Brave Chandeliers appeared on Gosh!Radio Meet the Music on March 13th, 2012
By Robin Rowe
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Gosh!Radio) 2012/3/12 – Gosh!Radio host Gabrielle Pantera interviewed the Brave Chandeliers and took callers’ questions on Meet the Music. Gosh!Radio serves callers with local numbers in 15 countries.
“Our songs have meanings,” says Brave Chandeliers singer-pianist Nick Drum. “Our new record looks at the various facets of escape. Escapism is so easy in our digital world.”
Brave Chandeliers is an alternative pop band that’s a blend of pop, indie rock and soul/gospel. The band members are singer-guitarist Jon McNeill, singer-pianist Nick Drum, Cary Samsel on bass and Nate Powell on drums. Nick Drum and Cary Samsel are from Portland, Oregon. Jon McNeill is from Tacoma, Washington. Nate Powell is from Indianapolis.
“We’ve drawn comparisons to Ben Folds blended with Artic Monkeys,” says Drum. “Or, Maroon 5 blended with Foster the People. We start with a pop melody, then add in some rock guitars, funk piano and a soul-gospel rhythm section. We think our music has a bit of that runaway train recklessness combined with some pop polish.”
Drum says he often comes up with song concepts while driving in the car or sitting at a piano. “I do a lot of writing in the car. Its where I find most of the lyrics. Then, when as the ideas develop, Jon and I sit down and start arranging them. Similarly, Jon will come up with an idea and chew on it for a while before sitting down with me and hashing it out into a more developed song. That’s how we work. Once the piece is written, we both work hard on refining the arrangements, lyrics, and structure.”
“Some songs come out perfectly pretty quickly,” says Drum. “But, even the best of tunes need that refinement that can only come with playing them hundreds of times. Once Jon and I have some ideas, we send them over to Nate and Cary and start fine tuning everything.”
Originally a lead guitarist, Cary plays a very smooth bass that is prone to wander up and down the scales for added funkability. Drummer Nate Powell, who likes to emphasize the hi-hat, is the funk in the band. “He loves soul, funk, and gospel,” says Drum. “Nate brings a big sound to the band. It’s not busy per se. It’s more like The Force…always there around you, waiting to provide more energy and power than you could possibly imagine.”
Drum plays the piano, organ and Wurlitzer. “I have always been attracted to the keys. I was trained classically as a kid and still listen to a healthy amount of Brahms and Chopin in my spare time. It helps our music because we like to put the rhythm of our music in the piano with the bass and guitar. This method does two things…first it makes for a pretty full rhythm section…second, it frees up the electric guitar to be more of a lead instrument. Jon plays a bit of rhythm from time to time, but he also has the freedom to do a lot of alternate voicings, which pair with the vocal and make for a robust sound.”
“Jon plays mostly electric guitar and has an esoteric collection of pedals,” says Drum. “His lead stuff is a signature of the band.”
Brave Chandeliers toured the country over the summer. “We went from Portland through LA, Austin, New Orleans, New York, the Midwest, and back again,” says Drum. “It was an amazing time. Some notable venues include Bottom Lounge in Chicago, Hotel Cafe in LA, and Mississippi Studios in Portland.” The band is currently touring, promoting their upcoming album release.
On tour currently with Brave Chandeliers is Chris Blair, a young singer-songwriter who plays the synthesizer. “Chris is both the dance/trance and the Yanni in the band,” says Drum. “He’s either playing a fat hook on one of our dance tunes or he is laying down a soft background synth sound to provide for good sonic layering.” Chris Blair is from Portland, Oregon.
Drums says the band hopes someday to perform with a supergroup comprised of Phil Collins on drums, Kermit the Frog on banjo and background vocals, Katy Perry on cowbell, and economist Paul Krugman as lead vocals.
March 11: Pasadena, CA — Old Town Pub, 10pm
March 14: Las Vegas, NV — Freakin Frog, 9pm
March 15: Albuquerque, NM — Nativo Lodge, 7pm
March 16: Albuquerque, NM — Vernon’s Jazz Club, 6pm
March 16: Albuquerque, NM — Burt’s Tiki Lounge, 11:30pm
March 17: Los Angeles, CA — Room 5, 10pm
March 18: Oakland, CA — The New Parish, 8pm
March 24: Seattle, WA — Rendezvous/Jewelbox Theater, 9pm
Album Releases and Label
Brave Chandeliers is releasing its first full length record on March 27th. Called 11 Escapes, it’s a concept-driven album. Each song offering a different perspective on the idea of escape. “We wanted to write a record that examined the concept,” says Drum. “Some tunes glorify the escape of falling in love, others lament the escape of infidelity. Still others are a call to escaping commercialism, or recognizing that some things in life are inescapable…time, death, aging. We don’t want to be preachy or overbearing, but we want to provide some fodder for discussion if we can.”
Brave Chandeliers released an EP, Put Away the Camera, in July 2010. Its six songs were recorded in L.A.
“We recently signed on with IRIS for distribution,” says Drum. “They are one of the leading distributing companies in the indie scene.” The band created its own label, 4BC.
- Love Is (What You Only Get From Me) Live in Portland
- Idling (Official Video)
- Madmen (Official Lyric Video)
Brave Chandeliers organized and played a charity show in Albuquerque last summer in support of a local animal shelter. They also donated a song to a web series dedicated to the betterment of animals. “We’re looking to work in tandem with an animal shelter to produce a music video aimed at promoting animal adoption,” says Drums. “It’s a big deal to us.”
About Meet the Music
The show premiered in June of 2011. The 1-hour weekly music talk show Meet the Music is hosted by Gabrielle Pantera who interviews bands, singers, musicians, composers, songwriters, and music executives. Show co-hosts vary. Sound engineer David Williams. Producer Robin Rowe. Executive Producer Gabrielle Pantera. The show broadcasts live from Melrose Music Studios at Raleigh Studios Hollywood. Raleigh Studios is a historic studio lot where TV shows such as Castle, Closer and Private Practice are currently in production.