VACAVILLE — This town is about to get a heavy dose of arena rock as Bradford, a six-piece band from the Tracy area, will play at Str8 Shooters this weekend.
The band takes its name from vocalist Bret Bradford, who grew up in a music-loving household. He joined his first band at 18. Bradford was formed in the summer of 2012.
Here’s what Bret Bradford shared in an email.
Q: Do you play both original and covers?
We pride ourselves on being original musicians and generally don’t play covers. We’ve always found that it’s really hard to capture the essence of someone else’s music and we’d much rather present our own. However, there are times when we pull out “Rockin In the Free World” by Neil Young. Other than that, we’re original music through and through.
Q: How, and when, did the band come together?
The band really happened by accident. I had been in a long-term band, I was burned out and the band was getting stagnant, so I dissolved the group in May 2012. (I) took some time off to regroup and refocus on my writing. In July 2012, I got a call from a small-time producer/engineer out of Santa Rosa asking if I wanted to do a 12-song acoustic album. I declined that offer and countered with a 14-song full band album. He accepted, and I gathered a few core musicians I knew and started to rehearse the new material.
During the course of recording, I continued to seek out different musicians (who) could add certain styles and flavors to the songs and album as a whole. What came of these new musicians and relationships was awesome, and the chemistry of personalities was too good to pass up.
On Dec. 20, I wrote a song called “When the World Dies” and immediately called Chris Wells, Scott Garbutt, Mark Randall, Christie Miller and Ian Conway and asked them to come to the studio to record the track. Halfway through the recording session, we found ourselves in the control room eating lunch and I “popped the question,” asking if everyone was interested in forming a band. Everyone agreed and we found ourselves writing and rehearsing a short time later.
(Wells plays drums, Garbutt is the bassist, Randall handles rhythm guitar, Miller background vocals and Conway lead guitar.)
Q: Your album is coming out in December. Tell me about recording the album.
With the band officially formed, we started to circulate a few of the songs we had recorded. In April, our song “Mexico” found its way to Tate Music Group and within a week they had signed us and asked us to deliver an album. Nothing like being put on the spot!
We decided on what songs we wanted to record as our debut and contacted longtime friend and producer Chris Holmes to engineer the album. We entered Heirloom Studio in Chico in May and commenced recording. The sessions were precise, everyone was really well-rehearsed so they went pretty quick and, as always, we were able to add things to the songs in the studio as Chris made suggestions for improvements. Very efficient sessions and being on the road, it really brought the band together even closer than we already were.
Q; What is a Bradford show like?
Bradford shows are high energy and a hell of a lot of fun. We do our best to bring an arena-type show to any venue we play, meaning we have a great sound system, awesome lights show, fog, the whole nine yards. We play as hard as we can for as long as we can (or are allowed) and have great crowd interaction. We have definitely built our own sense of community in every venue we’ve played, and the fans’ energy from the music is awesome every time.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.