Stories and music go hand in hand, and, often enough, chapters are to books as songs are to albums. In three to four minutes, a song can tell listeners a story through its lyrics, melodies, and beats. Music is an interactive art that encourages the audience to take on a new perspective, whether about life, emotions, or anything in between.
Aric Chase Damm, Michael Jones, David Aguiar, and Ben Ross of The Brevet incorporate this concept into their second EP, EMBERS: Ch. 2. As the next segment of The Brevet’s story, the EP aims to represent the band’s evolution, as well as send a message to people whom they’re close with. “’Embers’ is a song that’s written about my [fiancée], and it’s also written about a perspective of looking at older romances and older generations’ loves,” Aric details. “It’s more of an introspective approach to writing a little bit. I’ve always been fascinated with older romances… I feel like the generation that we live in right now focuses on the wrong things within relationships, so I’ve been totally interested in how older generations had their romances, what they did for romance, and why it was so powerful and lasted so long,” he concludes.
Whether it be from people or experiences, inspiration always comes unplanned and in the moment. “We’re always looking for inspiration in those types of things, and, if it comes out, it will,” Aric recognizes. “’Meet Me in the Night’ is just a narrative, a complete story that was made up. It was actually written on a cruise ship I was on with a bunch of other artists. They just threw us in a room even though we’d never met each other before. That one came out because of Sam Getz, who is a great guitarist for a band called Welshly Arms. [Sam] has a guitar solo in it, and, to me, it sounded like spaghetti western. So, we decided to take in that direction and make it this whole spaghetti western tale,” Aric says animatedly.
As for navigating through the industry, there’s no specific formula that musicians follow. For The Brevet, coincidental experiences brought them to the business. “I kinda went off of the idea of starting a band that fits itself into film, so Michael and I went to the drawing board. We wrote a few songs, and we got signed by a licensing company right away,” Aric recaps. “So it kinda was a backwards approach into the music world,” he reflects.
From that point on, The Brevet has had success in the both the film and television industry. 90210, American Idol, Growing Up Fisher and other television shows have featured The Brevet’s songs. “I think that’s kind of our identity as a band. That’s what we started out as, and that’s what I intended to do,” Aric describes. “That’s where we feel like our music shines in a lot of ways, in a different way, and that’s through the help of television and film,” he adds.
Ashby, a film with actors Mickey Rourke, Natt Wolff and Emma Roberts, also featured music by The Brevet. “They used our song in the movie, and they used a different one in the trailer—there, you’ll hear ‘Hazy Eyes,’” Aric mentions excitedly. “That’s such a cool thing, because it shines different emotions on the song. It’s different, it’s really great, and that’s one of the coolest things for us. We will absolutely continue to get our music featured in films and television and try to have a presence there,” he affirms.
The band’s music style attributes to why their music hits home with audiences, and it can explain why the band is so marketable in mainstream media. Coincidentally, someone gave them their own genre, Epic Americana, and this has stuck with The Brevet ever since. Having a genre named specifically after their music gives the members the room and freedom to continuously grow and evolve their sound. With this in mind, the four-piece aims to think outside of the box and forgo the idea that their music must fit into one specific category.
“Our goal is to not necessarily be thrown in one corner. That can be little bit scary, when you’re categorized and say you’re just folk, traditional folk, or something like that. You’re like, ‘oh god, I gotta be traditional folk forever,’” Aric explains. “I think what’s cool about Epic Americana is that it can mean whatever we want it to mean. As long as we stay true to ourselves and we like what we’re doing, then it’s Epic Americana. It’s not really a genre, I guess. It sets a blanketed statement of, ‘what is Epic Americana?’ And the answer to that is whatever The Brevet is doing, I guess,” he ponders.
Check out the rest of the feature in our upcoming issue–coming soon!
WORDS: ELIZABETH LOO