The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



15 minutes with Brian from Brand New

Brian Foy | Thursday, January 22, 2004

How’d you guys come up with the name “Brand New”?It was no real weird thing, my friend and I were writing songs for a band and he named the band “Brand New” after a Beastie Boys song. He left and I took the name, there is no real story behind it.You are known for touring like madmen. Is there a reason you tour so much?We love touring in a lot of ways. Touring sucks in a lot of ways too, but at the same time that is how we all met each other in the Long Island scene in general. We grew up listening to music and that’s the only way to do it. That is the only way to get your core fans and build a bigger fan base and get bigger gradually instead of being on TV and shooting to the top. If that happens, you shoot straight back down to the bottom.What’s the best part about playing on the road?The best part is seeing shows get better and better. The best part is having kids sing along. The best part is seeing you have real fans. That’s such great satisfaction knowing you finally accomplished something.What’s the song writing process like for you guys?The song writing process is weird because we don’t have a song writing process. It’s more like we have a lot of ideas and we go in the studio. For this record, we went to the studio and had three songs written. We didn’t have any real pre-production or anything like that we just threw together ideas. It’s how it worked. We rented out a space for a month and we’re going to write because we have off for a month. We didn’t talk to each other for three weeks and then went in for two days. When we came into the studio finally, everyone came in with different ideas, learned the songs, and jammed. We thrive on panicking and don’t write lyrics until ten minutes before recording, the same thing with all of us and our instruments.If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?It’s not that elegant or anything, but Dave Grohl. I love Dave Grohl and I think anything he touches turns into gold. I like to ask him a lot of questions about playing drums, about playing guitar, about doing it right. He did everything right.Who would you consider your influences?We all had different influences growing up which is weird, but I guess is a good thing. I grew up on Fatwreck bands like NOFX and Diesel Boy and all that crap. I don’t know why. Would say that has shaped your style?I think that definitely did in a lot of ways. Then when we started touring together and living in a van it worked out where we were all integrated parts of our influences growing up.What’s your favorite episode of “The Simpsons”?I’ve been slacking on it because I got The Family Guy DVDs and haven’t been watching The Simpsons as much since I bought that.What’s your favorite episode of “The Family Guy”?There is a really good one where Brian has a coke problem and moves to L.A. That’s a really good one because it’s a two-part episode too and he has to get clean. It’s good because he tries to make it as an actor and lies to his family.What was your favorite video game growing up?Tetris. Always TetrisIn RollingStone’s “Hot Issue” you were named “Hot Band”. Do you feel any pressure considering the last band with that distinction was Coldplay?There’s a lot of pressure, but at the same time you really dwell on it because you’re going to want to kill yourself and we’re going to go in the studio and not do anything. Just make music that you want to make and that you have fun playing and hopefully everything will work out from there. The main goal that we have making records or music in general is to write a good record not to write a good song. In ten years I want to be able to listen to all the records we did and play them all the way through.Where do you want to be as a band five years from now?I don’t look to tomorrow. I don’t even know what’s going to happen tonight. Everything that we’ve been doing has far surpassed anything we thought would be going on. If it all ended tomorrow, we’d all be so happy. Where do we see ourselves? Hopefully doing the same we’re doing now.If you weren’t in Brand New, what would you be doing now?Probably producing, hopefully producing, but probably still taking out the garbage at the studio if I couldn’t produce.Any words of wisdom or things you’ve learned?It’s not going to be that deep, but it’s what I was saying before: never dwell on anything you do. I don’t regret anything we’ve done. None of us do because there is no point in regretting anything you’ve done because you’ve far surpassed anything you should have done. Live by the day and that’s all we do.

Contact Brian Foy at [email protected]