On Friday last week something big happened to me and many other people. Something we had all been waiting eight years for. Our favourite band FINALLY released another album. When Daisy was release 8 years ago, I lay on my couch, just listening and so I thought it appropriate to do the same for Science Fiction. Finally having some new Brand New to listen to has re-ignited (not that it had ever really subsided) my love for them, I have been wearing my Brand New jumper non-stop, I’ve listening to the album five times so far and it has made me reflect on just how much this band means to me.
So how much does it mean to me? Well lets start with the name of this blog “Quietly Losing Control” which comes from the song The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows- I started this blog when I was struggling with my anxiety and homesickness while overseas and I felt it was perfect. I plan on naming one of my children after a song of theres and I have plans to get a tattoo of Jesse Lacey.
I was late to the Brand New game, I was late to the alternative music scene in general. In high school I wasn’t as ‘scene kid’ as you would expect, I had long blonde hair, a tan, wore “normal” clothes and listened to the weekly top forty on the commercial stations. I wanted to fit in and be ‘cool’ but I wasn’t particularly comfortable that way or happy. I have said before that I finally started to ‘find’ myself when I left school, I made friends with a girl in uni who was all about Triple J and alternative music, she made me a mix CD and the rest is history. All of the friends I made immediately outside of school listened to music I had never heard of and all of these new genres opened up. I can attribute my new found love of emo/punk/alternative (whatever you want to call it) to the three people who became my closest friends straight after high school.
Most Brand New fans will say their best memories come from listening to Deja Entendu and I LOVE this album however because I came onto the scene late, The Devil and God are raging inside me (which I refer to as God and Devil and will do so for the rest of this) is the album I got to know best and has the strongest and best memories for me. Its 2006, I am 19 years old, God and Devil is released, Brand New tour Australia the following year, my friends and I drive from Rocky to Brisbane to see them. That trip holds so many special memories for me, it was like every one in the crowd was from Rocky and I remember the crowd continuously bugging them to play Seventy times seven (which they refused to do, they did play it the next time I saw them and Jesse hurt himself and had to have a little break afterwards). I remember someone yelling “Microphones are for singing not swinging” in reference to the famed Taking Back Sunday/Brand New rivalry. Paper and the Plane supported and Brand New invited them to play Degausser with them (this is my absolute favourite BN song ever) and at the end of the show (I think while playing You Wont Know but I can’t be completely sure) BN completely dismantled their stage and destroyed everything. By this time I had only been to a number of gigs and had never seen anything like this before. It was incredible! Jesse was standing on a drum, beating it with their drummer Brian and they were both just smashing drums, while everything else around them was destroyed. There were stories of Jesse sitting on the roof of the Tivoli watching the line of people coming in and someone was lucky enough to see him in Subway before the show. This trip was also very important to me as I was in a really crappy, unhappy relationship and I went with my friends and not my partner, so it was a breath of fresh air to have some freedom. It wasn’t long after that trip that I finally got the courage to leave that relationship.
Soon after this I started a new relationship and my partner went away for work, it was the first time in a long time that I had been alone and sleeping by myself proved difficult. I would listen to God and Devil when trying to fall asleep every night because it made me feel less alone and because my partner was one of the people who I went on the Brisbane trip with and BN meant even more to him, it made me feel closer to him while he was away. I would usually be falling asleep just as Luca came on and would often be drifting off just as the loud “Where you’ve been” part which would always give me a huge scare. BN came back only a few years after this first tour and by this time I was a die hard fan and knew the words to every song. I also met Brian and Vinney at a pub before this show and my boyfriend showed them the tattoo he had based on their tour poster that Paul from Kill the Music had given us.
Then it was time to wait, only three years though- remember those days BN fans? When you only had to wait three years between albums (you may detect some slight bitterness there) and I can honestly relate all BN things to life events of mine. I had a gorgeous little puppy who was killed when she got hit by a car, a month later I got another dog Daisy who is still with me now and then a month or so later Daisy the BN album came out and the cover had a little dog (it is really a fox but lets go with dog for the point of this story) on it. As I said I lay on my couch, listening to Daisy with my tiny little Daisy and knew that the universe was doing some weird but amazing shit for me. I listened to that album and tried to stifle my feelings of slight disappointment because one of the best things about BN is their progression from one album to another. They always grow so much, from their punk beginnings on Your Favorite Weapon (which while a great album, I find a little but cute to listen to now) to their grown up, depressed vibes on God and Devil. And Daisy was just that, another progression, it was just slightly more left-field than expected. I truly do love Daisy now, it has some brilliant songs on it and I am so glad it exists. I once saw an interview with Jesse saying that Daisy was an album they needed to get out and you can feel that. It is a release of built up anger and tension.
My relationship ends, I move towns and I go on my first overseas trip as a single person, I also see BN as a single person for the first time during this trip at Coachella. I seriously spend the first part of their set holding back tears but as the set progresses and they play my old favourites, they take on new meanings. They are just for me now, they are only mine and my own memories. The break up was hard and messy and took a toll on my mental health, seeing BN that day, in that circumstance, helped to release me of that and start getting on with my life.
So here we are 16 years since their first album; Your Favoruite weapon, eleven years since my favourite album was released, ten years since I first saw them, two years since I saw them at Coachella and eight looooong years between new music and now we have Science Fiction. Lying on my couch on Saturday as day turned to night and I didn’t have any lights on, just reacting and reflecting to the songs was amazing. I didn’t feel the initial feelings of disappointment that Daisy made me feel and I genuinely enjoyed it. It doesn’t chew you up and spit you out emotionally (albeit it in a very good way) like God and Devil does, it doesn’t have the instant hits and youthful memories Deja has and its not angry and bitter like Daisy but it feels like this incredible culmination of all of that with its own personality. I have read it being referred to as an opus and I agree. It is apparently the last one and it feels like that. Jesse and the others have grown up, they’ve dealt with their demons (or are dealing with them more effectively) and they are moving on with life. It feels like the final word and if that is what it is, I feel like I have closure, I can let this be the end and be happy with that. This album has already become a very close second favourite, yes thats right, I like it as much (if not more) as Deja and this is because of its maturity and themes on this album match the themes occurring in my life. In the year that I turned thirty, theres not a whole lot going on for me at the moment, just study and work. This album didn’t really come at a life moment for me for once (I might look back on it in a few years and be able to identify one) and that feels like a parallel to whats going on with the band. The band means the world to them and will always be important but they have other things going on now too and they are getting old and settling down. At least that’s what I get from it anyway. To end, heres some BN fun facts of mine-
Ratings of albums-
- God and Devil
- Science Fiction/Deja
- Your Favourite Weapon
Favourite song- Degausser
Favourite song on each album- G&D; Degausser, Deja; I will play my game beneath the spin light, Daisy: Vices or At the Bottom, Fave weapon: Seventy times seven
Favourite lyric- from Degausser “I can’t shake this little feeling, I never get anything right” feels like it was written about me
I LOVE Fork and Knife and Missing you- fun fact I had a downloaded copy of the leaked tracks of G&D and this song was actually named Degausser on this leaked version.
Unpopular opinion- their song Aloc coca that everyone seems to froth- I don’t like it and find it boring when they play it at shows.