#AlternativeFacts Podcast: How Brand New Got a No. 1 Album (And Possibly a Hit Single)

 Brandon Sloter
Brand New

You never saw it coming and, yes, it’s still true: Brand New has the No. 1 album on the Billboard 200

The legendary cult band delivered one of the year’s best rock records and on this week’s #AlternativeFacts podcast, we took a deep dive. Ge ready for forty minutes of Brand New talk, featuring a pair of writers with an expert’s perspective on what Jesse Lacey and company have been up to.

Host Chris Payne catches up with freelance music writer and Billboard contributor Maria Sherman, who reviewed Science Fiction for NPR: “They’re doing really fascinating stuff, both musically and, I guess, as businessmen,” Sherman raves on the pod. 

So is Science Fiction going to be Brand New’s final album? 

“I think so,” she says. “I don’t really know if they have anything left to say… I have a lot of respect for bands that set their own expiration date. You’re never creating something to appease somebody, and maybe that’s why this album is so great.”

As well, Billboard rock charts manager Kevin Rutherford has the details on Brand New’s surprising play at rock radio. “Can’t Get It Out” was played 41 times during its first tracking week (Aug. 21-27); so what does it take to become a hit on our Alternative Songs chart? 

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“I’m sure there’s some hustling going on behind the scenes,” he says. “For instance, I think KROQ out in L.A. played it once last week. In order for it to get played 10 times, there’s a lot of convincing that’d go into that. I think they can point to the album sales. People are interested in this!” 

Listen to the cast above for even more Brand New insight: Why did it take critics so long to come around after shunning their early records? Why do we think their last show could be at the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming? What other rock bands could come out of nowhere, release their first album in years, and sell even more copies than Brand New? We’ve got two of ‘em in mind. 

#AlternativeFacts is a weekly Billboard podcast devoted to all things alternative music. Click here to subscribe to the #AlternativeFacts Podcast on iTunes. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@cpayneonaplane) and by rating the podcast on iTunes.