After The Bravery polished their sound on their sophomore album, The Sun and The Moon, they decided to “re-imagine” (aka rework) the album’s 12 tracks. The two-disc The Sun and The Moon Complete was born, with disc two taking the band back to its rough-around-the-edges electronic roots. Not like they needed to retool things — they easily avoided the dreaded sophomore slump when “Believe” bested their catchy 2005 breakout hit “An Honest Mistake” on Billboard’s Modern Rock chart (#4 and #12, respectively).
We chatted up Sam Endicott, Anthony Burulcich and Michael Zakarin to find out why they went back into the studio and what happens when you toilet paper another band’s van.
Buzzworthy: What’s the most fun you’ve ever had on tour?
Sam Endicott: We opened for Depeche Mode for three months in Eastern Europe, which was really cool.
Anthony Burulcich: Martin Gore is, like, a semi-professional foosball player and they would always have a foosball table backstage.
SE: For, like, the past 20 years…
AB: Every band they play, it gets very competitive. We got better over the course of the tour.
SE: I think we’re the only band that’s ever beaten them.
BW: That’s impressive…
SE: They were pissed, and we were really nervous we were going to get kicked off the tour. But I think they respected us for it.
AB: Yeah, it was just so much fun to, like, play a game every night with such an iconic band.
BW: What’s the most extravagant prank you’ve ever pulled while on tour?
SE: When we were first starting out, we played North Carolina and Rilo Kiley was playing down the street. This band Battle Snake opened for them, and we wound up getting really drunk with them. We were like, Battle Snake is the greatest f***ing name any band’s ever had so they must be the most amazing band in history. But they were d***s. So we, like, stumbled out of there in the middle of the night and saw Battle Snake’s van and were like, we totally have to toilet paper this van. We wrapped it up like a present. Flash forward six months and we’re at a rest stop…
Michael Zakarin: In Providence, on our way to Boston…
SE: And we were like, oh s*** there’s Battle Snake! When we passed them, we couldn’t believe it. We didn’t know if they saw us or not. Then, Battle Snake’s van pulled up and sprayed shaving cream all over our windows and they gave the finger and drove off.
MZ: That was the last we ever saw of Battle Snake.
AB: Damn you, Battle Snake!
BW: How did you come up with the idea for The Sun and The Moon Complete?
SE: Well, it’s our second album, which is always a weird one for a band ’cause you have to make a choice — are you going to do the same thing or are you going to try something different? We figured that we’d do both. The Sun disc is more experimental. It has more acoustic instruments, more like an organic, live band kind of thing. We brought in a producer — we’ve never worked with a producer before — and recorded in a proper studio like a proper band. And The Moon disc is how we traditionally do things. It’s darker, rawer, more electronic, and self-produced.
BW: Do you like any of The Moon recordings better than the originals?
SE: They’re both good in their own way, but there are some that I prefer on The Moon.
BW: Can you tell us which ones?
SE: Um … no. [Laughs.] I love listening to them back-to-back and just hearing the different takes.
BW: Sam, why did you decide to direct the video for “Believe”?
SE: I’ve always been very involved in our videos. I’m a big film guy and I want to get more into filmmaking as time goes on.
BW: Was it fun?
SE: It was cool. Most of it was a live performance because I felt like we’ve never done a video where people could see what we’re actually like as a band, which is weird ’cause that’s usually what a band’s first video is. We got a bunch of fans together and played a show in L.A. It was like doing a live show, so it’s probably the most chill, most fun video we’ve ever done. I had on a thing called a “doggy cam,” which was, like, this giant-ass camera that was strapped to my waist and filmed right in my face.
BW: Was that, like, totally awkward?
SE: It was super-awkward. The really weird part was jumping on top of the crowd with it. I was, like, crowd surfing with this weird-ass thing strapped to me. It was really bizarre.
BW: Will you be making an alternate video for The Moon version of the song?
SE: No, but somebody once joked that for the other version of “Believe” we should just take the video and speed it up.
BW: What’s in store for you guys this summer?
AB: After we have a little break in May we’re going to Australia. Then there are some dates on the Projekt Revolution tour. That will be, like, the rest of the summer.
BW: Are you planning on going back into the studio anytime soon?
SE: We’re just starting to, you know, toy with new stuff on the road.