I recently caught up Maryland pop punk act BraceFace. In the interview discussed the pressures of recording album, the limitless potential of punk and what’s next for the band.
You can read the interview below.
The band released their self-titled album in 2014.
You released your latest album in 2014. What was that experience like?
It was kind of like Josie and The Pussycats; brainwashing, bad decisions, hurt feelings, owning up to your mistakes, and even playing in a bowling alley to no one… but we learned a lot!
A friend at the time had taken an interest in us and wanted to help produce our album. There were even talks about him helping us release it too. Unfortunately, we didn’t mesh well together and some inner band disputes led to us ceasing to be a band for a little while. Being in the middle of everything, I had so much going through my head. On one hand I wanted the album and our band to be the best it could be and gain as much attention as possible, but on the other hand, what’s the point of all that if you’re not having fun and rocking out with your best buds? In the end, we worked it out, and definitely became stronger friends (and band) because of it. We released it ourselves (despite being told it would be a bad idea), and have received nothing but positive feedback and support since! In the end, totally rewarding experience and I’m really looking forward to getting the second album together and showing everyone what we can do on our own in the studio!
In the song “Stupid Songs” you talk about hearing Green Day’s “Basket Case” for the first time. A band like Green Day can be divisive amongst punk rock fans. Are Green Day a band you still hold near and dear? What do you think of their evolution and eventual musical on Broadway?
Oh yeah, Green Day is one of my favorite bands of all time! I think they got a lot of crap as they evolved (and I totally understand it). I mean, who doesn’t want them to keep pumping out songs like “Only of You” and “Basket Case” for the rest of time? But music is hard, and made harder when everyone is watching. It’s tough to constantly make great music, show your growth as a musician, and still be reminiscent of your earlier sound. Not to say it has never been done before, but there is definitely a science behind it, and I totally respect them for always staying true to their vision and no one else’s. Descendents are a prime example of a band who has done just that!
I had the opportunity to see the musical with my aunt last year when it came to DC, and I enjoyed it. It’s awesome to see a punk band make its way onto Broadway, and I’m glad more bands are making that move too. It really reiterates the fact this is punk rock, there are no limits.
Even though the legendary Lookout Records unfortunately ended in 2012, their impact on young people continues today. What drew you to the Lookout sound?
Growing up in the DC area my whole life and being in the vicinity of the almighty Dischord Records, I was always surrounded by hardcore punk. I have nothing but love and respect for DC’s hardcore scene, but my heart was always geared towards poppier music and more melodic punk. After first hearing bands like Operation Ivy and The Mr. T Experience, it was a breath of fresh air and I fell in love instantly. That Lookout sound was both poppy, raw, and carried the charisma and community that early hardcore bands had. It also had a such a diverse roster, so anyone could relate to at least a band or two.
Is there a vibrant punk/ pop-punk scene in Maryland?
The cool thing about the Maryland scene is it falls under a bigger umbrella known as the DMV. Everyone’s so positive and super supportive of not only punk/pop punk but ska, emo, hardcore, and so much more. It goes through waves and “dead” periods as I’m sure all scenes do, but overall continues to grow and flourish. Baltimore specifically has always been our go-to city to play. Between the amazing venues like CCAS, The Sidebar, Ottobar, and Metro Gallery who continue to host awesome shows, enthusiastic promoters and organizations like Feed the Scene, and supportive friends and bands, everyone works together to keep the Baltimore scene and the overall DMV scene alive and vibrant!
From what I understand, you’re working on new material. What are your plans in regards to new music and touring?
I‘ve been in brain fart mode for the past year or so, and wasn’t until a few months ago that I started feeling my mojo again. We’ve been working on some new songs for some comps as well as our second release, and I’m very excited. We’ve grown a lot stronger as friends over the past few years, and more versatile musicians. I think the songs are going to be a lot stronger, more representative of all of us, more positive, and we’ll be more comfortable during the actual recording process. Another thing we plan on doing is drilling out some demos, and hopefully have a few new songs for everyone to hear before we leave for tour!
As far as touring goes, we totally plan to hit the road again this summer, but this time with one of our local friends, Imaginary Hockey League! I just started booking it, so not much set in stone yet, but the idea is to get to California and back. We also were recently announced for Pouzza Fest this year in Montreal which we are beyond stoked about! It’s our first time playing a larger (multi venue) festival as well as playing outside of the US. A lot of stellar things are happening this year, and I’m absolutely ecstatic this dream is still going!
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