Brad Explores 'Discovery Park'

Excerpted from the magazine for

After two albums for Epic, Seattle rock outfit Brad has landed on Redline Entertainment for "Welcome to Discovery Park," released yesterday (Aug. 13). In support, the band will set off on its first U.S. tour in more than five years this fall.

The new set finds the longstanding lineup of Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, and Satchel vocalist/keyboardist Shawn Smith and drummer Regan Hagar augmented by a host of musical cohorts, including touring multi-instrumentalist Mike Berg and former Brad bassist Jeremy Toback, who had not worked with the group since 1997's "Interiors." Percussionist Elizabeth Pupo-Walker and multi-instrumentalist Thaddeus Turner, who played with the band during a short tour last fall, are also featured.

Smith's soulful singing is at the center of such cuts as "Shinin'," "Never Let Each Other Down," and "If You Could Make It Good." Elsewhere, the band dabbles in funky rock ("Drop It Down," "Couch T-Bone"), breezy, melodic pop (first single, "La, La, La," "Takin' It Easy"), and unconventional sonic detours ("Arrakis"). The set was produced by the band in tandem with Phil Nicolo and Skip Drinkwater.

"It goes from super mellow to a little rowdy," Hagar says of the material. "There's also some straight pop stuff, because we all like all those things. The only way to represent us is to have a little of everything." Streaming audio of the track "La, La, La" can be sampled at Brad's official Web site.

"We spread things out and used things from different sources; some multi-track, some more demo-ish, some things that were more shined up in the mixing process than we've ever done before," he continues. "'Shinin',' to me, has a certain kind of R&B production quality that we haven't had before. I also lean toward the 'Never Let Each Other Down'-type of sound, which brings out the lo-fi quality."

Even though the band has only recently returned to active duty, Gossard attributes the ease in regrouping to years of friendship. "It's such an exciting feeling to come back to something that is familiar and yet intense; intense because it's stemming from real relationships."

The band is slated to make a series of in-store appearances to meet fans beginning in Boulder, Colo. (Aug. 15-16); Seattle (Aug. 17); and Portland, Ore. (Aug. 19). The tour in support of "Welcome to Discovery Park" is due to kick off in October.

Expect the band to dig through its back catalog to work up fan favorites from the first two records when it comes time to hit the road. Gossard says the bolstered lineup should make this process even more enjoyable. "We can be a band as a three, four, five, or six piece," he says. "It's a growing entity, and that's exciting! The more the merrier on that front."

Excerpted from the Aug. 17, 2002, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the members section.

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