Jesse Lacey's got one hell of a nerve.
While his Long Island, New York, quartet's name is Brand New, their second album is titled Deja Entendu, French for "already heard." Where does Lacey get off performing stale tunes with such a fresh-sounding band name?
"It's very tongue-in-cheek," the singer said of the title to Brand New's second album, which was released Tuesday. "No matter who you are or what your band is about, you can't put a record out without people saying it's derivative of something else. So by saying the record's already been heard, it's kind of like saying, 'Yeah, you're right. We're doing something that's already been done before.'
"And in a sense we are. We're not trying to break new ground in music. We're just trying to make good music."
While some might say Brand New have picked up the emo torch only to run in circles with it, thousands of fans of the underground upstarts staunchly disagree. Three shows of the band's 24-date headlining trek with Moneen, Senses Fail, and the Beautiful Mistake have sold out, a feat accomplished without a single being played on radio or video outlets. Word of mouth, touring and Internet message boards have done wonders to create a buzz that culminates in hundreds of fans singing along to Brand New's debut, Your Favorite Weapon (2001), in concert, Dashboard Confessional-style.
It also helps to get a recommendation from that band's frontman, Chris Carrabba.
"It's very strange," Lacey explained. "The songs are things I wrote on my acoustic guitar in my bedroom. Before you know it, people fall in love with them and thousands of people are singing the words to them when I'm playing. It's very surreal."
Brand New open for Dashboard Confessional in August, following the close of the Vans Warped Tour, which they join July 23 (see "Dashboard Confessional Bail On Beck Tour").
The future promises to only get brighter for Lacey, bassist Garrett Tierney, guitarist Vin Accardi and drummer Brian Lane when Deja Entendu's first single, "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows," hits the airwaves July 9.
"The song's a little bit about regret," Lacey said. "How there can be problems in a relationship and they get ignored. And how that often ends up as a broken home or some kind of bad situation down the road. It's kind of something that if it wasn't overlooked in the first place, you can kind of get through it."
A video for the song was shot earlier this month in Boston, exemplifying regret in the form of unresolved closure. After a severe car accident, a mortally wounded Lacey cannot depart for the next world until he knows the his girlfriend, also injured in the crash, is safe in this one.
"The video is about death or losing someone and it's those moments that you kind of look back on your life and realize all the regrets that you had, and all the things you wish you could change," Lacey said.
Conceived by Lacey and director Kurt St. Thomas (Fannypack, Northern State), the clip is decidedly high-concept for a "baby band." But while the album title riffs off played-out sounds, they didn't want a tired feel for their vision.
"We didn't want to do a video where we're playing in a living room and the lights are going out and the walls are falling apart," Lacey said, "or we're riding around the street in low-riders. That's been done a zillion times. When we play the lights don't really go out and the building doesn't really shake. So we figured we shouldn't do that in the video, either."
Brand New tour dates, according to the band's publicist:
- 6/20 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
- 6/24 - Scranton, PA @ Tink's
- 6/25 - State College, PA @ The Crowbar
- 6/26 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Laga
- 6/27 - Toledo, OH @ Frankie's
- 6/28 - Indianapolis, IN @ Rehearsal Studios
- 6/29 - Covington, KY @ Jillian's Entertainment Center
- 7/1 - Saint Louis, MO @ Creepy Crawl
- 7/2 - Chicago, IL @ Metro / Smart Bar
- 7/3 - Minneapolis, MN @ Ascot Room at Quest Club
- 7/4 - La Crosse, WI @ The Warehouse
- 7/5 - Iowa City, IA @ Gabe's Oasis
- 7/6 - Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
- 7/7 - Boulder, CO @ Tulagi
- 7/9 - Seattle, WA @ Graceland
- 7/10 - Portland, OR @ Meow Meow
- 7/11 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim's
- 7/12 - West Hollywood, CA @ The Troubadour
- 7/13 - Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
- 7/15 - San Diego, CA @ Mira Mesa Epicentre
- 7/16 - Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
- 7/18 - Dallas, TX @ The Door
- 7/19 - Houston, TX @ Fat Cat's (formerly Mary Jane's)
- 7/20 - Austin, TX @ Emo's