There’s something to be said for a name you can grow into. As Brass Bed‘s Christiaan Mader explains, there was more to the group’s moniker than a Bob Dylan song and what initially started off as Americana influences. The name was one part comfort (“like a good pair of jeans”) and another bit of blind faith: Mader says a fellow bandmate was convinced that all good bands’ names start with the letter B.
“He may dispute the pair of jeans comment but the band is pretty comfortable,” Mader tells the Appeal.
“It’s a funny thing. We grew up doing this. The name was coined at about 21 and as we started to get older and graduated college, the band went kind of dormant until I hit 23.”
Brass Bed went through quite a few sonic changes from Mader’s initial love affair with roots rock and Americana, an enthusiasm not necessarily shared by the rest of the band. The Louisiana quartet soon swapped pedal-steels with more modern fare, as well as a renewed recording intensity not quite seen with their earlier incarnation. That type of focus prompted a whole new way to capture their sound, as heard in their latest offering The Secret Will Keep You.
The ten track LP is the result of just ten days of studio time, all tracked live in order to capture their raw energy, an important focal point for Mader and co.
“We worked it out live in the studio and made sure it was visceral, almost ugly for us. What resulted was this up front and very honest album that didn’t necessarily happen behind studio trickery,” Mader says.
The Secret Will Keep You meshes well with fellow B-named bands the Byrds and the Beatles, both of which Mader cites as influences. Tinges of psychedelia embellish strong indie rock from opener “Cold Chicory” to the moody electronics and ethereal harmonies of closing track “Have To Be Fine.” With each track, there is an urgency that suits Brass Bed quite well.
“With Brass Bed as we’ve gotten older, we haven’t necessarily gotten mellower,” Mader continues, “I feel like now we’re way more aggressive.”
As the band continues to come into their own, they’ve also made sure to look back at their roots for inspiration. As with fellow Lafayette indie rockers Generationals, Brass Bed grew up learning the importance of the live show thanks to a hometown culture committed to music as well as showmanship.
“Lafayette has so many local traditions and with music it’s extremely important. It can be a difficult place to crack because there are lots of expectations for what you can deliver and because music is such a social event. It’s a party time,” Mader explains.