Last updated: 10/29/2007 12:00:00 PM
In August of the year 2000, brothers Nic and Jonathon Newby first began assembling song structures on an old, out-of-tune piano in the back room of their parent's house. Nine months, 2 demos, and a handful of shows later, they had fleshed out their lineup with an additional 3 members, including Aaron Smith and Benjamin Hunt. Touring whenever school allowed, they racked up an impressive string of self-booked weekends and one ambitious three-week summer solo tour that took them to CBGB?s in NYC, Burlington, VT, the Carolina?s, New Orleans, and Athens, GA. The tour, forever ingrained in their minds as one of the most trying yet satisfying experiences of their young adult lives, had them playing in deserted clubs, musty basements, and a boxing ring, usually to crowds countable on one hand.
Desiring to get their music into the ears of a bigger audience, the boys in BRAZIL sent their demo (in crafty homemade promo kits) to every label and zine they could find. Within two weeks, they received a call from Fearless Records (known for biting when all other labels ran) and things began to change. The band went into the studio in May of 2002, this time with Eric Johnson on board, to record the Dasein EP, which was released in late September of that year to little fanfare. However, after a few months passed, word of mouth began to garner the band the attention they needed to take them to the next level. By November they were touring with My Chemical Romance, and during the next five months they lived on the road, accompanying such bands as Breaking Pangaea, Hopesfall, Kissing Chaos, and Retisonic. BRAZIL's following began to swell.
During the summer of 2003, lineup problems forced them to return home and find a permanent drummer and write the next record. In July, James Sefchek joined the band and relocated from his home state of New Jersey, and in November BRAZIL made the 32 hour trek from Muncie, Indiana to Los Angeles, California to record their next album with producer Alex Newport.
The album, "A Hostage and the Meaning of Life," features 12 new songs written with the same ambitious attitude of the Dasein EP, melding elements of progressive rock, new wave, and punk. The sound palette that BRAZIL employs on the new record comes from not only the usual six-member wall-of-sound, but a pastiche of strings, saxophone, three keyboards, and various combinations of metal and violin bow on guitar strings. With advance copies of the record already getting impeccable reviews, "Hostage" may prove to be one record that will continue to resound for a long time to come.