The Bravery Interview
By: Cara Carriveau
The Bravery Biography: The Bravery is an alternative rock band with electronic influences, formed in New York City in 2003. Their musical style has been compared to The Strokes, New Order and The Killers, amongst others. They are best known for three songs – 2005’s “An Honest Mistake”, 2007’s “Time Won’t Let Me Go” and 2008’s “Believe”. The band consists of Sam Endicott (vocals, guitar), Michael Zakarin (guitar), John Conway (keyboard), Mike Hindert (bass) and Anthony Burulcich (drums).
Their HQ is on the corner of Mott and Broome, on the edge of New York’s Chinatown. Push through the graffiti-ed door, clamber up the rotten stairs, past the sweatshops, and you’ll find the place. It’s where the Bravery have spent the past two years planning operations, obsessively working up their wire-y garage-electronics, and occasionally venturing out into the city to play the results.
Their first gig was in the Stinger Club in Brooklyn in 2003. Twelve months later, their name was plastered all over the Lower East Side to celebrate a sold-out residency at Arlene’s Grocery on Stanton. In that time, the Bravery — singer/guitarist Sam Endicott, guitarist Michael Zakarin, bassist Mike H, keyboardist John Conway, and drummer Anthony Burulcich — had honed their sound to a dark garage-electro and made sure everyone knew what they were all about.
“We’re called the Bravery because that’s the mindset I was in when I was writing the songs,” explains Sam now. “Everyone in my age group wants to know what they’re going to do with their lives. They all think that they’re worth nothing and they’re heading nowhere. People are drowning in these thoughts and I just got sick of it. I didn’t want to be like that.”
“The name is also connected with living in New York in this really weird time. People are constantly waiting for something bad to happen. I wrote these songs and formed this band to make sure I didn’t get overcome by that sense of fear. That’s what this band is about—standing tall and not being afraid.”
Sam has no time for excuses. He grew up in Maryland, in the D.C. suburbs, and was heavily influenced by the area’s intense post-punk scene. He’d go and see bands like Fugazi and Jawbox and be impressed by their DiY ethic. He quickly adopted it as his own philosophy and it’s something that feeds directly into the Bravery. They do everything —they make the records, the artwork, the videos. Everything. They know what they want and how they want to do it.
“I don’t really like mainstream music at all,” admits Sam. “When I listen to the radio or watch MTV, 99% of it is like listening to an air-conditioner or a hair dryer. Sometimes, though, something comes along that jolts you. When I was growing up, it was bands like Nirvana and Jane’s Addiction. Those bands elevate culture. I don’t think there’s any point in aiming for anything less.”
One thing that sometimes puzzles people about the Bravery is why they sound electronic when all the bands they like are punk guitar bands. Sam doesn’t know why they sound like they do. He just wanted to do something different. Of course, the circumstances in which they recorded their album (most of which was constructed in a Sam’s bedroom with Radio Shack mikes and an old iMac) and the fact that Sam’s best friend John Conway is totally obsessed with analog keyboards obviously helped shape their sound.
The Bravery are now signed to Loog in the U.K. and Island Def Jam in America. Their first release arrived in November, 2004 in the form of a brilliant three-track EP. The Bravery have since had success with their self titled debut album, released in 2005, and a top ten hit in the UK with their single ‘Honest Mistake’.
In late 2006, the band played a limited number of small shows on the US East Coast and in South America to showcase new material from their upcoming 2nd album. Endicott describes the new album as a departure from the synth-heavy sound of their debut. The Sun and the Moon is currently scheduled for release May. In February, the band uploaded a medley of three new songs onto their official page, with minute long clips of three new tracks due to be included on the forthcoming album. Since then, their newest album ‘The Sun and The Moon’ has been climbing the charts, with the first single ‘Time Won’t Let Me Go’ receiving praise from critics.
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