The Bravery (left to right: Michael, John, Sam, Mike and Anthony)
In today's final episode of my interview with the Bravery's Sam Endicott, the singer talks a bit more about writing the perfect song, the hype surrounding the band, gay fans and the stories in the press about the rivalry between the Bravery and the Killers. Read Part 1 here. If you have not had a chance to hear and see the Bravery, check out their latest music video:
You said earlier
that anxiety has driven a lot of your songwriting and that making music has
been liberating for you. Do you feel that the hype surrounding the
band creates new anxiety about not living up to the expectations?
That's a good question. I think in the end I'm always an anxious person. If there is nothing to worry about I will create something in my head. As far as the hype is concerned, we don't try to think about it too much. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Outside pressure doesn't add to it that much. It is not like that people notice the band now and all of a sudden I have to write some good songs [laughs].
You are becoming quite popular with gay indie gentlemen…
How do you feel about that?
Yeah. It is interesting. The first cover we had was a gay publication. Our whole thing is not to appeal to a specific niche or group. It is all about doing what do and we love what we do. You just hope that everybody out there has a chance to hear it. That's why we play all over the world to get our music out there. We're psyched about everybody that is down with our music.
It is probably the diverse elements in your music that appeals to a wide range of people. The disco rock of the Bravery is appreciated by gays, and the eyeliner of course...
[Laughs] That's great.
What is your opinion about gay marriage?
First let me say that we are not a political band. You really need to know what you're talking about. There's nothing more painful than a band that pretends to know when they really have no clue what they're talking about. I don't want to speak for the band about that. My personal opinion is that you have to look at it from two sides. There is a religious aspect and a legal aspect. And I think people are getting these two confused. From a legal perspective there is no reason why gays should not be able to get married. I think many religious people are getting it confused and feel threatened. They are two different issues and as far as I'm concerned church and state are separated (. . .) I think religious people feel that their religion is tempered with. But I believe some of their old standards need to be interpreted in a way that makes sense today.
There are a lot of stories in the UK press about the rivalry between you and the Killers. Is there any truth to it?
There is no rivalry between us and the Killers. It is frustrating for us and for them that we are compared all the time. We never even heard of the Killers until our album was almost done. And I'm sure they never heard of us. We're not part of the same scene and totally independent of each other. It is kind of annoying. The only thing is that we are on the same label and drive their old tour van. Okay, let me say this. This is our official stance on the Killers. We met the drummer Ronnie Vanucci and he was totally cool. So the Bravery is down with Vanucci.
As a songwriter what do you consider the perfect song?
The best art of any medium you can enjoy on two levels. On one level if you really focus on it and you are knowledgeable about it, you can get a lot out of it. But on another level you don't have to be knowledgeable at all. You hear it and you just like it or you don't. The best art you enjoy immediately on a surface level and if you spend time on it, you get even more out of it. It is like a Picasso, you don't have to explain it to enjoy it. But if you do know about all that shit you get even more out of it. The perfect song is one that [works on these two levels]. You hear it on the radio and you say "fuck yeah." Nobody is required to know about music - you either like or you don't. But if you get into the song it might get even better. That's why the Beatles are the best. They wrote songs like that, especially in the latter years.
Is there any song on the album that stands out for you personally?
Not really. They are all special to me.
The songs "No Brakes" and "Hot Pursuit" use a driving metaphor. Do you have a fascination with racing?
[Laughs] No, it is just a good metaphor to use to sort of write about being out of control and how you can grab the wheel and let it guide you through life. I think speed can be liberating. You should know that "Hot Pursuit" is a B-side track that will only appear as a bonus track on the U.K version of the album.