ry, try again can either be sage advice or an exercise in futility. I suppose it depends on whether you're one of the glass half empty or glass half full types. So far, 2019 has proven difficult for ROCKWIRED as a publication, but for the band BRAVO DELTA, the year is shaping up to be a big one. The Vegas-based hard rock band has issued their first full length album, the aptly-titled UNBREAKABLE, after years of maintaining as a band despite health problems, setbacks and life getting in the way of that glorious music making process. Despite the obstacles, BRAVO DELTA have come out on top with a collection of songs that speak to the highs and lows of life and it can be heard and felt on the albums first single, the title-track of the album. On the heels of their previous EP releases SUNSET WASTELAND (2012) and SHUTDOWN SEQUENCE (2013), BRAVO DELTA have happened upon a sound that will perk the ears of active rock radio programmers and get some serious momentum going. ROCKWIRED had a chance to speak with the band's front man BRANDON DAVIS regarding the band's new album. Here is how the interview went.
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The new album UNBREAKABLE is out there for everyone to get a listen to now. How do you feel about the finished work?
It's feels good, man! We finally have a polished sound and we've created our own kind of thing. As good as the previous two EPs were we feel like this is us. It's a fully developed sound so we're really excited about it.
Who all helped you in guys in realizing this new sound, in terms of production?
This entire album was 100% self-produced so we didn't work with any songwriters or any producers or anything. What I attribute it to is simply having the time. It took us three years to get this album finished. That wasn't a timetable that we would've favored. We started doing some tracking for the album and three songs in, our drummer burst his appendix and had to go in for surgery and then had some complications from that. Shortly after, he found out that his job was going to move him to Southern California, and at that time I was having two children. Life got in the way so things kind of slowed down to the point where we weren't working on the album at all and we were just doing shows locally. We would try to keep it all together and keep some sort of semblance of a band going, but the time away from recording gave us the time to think about these songs and really sit on them and work on structure. It was great to be able to take our time with this album and not rush things. So I really attribute the polished sound to having the time and the resources of our own studio to work on it.
So it sounds like the ups and downs of life ended up informing the music making.
100%. We definitely hit some walls and we were definitely down and out for a bit and I was mentally questioning whether or not I wanted to be in the music industry. It was a lot and then our hometown of Las Vegas really went through some pretty incredible things. It's all kind of wrapped up in their - the sum of our experiences.
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And have there been any reactions to UNBREAKABLE that have surprised you?
Nothing that I didn't see coming. We felt like we had something pretty solid and we were happy with it and we thought that people would really take to it. Across the board, it's been really positive. We've gotten a couple things here and there were people have understood the message that we were trying to convey and others simply feel that this is a good collection of songs. We're happy with the feedback that we've been getting so far.
Bring me back to the beginning of the band. How did this whole thing get started?
I was in another band from the early to mid-2000s that was signed to an indie label and toured a lot. During that time, I always carried an acoustic guitar and was always writing stuff and playing music at the back of the van. Once that band came to a close in 2009, I got to the point where I wanted to do my own solo thing and work on these songs I had written so I did these solo acoustic gigs all throughout the Midwest. In 2010, this opportunity arose for me to be a part of this musical project with MARCOS CURIEL, the guitar player from P.O.D. So I came out to Southern California to work with him and that ended up being a short-lived thing because P.O.D. decided that they wanted to get back at it so that side project became null and void at that point. I found this phenomenal guitar player named ANDY INGRAHAM, who went to BERKLEE SCHOOL OF MUSIC in Boston. I had known about this guy for years and I found out that he was going to be moving out to SOuthern California. Immediately, I grabbed him before anybody else could and we immediately started writing together and we started trying to fit the pieces together for this project and finding the right peole we needed to make this band the full outfit that it needed to be and that was when we put out the first EP in 2012.
Talk about the other members of the band. Tell me who they are and what it is that you think each of them brings to the table that makes this thing work.
ANDY is just as much BRAVO DELTA as I am. His guitar playing is so different. It's so complimentary. It was hard in the beginning when I was coming from this singer-songwriter, acoustic thing but he had this different approach where he comes and helps me mold this thing into this full rock band kind of thing. He's great with some of these guitar techniques that he uses, like finger-tapping and some the solos that he is able to pull off. It's always complimentary and it's never intrusive. We also have BRIAN SCOTT on drums. He is a monster. If you ever see him perform live or on video there is so much passion that comes out of him. He is so much fun to watch. He's the glue that holds us all together, that's for sure.ROMAN, the bass player, has been around for a long time and has worked in studios in New York. He's been a round a bit, but he actually built the studio in his basement where we tracked this album and rehearse. He is so good at knowing sound, tones and microphones. He's really the gear guy in our group. We all compliment each other very well. It's a great group of guys and I feel pretty blessed to be working with them.
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What songs off of the album stand out for you the most and why?
There are quite a few. UNBREAKABLE is a song that means so much to us. It's a song we've dedicated to our city and what we've been through as a band. There is a very interesting song on the album called LOST AT SEA which is something different from anything that we've done before. There is a version one and there is a version two and they bleed into each other and together it's this nine or ten minute masterpiece. It tells the story of this sailor who is lost at sea and realizing the depth of the ocean and the dangers of it and realizing that he could get swallowed up at anytime. Then the song moves into this heavy instrumental part that illustrates the chaos of his situation. For me, that song paints this picture and tells this story of something that is beautiful and chaotic all at once. I think that song is one of my personal favorites off of the album. I also think that NUMBERS is another song that I really like. When we wrote that song, it was done in one tuning. Once I had the vocals written to it, it never felt right but when I changed the tuning of the song, it felt perfect. The song went through some transitions and changes as well. It's a song about corporate America and the whole social media thing and selling people's data. I'm kind of a digital marketing guy, but the way the times are now really gets to me and this song reflects that.
And that was great work onthe music video for UNBREAKABLE by the way. Who did you guys work with?
His name is JACOB ADES. He's based here in Las Vegas. He's done a lot of solid work in the past. We talked about this video for a long time and when the time came about we decided that we wanted to work on this video together. He did a great job and believe it or not that video was shot using an iphone X which is just incredible. A couple days prior tot eh shoot the camera that we had scheduled for the shoot ended up not being available, so at the last minute we decided to do the thing on an iphone. We made it work and I think that it turned out amazing.
With this album, what is the big idea? What would you like for people to come away with after they hear it?
I want people to come away with an understanding of our band. I feel like we are starting over new. I would like for people to come away with a knowledge of who we are and what we are trying to do. Lyrically, I think there are positive aspects to our music that I'd like for people to really dig into. There is a lot of positive stuff that you can inspired by as well as some thing that you can put your own take on. At the end of the day, I just want people to get it.
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