When you do something “with Bravado” you are doing something in “a bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate.” So when the band “with Bravado” explained how they picked their band name, we were pretty amused.
Our band name is a juxtaposition of our members introversion and the idea of having boldness of personality as a performing band. It kind of started as a joke because our members were so quiet, but as the music got more aggressive, the name ended up fitting the band better than we thought it would.
Our amusement with the explanation gave way to our amusement with their music, particularly in watching their debut music video for We’re All Alone Together. In some ways, the sounds generated by the band took us back to the days of the grunge rockers.
Who is with Bravado?
The band is made up of Julian Stanz (guitar, vocals), Kayla Stanz (bass, vocals), Cj Starnes (guitar) and Tom Hale (drums). Julian started the band and sought female vocals, making Kayla a natural fit. As a bonus, Julian and Kayla had already been playing guitar together. They were already friends with CJ as well, and eventually convinced him to bring his talent into the band. Tom was brought into the mix when the band heard him audition for another artist (how very dare!!!) and begged him to be their drummer because, as Kayle said, “He is amazing.”
Q & A with “with Bravado?”
What have been some of your biggest challenges as a band and how have you overcome those challenges?
Surviving the studio was definitely our biggest challenge! We went into studio for the first time and we had no idea what we were doing, it was expensive, and our band fell apart. Members were leaving right and left to the point that Kayla and Julian were the only existing members left at the end of the process. Working in studio on our second EP was SO much better because we had experience and knew what not to do that time around. Another big challenge in the past has been finding band members who were willing to uphold the high standard that we have and/or bring the level of commitment necessary in order to accurately reflect what with Bravado is about.
Do you record in a professional studio or an at-home studio?
We now record in a professional studio with our amazing engineer/ producer Cody Landers of Aerolith Audio at Young Avenue Sound in Memphis! He’s the best!
What musical genre do you classify yourself as?
A hodge podge of alternative, metal, and grunge with a sprinkling of post-hardcore and prog.
How would you describe your music?
What is with Bravado? It’s been described as a fusion of Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth, David Bowie, Interpol, and Stevie Nicks. with Bravado is an alternative rock band and makes no apologies for it. It couples the spirit of alternative rock with the progressive sounds of earlier eras. It’s a unique sound but an approachable one. It is its own sound, and is not easily comparable to other music, but that’s not a bad thing. with Bravado remains innovative enough to forge ahead into the prog/alt rock scene, but approachable enough to be understood. Take two songs with water and call us in the morning.
Who are some of your musical influences and why?
Smashing Pumpkins – The guitar work, sonic landscape, and nonconventional vocals of this band have always inspired us tremendously.
Sonic Youth – The zany, noisy, grungy, experimental nature of Sonic Youth is incredible and fearless. We love it!
Interpol & mewithoutYou – The interesting way that the lyrics are approached is very stimulating and we love the moods of these bands!
What milestones have you reached in your music career that you’d like to share?
Having the opportunity to release a second EP has been real privilege to us and we’re so thankful that we got to work with such wonderful people on it. Lately we’ve been added to the rotations of several radio stations all over the world, and for that we are truly so grateful!
If you could only play one song together for the rest of your lives, which song would it be?
It’s hard to choose!! In Love with Something Real is so much fun to play, so we’ll go with that!
How often do you perform live?
Up to three times a month if we’re playing out of town.
What types of events/venues do you generally perform at?
College campuses, well known local music venues, and anywhere out of town that asks us to play.
Any totally embarrassing anecdotal story from one of your performances?
Cj and Julian are constantly falling over. One night we looked back at the end of playing In Love with Something Real, which is usually our closing song, and Cj had thrashed around so much that he fell into the drums. Good times! Also, Julian tells such terrible jokes that he’s in a constant state of embarrassment!
Do you write your own songs or who in the band generally writes for you?
Julian is our main songwriter. Sometimes he will bring the rest of the band a song that’s already almost finished. When we’re writing more from the ground up together, he will be the one to first come up with the basic idea for chord structure and mood and then we all work on building it collaboratively as it develops into more of a finished piece.
What projects are you currently working on?
We’re currently plotting our points to release a follow up EP! CJ, Tom, and Julian are also in another band together called Sleeping Seasons that’s working on making music.
What needs for elevating your music career aren’t being met?
We are seeking to be included in more Spotify playlists to allow our music to reach more listeners.
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