The punk community is still recovering from the sudden death of Brandon Carlisle, drummer for beloved Wyoming pop-punk band Teenage Bottlerocket. A new interview with Teenage Bottlerocket vocalist (and Brandon’s twin brother) Ray Carlisle indicates that while Brandon may no longer be with us, his final recorded performance as a drummer is actually on the last track of Ray’s debut solo album under the Ray Rocket moniker, Do You Wanna Go To Tijuana?.
“Kody [Templeman, Teenage Bottlerocket guitarist/vocalist] sings backup on the entire album. And Angi Phalangee from the Spastic Hearts sang backups on ‘Without You,'” Ray Carlisle tells Dying Scene. “And then ‘First Time,’ the last song on the album, is the entire band, and that’s…that’s Brandon on drums. That’s the last song Brandon ever played drums on before he died… And it’s not conventional the way that it plays drums. It really shows off everything that Brandon was capable of with his drumming. He was spectacular.”
“First Time” originally appeared as an acoustic track on Teenage Bottlerocket’s Tales From Wyoming, and Ray Carlisle says the song was co-written with his brother.
“Brandon and I… wrote some of the lyrics together about someone who’d passed away,” Ray explains. “The lyrics started talking on new meaning now—’for the first time I can’t see you, for the first time I can’t be you.’ When Brandon and I wrote that lyric together, it maybe didn’t make any sense. But in the past, when people would call me Brandon, I would just pretend to be Brandon and say, ‘What’s up?’ and take pictures with people. And it was easier sometimes than explaining, ‘No, no I’m Ray.’ And he would do the same thing. So the lyric ‘for the first time I can’t be you’ has really taken on new meaning.”
Do You Wanna Go To Tijuana? will be released April 1 via Rise Records. You can catch Ray Rocket on tour with the Copyrights this spring. Teenage Bottlerocket will also return to the road later this year after adding a new drummer to their lineup.