There are just some moments in life that could use an extravagant soundtrack to make it feel complete. The Brevet are here to help you do just that. Sweeping acoustic guitars and grand piano melodies make up their debut full-length Battle of the Heart, into what could only be described as a summer soundtrack. Even the Boys of Summer on the MLB network picked up some of their music to use as a baseball intro, giving this Americana trio the chance to take their music to new heights. Substream got the chance to talk to lead singer Aric Damm about their recent success and love for creating sounds made for silver screens.
Substream Magazine: What have you guys been up to lately?
Aric Damm: We’ve been really busy and focused ever since releasing Battle of the Heart. We are currently in the studio recording a lot of new material and prepping for our live set!
SM: Give our readers some background on The Brevet. How did you guys meet and what made you want to play music with this group of guys?
AD: Michael and I have been playing together since around 7th grade when we were both starting to pick up guitar and piano. Ever since then, we would write and record music every chance we could. Since we both went to different colleges, we would meet back up in the summer and record some songs here and there but never really knew what it would lead to. All we knew was that we loved doing it. During those summers, we didn’t realize it but we were really honing in on what is now The Brevet. During our junior and senior years, we started composing scores for some of the student films I was in and really started developing a passion for the big, sweeping, cinematic sound. Basically a few months after graduating we decided to create The Brevet. We just wanted to make music that moved people and had a big sound with cinematic tones. Michael brought in David to play drums. David’s background in jazz has inspired new creative avenues for the band.
SM: Why did you choose to play Americana?
AD: I wouldn’t say that we ever went into this project focusing on playing solely Americana. We continually say, “let’s just make this as cinematic and moving as possible.” After we showed some of our friends the songs, they started calling it “Epic Americana” and we just went with it.
SM: Even your name is inspired by an old-time American military tradition. What was it about brevet that made you want to emulate it in your band name?
AD: Well, I was always interested in American history, especially the Civil War. We just really liked what the rank, The Brevet, represented. We felt that is was a good reminder and representation of what we are trying to do as a band. We really aren’t doing this for praise or any kind of acclaim. We just love making music and hope it is inspiring, moving, or powerful for the person who is willing to give it a listen.
SM: Who have been some of your most influential artists throughout your careers?
AD: Definitely The Fray and Coldplay for their cinematic traits, Kings of Leon, Bruce Springsteen, Mumford & Sons, Elvis Presley (I wanted to be him as a kid) and Thomas Newman
SM: “Rocks Beneath the Water” and “Start to Begin” were featured this past summer for the MLB network. Describe your experience having two songs off your debut album played on TV.
AD: It was so humbling! Going into this project with really no idea what people were going think of the music and then getting it played on TV is incredibly rewarding.
SM: On your Instagram, it looks like you go to baseball games as well. Is it safe to say baseball is your favorite sport?
AD: It is one of our favorites, we grew up Angels fans but haven’t been able to go as often since we spend every second of our free time on music.
SM: “90210” also featured your song “Let Go.” How did it feel to be able to reach a bigger audience like that?
AD: We were so excited when we heard that we would be on a major network. We really believe in the message we write into our music and couldn’t have been happier that the CW chose to share our music with their followers. They have a very loyal and influential audience that we are grateful to be exposed to. We want to continue sharing our music with as many people as possible!
SM: Have you ever watched “90210” or the original version? What have been some of your other favorite TV shows?
AD: Though we’re not the primary demographic for “90210,” we have enjoyed both versions of the show. Whenever we do have time to watch TV shows, we like “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” “Homeland,” “House of Cards,” “Family Guy.”
SM: When I was listening to some of your music, it was easy to picture certain songs as part of a soundtrack because of how grand they could be. What inspires you to write music?
AD: The imagery that good films and composers are able convey inspire our musicality. We tie in our music with the stories we tell, which are greatly inspired by the difficulties and problems that our generation is going through. We’re inspired by the hard work that great musicians and entrepreneurs put in to achieve great success. We’re inspired by people who are able to influence others with their own talent and resources.
SM: This past October, your former band mate Blake Reigle left the band. Has the change been difficult?
AD: We’ve had some minor logistical issues that we overcame since we parted ways with Blake. Overall, we’ve grown from the situation and have made the best of it.
SM: So are you content with having a three-piece band, or are you open to potentially adding another member back into The Brevet?
AD: We would be content with having a three-piece band, but don’t undermine the possibility of bringing on great talent.
SM: What’s your favorite song you’ve written?
AD: From our album Battle of the Heart – “Battle of the Heart.” It’s an all-encompassing story that explains a lot about who we are.
SM: What is your ultimate goal with The Brevet?
AD: The ultimate goal for us is to be able to share our music with people who are willing to listen! We want to make great music that inspires people to do something meaningful in their lives and maybe pick up a few signs of recognition along the way.
SM: What are some of your plans in 2014?
AD: We want to get in front of more audiences, make more music, we have a lot planned for this year. We’re way too excited.
SM: Thanks for sharing with us, Aric!
AD: Thank you.
Battle of the Heart available now on iTunes!
Interview by Stephanie Roe