On-again/off-again Seattle rock act Brad is close to finishing its fourth studio album.
On-again/off-again Seattle rock act Brad is close to finishing its fourth studio album. The set was recorded in 2003, after the group had returned from an Australian tour, and has a proposed title of "Best Friends." Guitarist Stone Gossard and drummer Regan Hagar are whittling down the material to album length, and are currently at 13 tracks.
"I would say it's maybe more delicate than the others," Hagar tells Billboard.com. "I think that it shows how we've all aged and mellowed. But I think it's got some really great Stone work in it -- we don't always get that from him. He has to write a lot for Pearl Jam, but for some reason, I felt that we got some really good Stone. It just seemed to blend really well with Shawn [Smith, singer/pianist]."
Several songs that should appear on "Best Friends" include "Every Whisper," "Low" (an MP3 of which can be found on Brad's Web site), "Without Regret," "Price of Love," "Believe in Yourself" and "Rush Hour."
"Some of them we played out a couple of times," explains Hagar. "The song 'Every Whisper' originally had Stone singing on it too, then we replaced it with Shawn, so it would be more continuous throughout the album. Stone's quite the singer nowadays."
"[Stone] also wrote a song called 'Holiday' that he's not sure of, but I really love and I think will be on the record," he continues. "'Without Regret' has I think Stone on drums, Shawn on guitar [and] I played slide guitar on it -- that's kind of rocking. 'Price of Love' might be the opener. 'Rush Hour' was written by [bassist] Mike Berg. That is very Satchel-like [a '90s band that featured Berg, Smith and Hagar] -- full chord, large, airy and big, but very loud. 'Low' is a bit of an odd number. Stone's playing bass and there's no guitar on it."
Although it's been nearly four years since Brad's last studio effort, 2002's 'Welcome to Discovery Park,' the group recently issued an outtakes set, "Brad vs. Satchel," via Hagar's Establishment Store site. "It's the band roughing out songs, and to me, that's a special quality that I love," he says. "I love demos. I like the finished, polished-up versions, but I like to go back to the old tapes and listen to what it sounds like to have four instruments playing in a room together, as opposed to four instruments, three background vocals [and] three keyboards over the top. I see 'Brad vs. Satchel' as a band in a room."
With Gossard busy on a new Pearl Jam studio album and tour and Smith fronting the new band the Diamond Hand, Hagar is still optimistic "Best Friends" will be out this year. "We thought about putting it out on Establishment Store, and I think that we will sooner than later if something doesn't happen," Hagar says. "I'd love to find some label that would put their arm around Shawn Smith and take on his records that the Establishment Store sells, and Brad. I'd love to have one home with an infrastructure that could take care of it."