Posted On 20 Feb 2019
Bronze Radio Return’s newest EP, “Check Two”, was recently released ahead of their upcoming full-length album that is due out this Friday, February 22nd called “Entertain You.”
Two of the four tracks from Check Two were previously released, including “With Me All Along” which was slotted into NPR’s New Music Friday playlist and “Come With Us,” which Baeble said “is precisely how music should be listened to.” Check Two will merge with their previously released Check One to create a portion of Bronze Radio Return‘s upcoming album, Entertain You. The new album will feature the four songs from each EP and four previously unreleased songs.
In support of Check Two and Entertain You, the band is currently on the road for a 36-city tour, which wraps in April.
Unlike most bands, Bronze Radio Return has approached the industry with the belief that “television and film are the new radio.” As a result, the band is likely one you’ve heard even if you don’t recall having heard of them with over 100+ high profile placements, ranging from movies and television (Shameless, 90210, Catfish) to product placements including car commercials, Starbucks, The PGA Tour, and Fox Sports ads. With Bronze Radio Return‘s upbeat and undeniably catchy songs, comprised of one part polished indie-pop, one part roots-rock Americana, the band has been able to sustain a healthy career living off marketing, allowing the freedom to make and release music on their own terms.
Learn more about Bronze Radio Return in the following All Access interview:
Now that a new year has started, what musical goals does this band have for 2019? What are you most proud of about 2018? Do any of you make any New Year’s Resolutions?
2018 was a great year for us. While it may have looked like a quiet year from the outside- we were wrapping up a new record and rehearsing the new material for a 2019 tour (which we are currently in right now!) This year we are looking to spread this new music to as many places and people as we can. We have about 40 shows in the US to start the year and likely more to follow. It’s shaping up to be a busy and travely 2019 : )
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together?
To be honest, I don’t recall a specific moment where it felt like “Woah, this all clicks”. It felt more like a natural progression that started with a group of friends that wanted to find a way to make this lifestyle a full-time career. We just all found a way to make it work. I think the day I quit my day job (teaching guitar lessons) was the day I realized this was the path I’m meant to be on…
How do you think your hometowns have influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group?
Well, I can only speak for myself on this one- but I would definitely say my hometown has affected most everything I do as an adult. I grew up in the great state of Maine and I am typing this interview from my kitchen in Portland, ME. I’ve lived in several other places for the last 15 years, but just recently moved back to Maine. My hometown of Belfast- two hours north of Portland- was and still is a small, artist friendly, beautiful, supportive community that encouraged artistic expression. I’m not sure how to pin point how Maine has affected or influenced the sound of our music. One example could be we have a song called “Where I’m Coming From”. It has a line in the chorus- “My street cred comes from a small-town road off cedar st. where the tall pines grow…” I grew up off cedar street in the pine tree state and while I may not know where I’ll end up- I know where I’m coming from (Maine)
How has your various musical backgrounds helped shape the sound of this band?
All the guys in the band have pretty different musical backgrounds with some overlapping influences as well. I grew up listening to what my folks were listening to around the house which from my earliest memories was Ry Cooder, Eric Clapton, The Pretenders, etc…my dad was into blues and introduced me to Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf and BB King. Over the years I would go through various musical phases as most of us do- rock, hard rock, angsty rock, etc. I would eventually find my way back to blues and jazz and ended up at the Hartt School studying music production and jazz guitar. I was in WAY over my head on the jazz guitar front- but during that time had met Rob and Matt (drums and keys) at school. They were/still are great jazz players who have spent a good deal of time studying that style of music. Packy (guitar) has been a blues shredder since the start. Through all our influences we work at creating a sound that represents us as BRR.
How do you think that you have grown as a band since forming? What has remained the same?
We’ve grown a bunch! I think if we didn’t believe in our growth we would have no chance of staying together this long. The songs and sounds have evolved and take on different shapes throughout different record cycles. Our live show has grown to involve more instruments, energy and stage elements. I think the thing that has remained constant through the years is that we still love doing this and plan on continuing the growth and evolution of BRR
Let’s talk about your upcoming full-length album, “Entertain You.” What was it like recording this collection?
Every album we’ve made has been created in a new location. It’s become part of our process- go somewhere we’ve never recorded- somewhere likely remote- and dig in for a month or so. “Entertain You” was recorded on a ranch in the hill country of Texas. We stayed there for about a month and pecked away at this collection of songs. Some came together fast and others took a while to figure out where they fit. The song “Entertain You” was actually the last song written and ended up being the name of the album.
Generally, how do you all go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately?
Most of the time I start working on ideas- get rough forms and some lyrics together for about 25 songs. As I’m getting those together I start sending them to the rest of the group and they start getting their own ideas on parts. When we get to the studio we sit down and decide which of the songs we want to start with and then we jump in. Some bands road test new songs for a while before hitting the studio and I think that is really cool. For us, we decided that the first time we play these songs will be in the studio. We’ve found we get less attached to parts if we haven’t been playing them a bunch and everyone seems to stay more open minded and focused on making the representation of the song the best it can be.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
I need the studio and the stage- they work off each other and keep me balanced. I love going out and playing shows- but after you are out for a while you start wanting to be in one place. I love being in the studio- but after a while you want to go out and be in many different places. We are fortunate enough to have access to both of these worlds
You are in the middle of a busy tour. How has it been going so far? What have been some favorite venues or crowds? What do you think makes an ideal show for this group?
It’s been a great start! We’ve had about 10 shows so far and we are currently on a few day break before starting the Northeast leg next week. There is a festival on a cruise ship called the Rock Boat. It leaves out of Florida and goes somewhere warm every year. We played that last week and got to play some really fun shows on the boat and also soak up some sun on a beach in February.
I would love to know more about all the different TV spots that your music has been featured in. Do you pick and choose the shows that you want your music to be in? How does that process all work? Do you recall the very first one?
It’s been cool to see some of the uses for our music in the TV/Commercial/Movie world. It always an honor when someone uses our music with visuals. We rarely ever know what kind of scene the song will be used in, but it’s fun to watch and see. We have some really great people working with us to open the door into some of those opportunities. It’s a great vehicle to get your music in front of a bunch of people that wouldn’t have found it otherwise.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
We are living through trying political times and sometimes it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed by what’s happening around us. I think one of the most beautiful things about music is how versatile it is…we can use it as a release, an expression, an escape, something to enhance our current feelings, something to alter our feelings- and so much more. Music is not one thing- it offers so much. There are days when I want to tune out and escape in music- and there are other days that I want to tune in and express with music.