Right Brigade broke up. I didn’t know that so I sent their singer Jesse some questions that he answered. But I had the impression that he didn’t care that much about Right Brigade anymore. But read and judge for yourself…
Hello Jesse, how are you at the moment? Anything to start this interview off with?
You are the one doing the interview so why don't you start it.
When I took a look at your e-mail address I was wondering if you are sXe? Well, I am, so that would be cool (if not, that's ok, too, you will appear on my site anyway, haha). What does sXe mean to you? What do you think about the sXe scene and the bands?
You are very astute by noticing the word "edge" is in my email (Yeah, that’s me. I am very sharp I guess! – Stefan). It does not really have much to do with straight edge but I am indeed straight edge and I have been for longer than I can remember. There really isn't much of a straight edge scene. I don’t base what bands I like on the question "Are these guys straight edge?" 99% of straight edge bands today suck anyways.
Could you give me a short history of Right Brigade, when did you form, have there been any line up changes etc.
The band started in the spring of 1998 and recorded a demo that summer. About a year later we released a split 7" on BRIDGE 9 with our friends POOR EXCUSE. Shortly after that our 7"/ CD EP was released on STILLBORN Records. After that it's all a blur. There have been more line up changes and fill in members than I can even remember. Basically if you could play an instrument and lived near Boston, you got to play a show with us at least once.
How did you get that deal with Revelation Records? Did you have some connections to that label because Patrick was in Fastbreak before and they were also on Rev?
I quit the band but the dudes in the band convinced me to sing on a record so Pat could get out of his contract with Revelation. Definitely a suspect motive.
What do you think about being on a label that released albums by bands like Youth of Today, Bold, Gorilla Biscuits, Judge, Inside Out, Side by Side, Quicksand, etc. in the past?
What do you think? Take a wild guess..... I think it's great to be on a label with such a good history. Revelation has put out some of the most classic stuff ever released. Being on a label that released YOT, JUDGE, SIDE BY SIDE, ETC... it's kinda an honor.
How did that split 7" with A Poor Excuse come to reality? How many copies were made and are some of them still available or is it sold out? Are any of the songs from that 7" on your new full length album as well?
It became a reality when we recorded the songs and Poor Excuse did the same. We then gave Bridge 9 the DAT tapes and he pressed them. Putting out a record isn't too hard. Bridge 9 is a great label to work with and he constantly is releasing the best hardcore bands around today. I think the record is sold out. There are about 2500 - 3000 pressed. The songs we contributed are from out demo but they are remastered and we added a SLAPSHOT cover song.
When and where did you record the songs for that 7"? Who produced them?
We recorded at IMPACT studios with Dean Baltulonis. He is the H.N.I.C. He knows what he's doing and he is a hardcore kid. He knows the sound we wanted and made it happen. I would recommend him to anyone. He is a pleasure to work with.
Now some questions concerning the new record will follow (by the way, I really like this album a lot, it's very different from the usual "old school" HC sound in my eyes): Why didn't you give the album a title? Why didn't you pick one of the songs as a title or any other title?
I had basically nothing to do with the new record. Like I said, I had quit the band and then was talked into singing on it. I don't think there was a title because that would be the "artistic/ clever" thing to do. If I titled it, I would have called it "Bigger than God." (That’s way lame, S.O.D.’s “Bigger than the devil” was a much better title – Stefan).
What do these pictures in the booklet mean? Is that a guy getting shot? Who came up with the idea of using these pics?
Your guess is as good as mine. Like I said, I had nothing to do with it. I have not talked to anyone in the band since August or September of 2000, and it is now almost may of 2001.
The lyrics to the song "Of my life" don't sound that optimistic in my eyes. Would you agree? Who writes the lyrics and would you say they are rather pessimistic?
I wrote lyrics to 2 songs on that record. I didn't do anything for it except write lyrics to 2 songs (one of which was on the 7" and the other we had been playing for a year). The only thing I contributed was my voice.
How did critics and fans react to the album, did they like it?
People say they dig a few songs but there is too much "bullshit" added to it and I agree. There is a lot of stuff on there that I didn't know was being added and I flipped my shit when I found out. If you have heard the record, you probably know what I'm talking about. I dig a few of the songs but some are suspect.
How long did you record? How did you like the recording session, have there been any hard times during the recording of the songs?
We recorded for about 2 weeks. That includes mixing and mastering. I hate recording. I don't like being anywhere except my living room, sleeping, or watching baseball. (Sounds "cool" indeed… - Stefan)
Were all of the songs/lyrics already finished when you entered the studio or did you have to write some parts while being in the studio?
I told them that I didn’t care if we recorded a record or not and I wasn’t gonna do anything because I didn’t care anymore. They had all the lyrics written except the 2 old songs and I just learned them over a weeks time. I had become so bummed on the band, and that is why I had quit. It had stopped being fun, and I'm not gonna front like I enjoyed it anymore. I wouldn't lie to myself like that. I feel that I could have done a better job on it if I had really cared at all how it came out.
I heard you chose the name Right Brigade because of that Bad Brains song. Is that right? What do the Bad Brains mean to you and which is your favourite album/song by them?
Yes, that is where the name came from. The Bad Brains were 100% raw energy. That is what we tried to go for in our live show. One of the first Hardcore records I ever heard was "Rock for light" and it's still one of my favourites to this day.
You are from Boston, right? Do you like this city and its music scene? What is so special about Boston in your opinion?
I grew up in Connecticut but I have lived in Boston for years now. The music scene is good. Not many places to play but there are always good bands and there probably always will be good bands. There are a lot of good up and coming bands right now in Boston like STOP AND THINK, THE ATEAM, FIGHT TO WIN, and PROJECT SALTY. BRIDGE 9 is the best label in Hardcore and that is based out of the apartment up the street. He keeps the faith. REACH THE SKY and the DROPKICK MURPHYS keep this town on the map. This city is so special to me because of 1 thing, the one thing that still holds true no matter what anyone says, THE BOSTON RED SOX.
Which music are you listening to and which sounds/bands have an influence on Right Brigade?
I don’t listen to all that much music at all. I listen to mostly old stuff. I like hearing and checking out the new bands. CARRY ON from California is one of my favourite bands right now . Same with DEATH THREAT from Connecticut. I always listen to the classics like STRAIGHT AHEAD, YOUTH OF TODAY, BREAKDOWN, CRO MAGS, WARZONE, old AF. All that old NY stuff is what makes me go off.
Patrick, one of your guitar players, played in Fastbreak before, right? Why did they break up by the way?
I wouldn't be the one to ask. Their personal business is exactly that... their own business. Everyone always feels that they have the right to know personal reasons bands break up and all that bullshit. Bands move on and so do people. If you want to know why they broke up, I suggest asking one of them. (Alright, do you have e-mail addresses? - Stefan)
How about touring, with which bands did you play so far and which show was the best/worst?
We have played weekends of shows but we have never gone on tour and we never will since we broke up. We played a lot of shows with Reach the Sky, Earth Crisis, Death Threat, and more. We all had jobs or school so we didn’t have the opportunity to tour.
Ok, I guess we're at the end of the interview. Did you like it a bit and do you have any message or statement to end this?
Thank you for the interview. I'd just like to say to the new kids.... yo, make sure you know your history. Just like in school. If you see a new kid fucking don’t shut them out. Make that kid a tape of all the classics. Get them into the right stuff before they turn into a lost cause. Would you rather have a young kid get into Youth Of Today or some screamo bullshit short hair metal garbage. "Don’t forget the struggle." "Always keep the faith." Everyone needs to listen to more old Warzone.