Here in the States today is a holiday, so I’m going to take a short-cut and post an interview with She Wants Revenge that went up yesterday on DeadJournalist.com instead of writing a new piece for Paper Crane.
I’ll be back next time with the second installment of Wonderfully Depressing.
Enjoy your holiday, America. Time to grill, drink and enjoy the last day in the all-to-rare three-day weekend. Be safe.
Exclusive Interview: She Wants Revenge
by Chuck Norton
It would not be a stretch to say, for a while in 2006, I was musically obsessed with She Wants Revenge. I listened to them. I spun them. I wrote about them. To me, they defined future-retro with a modern version of the sound first made popular by Joy Division, The Cure and Depeche Mode.
I thought the band was heading to super-stardom following the same path that led The Killers from emerging music darlings to mainstream success in a matter of months. Their first show in Atlanta was as an opening act for Electric 6 at a club that only held about 200 people. The show was picked up and promoted heavily by one of the mainstream stations and sold out.
The band didn’t disappoint, providing a wonderful live performance. When their set was over, at least 70-percent of the crowd left, making for an unfortunate scene when the headlining act took the stage to a mostly-empty room because many of the walk-ups who had come to see Electric 6 had been turned away at the door.
It was this kind of buzz the launched She Wants Revenge to opening act status for Depeche Mode shortly thereafter. Their self-titled album did well commercially, with several songs from it landing on the Modern Rock charts.
The band came back with their follow-up album, This Is Forever, in 2007. Its reception was positive, but generated nowhere near the airplay of their debut album. This Is Forever also marked their last with Geffen/Interscope before they – like many other artists of the label – went independent with their on Perfect Kiss label.
It is under Perfect Kiss that the duo of Justin Warfield and Adam “Adam 12” Bravin released their third full-length album, Valleyheart, on May 23, 2011. The album was inspired by their want to return home to the San Fernando Valley and cultivate an album free of their past musical influences.
She Wants Revenge – “Must Be The One”
The band’s sound has never been better, but the buzz from the blog-world has been missing. Maybe this is due to the success the band first achieved five years ago. Maybe its because the band was too “mainstream” for the holier-than-thou music blogs to get behind. Either way, it’s a mistake.
The band embodies the traits that most people like to see in a band: solid albums, unique sound, good live performances and fan-friendly. If you haven’t given She Wants Revenge a listen since the days of “Tear You Apart” it’s probably time you gave the band a second chance. You’ll probably like what you hear.
DeadJournalist.com brings you this exclusive interview with Adam Bravin of She Wants Revenge.
With your third full-length album, Valleyheart, just released, what level of pride do you have in the album?
AB: I’m more proud of this album than anything I’ve done before as a musician.
What were the biggest challenges and/or differences in writing this album versus past albums?
AB: The main challenge was to make an album in which we didn’t repeat ourselves musically, anytime we did something that sounded like something we may have done in the past, we scrapped it and started something new, It was important for us to look forward, shed some of the influences that were more prevalent in earlier recordings, and really concentrate on who we are as musicians and people right now.
Has your song-writing process changed as you’ve matured as artists? What drives the creative process behind writing and recording your music?
AB: It has changed, the first to albums and subsequent EPs were written, it was more of a hip hop approach to writing, building songs one track at a time until we had a song, whereas this time, we sat down and wrote songs in a more traditional way, Justin on an acoustic guitar and myself on a piano or bass. We are driven by the loves in our lives, the love of music and the people that enjoy what we do.
As a duo, what is the biggest challenge of live performances? Do you try to maintain consistency in your live performances or does the mood of the band and the energy of the crowd effect an individual show?
AB: Our two friends, Thomas Froggatt and Scott Ellis have been playing live shows with us since the beginning. The only challenge we find as far as the live performance is concerned is sometimes finding new ways to interpret our songs.
As far as energy at shows, we give everything we have every time we play, the crowd definitely helps out when they’re giving their all as well. Every show is different based on the combination of the energy of the crowd, the room we’re in, how we’re feeling that particular day, etc.
Having played in both arenas and small clubs, do you have a preference of the two from a performance standpoint?
Both are just as enjoyable. Arenas are amazing for a number of reasons, most importantly, the energy and love you receive from that many people is incredible, but you can’t really see any of them, in a small club, it’s amazing to be able to focus on someone’s face or eyes to really feel whatever emotions they’re going through as we do our thing.
What are your biggest day-to-day challenges while on the road?
AB: Where to eat.
Is there a city (or country) for which you have a great fondness? (Either because of the fans or your personal fondness?)
AB: Austin, TX. An amazing town where you can really feel a sense of a music scene where there is true comradery. Many cities claim to have music scenes, but many times they are not supporting each other, whereas, in Austin, they are. Good BBQ too!
What’s the most bizarre thing that’s happen to you while on tour?
AB: Dave Gahan sang the lyrics to our song “Sister” over their song “Photographic” when we were on tour with Depeche Mode. Wow.
Was there a band or artist who made the extra effort to take you under their wing when you were first started out?
AB: Justin took me under his wing when we first started the band and I would not be the musician or performer I am today had he not.
With the rapid evolution of social media and marketing bands have faced since the advent of social networking do you find that promoting the band is a 24/7 process?
AB: Absolutely. I find myself online all day when I’m not in the studio or spinning records. I look at Twitter and my friends are all hiking or at the beach and I’m like, “WTF?”
Have you seen benefits or detriments from the intimacy your fans have to the band because of Twitter, Facebook, etc.?
AB: Only benefits. We have, since day one, made it a point to be as accessible to anyone that wanted to contact us and it has kept us close to our supporters. To this day, we continue to spend as much time needed to answer questions, hang at shows, take photos, whatever we can to so say, “Thank You” to the people who make it possible for us to do what we love.
Is there an artist that you’ve encountered recently that you’ve been recommending to your friends?
AB: CREEP, Tame Impala, Black Angels, The Weeknd, Washed Out
What advice do you have for someone just cutting their teeth in the music business?
AB: I tell everyone that asks me, “Make music that turns you on.” It’s important to make music that comes from the heart and is honest, not based on what is on the radio, or what you think anyone else wants to hear.
What were you listening to in 2001?
AB: Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Silver Apples.
Which do you prefer: MP3, CD, Tape or Vinyl?
AB: Always Vinyl.
Web site(s) you read regularly?
AB: Huffington Post, Funny or Die
One Drink. One Movie. One Album.
AB: Silver Tequila, chilled. “Blade Runner”. Purple Rain.