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Brave Interview

Brave Interview 
By: John Wolff
With: Michelle Loose

Interview Info
By: John Wolff
With: Michelle Loose - Lead singer of Brave

John: How would you describe Brave's sound?

Michelle: Sometimes I say progressive rock, other times I say melodic rock with female vocals. We offer a blend of sounds including acoustic guitars and keyboards. Our sound is often pegged as "uncategorizable" which can be good thing and bad thing at the same time. We mix elements of progressive rock, hard rock, folk, jazz, metal…kind of hard to describe. Think Sarah McLachlan meets Queensryche meets Fates Warning meets Tori Amos. Most of our fans are into metal and that is where we currently seem to fit in (well sort of!).

John: Why did Brave change it's name from 'Arise from Thorns'?

Michelle: We changed the name back in March of 2000 and there were a number of reasons for that decision...but what topped it off was hearing a local radio station introduce us as "Ants from Thorns". It seemed as though one person after another was unable to pronounce our name or remember it. People tended to get the impression from our name that we were a Christian group or an extreme metal group, neither of which we are. We wanted a simple, one word name that would stick to people. Ultimately it was very hard to part with the old name, but I think we made the right decision.

John: What do you have to say about your EP, 'Waist Deep in Dark Waters'?

Michelle: It was our first Brave release. It has four tracks and was released in early 2001. Tom Phillips, who is not with the band anymore, played guitar on that EP, giving us a somewhat 'linear metal' sound that will not be present in new material. At the time we were anxious to record something under the new name and wanted to get a demo out to labels. We actually recorded the EP before we had signed the Dark Symphonies deal.

John: What should we expect in the new material you are working on now?

Michelle: We are hoping to have a new release out in May of 2002. Probably 9 to 10 songs and 45-50 minutes long, entitled 'Searching for the Sun'.

John: Is there a specific theme to the new CD?

Michelle: Well, the imagery associated with "Before an Audience of Stars" was kind of like a nighttime thing, Waist Deep in Dark Waters was like you were coming out of darkness. And the new one is titled 'Searching for the sun'. We wanted something with a bit of a more 'hopeful' vibe. With everything that happened recently with the attacks, and watching people go thru all this so close to home was a very scary thing. We really just wanted to focus on light imagery and searching for hope. I can’t guarantee that it will be 100% happy, but the overall vibe of the new material will not be so dark.

John: What do you enjoy the most and the least about working in a band?

Michelle: What I like the most is playing out. Our fans are dedicated and we enjoy pleasing them. They really keep us motivated and loving what we do. What I like the least right now is the writing. Its very stressful work because for the first time we have an actual deadline, but we hope it will be rewarding when it is done.

John: What goals has the band set collectively for 2002?

Michelle: We have 5 songs now and a deadline for 9 or 10 very soon. I think getting that done is our main goal at this point. We also want to play live as much as possible after the recording! That is definitely my favorite part!
John: Does everyone in the band contribute to the writing of your songs?

Michelle: Scott always starts it off, but I think he would rather not have it that way. He just gets idea after idea and it never stops. He builds the pieces and then we all pull the final product together. When I do the vocal melody it always changes the feel of the song, so we have to work together to make it right.

John: What training have you had that makes you sing with such articulation?

Michelle: None really, but my confidence level has given me the ability to sing my way. I just sing what I feel and what I think the right sound is and that is how it comes out in my performance. I did focus much more on articulation with the most recent recording "Waist Deep in Dark Waters" because there were parts on the previous CD’s that sounded unintelligible (vocally) and that drove me nuts! So after a few conversations with other local singers I got a many valuable tips that I used in the studio. We were also very fortunate to find a great engineer, Kevin "131" Guitierrez who also helped me with enunciation.

John: On the original release of 'Before an Audience of Stars', I heard there was a picture of your brother, Scott, somewhere on the CD cover?

Michelle: Yes, there was an old black and white picture of my brother when he was a baby. We thought it was creepy but kind of neat at the same time. So we just stuck it in there, very light, so you can hardly see it. You have to look real close at the eclipse and you can see his face.

Sonic Cathedral sincerely appreciates the opportunity for this exclusive interview with Brave. All Brave and Arise from Thorns material is available in our store. We look forward to the new release titled, 'Searching for the Sun', and will have it here for you upon release.