Posted On 04 Jan 2017
Bronze Radio Return is made up of members Chris Henderson, Patrick Fetkowitz, Robert Tanen, Matthew Warner, Robert Griffith and Craig Struble.
Since forming in 2008, the Hartford, CT group have independently sold nearly 200,000 singles, racked up over 30 million streams on Spotify, and, with songs such as “Light Me Up“, “Further On“, “Shake, Shake, Shake“, and “Before I Get There.“
Learn more about Bronze Radio Return in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that we are more then half-way through 2016, what are some words you would use to describe it? What were some of the highlights of 2015 for the band?
2016 has been a really interesting year. We started the year with a national tour and then shortly followed that up with our first European tour. We were able to release some new music this year- both live and previously unreleased songs we recorded during “Light Me Up”. All and all- its been a productive year for BRR : )
Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? And specifically, how did Bronze Radio Return come to be? Where did the name come from too?
As early as I can remember I wanted to be a musician when I grew up. I may have wanted to be a fireman or batman’s assistant when I was really little, but that eventually changed into wanting to pursue music. My earliest music memory was listening to Spin Doctors in my parents living room while jumping on our couch. “Two Princes” was my jam….
The band started after a handful of us graduated college and didn’t want to get 9-5 jobs. The name came from an old bronze color radio I listened to growing up in Maine.
How do you think you’ve all grown as a band and really as musicians since your first released album?
We’ve grown a bunch since releasing our first album as a band. Its hard to quantify that growth. Over the years we’ve learned more and more about creating music together and that comes from a bunch of time on the road and 4 full length records. I think our sound has evolved over time because we embrace more sounds, textures and structures. I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by a group of talented and ambitious people.
I’m curious to know what it was like putting together your collection, “Light Me Up” at Sonic Ranch Studios in El Paso, TX?
We loved working at Sonic Ranch. It was a remote setting far away from where we lived- That distance and space from our normal routines helped us focus on creating “Light Me Up”. It was cool being in a different environment and having more time to expand on ideas and songs. I think the collection of tunes came together naturally- we didn’t have to force anything too hard.
There were a few songs that we recorded several versions of and then picked which one felt the best on the album. Overall, I think we were able to dig in on the songs and sounds to create what we think is our strongest body of work to date.
How did your latest single out from this collection, “Only Temporary” come together?
It came together after we had left Sonic Ranch and were in Oklahoma finishing up some of the tracking. It felt fun and different from what we’ve recorded in the past. Its always nerve wracking releasing something that sounds different than what people expect. The song had more of “contemporary” feel and at first we were wondering if we should tone it back a touch. After messing around with it we decided to just let the song be what it naturally felt like being. In the end, we liked where at all went and wanted to include it on “Light Me Up”.
Let’s also talk about your recently released live record? Why did you decide to put out a live album?
We’ve been playing live shows for years and have never really put together a proper recording of our show. There was always something daunting about putting out a recorded representation of a live performance. Once we decided to give it a try we then had to figure out where would be the best place/city to record it. For years we’ve been playing NYC- starting out on 5 band bills on weeknights to eventually getting the chance to perform in some really cool rooms. It seemed like a fitting city to record a live show considering how many nights we’ve played there over the years. Our front of house engineer Mark Goodell tracked and mixed the show and our friends at Malka Media came and filmed it. It was fun to watch it all come together and we are thankful to all the people that helped to make it happen.
How did the songs on “Light Me Up” come together? What was the inspiration for these tracks?
I can’t quite put my finger on what was the over arching inspiration for all the tracks on the album. I’m not really sure there was one…every song was inspired individually making the album a collection of various inspirations. Some inspiration came from questions, some came from energy, some came from being inspired by a sound. While working on a BRR album we are always looking for that fine line of continuity, yet diversity that makes an album interesting. I love listening to albums that have lots of flavors, yet still all sounds like the same band in every song.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire Bronze Radio Return? Who would you love to work with in the future?
As a group we all have our own artist and bands we grew up listening to that have in one way or another inspired us. I grew up listening to Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Howling’ Wolf and I’ve always been inspired by a voice that has lots of layers. Lately I’ve been listening to a band called Glass Animals- very cool production and fun songs. I think they would be cool to collaborate with someday.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
At the end of the day- music is a choice. You (the listener) get to choose what you listen to in your own time. We appreciate, with all the options of things to listen to, when someone chooses to listen to our music. I hope our message comes across positive, open minded and adventurous.