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Interview with Bravenoise

- by Dawn Reed

The Baltimore/DC/Italy hybrid band that is Bravenoise have been voted your Band of the Month for August, and we were wondering what made these guys bring their rock to a "make it funky!" level! So we riled together the dudes behind the noise, Andrew Bell, Andrea Spadafora, and Garron Marsh, to find out. Here they spill it on the awesomeness of girlfriends, Craigslist, and good Italian espresso...

 

Deli: How did the band start?

Andrew: I'd been writing songs for years and trying to form a band with little luck. I did some home recordings where I was playing all of the instruments myself under the name Bravenoise. Over the years Bravenoise had undergone several manifestations before arriving at what it is today. I met Andrea a few years ago when I was posting an ad on Craigslist for a drummer. He had just posted an ad looking for a band. We had a lot of the same influences, I had just returned from studying in Italy. To make a long story short, we ended up playing music together for a few years in various groups sometimes using the name "Bravenoise", sometimes not. We'd played with several bass players....quite a few wackos, but no one really clicked. We reluctantly decided to post on Craiglist and Garron was one of the first people that responded. From the first rehearsal it clicked and we've been playing together ever since. That was a bit over a year ago.

Where did the band name come from?

Andrew: I saw it on the cover of a guitar magazine when I was a teenager. It was used to describe Sonic Youth. I saw it and immediately decided that was going to the name of my band.


What are your biggest musical influences?

Andrew: The Police, Sting, Radiohead, Nick Drake, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Peter Gabriel, Sade, Bob Marley, old Motown, Stax, and Atlantic R&B, 80s rock/pop, 60s Jazz. A lot of Brazilian stuff: Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, Jorge Ben, Seu Jorge. I have a degree in Classical Guitar Performance so a lot of Classical Music: Rodrigo, de Falla, Albeniz, Bach, Turina...and can't forget about R. Kelly and Boney M.

Garron: I'd definitely have to list Sting, James Jamerson, & I'm a huge admirer of Edgar Meyer. But really I think I've probably taken a little something from everything I've heard. When I was learning, I liked the pocket, grooving stuff a lot more than the flashy solo guys. Family Man Barrett, Paul Denman, guys like that.

Andrea:  My musical motto in a nutshell is: MAKE IT FUNKY!  This has been inspired by such drumming monsters as Stewart Copeland, Aaron Comess, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dave Weckl, Tullio De Piscopo, John Bonham, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, and Steve Gadds, to name a few.

What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?

Andrew:The Strokes, Local Natives, Bon Iver, Martin Sexton, The Black Keys, Kid Cudi, TV on the Radio, Kanye West, Lykke Li, Natiruts, Phoenix, A Silent Film, Washed Out.

Garron: I have obscene amounts of The Police & Radiohead on my iPhone at all times. But really it just varies. Listen to Sigur Ros pretty often. Andrew's turned me on to a lot of Brazilian stuff that I wasn't familiar with. In the office it's a lot of Thievery Corp. or chillout/trip hop kind of stuff. Locally, I've only just discovered Bluebrain & I think they're fantastic. Drop Electric & the B-Film Extras both seem  pretty interesting, too. I'd like to catch both their shows sometime.

Andrea:  I'll listen to anything with a good groove.  Michael Jackson, Spin Doctors and Sting/The Police are always on my playlist.  I love Stevie Wonder and Pino Daniele (a well known Italian artist).  And as far as local music, I'm eagerly awaiting the new CD from Nelly's Echo.  I have his  first album on repeat in my truck.  

What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?

Andrew:The first concert that I remember attending was James Taylor. I think the first album that I actually bought with my allowance money was a tape of True Blue by Madonna.

Garron: Honestly don't remember my first concert, but the first album I ever bought on my own was the Beastie Boys - "License to Ill."

Andrea: The first concert I  ever went to was  Michael Jackson's Dangerous World Tour in 1997 and I still look back on that as one of the greatest experiences ever. The first album I ever bought was Micheal Jackson's 'Thriller". I listened to it until I knew every song by heart and it's still always next to my cd player.


What do you love about DC's music scene?

Andrew:The politics...

Garron: Honestly, I've not paid much attention. I usually don't have time to catch a lot of shows, & sort of serendipitously come across most of the local stuff I hear.

Andrea: Drumming circles!  Seeing music in everyday places, coming across an impromptu jam session in the City, anytime when people are living music- that's what I like.

What would you like to see change in the local music scene?

Andrew:I'd like to see more leotards gracing the stages, or even zebratards would be cool.

Garron: I'd like to see a few more serious venues pop up. It feels like a lot of the same bands in the same old clubs, kind of catering to "Indie" rock & some punk. I like variety.

Andrea:  For starters, BraveNoise should get a lot more shows.


What are your plans for the upcoming year?

Andrew:Our plan is to play as much as we can, to put at least a small tour together, get involved in a bunch of festivals and get in front of some much large audiences. Basically blow up and start balling.

Garron: Play a lot of music.

Andrea:  I'm expecting to become a naturalized citizen!  I love this country and I cant wait to become an official member.

What was your most memorable live show?

Andrew: One time we finished a song and somebody clapped. That felt kind of good. I think that was during The Rapture. Oh...and another time a giant brawl ensued behind us as we played. We kept the music going though.

Garron: Attended or played. Long stories anyway...

Andrea:  You don't get to be a musician without having a lot of good stories to tell about crazy, fun, and downright strange shows.

Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?

Andrew:Yes.

Garron: My family has been hugely supportive, but my girlfriend has patiently endured the brunt of most of my music career for nearly a decade. I should probably get her some flowers.

Andrea:  As with all indie groups, we have a small and loyal fan base that always gives us the fuel we need to make it out to our next gig.  Many thanks to them.  Also, my girlfriend has helped with several little band projects along the way and is a regular at our shows.  And I already got her flowers.


Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without and why?

Andrew:Not yet. I'm still trying to find that gear that I'm absolutely content with. I keep finding better things. But in general I always need a good overdrive pedal and delay.

Garron: A bass often comes in handy in my line of work.

Andrea: Being Italian, my blood is roughly 90% espresso.  Without my espresso maker, I probably wouldn't last very long.

Why do you read The Deli?

Andrew:Because of the pictures...and the fact that it's an indispensable resource for finding out about what's happening on the local music scene. I don't know of any other comprehensive listing of local bands that even comes close.

Garron: I like anything that supports the local scene, the Deli included.

Andrea: Well, I started reading it because I thought I would find out where to get a really good sandwich...
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Bravenoise's debut Everything Was and Everything Will Be is available now on iTunes.  Check out the songs live at several upcoming shows, including Stan & Joe's Saloon on 8/20, and The Whiskey (Annapolis) on 8/27.  For more dates: http://bravenoise.com/

 

 

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Bravenoise
Everything Was and Everything Will Be