As Brand New prepare for another stretch on the trans-global road they have become well-accustomed to in recent years, felix catches up with drummer Brian Lane at home in Long Island, New York. Home is clearly where the heart is for Brand New, but their first stop is London, a city they’ve found themselves in countless times. This weekend will be a little different though as they perform at Wembley Arena, the biggest venue they’ve played in the UK since starting out ten years ago.
Dan- How are you feeling about the reception that Daisy has received so far?
Brian- I mean it’s been pretty good. We’ve basically been on tour since it’s been out and we’ve been off for about a month and things have kind of cooled down because of holiday season and stuff. We’re kind of all just enjoying life here, hanging out at home for a month or two. We haven’t been to England since it’s been out have we?
D- No, I don’t think you have yet.
B- Yeah, so I’m excited to find out what the reception’s like in England, we’ve just been touring around America for a while.
D- How much of the media do you read once you’ve released material, around the world, obviously being on tour, do you read the local media?
B- I try not to read about the band or the album at all. Sometimes my mom and my friends send me stuff, otherwise I don’t really pay it much attention… I try not to. People’s reactions to the latest record are kind of the same as our reaction to the record the first few times we heard it. It kind of settles in and you take it for what it is, you know.
D- Absolutely. You’re coming to Britain for the first leg of your travels. When are you guys arriving in London?
B- I think we get there Thursday and we leave Sunday… We’re just coming for the weekend because we have a bunch of make-up shows we got to do back in the States before. So we’re going to do that and we’re talking about coming back there maybe sometime over the summer but nothing’s concrete yet.
D- Are you going to head straight back home after the weekend in London then?
B- Yeah, we come back home for like two days and then we have to head out west to do a few shows where we got sick on the last tour that we have to make up for.
D- Wembley Arena is a much larger venue than most British audiences are use to seeing you in, have you got anything special lined up for that?
B- We ended up our last tour in America with our first arena headline, in America, over here in our hometown, and we just added a tonne of production to it; we’re going to see what happens and kind of play it by ear but we’re going do the same kind of show and the same kind of production we did here, so we’re hoping people like it. It’s kind of a daunting thing to go to a venue like that, we’re kind of new to it so we’re feeling it out.
D- As a drummer do you prefer the smaller intimate venues or do you prefer the larger venues, or is there any difference?
B- There’s definitely a difference, it’s kind of a love-hate thing. I enjoy everything. I enjoy the smaller clubs a lot more but at the same time it’s good to play the bigger ones sometimes. This year we’re going to try and split it up and maybe do a tour of a bunch of smaller venues all around the world also, and then try and do the bigger ones, so it’s the best of both worlds.
D- Do you consider coming to Wembley and playing an arena hitting your peak over here in the UK?
B- Maybe, we’ll see, I’m not really sure how it’s selling and how it’s doing so…
D- I think it’s all sold out.
B- Is it? No matter what, playing a venue like Wembley in general is something I never really thought I’d be doing so it’s definitely a highlight of all our time playing in a band.
D- Have you always been quite confident about your popularity over here in the UK?
B- I think when we go over there we all feel like the kids get it a lot more over there than anywhere else. We enjoy playing there a lot more than playing anywhere else for sure… If we’re confident about it I don’t know, but we like it more.
D- I don’t know if it’s the same deal with America but over here your audiences are effectively growing up with you guys as a band, does it make you proud that the young teenagers that came to see you in 2003 when Deja Entendu was out, are still attending your gigs in 2010 as young adults now.
B- Yeah, that’s something that I think we all appreciate a lot and something that we’ve noticed, touring on this record more than anything that there are kids that are 16-17 but there’s also adults that are our age at this point and I think that that’s something we can all relate to and something that’s pretty rad. I think we’re all stoked on that.
D- Does that mean you’ll never out-age your audience?
B- I hope, we’ll see. I mean, so far we’ve lucked out with it.
D- So you don’t think there’s going to be a point when you guys are going to think ‘Oh man, we’re way too old to be relating to the audiences now’ – and in time give up?
B- Nah, we never look at it that way. We make music however we want to make music and since we’ve been growing up we’re just making the kind of music we have just because we’re growing up and that’s what it is, and we hope that people can relate to it because of that, you know.
D- It’s a sort of natural progression with your music and whoever you relate to is whoever you relate to?
B- I think that’s a big key, there’s nothing forced with it, it just is what it is and hopefully kids pick up on that… or adults. D- So you guys founded your own record label, Procrastinate! Music Traitors! in 2008, what’s the thinking behind that? Are you setting up life after Brand New?
B- It’s nothing we started to make money off of or anything, it’s just kind of a name that we use; we can put on records if we want to help our friends out or if we decide to put our own stuff out, we’re releasing our own vinyl on the label in March, or just for the future in general. If any of us want to put our own projects, we have something to do it on. There’s no other intentions with it whatsoever right now. There’s no plan to release a lot of records or anything like that, it’s just for our use, with whatever we want we can slap a label on it and see what happens.
D- Are you aware of the other meanings of the acronym PMT?
B- No!? What is it?
D- I’ll let you figure it out for yourself afterwards! You released the track ‘Fork and Knife’ as a download-only single after your third album, Devil and the God are Raging Inside Me. Is the label going to be fronting anymore of those kind of releases?
B- Maybe, at this point everything is up in the air, we’re going to see. We don’t know where our home is going to be in a few months and we don’t know if we’re ever going to release a record again because if it’s something where we’re doing our own thing I don’t know if people even care about records anymore, because the physical part of having a record has lost its appeal, it’s not that cool to us anymore. If we’re going to be releasing digitally I have no problem with releasing 3 songs a week or 1 song a week because i feel like that suits what’s going on now.
D- A lot of people argue buying a record isn’t just about the music, it’s about the whole package: the artwork and leaflet for example. Are you worried that it’s going to become nostalgic to a point where you’re going to be looking back at physical records and CDs?
B- I think there’s something to say about having limited edition things also, it’s special when bands release 2000 and something, or whatever it is and I think we’re always going to be doing that because we’re still into that, we’re still into the physical aspect of music and artwork and I think we’re always going to be into it. It’s almost as big a part of putting out a record as the music is, so it would be a shame if we didn’t release anything physical. I’m sure we will, I’m just not sure if it’s going to be on the grand scale of a whole record with packaging, maybe we’ll do 7” here or maybe we’ll release a CD single here or something like that and not press ‘x amount’ just make it a special thing, I think that’s what we’re gearing towards more.