SPIN magazine featured a new song by Lafayette rock band Brass Bed on its website last week.
“A Bullet for You” and its spare production style serve as a preview to Brass Bed’s upcoming third album, The Secret Will Keep You.
Brass Bed plans to release the nearly completed album next year. Meanwhile, “A Bullet for You” and two additional songs will be available as a single Sept. 18.
Having a song debut at spin.com was exciting, singer-guitarist Christiaan Mader said a few days after the event.
“They have such a big audience,” he said. “And it helps put your name in front of other important publications.”
As far as Mader can tell, the SPIN post generated interest at Twitter and Facebook and the band’s own websites.
“Near term it’s hard to see exactly what something like that’s gonna do,” he said. “It’s really part of building a portfolio that grows over time. It’s not the sort of thing that changes things overnight. It’s a piece in a puzzle you’re trying to put together.”
“A Bullet for You” and Brass Bed’s forthcoming album represent a departure from the band’s 2010 album, Melt White. Along the lines of one of the group’s bigger influences, the Beach Boys, the latter album features a glossy production and layers of vocal harmonies and instruments.
“Yeah,” Mader said, “the various members of the band have always shared a love for the Beach Boys and the Beatles and a lot of ’60s psychedelic or near-psychedelic pop. We spent a lot of time with exactly how every instrument in a song would play a role.”
But for its new and upcoming releases, Brass Bed brought the experience of performing on stage into the studio.
“We spent more time creating a unified sound that was more alive and less produced,” Mader said.
“We moved away from the layer-by-layer approach to arranging. As artists we take different approaches to conveying our material.”
Brass Bed recorded and mixed Melt White over a few months. The band recorded and mixed The Secret Will Keep You in 20 days.
“We cut everything live,” Mader explained. “There are very few overdubs and, in most cases, those overdubs were to repair a part that was done on a live take. … You’ve got to get it right then and make decisions in a much quicker fashion. It helps make the record seem far more unified because it exists in the space in time.”
Audience response to the band’s shows inspired the straight-to-tape approach.
“People loved how visceral and messy and rock ’n’ roll the show were,” Mader said. “So we tried to get that (in the studio). Also, The Secret Will Keep You is moodier, darker than Melt White.”
Brass Bed begins a 19-show tour Friday, Aug. 17, at Chelsea’s Café in Baton Rouge. The trek includes two shows in Austin, Texas — the city where the band recorded its new single and album — and Portland, Ore., home base for the group’s manager and publicist.
“We get to Austin as much as we can, because we have a lot of contacts out there and a lot of friends,” Mader said.
“A Bullet for You” is Brass Bed’s second release through Crossbill Records, an independent record company based in Davis, Calif.
Last March, the band and Lafayette singer and filmmaker Allison Bohl also released On Nilsson, a four-song tribute to the late singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson, through Crossbill.
Learning and performing the songs of great artists such as Nilsson is a good way to study the craft of writing songs, Mader said.
“We look at it as an opportunity to get inside of artists we like. Some of them relate directly to you, like the Beatles or the Flaming Lips. And, like David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, it’s fun when you step outside of what you would originally do and learn something that way.
“We’ve never been a band that shies away from doing covers, especially if we can make it our own thing.”