans are so attracted and addicted to this band. Sometimes I sit and wonder why I have loved this band as much as I do, for as long as I have. I think I’ve just answered the question, no?
I could write about this band until dawn, but animals need sleep too.. So, lets get on with it, and celebrate that Brand new is now unsigned and free to let their minds wander in which ever creative direction they desire. Have a glass of wine! Smoke a fattie! Go out dancing! Spin in your chair until you feel really dizzy! Go grazing in the finest fields! Whatever you see fit. We are EXTREMELY excited to see which new path these men will create and build. We could not be happier for their independence as artists. Will they sign with a new label, or record with their own Procrastinate Music Traitors? It’s too soon to tell, but we’re excited to find out. One thing I can say right now is that these guys are too passionate about what they do to stop playing music.
And I always say, I’m just astonished at how much you learn as you grow older and how it never stops. When I was 21, I realized that I didn’t know anything at 17, and then at 25, I realized I didn’t know anything at 21, and now at 31, I realized I didn’t know anything at 25. But it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. I’m always wondering if when I’m 80, am I gonna be looking back to when I was 75 and going, you know, “That person didn’t know anything?” When does that process of growing stop?
When I listen back to all of that stuff, I see mistakes I made, but also the sparks of something I was doing that was eventually going to be great. It’s all very strange.
Jesse Lacey of Brand New
Interview can be found here
Photograph taken by Julie Lavelle in a Toronto In-Store that the sheep was lucky enough to attend!
Today, February 4, 2010 is Pick Apart The Past: Wolves Among The Sheep’s one month birthday! It may seem like a month is not monumental enough to be celebrating but for us, it is a pretty big deal. We entered this vast and intimidating world of blogging with, I can truly say, no expectations what-so-ever.
We are beyond grateful for the minds that have been curious enough to pay us a visit, the eyes that have been interested enough to read our words, the ears that have trusted our opinions enough to listen, the fingers that have been generous enough to share us with others that are way out of our reach and to the blogs that have been nice enough to befriend us in our fetus-like days. We thank you from the bottom of our wild and slightly animalistic hearts and we appreciate you all immensely and please always feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions – they matter to us!
To all of the bands that have created music that is too beautiful to not be hunted, chewed, digested and praised – we thank you as well because none of this would have been inspired without your music. Especially to those musicians who have been wonderful enough to contact us, let us know that they have stopped by and offered words of encouragement – it means more to us than you will ever know! Thank you.
I would also like to thank my blogging half; it has been a long, slightly bitter but entirely enjoyable experience, which without you and your do-er and push-er ways, I would never have had the pleasure of becoming a part of. You are so annoying the best!
In exactly a month, we have had the privilege of featuring music from 21 bands which include:
and the days only look brighter from this point forward! We have a few new ideas in store for the future along with tons of music to discuss and we can not wait to let it all unfold – we only hope that you continue to stick around! Yes, you! You! You! You gorgeous creatures!
Forever blogging and feeling,
The Wolf & The Sheep
What do the singers of Bon Iver and The Antlers have in common?
That low, scratchy growl of a voice, of course!
One day, while the wolf and the sheep were hard at work discussing the best albums of 2009, the obvious choice for #1 was Brand New’s Daisy. Brand New is our ULTIMATE band. We could probably share some crazy stories about things we’ve done for this band, but maybe another day. It’s pretty much Brand New over everything else in life for us. At least, that is how it is on most days. Not on this day though, because the wolf said to the sheep, “I hate to break it to you, but my favourite album of the year was by The Antlers.” Jaws dropped and so did the (chat)room temperature. The sheep was enraged. The wolf was scared with its claws ready to defend as the sheep wanted to pounce.
Clearly, 2009 tested our musical tastes and dedication to our favourite band. Even thought my love for Brand New will float on and on, I find that I am less.. well, obsessive, about them due to the new sphere of music that I have opened myself up to. Upon hearing His Old Branches a 2009 EP released by what can be considered our breath of fresh air band – The Republic of Wolves (You’ve got to hear this band!), the sheep exclaim— I mean, bah-ed loudly, : “I AM SO OVER BRAND NEW RIGHT NOW”. The point is, there comes a time for every music lover when you begin to explore the world of music beyond your safety point (ie Brand New, which held me over for years). You begin to explore new music and sounds and the feelings these new artists invoke. 2009 marked this for me. I’m not sure if it is because I moved away to university and became more independent in life overall (a milestone, really) and therefore was more brave to try new things, or simply because the same old tunes weren’t cutting it for me. Either way, my life has been blessed with new sounds to enjoy, and I will be grateful for this beyond the day when my children pick up the same CDs I bought this year and fall in love with them the same way I did.
Among these CDs, there will be a copy of Hospice. This was an album that I had to get used to with every listen. Thankfully, each listen did not feel like a chore (such as trying to like the new Taking Back Sunday albums back in the day…..). I was trying something new, now forcing myself to like something I was already dedicated to. I was intrigued by the new art. The thing that interested me the most about Hospice is that it is a concept album and tells a story chronologically with each song. I was introduced to the song Two in a mixtape I received from a certain big-toothed individual who runs this blog. There were 17 songs on that mixtape and this was the only one I listened to for days (sorry wolf). I hate to say this, but it was beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful! So much beauty in 6 minutes that it could make you cry. I had a hard time getting into the rest of the album because the bar was set so high due to my repetitive listens of Two (iTunes play count: 62)
As for me, I am beyond excited to see The Antlers this February as they make a stop in Toronto with The Editors (The Editors on Myspace). As for the Wolf, she has been lucky enough to see them already, and could only describe it as the most beautiful show she’d ever been to. Now, please note that, even though we use the world “beautiful” a LOT on this blog, does not mean that we use it lightly. We use it because it is the perfect word, and we mean it every time.
I can wrap up all this personal junk with saying that The Antlers have been a big deal for me because they are a new sound for me. They have been a band that allowed me to expand and test my boundaries of what i allow my ears to hear. In my life, that is a pretty big deal.
Their latest full length album, Grandfather came out this past August, as their fan-base increased at a rate which was probably exponential. This is due to the youtube-brand new-fiasco (Google it?). At least, that’s how we shamelessly discovered them (Ok, maybe there’s a little bit of shame considering we didn’t discover them earlier .. But whatever, it’s great music). The two guys, Mason Maggio and Christian Van Deurs, have also started a new project, called The Republic of Wolves. Their first EP (His Old Branches – check it out if you know whats good for you and your ears) dropped last month with a beyond smooth landing.
Along with the simplicity of our love for this band, so is the strumming of their guitars – which must be endowed with magical powers – in practically all their songs. All of their songs, new and old, have a serious folk sound – so much damn strumming and nothing else! No piano, no drums, just strumming along. For someone like me who is tone/pitch deaf and overall musically retarded (what am I doing writing a music blog?), their songs do not tend to differ from each other musically. But this simplicity just WORKS for Tigers on Trains. That is because the beauty of their music lies within the lyrics and the simple raw transition of emotion into instrumental sound. These men have the ability to isolate a moment so beautifully that the music is all you care to hear.
There is now a new demo on their myspace, Canossa:
And sure enough we spent the day
Dreaming of ways to make the past come back
We drew the sky up on the wall
You drew the sun and I drew the clouds
That’s when I realized I was casting all this shade
As for us, we are still trying to wrap our heads around how two guys that are this young (they must be at least under 25), are capable of thinking such complex thoughts and creating such beautiful words and music; It is at the level of someone who has gone through life and figured out all of the great questions of what it means to be alive. They must have a hell of a life filled with a mountain of heartache!
My last thoughts for you; trust me when I say that that best way to spend a lonesome snowy day is in bed under a warm blanket while listening to Tigers on Trains.
” At the end of the day if you’ve only immersed yourself in those things you don’t really feel accomplished as opposed to just writing a song. That just came out of me, I just made that up out of nowhere and it’s always going to be something, it’s always going to be a song. Whether I’m the only person who knows it or a million people know it, I made something and put it out into the world. That kind of sounds like a precious sentiment, but it’s true.”
We care for one thing here - to share sounds and words and melodies and ideas that are so beautiful, they'll make you want to fall apart and sleep forever.
Come say 'Hi!' at: email@example.com we don't really bite (that hard) or shed (that much) despite being creatures who hunt and graze for fun! Regardless of whether you love or hate what you see here, we hope that you find what it is you are looking for, eventually.
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PS: We apologize in advance that we are a little too addicted to using emoticons.. Nobody be thrown off, its all in good spirit! :D
The MP3's posted on this blog are intended for previewing purposes only. If you ENJOY what you hear, do what you can to support the band (purchase a CD, go to a show, buy some merchandise, invite the band to a sleep over, have the lead singer sign your face then get it tattooed, etc). If you HATE what you hear, turn the volume down and get over it! More importantly, if you represent an artist or a label and would prefer that we take down an MP3, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'd be happy to!