Interview with Braveyoung members Isaac Jones, Zac Jones, Michael Rich| By Mike Gaworecki
The new album by Braveyoung, Misery and Pride – released on March 24 by The Flenser – was actually recorded back in 2014.
Nearly two years after the album was completed, guitarist and vocalist Isaac Jones – who co-founded the band with his twin brother, drummer Zac Jones – was involved in a motorcycle accident so horrendous that he had to live for several months afterward without the top of his skull in place to allow for the swelling in his brain to go down. However, Braveyoung say that Jones’ accident had nothing to do with the delay in releasing the album.
“After self-releasing the previous record, we didn’t know what exactly we wanted to do with it or how we wanted to release it,” the band recall, collectively. “We had this larger group of recordings, and like we tend to do with most things, we let time weed out what didn’t really belong.”
The band say the delay was also about them taking stock of how Braveyoung might best fit into the current musical landscape. “We have spent a lot of time touring since starting this project, and we came to realize that there continued to be less and less of a space in the DIY touring circuit for what we were doing sonically,” Braveyoung note. “We finally allowed ourselves to understand that and step back from the typical approach to writing and releasing and touring. The schedule of the market and the schedule of touring don’t really play into what we are doing now – maybe ever – and understanding that and stepping away from that framework was a necessary step if we were going to continue on with it.”
The album’s title, Misery and Pride, was inspired by a line in the 2000 Milan Kundera novel, “Ignorance”: “Misery and pride. ‘On horseback, death and a peacock.’”
“Like anything else that one may read and find themselves coming back to,” the band say, “for some reason, the analogy reverberated. When we were floating names for this particular collection, it landed.”
Sonically, the album is more subdued and brooding than anything the post-rock trio have released before. It’s almost a stretch to even call it post-rock, as it more closely resembles experimental ambient music in many ways. But, despite the delay between its recording and its release, Misery and Pride still represents where Braveyoung is currently at musically.
“The deeper you exist inside a project, the less it should feel shifty under things that are changing around it,” they say. “In other words, the ultimate goal is some kind of timelessness. That is not to say that Misery and Pride accomplishes that, but hopefully, what we are trying to get at comes through.”
Aside from the stark evolution in the band’s sound that Misery and Pride represents, Braveyoung fans can also expect to hear some instrumentation they may not anticipate. “We wrote for a brass section, which was new, but something we have always wanted to do,” the band say. “Sousaphone, tuba, and trombone, to be specific. The things we hoped to capture are very likely the things that anyone would hope to capture in creating something: necessity.”