Ep. 2 - Talking Punk Rock From Pioneer to Present with Angelo Celli of Bracket

 

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In this Episode of the Powered By Rock podcast, Angelo Celli of the Northern California punk rock band Bracket joins the show to talk about what it has been like to be in a punk band for over 20 years now and how everyday life and responsibilities are now part of the equation when trying to release music.

Bracket has always been one of my favorite bands, and the album When All Else Fails was one of the most played CD's I ever owned. 

They have been one of the longest running punk bands over the last 25+ years, and each album they put out is incredibly good.

If you haven't heard of Bracket before or haven't dug into their catalog, I recommend you do so. 

Also, Angelo and Zack (bassist) have got a few side projects you can check out as well.

Intro Music: "Colorado" by Birds Love Filters

Bracket on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5knnDYKq8qxrEmdbE4u8r2

Bracket's Bandcamp Page: https://bracket.bandcamp.com/

Bracket's Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/bracket_the_band/

Angelo's New Band, Guilty Party, Instgram: https://instagram.com/guilty_party_band?utm_medium=copy_link

Zach's New Band, Here Comes the Comet, Instgram: https://instagram.com/hctcband?utm_medium=copy_link
 
 
Angelo's Solo Music Bandcamp Page: https://angelocelli.bandcamp.com/
Transcription:
Isaac Kuhlman 0:00
Hello and welcome to the Powered By Rock podcast where we're gonna be speaking with Angelo Celli from one of my absolute favorite punk bands of all time Bracket.

You're listening to the Powered By Rock podcast with your host Isaac Kuhlman. The Powered By Rock podcast is created helps showcase some of the best rock musicians in the world and the past on the future generations of rock music that has inspired rock bands around the world protected. We want listeners to be able to hear great stories and life experiences directly from their favorite artists, as well as dig deeper into music theory and talk rock like no other show you've ever heard. This isn't about looking cool. It's about getting real and having a great time. Without further ado, let's start the show.

All right. Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome to the Powered By Rock podcast. I'm incredibly excited today as I need to speak to Angela from bracket about how things have been cracking on the California punk rock scene for about the last 20 years or so. And dig deeper into his mind than possibly anyone ever has before. So welcome to the show. Angelo.

Angelo 1:08
Thank you. Thank you.

Isaac Kuhlman 1:11
So obviously, you've been in and guitar player with the band bracket. And so it's an absolute pleasure to have you on the show today in honor of mine personally, because I've been rocking out to you guys's music, since I was like a sophomore in high school. That was actually I think, even just shortly before you join the band when they started doing those Fat Music, compilation albums, and they put a bracket on those. But, you know, obviously, some of my favorite albums have been featuring you as well. So I want to thank you for, you know, entertaining me on road trips getting me pumped for work and for workouts and basically being a part of my life for the last 20 years or so. So thanks for the great music.

Angelo 1:44
Oh, yeah. Well, thanks for appreciating it. Yeah, we we've been we've been doing it a long time. Not that you're old. But and not that we are either. But yeah, thanks. Thanks for having me. For sure.

Isaac Kuhlman 1:59
Yeah. So before we dig into some of the questions I want to get to today, I'd really like to just kind of, for you to just give us your backstory, maybe explain how you became a musician in the first place. Kind of how the decision was made to bring you in to replace Larry in Bracket obviously. Yeah, and how your longevity and one of the longer running active punk bands has made you the man and the musician you are now.

Angelo 2:22
Yeah, no, it's a it's a long, boring story. I'll and I'm really good at doing that. Telling those. So I'll try to be succinct. But, um, I. So Marty in the band is my older cousin. And so from a young age, I looked up to him.

I mean, before before Bracket was Bracket. It was Marty and his friends, Larry, Zack and Ray and they were teenagers. And they all you know, played music and and I just thought they were cool older kids, you know, that, that I looked up to, like I said, when I was like, I think I wanted to play guitar because my big cousin Marty played guitar. So so when they started playing as playing like, like covers of, I don't know, old classic rock stuff. You know, they were they were like in middle school, I think and and I sort of learned how to play guitar on my own and with my parents hired a guitar teacher and I was like 10, 11 maybe. But I never really learned how to play music the way that he was an awesome guy. And he still is he still around. But but I ended up just wanting to emulate my, my older cousin and his buddies in what they were back then called High output.

And and so fast forward a few years I was in high school and I got a four track you know, whatever those are those little four track recorder things. And I started recording cover songs of Bracket in my bedroom. Because not only so they were cool to me when I was a little kid, but then when they were they were Bracket, and they were touring and they were you know playing some music that was new and different to me. So yeah, see, I told you this is not going to I can go on and on.

So so then let's fast forward again, because we can't be here all day. I was for a very brief period of my life. I was going to a gym if you can believe that. And, and Marty also, he probably stuck with it longer than I did. So we'll say he was probably at the gym too. Twice a day, I ran into him. And, you know, we stayed in touch, but they were, they were putting out records on fat and, you know, going on tour and coming back and I didn't see him a whole lot, but we ran into each other at the gym one day in, in Santa Rosa near, like in Sonoma County where we live. And he, he didn't really go into detail. But he said that Larry, sort of like, without making a real announcement kind of wasn't playing with them right now. They didn't know what was going to be happening, but, but they wanted to keep going as a band, and they weren't sure what his plans were, he just sort of I think he, like, stayed, they were on tour, and he stayed in one of the towns that they were touring in, or something, I should know the story better, but I don't remember exactly.

Anyway, he just asked if I wanted to try playing with them, you know, maybe just temporarily or whatever, because he had heard all my embarrassing four track covers of bracket songs. And so that basically, that it just went from there, I got together with them. It was surreal playing with, with, you know, guys that I looked up to from the time I was a kid, and, and then was, you know, fascinated with the music that they were putting out as bracket. And but I knew I play a lot of the songs because because of that same reason. So it it just kind of worked out. So I feel super, you know, lucky and appreciative and I'm not sure how that all worked out that way. But Larry never really came back. And the rest of

The fire trucks are coming in for me. So, so anyway, that's that's kind of how I started playing with them. And that was in 1998. So it's been more than 20 years, which is crazy to say. And, yeah, without did I answered the question? I think I did. And then so yeah,

Isaac Kuhlman 7:20
yeah. Well, I think it's funny because, you know, when being members lead bands, there's usually kind of like a vetting out process that kind of seems like you kind of were like, close enough to be like, Hey, you know, we know that you know, our stuff. So I'm surprised it didn't make you do like some, like weird audition where you had to, like, stand up in front of like, the band and play naked, or it's a hazing method or something.

Angelo 7:41
Oh, it was, it was a hazing enough to just, you know, I mean, I can't quite remember, but I remember just the thought of driving over there. And, I mean, I knew them for many years, but, but not knowing really what how it was gonna turn out. And, and honestly, I had, I was like, 19 or so at 18 or 19. And I had never played with anybody. I was just I sat in my bedroom playing music and recording stuff by myself. So not only had I never played in a band. What did I think I was doing trying to join Bracket, you know? But it all worked out. So yeah, it was it was nerve wracking, even though they were always, you know, patient and kind and excited to, to see where we went after that. And, and, and I think somehow, we all got lucky enough that that we all progressed together obviously became a part of the I mean, I Marty's my family anyway, but we're best friends and family. And and I think we evolved musically together. And I definitely don't think I personally took us in any direction that we wouldn't have gone in. But I do think that Marty and I, like kind of play off each other as, as I got more comfortable in the band and got more comfortable in my own. You know, like, maybe not necessarily songwriting, but ideas for music and influences that we both started to share. So it kind of took band in a different direction. And while we've disappointed a lot of people for the last 20 years, not to worry, it's not I swear, everybody, I'm gonna make the statement. It's not it's not just my fault. It's not when Angelo joined the band, they stopped touring. It was just sort of a coincidence. So we have continued to record and make music that we are, you know, really proud of and, and we played a few shows every few years, and that's probably the most at work that anybody's gonna get out of us. Yeah, so yeah.

Isaac Kuhlman 9:59
Cool. I mean, I think the the evolution of the music is one thing that I would definitely want to talk about. And I think that we can get into a little bit more in just a second. But I think even the fact that, you know, obviously, Marty was always like the kind of the the front man, lead singer. But if I'm not mistaken, I don't have the liner notes of every single song or anything, but I believe on the last album, Too Old to Die Young, didn't you actually sing a couple of those songs? lead vocals?

Angelo 10:26
Yeah, and let's see two or I can't remember, there's two or three songs that I sang. And, and Zach sang lead vocals on one of the songs too. And, and yeah, that was also like, part of the evolution, I think, but, you know, just the progression of how we, the process of making Too Old to Die Young was different than it had been in the past. And some of that was just a natural progression of, you know, what we wanted to do at the time. And, and it also just, we just kind of came at recording, I mean, writing and, and coming up with the songs for that in a different way. Which then lent itself to having whoever came up with the song. Sing it.

And Marty, you know, like Marty has, like the he has a negative ego, like he, he, he was the one that was pushing us to sing the songs that we wrote. And he wouldn't let us back out of it. You know, we were both saying no, no, you do it. You're the singer, you know, but no, he's, he's always been, you know, I, we all know, he is a gifted musician, and songwriter. And I've looked up to him in both of those aspects for, you know, a large chunk of my life, both as a fan of the band and as a member of the band, but he has, he's just always been very what's the word like, not only supportive, but wanting us to to to be more a part of it and not wanting any sort of spotlight I guess. So it's, it's definitely pushed the rest of us to feel a little more comfortable, even though like my biggest thing with him was there some of my favorite bands I mean, Beatles excluded when another member sings a song. It's always like a it's not my favorite thing, but but he did one

Isaac Kuhlman 12:34
Well, the one good thing is you have you guys all have complimentary vocal, like harmonies with each other. So it's not even that noticeable that it's like, oh, that's not Marty anymore. It's just it's just slightly different enough to be like, Oh, wait, that is somebody else singing that song. That's that's actually pretty cool.

Angelo 12:49
Yeah, no, I mean, I'm happy with how it turned out and and it was fun to do something different and and it's true like you said, We I don't think there's many songs in since I joined the band on any of the records that don't have all of us singing, you know, for for the most part, where we're all singing harmonies on the songs even if Marty's singing the lead vocals, so so I think it is just it all kind of blends together anyway.

Isaac Kuhlman 13:18
Yeah, now I kind of consider Bracket to be like a punk rock pioneer band I know it's you probably had that same feeling when you were kind of growing up like you know there's NOFX and Lagwagon and Screeching Weasel all these guys out there you kind of touched on it like joining a band like that that that was kind of getting some notoriety you ever look at that and just like think like man What the heck like what kind of what did I get myself into this is crazy right? And then also Can you give us some some insight as to what the rides like now you got family, kids, back problems? I don't know.

Angelo 13:50
All of the above! Yeah, I could definitely like you know you get caught up in just that's this is just what it's been for 20 something years but But even now I will think think back to you know my myself back then or or whatever and first of all, the funny thing is I discovered all those Fat bands because of being a Bracket fan and so it was like Bracket which is this is probably backwards for most people Bracket was the was the gateway drug to to NOFX and Lagwagon and all those Fat bands and and that was just because I was always interested in what and what Marty and them were doing. And so it's it's just kind of a funny perspective to say that listening to bracket got me into punk, and then somehow I got to be a part of the band so and then and then coming full and not necessarily for full circle.

But I remember the first time you know, meeting Fat Mike and talking to him and I It just was surreal. Because it was like, Okay, I joined Bracket. And now I'm sitting here talking to the lead singer of NOFX who I was listening to and, you know, in high school and it's just, uh, yeah, I, I was lucky I had I had a connection that, that and an opportunity that not a lot of people get to have, and some would say it's a it's a curse rather than an opportunity. But, yeah. And then as far as now, yeah. I mean, a lot could be said about what we're up to now, not that we're doing tons of things, but but all of us. You know, as you can imagine, as time goes on, where we have families and jobs and responsibilities that are mostly good, but you know, also just get in the way of, or complicate the ability to, to do stuff as much as we'd like to, not to mention all the things that this whole world is experiencing the lastcouple of years, but

Isaac Kuhlman 14:56
You couldn't have toured last year, even if you wanted to.

Angelo 16:09
Yeah, exactly. So in some ways, not to make light of all the terrible things that we have all experienced. But I was thinking about it the other day, it's kind of like, the current situation kind of matches what Bracket's been willing to do for many years. So we it's just like the whole world had to slow down to, to match up with what, what we can pull off. Yeah, I mean, I'm joking, obviously. But yeah, we we played much, much planning and forethought. And all of that went into two shows that we played in February of last year. So we just made it by the skin of our teeth, or whatever that saying is, because I think as we were playing those two shows mid February, we were just starting to hear about COVID things, but it seemed like, you know, something that wasn't gonna be what it ended up being. So I think if we would have delayed those, those two shows anymore, it may have been another decade before we got out. Yeah. So we all Yes, we have families and kids and jobs and sore backs and, and yet still, you know, love. We still have a lot of we love playing music. And we are proud of what we've done and up to keep doing stuff in some. Some way.

Isaac Kuhlman 17:41
Yeah. Well, one of the reasons why I really wanted to start doing this podcast because I actually had a son this year. He's seven and a half months old. And I really want to introduce him at some point to all the awesome bands that I listened to growing up and he can go watch this and be like, Oh, I really like bracket. They're freaking awesome. This is a band that my dad was listening to all these years or whatever. And, you know, speaking of that, my favorite Bracket album is actually the first album you were on, which was When All Else Fails which a friend of mine saw on our record store shelf and bought it for me because you knew how much I liked bracket. It was probably the best offhand gift I've ever received. I was like, You bought me this album. Like, that's cool. Like, thanks. Like, this is awesome. And it had awesome songs like Everyone is Telling Me I'll Never Win If I Fall in Love with a Girl from Marin, Yoko Ono, and No Brainer and Cynically Depressed, like these are great, these great songs. And I'd say some of those songs should be in some sort of like punk rock Hall of Fame. So I gotta ask you like, what was the experience like going into that album? What kind of mindset did you have? Were you just like, what the heck am I doing here? Where are you like,

Angelo 18:36
Oh, yeah, pretty much. Yeah, I'm making When All Else Fails was I just looked back very fondly at that, on that time, because it was all really new. It was the first time I'd ever been in a studio. I think that we've had been in the studio I, we recorded one or two things like one off songs. Maybe a few months after I joined the band, but when all else fails was very different and exciting for me. Because it was it was a full album. And we were like we took we all took two weeks off of work and and that was all brand new, I'd never done that. And, and also, we had been playing learning and playing those songs that Marty had written for months and months. And so it was all like the first for me it was hearing the songs playing in a room and then getting to report them and work with Ryan Greene at Motor Studios. And and then seeing it, seeing it to the end where it was missed and released and stuff. So it's Marty will very publicly admit that that's not his favorite record of ours,

Isaac Kuhlman 19:58
Which I saw I saw something about that. He was disappointed because he wanted more harmonies and stuff to go into. And I'm like, it sounds absolutely flawless In my opinion, but I think he's just being overly analytical.

Angelo 20:10
Yeah, he I mean, that's, that's kind of that's the way that he feels about our music. You know, I think he, he is, yeah, overly analytical, but a lot of people like it. And, and a lot of people still do like it. And whether I think it's our best batch of songs or not, doesn't matter, because to me, it was just, it was a, there's a song called That Place in Time, right, so that that album just holds a special, I'm gonna roll up my window, a special place in time, if you will, for me, because I can listen to that and think back on all those experiences that were brand new and exciting for me. Yeah. And I can probably say that about every album that we've recorded for different reasons.

Isaac Kuhlman 21:06
I mean, being like, obviously, we'll get into a little bit in a second. But you guys have your own record label. Or I should say, your recording studio now. And some other things that go into it, so you can put your time into it. Right. But before I get into that, the one, the one thing I want to speak about is, I think that Bracket has a very unique sound. I think it's one of the most defining things about Bracket. It's like you guys kind of have harmonies and melodies vocally. But then you also kind of like throw in these out of the ordinary chord progressions with like, fifth and seventh chords and stuff like that, to kind of take away that kind of pop sound and make it more a bit more melancholy. I mean, is that deliberate? Or is that just kind of a natural way you guys have always played?

Angelo 21:45
Uh yeah, I mean, I, I guess it would, my best answer I could give you is it's probably a little of both of those things. Deliberate because it's interesting to, to us. Yeah, just that we we like the way that it sounds to, to, it just makes the it makes the song more complex and interesting to us. And, you know, we obviously hear that and appreciate that in other songwriters. And it's just something that I mean, I learned a lot of weird chords from playing with Marty. And, and I think his songwriting has been influential on on me for sure. And, and yeah, I guess, I guess the point I was trying to make, I don't know if it made sense, but but having, you could have the same melody in one song and playing more kind of predictable chords. And that same melody might take on a totally different sound or like you said, melancholy feeling or whatever. When you when you throw in a weird chord, which we like to do, as you, as you can tell, and thanks for hearing that and appreciating that because that's definitely what, definitely what that's one of the things that is exciting and challenging about, about what we try to do. Yeah,

Isaac Kuhlman 23:13
Yeah, I think it's awesome. Because I think it's the very first thing that I saw, I heard about, I was like, well, that you'd expect, like a C major to come in here. And if not, it's something totally different. I'm like, Well, I just flattened out in a whole different kind of sound to it. So it's pretty cool to see that and hear that, especially keep that consistently through the years. I mean, most bands, you know, they'll throw in one song like that and be like, well, that's our experimental song, right? And then you can just like, that's us. That's our sound for the whole time. So it's pretty awesome to hear.

Angelo 23:41
Thank you. Yeah, it's, it's, it's nice when, I mean, it's funny, because we'll get different reactions to that aspect of our music. And everyone kind of says it in a different way. But, but we all know what they're talking about, you know, they'll say like, That's chord just sounds wrong, but it's kind of okay, or whatever. And, and honestly, there have been times where we've had to listen to things a few times to make sure. Is that weird? Or is that just wrong? You know, whether it's talking about a weird harmony or weird chord, but yeah, but I think we don't mind it kind of skirting the edge of wrong if we're getting to do something that's, that's interesting or challenging to us and probably to our listeners.

Isaac Kuhlman 24:28
Yeah, I think it's been awesome. Now, if the Instagram teasers can be believed you guys have a new album in the works, right? So can you give us any information or give us a sneak peek of how that's going when you expect to maybe have that finished or, like the songwriting process so far?

Angelo 24:47
Well, maybe I mean, I'll be kind of cryptic because we have to be careful saying we're working on a new album because you know, for some bands, that means the album will be done in two weeks. And it'll be out in three, three months. And so we'd like people to know that we're not completely giving up on all of this, but, but saying that we're working on it doesn't mean we're sitting in the studio every day. But yes, we do have, I think we have like 12 or 13 songs that are written, you know, like, lyrics and vocal melodies and chords, and, and we have demos of them recorded, which is really just just a click track and, and guitars. And

Isaac Kuhlman 25:42
That's a way to practice a song usually for the whole band, right?

Angelo 25:45
Yeah, yeah. And, and the next step, so obviously, we're gonna do this in a similar way there then, as we have for the last few, which is, so our drummer lives a few states away in Colorado, Ray.

And so once we've got all the songs kind of ironed out and know exactly how we want the chords, and, and the bass, the bass and the guitar to to go, we'll have kind of rough tracks of those with a click track, and then we'll send it to Ray. send those to Ray and just kind of let him mess around with it, and then book some time for him to come out and record drums and then we will, you know, slowly re record everything to our, to our actual standards. And because right now it's like, I have a little effects pedal, and I'm just recording guitar straight into my laptop and Pro Tools and, and then just have to click on and then so when Zach and I have been getting together, he's, which is it's just, you know, like, like I said, it's not it's, it's, we're going at our own pace, which may even be slower than our usual pace.

But But part of that is not to not to sidetrack but Zach is playing in another band that is probably currently more active than Bracket. They actually had a show scheduled for the end of last month, that had to be postponed because of tricky COVID regulations and things and making sure everybody was safe. But so he's playing in a band called Here Comes the Comet. And they're recording an album and I think they're a lot closer to being done with their record than Bracket. Yeah. So he's, he keeps busy with that. And and I started a band with a couple of people. And we've also got some things cooking up in in that direction. So no,

Isaac Kuhlman 27:58
And what's that band called?

Angelo 27:59
Guilty Party. Yeah. Nothing. Nothing really is on the backburner. We're just kind of keeping a lot of we're just kind of everything's at a simmer right now. Yeah. Although, I would say Zach's band, like I said, is, is probably a little, a few steps ahead of everybody else. As you know, our little camp. But Guilty Party was something that came out of playing from probably initially came out of playing the last show that we played in on Valentine's Day, last year, we we kind of decided what bands we were going to ask to play with us because it's so infrequent that we play I think, the last time we played a show was the Fat 25th anniversary in like 2015. So we just figured we would ask some bands that we admired, and we thought might be able to, first of all would be into playing with us and and might be able to play where we wanted to play which was in Santa Rosa and San Francisco, two nights in a row. So anyway, luckily, we got we got a few bands that we were fans of to play with us. And that was it was fun, because it was kind of like, there they were all bands that we're fans of and luckily they were able to make the arrangements to to play with us, including Mercy Music. One of my favorite bands that came all the way from Las Vegas to play two shows with us in Sonoma County and, and, and in San Francisco. Anyway, I got off track there. So we played with Toy Guitar, another one of our favorite Fat bands and

I struck up a friendship with Rosie their drummer. Just kind of you know, we talked a couple of times getting, you know, preparation for our one night tour or Two day tour, and a few months into the pandemic, we were talking about music and feeling stagnant and not knowing what to do and I, I said I have some songs that aren't really Bracket songs, but they basically we just decided to give it a shot kind of a from home pandemic collaboration thing. And, and we stayed in touch and I kept sending her song ideas and she wrote some lyrics and came up with some song ideas and we we got together I don't know a couple of months ago, and we're really excited about it. I think it's gonna be it's gonna be a fun thing to to play with some different people just a different experience. Similar music for sure. You know, if you like, if you like Bracket or Toy Guitar. I think that I think that people will be into it. Once we really get out there. We had our first show scheduled and it was it had to be cancelled because unfortunately, Rosie the drummer broke her arm and she is healing.

Isaac Kuhlman 31:14
She can't do the old Def Leppard thing.

Angelo 31:16
Well, I didn't I you know what, I didn't ask her. I didn't want to put too much pressure on her. We had such momentum, you know, one practice and a show ready to go and, but that's okay. Cuz, you know, we're all busy too. So it was just like, Okay, well, then we'll we'll take, give you some time to heal. And we'll, we'll pick back up where we left off. But yeah, we have plans to record at least an EP sometime soon. And her friend Rob plays bass. He's been in a couple of bands. Oh, no, they're the names are escaping me. I think Long Knives. But I literally, I literally met him on the first day of our first practice, and we just all clicked really well. I mean, so it's fun. It's fun to have something. Something else and. And yeah, oh, so Rosie gets her cast off Friday. So we're gonna make some plans for later this year. So watch out.

Isaac Kuhlman 32:18
Excellent. I actually wanted to bring up some of the solo stuff you've been doing anyway. So it's good that you brought up the side project. But one particular song that I wanted to bring up was, you did a cover of the song That Lucky Old Sun? How in the hell did you decide to pick that song from a 1940s? You know, pop song basically, or, or radio song? And what does that song mean to you? I mean, you did a great job. I just was like, wait, this is this is definitely a cover song. I've heard this song before. But

Angelo 32:48
It's funny, somebody I can't remember exactly. But somebody sent a message or something when, when that was released, saying, I think they didn't recognize that it was a cover and just said, Wow, that's your best song yet. Because I didn't write it. Um, so I'll be honest, the first time I heard it was on a Brian Wilson album from like, 10 years ago. Brian Wilson is a huge influence, in many ways. But that album was not one of the best, but that song kinda, I just kind of like the melody of it. And then. And then I heard a Willie Nelson version of it. And I was Oh, I didn't know Willie Nelson did it. And then it turns out it's an even older song that I

Isaac Kuhlman 33:37
It's been covered a few times, but I wasn't sure where you heard, I guess the Beach Boys. Brian Wilson makes the most sense, because it's the most vocally similar to Bracket.

Angelo 33:47
Yeah. And I think probably the cover was more. I think the Willie Nelson's version was a little more like in my head when I did that, but but definitely Yeah, that I don't know that I would have heard that song If not for the the Brian Wilson album that I'm not even sure if I still have that. Like I said, he I respect and love everything he's done. But that that wasn't that wasn't my favorite. But yeah, this Yeah, the solo stuff has just sort of served as a stuff to do. Where I don't have to think like, Okay, this is gonna be a Bracket song or, and just getting more comfortable with recording by myself. And learning, learning how to use the newest Pro Tools software and,

Isaac Kuhlman 34:44
I feel like the recording and technology side of it's harder than actually playing the stuff.

Angelo 34:48
Probably. Yeah, well, it's equal parts equally challenging for me, and just finding time You know, that's that. It's, it's not as we all I love my job. You know, we've we've, for many years said, I wish we could just do this for a living, I would not be would not be nice. We would be so much more prolific. Yeah, and some of the solo stuff that I've recorded, will find some of those songs will find their way I think into on future things with actually with both bands, I think we might be using one or two songs from there on the next Bracket record, and I mean different, you know, just but just kind of as a as a, what do you call it like a rough draft? Or an idea to kind of Bracket it up a little bit? And Guilty Party, we've been playing one of the songs what I forget what it's called, but it's a it's one of the waltzy ones. And we just we started playing it just more straightforward. pop punk. in real time.

Isaac Kuhlman 35:58
In 3/4 timing still?

Angelo 35:58
No, no, okay. Nope, changed it. Not against three, four timing and punk. I that's fun. But,

Isaac Kuhlman 36:07
It probably sounds more waltzy if you do anything in three, four timing now. Yeah. So I have to ask, are you okay to stick around for like, just maybe three, four more minutes?

Angelo:
Yeah, yeah, of course.

Isaac:
Perfect. So I have to ask about Warren song, because it appears on different versions. Obviously, there's like 29, I think now, there was actually even two full albums of Warren songs at this point. So, you know, I kind of have to ask, because I'm not even sure like the narrative anymore. I know, it was started from, like, a friend of the band at the time. Is it still about this Warren person? Or is it kind of just more like a metaphor for living through life? And what's Warren's relationship to the band? How is it like these songs keep cropping up about Warren?

Angelo 36:52
Yeah, I think I think you kind of said it, it became, it sort of became about more just not specifically about that person in real life. So yeah, this the, the history of Warren goes back to before I was in the band when they were in, like, elementary school. And yeah, there was a, there's a real guy named Warren, who they went to school with, or who Zack, and I don't know, if everybody anyway, he knew they knew of him. And he, I think he got like, picked on in school, he was just one of those kids that, that doesn't get treated the same as everyone else, or, you know, there was kind of like, that kind of stuff. And I don't know how they actually yeah, I'm probably the worst person to answer this question. But I don't know how they got the idea. Or, you know, how they decided to, to do it. But those, that first album had two songs, and those were definitely I can't remember the words exactly. But those were written like, perspective of, like a kid, you know, kid being picked on or whatever.

And then as you as you see, if you listen to the lyrics of the songs, as those, as those Warren songs add up to like, in the 20s. It is more just just about, you know, life or worries, or anxieties or difficulties. And so they've become something, just their own thing, nothing to do with the, like I said, with Warren, but I think after, I don't know, at what point the band decided this, but it definitely became a thing that, Oh, well. Which one of these new songs is going to be the Warren song? And, and then and, you know, that was just something that we want to do and and people are interested in it and want to know about it, and it pisses people off, sometimes, especially, especially the Requiem album, that was all Warren songs, and, and all out of order and the numbers still get kind of like, annoyed comments about why did we do that? Why would and it really just because just just because. Yeah, I mean, it just, it just was funny doesn't

Isaac Kuhlman 39:23
Why does everything have to be something specific about Yeah, I mean, it's been called a concept album or Requiem's a concept album but it's really just, you wrote a bunch of songs or like, Fuck it, let's just call it all Warren's song and change the number.

Angelo 39:36
That's a that's exactly it. I mean, those. Like I said, you know, we're, we're inspired and excited by doing things musically that are different that we think are different or unique or challenging to us. But we also can be inspired by just doing dumb things because it's just because just to say that we did it like The next album or not, was the next now, I guess two albums later. The last one is a warren song technically, and it's one song and it's like 70 something minutes long.

Isaac Kuhlman 40:12
I was listening in today. I'm like, This is hilarious.

Angelo 40:15
That is that's the road trip album, if you

Isaac Kuhlman 40:17
I mean the thing is like there's some awesome guitar work in the middle with some heavy riffs in there too. If you listen to the album, you're like, "They're definitely playing some stuff here." And it's really cool to hear. I mean, I think it's all digital. I'm not even sure if you can buy it. Like as far as physical copies go. I think between Requiem and The Last Page, people who get mad about that stuff are just looking for some answers, right? Just listen to the music. Listen to how good the music is when you listen to it, and I think what would be a really cool concept album is you take Requiem, and you take The Last Page and take all the other Warren's Songs and put it on a triple album and call it the Definitive Warren Trilogy Album

Angelo 41:01
Well, there's a cash cow in the making. I think personally, The Last Page is my favorite thing we have done, and I can also admit that it's not something you can sit down and listen to unless you have that much time and you're not going to have to pause it and lose your place or whatever.

Isaac Kuhlman 41:26
Because you can't skip tracks, right?

Angelo 41:28
Right. But we had a lot of people saying like "Why didn't you just break it up?" Because we had to weave it together. I mean what took so long, other than some kind of musically challenging things and harmonies, it was all very experimental and fun to create, and it also was a total pain in the ass to weave it together to become one. Because these were all...the cat's out of the bag...for anyone that thought that we really played it...

Isaac Kuhlman 42:00
You didn't play these 70 straight minutes all in one sitting?

Angelo 42:04
Yeah, it's like something like 90 Pro Tools sessions, and deciding how it would fit together the best, you know, to the best of our ability. And all of that stuff from wanting things to go in the same key to the next thing, and it was a huge challenge and a lot of fun. And there were times when we weren't sure that we were going to pull it off, and some people may think that we didn't. But we're happy with it, and it's fun to listen to and remember all these things that we stuck on one song or one album, I guess. And I think in some ways, all of us tried things in different ways, because you knew that in a weird 30 seconds of a song or piece of a song, that if it's a total disaster, it's just one little part, you know? And it just became part of a whole thing. I think Ray kind of drummed his butt off on certain parts that he was able to, because it was like, "Okay, this is going to be a 30 second part." Not that he can't drum his ass off all the time, but I think he was a little more loose, because it was a little short burst of song because we're recording, and it kinda brought out something different in Marty's songwriting and a little bit of mine and Zach's and the way that we played. I could go on and on. I am very fond of that album.

Isaac Kuhlman 43:49
I know how Ray feels sometimes. I play drums. I play guitar and bass and sing and all that other stuff too, but it's like when you have to play the same repetitive thing on drums or if you're playing really fast or playing for a long time, you're like, "Why did I do this to myself? Now I have to play this like often!" Let's just make it easy on myself, but it's like you always try to give yourself a challenge, but at the same time, you have to repeat this again and again.

Angelo 44:12
Yeah, we've all felt that in different ways for different reasons. You know, we recorded that 3-part harmony with a part that's like too high for any of us to sing ever again. But we actually had a few people ask if we would ever play The Last Page from front to back or whatever. From beginning to end...and we have never done that and probably never will. But we did learn about the first 5 or 6 minutes of the song and I think we played it at both of the shows last year. And that was fun.

Isaac Kuhlman 44:59
How interesting is that when you have to go back and learn your own music again?

Angelo 45:03
Yeah, well that's what happens when you only play every few years, but that was something different altogether, because that record was never...there wasn't a lot of us getting together as a band and working those songs out. And so it was a fun challenge I guess to listen to it and learn all those weird changes and it turned out good, I think. I don't know if there's any video floating around of that, and I don't know if I'd want to see it, but that was fun, yeah.

Isaac Kuhlman 45:41
So, not only was Bracket a punk rock pioneer from the 90's but now they're also the punk rock pioneers of virtual recording sessions in 2020.

Angelo 45:51
Yeah. I guess that's maybe not the most punk rock thing. But, but maybe we're just redefining what what that what punk rock means.

Isaac Kuhlman 46:01
Maybe you're ahead of the trend. I mean, kids nowadays do the exact same thing. But it's because they can't go to school, and you can't practice anymore. So you're just giving them something to look forward to you like, hey, we've been doing this for like, 10 years?

Angelo 46:11
Yeah. You don't always have to play. I mean, at the same time, you know, it's, we obviously wish we all lived in the same city. You know, it's like, I am thankful, we're all thankful that we've found a way to keep creating music together, even though even if we don't get to play together all the time. But so that technology does, it has allowed us to put out our last few records without having to take, you know, a month off of work to get together.

Isaac Kuhlman 46:47
Yeah, I mean, the sound doesn't change in my ear, like Cloud Ate off of Too Young to Die Old this, like, immediately rocks from that album. And every other song on that album is pretty awesome, too. So to be able to do it that way, and still come out with a great result, in my opinion, doesn't change how much you guys actually are good at what you do. So I think that's, that's pretty awesome that you guys might not even get a, you know, practice, like a normal band normally, like, go in the studio for like three months and then create an album. And then three months later, it's popped out. It's like, yeah, might take you five years. But the result is all that matters, right?

Angelo 47:21
Yeah. And it obviously, I think it helps. I know, it helps that we have played together for so long, we kind of even if we've tinkered our sound, and not every song or album sounds the same. I think that there's some intuitive part of how we learn the songs that, you know, that we're coming up with and how we're, you know, I don't know if I'm making my point. But like, I think if we send songs to Ray, with, you know, with some guitars and bass and a click track, we he, he intuitively kind of knows, you know, this is this would probably work. This is how we would play this song. So, we, so I think we're able to

Isaac Kuhlman 48:08
So he's not gonna like send prank drum tracks anymore. He's like, like, doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo doo doo.

Angelo 48:15
No, it's, it's like he never left. It's just yeah, so hopefully. Like I said, we're busy with other musical things and other just life things, but but I think people can expect to hear more. long slow teasings about a new album, in the coming months, and, and, you know, we'll see how I would say now it it's, it's got some things about it that are different from anything else we've ever done. And there's also some things that that are familiar, and I would say, you know, a lot of people like Too Old to Die Young. And, and, you know, we're like, we're Thank you. I like it, too. I'm not saying I don't, but

Isaac Kuhlman 49:08
Some people are not me, but other people that like it.

Angelo 49:13
Uh, it was, you know, a lot was said about the fact that we were back on Fat and it was a little scaled back, you know, experimentally then the last few and, and that was something we intentionally wanted to do. And it was a different, honestly, like, I think a lot has been said by us in other interviews, but it was a challenge of, of its own to, to try to pare things down and make an album that was not pushing every boundary that we could come up with. And that was, that was fun, and a lot of people appreciated that I think. And then in some way, it's satisfying to hear when people say Too Old to Die Young was good. But But we, you know, I really missed the experimental stuff of the previous albums because I think we do too. We're happy with everything that we've done. And, and so I would, I would hope and I would imagine that the this next bunch of songs we were able to and I think we want to not let we're not trying we're not setting out to make just a straightforward pop punk album.

Isaac Kuhlman 50:34
Dip into both

Angelo 50:35
I'm sure it will it Yeah, it definitely will. It will be, you know, it's gonna sound like us. But, but I, but we're not, you know, I think specifically Too Old to Die Young was like, let's, let's try something a little more straightforward. And I think we're just going to write the songs that we write with this new one and, and see how it sounds perfect. But I would love to, I would love to, you know, to get to experiment a little more like we like we were with the previous albums and,

Isaac Kuhlman 51:08
I'll look forward to it. I guarantee whatever year it comes out. And it's going to be one of the best albums of the year. So

Angelo 51:13
Oh, thank you.

Isaac Kuhlman 51:15
Yeah, so that's pretty much all I got. But I will add some links to the music in the show notes below the episode you have anything else? Okay, before we go to kind of let everybody know and fans know about anything today or you got pretty much everything out.

Angelo 51:27
I think I got everything and more than anyone would ever want to know about us but Zack and Marty and Ray say hi and thank you and we all want to thank everybody for everybody that is still caring and waiting for sticking around all these years and and just appreciating us for what we are which is one of the slowest moving bands in punk and and just know that we Yeah, the the reason that we keep making music is there are there are a few people that appreciate what we do and and so thanks to everybody and and watch out. There might be another album in the next another

Isaac Kuhlman 52:13
Another two city tour?

Angelo 52:16
Maybe? Yeah, but in the meantime, obviously a lookout for Zach's band, Here Comes the Comet and and my other band Guilty Party. Because we're all we're all doing. We're all cooking up some musical things. I keep saying cooking up. I think it's because it's lunchtime, but

Isaac Kuhlman 52:37
Well, I do want to thank you, Angelo for taking the time out of your day. I really appreciate the awesome conversation. And if you haven't checked out their music yet, well, it's never too late because we'll put those in the show notes, the music in the show notes below. And obviously Angelo's solo stuff as well. And if you obviously have any links for Guilty Party or was it Here Comes the Comet or Waiting for the Comet?

Angelo 52:58
Here Comes the Comet. Yeah.

Isaac Kuhlman 53:02
We'll get some of those links into the show notes as well. So awesome. If you guys like what you heard on the show, please make sure to subscribe to the podcast and share it with your friends on social media. Also, if you want to check out some of our written content or any of the products or merge that we have available, go to poweredbyrock.com to check out our absolutely free rockin blog where we have album reviews, interviews and other lists to keep you entertained as well as our gear being buy to play and look like a rock legend. That's our show for today. We'll see you on the next episode. Until then rock on.

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