This has been a thrilling year for Brand New fans, from the re-release of Deja Entendu on vinyl for Record Store Day to new songs magically appearing online and in setlists. And while speculation has ran rampant that there is a fifth Brand New album coming soon, frontman Jesse Lacey gave the crowd inside Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium last night some good news and some bad news. The show, scheduled to be the last of the year for the band and also including Manchester Orchestra and Kevin Devine, found Lacey surprisingly talkative, discussing his impending fatherhood and vaguely addressing new music (“I hope we have a record to play for you [next time we play Nashville]”). But then, the bomb dropped:
“I’m gonna tell you right here and now, this isn’t gonna last much longer,” referring to his band of the past 15 years. “But it’s been so special for so long. And for as long as it does last, we’re just so grateful for you being here.”
Before that, Lacey told the crowd, “It’s hard to be unhappy about anything because being in this band has been such a unique experience… playing every night in front of an audience who loves us from the front to the back.” He then went on to thank his bandmates and crew. “I don’t feel adequate playing on this stage, but I know that Garrett and Vinnie and Brian are absolutely worth it,” he said, before getting choked up. “Without the three of them, I never would’ve gotten to do any of this.”
For what it’s worth, Brand New has seemed on the verge of a breakup for the past five years, given their sporadic touring and limited recorded output since the release of 2009’s Daisy. But this feels different: This feels like the natural winding down of something that is very special to many people, and something that can only take place when all four members have become at peace with one another and themselves—something that was definitely not the case just a few short years ago. If the next Brand New album is indeed their last, we’ll mourn them the best way we know how—by playing it as loudly as possible.