For professional musicians, touring is a lot of things: hard work, a necessity, how you make new fans, a main source on income, an excuse to legally run away from home, etc. But if you’re doing it right, then it’s also fun.
Take Aric Chase Damm (vox/guitar), John Kingsley (lead guitar), Michael Jones (piano), David Aguair (drums) and Ben Ross (bass) of the California alternative pop/rock band the Brevet and who released the pretty sweet EP Embers: Ch 2 last summer and just embarked up on a West coast tour run with RIVVRS. A bunch of dudes in a van, making their music and sharing it with the masses. What could go wrong?
So we asked Aric a few questions about the music and the road because #tourhappens.
High Voltage: First things first: Happy 2017 and how has the new year been treating you so far?
Aric Chase Damm: Happy 2017! 2017 has been great so far! We’ve been busy recording in the studio, currently on our West Coast tour with our good friend RIVVRS, and we just released a few songs this last week on iTunes and Spotify! So 2017 is starting off strong for us!
HV: Good for you guys! I know that the band claims Orange County, CA as its hometown, but is that still the band’s general locale? I don’t want to misidentify you by calling you an “LA band” if you’re really not. Because there’s no shame in being from the OC: I lived in San Clemente for 10 years.
Aric: Yeah a lot of us still live down in OC and a couple of us are living in LA right now. We rehearse half way between OC and LA which makes it manageable :).
HV: So now that that’s settled, you’re wasting very little time in getting busy: new year, new tour, this time with RIVVRS up and down the West coast. For anyone who has not seen you live yet, what’s a Brevet show like?
Aric: A lot of fun, a lot of energy and emotion!
HV: You’ve officially been a band for about 3 years so you’ve got some touring under your collective belts: What are all of you like together in a van for long stretches of time?
Aric: Haha the van conversions getting more bizarre the longer we are in the van! We definitely know each other’s quirks and buttons to push so it can get pretty crazy as we are lacking sleep. This recent drive was 20 hours straight to Portland… soooo….
HV: Oh man, that sounds like pay-per-view just waiting to happen. I’m wondering if you remember what your first official tour was like: how you felt, where you went, if anything absolutely ridiculous happened…
Aric: Yeah! We first did a East Coast tour and by DC we all were pretty tired… so we forgot where we parked our van. After the show we just assumed it was stolen. Called all towing companies, police, etc. Walked all around for a few hours looking for it and long story short – it was basically like right in front of the venue.
HV: Yep, pay-per-view. Seriously, consider the money the band could make just by charging to watch you OFF STAGE! Now when it comes to the on-the-road song selection or playlist, do you follow the tour protocol of “driver’s choice” and what does your typical road trip playlist sound like?
Aric: Yeah, we definitely do drivers choice…unless you get overruled by the rest of the guys. But if the driver is doing the long haul then we usually let him listen to whatever he likes. (John enjoys a lot of Taylor Swift.. not really because of her music but more so because he plans to marry her, so he’s doing his discography research…)
HV: I’m calling it right now: that post-relationship song will be called “Dear John.” For folks who may be new to you, your Embers: Ch. 2 EP is five songs of warm, open-hearted and epic sounding Americana and you recently released the lovely non-EP single, “Into the Storm.” Is that song – maybe – from an eventual full-length album?
Aric: JUST….. MAYBE…that is a secret ;).
HV: Oh fine, be that way. One last thing: After this tour, what else does 2017 have in store for The Brevet?
Aric: We have a lot of plans for this year from touring a lot more to releasing new music – possibly with “Into the Storm” on it but shhhh…;)
Jan 28 San Francisco, CA – Neck Of The Woods
Jan 29 Santa Cruz, CA – Moe’s Alley
Jan 31 San Luis Obispo, CA – SLO Brew
Feb 01 San Diego, CA – Moonshine Beach
Feb 08 Santa Barbara, CA – SOHO
Feb 09 Los Angeles, CA – Bootleg
Feb 12 Hermosa Beach, CA – Saint Rocke
Feb 24 San Diego, CA – Lestat’s
Mar 03 Anaheim, CA – The Fifth