by Helen M. Ryan
Sam Endicott appears calm, despite the fact that thousands of people are waiting in the amphitheater just outside.
With less than two hours to go before stepping onto the main stage, The Bravery frontman and songwriter relaxes in the tour bus, strumming quietly on his guitar. Having just returned from an unscheduled trip to the Apple® store, Endicott is dressed casually in dark colors, with lightly shaded sunglasses and sporting bare feet.
Music seems to relax him. Holding a guitar while answering questions, it is an apparent extension of who he is. Fans of the indie rock and electronica band would be surprised to learn that growing up there was no music in Endicott’s household. When he was 12, Endicott finally began tuning in to the radio. “It blew my mind,” he says. The future musician then started listening to various types of music and playing guitar…and knew he wanted music to be his job and his life.
Endicott met keyboardist John Conway in college where the pair played any and all music and venues. In the early 2000s they relocated to New York where they were joined by fellow bandmates Michael Zakarin, Mike Hindert, and Anthony Burulcich.
Much of the band’s music was about fear and overcoming it – hence the name “The Bravery.” And not being afraid to try new things proved to be the launch pad for the band’s success. “We made an EP and burned it to CD,” says Endicott. “Then we handed out the CDs at record stores and bars. That’s how it all started.” The musicians played whatever gigs were offered and slowly their audience grew. They even created their own Bravery page in the early days of MySpace to further promote their music. “As far as we know, we were one of the first,” the indie rocker surmises.
The Bravery’s latest release, “The Sun and the Moon Complete” continues to embody that fearless sense. The CD’s tracks (including their oft-played “Believe”) are presented differently on two CDs: one has a more produced sound and a lighter feel; the other is a darker, re-imagined version of those same songs.
Being open-minded and early pioneers in debuting music electronically proved to be key for the band. In this brave new technological world the music industry is changing, much to record labels’ chagrin. For artists, though, “there are a lot of outlets for music that were not there in the past,” notes Endicott. “TV shows, movies, internet, video games.” And, he adds, “Watching a band online will never be the same as watching a live show.”
The Projekt Revolution tour has proven that point with packed venues. Overall, this tour has been a positive experience for the five-some. “The first shows were rough,” says Endicott. “Then we changed the set list up to be a little faster and heavier, and since then it’s been great.” The variety of music presented on the tour allows the group to reach a wider audience, many of whom would not usually gravitate towards the type of sound they represent.
As The Bravery finally takes the stage, the second to last act before Linkin Park appears, the audience roars their approval. Obviously familiar now with the group’s music, old and new fans dance and sing along, easily worked into a frenzy despite a long day under the hot Southern California sun.
The Bravery is comfortable on-stage with their latest project. And it shows.
Visit http://www.thebravery.com for more information.