ninja (helluvalot) wrote in bandom_primers,


"The amount of fucking-over that goes on is astounding. It's like a heightened reality."
-- aubateau, on the Long Island faction of fandom's wtfery.

It’s generally accepted that in bandslash (or at least the little corner of it that I hang out in) we’ve got a few factions going. The largest, most well known being the Fueled By Ramen (FBR) bands, which include Fall Out Boy and by extension all of Pete Wentz’s Decaydance bands (think Panic at the Disco, and Gym Class Heroes). Then we’ve got the Jersey bands, the most obvious being My Chemical Romance, with some Thursday and Saves the Day thrown in every once and again, as well as pretty much every band out there that has had anything to do with any of these bands ever (The Used, 30 Seconds to Mars, Rise Against). One would think that between Pete Wentz groping his dick online and Gerard Way begging the boys in the audience to get naked, there would be enough gay to satisfy even the heartiest of slashers. But gay is like birthday presents or Deadwood dvd extras - too much is never enough.

Thank God for Long Island.

The Long Island faction of bandom consists of three main aka “core” bands. They are: Taking Back Sunday, Straylight Run, and Brand New. This Primer will focus on the relationship between these bands and their members, key events they mutually experienced or were effected by, as well as very brief overviews of both Taking Back Sunday and Straylight Run. Mostly, this primer will focus on the band Brand New and their musical history/timeline. This primer is very image and text heavy - it is NOT dial up friendly. All the links, excluding the footnotes, are external unless otherwise stated, and will open in a new window unless you command+T that shit. I try to site sources wherever possible, and in general be very thorough. I’m told it’s creepy.

Long Island is an island just off the south-eastern seaboard of New York City. The western end of Long Island includes the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, though when people talk about Long Island they are generally referring to Nassau and Suffolk Counties, which are farther east and highly suburbanite regions that are generally considered very affluent.

Musically speaking, the Long Island scene is to heavy metal and post-hardcore what Chicago is to emo, what Seattle is to grunge, what LA is to pogo-punk. Glassjaw, Dream Theater, and Head Automatica (to name but a few), all come out of Long Island. The underground music scene in LI is incredibly rich, and as music moved into the more post-hardcore direction, bands began to experiment with different sounds, merging different styles and genres.

(Mostly, you gotta think that a large cross-section of these kids are upper-middle class and bored. It reminds me of this quote from Isaac Broch that I will paraphrase for you now: If you’re a hipster with a trust fund you either end up wasting time in the scene, or making the scene. I think that definitely applies to a lot of the bands in the post-hardcore scene of Long Island.)

Jesse and John go way back, been kickin’ it since they were in third grade together. They went to smallish private Christian schools from grade school on up through high school. At some point during their sophomore year, Jesse is convinced by John to play the bass guitar in a school talent show, and at some point after that, he is convinced to join the very, very first incarnation of John’s baby rock band, Taking Back Sunday (TBS).

TBS stomp around, make sort of shitty music, get drunk and are crazy beffies, going to shows, recording in basements, etc. A highly embarrassing demo is released that I’m sure everyone involved would rather forget about.


At some point after recording the TBS demo, Jesse takes his now-ex-girlfriend and John to a house party, and while Jesse is getting drunk in the kitchen, John and Jesse’s girlfriend have sex.

(At this point, it’s important to understand that Jesse Lacey is a crazy bastard, and if I were the type of person to sleep with other people’s girlfriends, Jesse Lacey’s would not at all be on my list. CRAZY. MOTHER. FUCKER.)

Jesse finds out, probably because he is right there in the house while it happens (John Nolan, you fucking idiot) and he freaks the fuck out. He breaks up with his girlfriend and John. When John calls him later to apologize, apparently the last thing Jesse says to him over the phone is: “You’re as subtle as a brick in the small of my back, so let’s end this call and end this conversation.”

Firstly, wtf? Secondly, I’m pretty sure that’s a butchered Morrissey1 lyric. Both of which are neither here nor there, as the point is Jesse promptly leaves TBS and starts a band with childhood mate, Garrett Tierney. Garrett brings in friend Brian Lane to play drums. Brandon Reilly (who would go on to be in another Long Island band called Movielife) and Alex Dunne (who would go on to be in the band Crime in Stereo) also join the band. They call their band The Rookie Lot, and they make delightful punk-pop music.

The Rookie Lot is actually marginally successful in the North East scene and play with bands like Saves the Day, Glassjaw, and Dynamite Kid, but they disband after only a year and a half. Weep not for them, though, for out of the Rookie Lot’s ashes, rising like a phoenix or some Harry Potter character or some other bullshit, is Brand New (BN).

Brand New forms officially in 20002, with Jesse on rhythm guitar, Garrett on bass, Brian on drums and seventeen year old newcomer Vincent Accardi on lead guitar (VIN VIN VIN!!!). Their sound at first is a pretty standard post-hardcore/pre-emo (dare I say, PROTO-EMO??) vibe that has some notably heavy guitars. Their first album, Your Favorite Weapon is released on Triple Crown Records in 2001 to a fairly warm reception3.

Possibly the most important fannish thing about YFW is that it contains the song “Seventy Times 7,” [LYRICS] which not only sets the precedent for Jesse and his Biblical references 4, but is also the song that Jesse wrote about his ex-beffie fucking his ex-girlfriend while Jesse was drunk at a house party. The lyrics are pretty blatant and the bridge contains this verse:

Is that what you’d call tact?
You’re as subtle as a brick in the small of my back,
So let’s end this call and end this conversation.

Is that what you’d call a get away?
Tell me what you got away with,
When you left the frays from the ties you severed
When you said, "best friends means friends forever."

Firstly, AHAHAHAHA. Secondly, no way was John Nolan gonna put up with that shit.

While Brand New are merrily playing songs about traitorous friends, girlfriends who break your heart by having the audacity to go to England for a semester, and the importance of Morrissey, Taking Back Sunday is also writing and recording songs.

After Jesse leaves, he is replaced by Adam Lazzara, who plays bass on TBS’s first EP, Taking Back Sunday EP. By the time the band records their first full-length album Tell All Your Friends, however, Adam has replaced someone nobody cares about anymore called Antonio Longo as lead vocalist, and Shaun Cooper joins the band to play bass.

TAYF is moderately successful for an independent release. Personally, it’s one of my favourites of TBS’s releases, despite the fact that John Nolan just cannot sing. TAYF is an enjoyable album and not only because the song "There’s No 'I' In Team" is on it, which was - of course - John Nolan's direct response to Jesse calling him out in "Seventy Times 7."

The song is basically an ode to the fact that John slept with Jesse's girlfriend because he wanted to sleep with Jesse [LYRICS]. I mean, you barely have to squint to see it. But by far the most hilarious part about “There’s No I In Team” is that John Nolan also uses the lines:

Is this what you call tact?
I swear, you're as subtle as a brick in the small of my back
so let's end this call,
and end this conversation.

He also offers a direct come-back to Jesse's line, best friends means friends forever with the refrain at the end of the song:
Best friends means I pulled the trigger.
Best friends means you get what you deserve.


This little feud doesn’t last long, however, because by 2002 there is a miraculous reconciliation5 and Brand New is supporting Taking Back Sunday on the road. Jesse even comes out on stage during "There Is No 'I' In Team," singing his verse. Oh, and he also rolls around on the ground with Adam and John a lot. Much of the time whilst on tour, one or all of them are half naked. John Nolan, for his part, makes quite a few appearances during Brand New’s set to play Jesse’s guitar part during "Seventy Times 7" and sing.

Everyone is finally happy.


Around this time (summer 2003), Adam Lazzara dates John’s younger sister Michelle. Legend has it that Adam, in a greasy, scumbagtastic move, cheats on Michelle... while on tour with her older brother. John, in a fit of Nolan solidarity, leaves TBS -- in the middle of the band’s first summer on the bandom-wide fic breeding-ground known as Warped Tour, and right before the band is set to film a music video for "You're So Last Summer." He takes bassist Shaun Cooper with him, leaving6 Taking Back Sunday without a guitarist, back-up vocalist, bass player, and co-song writer. Such a parting would be crippling for any band, but after a quick scramble and just in the nick of time, bassist Matt Rubano and Philadelphia based guitarist Fred Mascherino join the band.

John and Shaun form their own band called Straylight Run. They invite Will Noon7 to come in on drums, and eventually, Michelle joins the band as a second vocalist/guitarist/pianist/pretty face.

Jesse flips his shit, because... that’s what he does. Siding with Team Nolan8, he denounces Adam as a friend and, in a totally ridiculous and weird vicious move, designs a Brand New tshirt as actual merch, to be sold at all Brand New shows and even on the world wide web. The shirt pokes fun at Adam’s tendency to swing his microphone around by the chord during TBS shows. You can still buy it.

Of course there’s retaliation, because Adam Burbank Lazzara9 don’t take no shit. He decides to design a shirt of his own. Because that’ll really show 'em. It’s no longer available at the TBS merch store, but it was pretty lame, just saying.

John writes a couple of Straylight Run songs that end up on the first demo (called Demo, fyi.) that supposedly lash out at Adam. He alludes to Adam's whoring ways, his tendency to crave the spotlight, and the bad leadership skills that steered TBS into taking a more "marketable" approach to their music. Some of these songs include: "It’s For the Best" [LYRICS] and, "A Slow Descent." [LYRICS]. But because John doesn’t design a shirt of hate and spite, no one takes him seriously.

Adam fires back at John (and, it's rumoured, Jesse) with several songs of his own on TBS’s second album, Where You Want To Be, the most notable being "A Decade Under the Influence." [LYRICS] (Most notable because it's the only song in all this bullshit that got a lot of radio play.)


Before any of this, though, the entirety of Brand New's second full-length album is leaked. Though it's obvious that the leak is an unmixed, unmastered version of the record, fans are still able to deduce that the Brand New they are hearing is not the Brand New of 2001. Indeed, when Deja Entendu is dropped 10, it is a huge departure from their original sound. The music takes on a more complicated and structured approach to the songs, and Jesse’s lyrics in particular mature11. The album is greeted with much acclaim and commercial success. For Vin and Jesse, the two chief songwriters of the band, this is a feat. Vin, who first joined the band as a teenager, has said, “There’s no point in writing the same record. You need to develop, you need to grow up. Whatever we feel like writing and whatever makes us happy are what [the fans] are going to get. We’re not gonna put out something to fuckin’ make dollars.” (Please, please, please picture him saying that last bit in a Long Island accent. I promise you, it is glorious.)

Deja puts Brand New in the spotlight in a way they have never experienced before. They perform on Jimmy Kimmel [youtube], get an entire hour devoted to them on a Fuse special (in which all of Long Island shows up - except TBS) [you tube: one, two, and three], they show up on a handful of best of 2003 lists [such as: Rolling Stone; Revolver (no link anymore... :( ); The New York Times] and are named Alternative Press’s Artist of the Year. Your Favourite Weapon is re-mastered and re-released on a wider scale and a limited edition holiday EP is put out in time for Christmas. They tour relentlessly, some of which was chronicled on their old website in the individual "journal" sections12.

(Side notation that makes me giddy: When Brand New go on the road in support of Deja Entendu, they take the band Eisley out as supporters. Jesse starts dating Sherri DuPree, guitarist and co-singer for the band. At some point, Jesse cheats on Sherri -- allegedly because when he asked her to marry him, she didn’t want to jump into it, thusly breaking his heart and driving him into the arms of another woman (grain of salt, grain of salt, grain of salt). Because she can recognize emotional retardation when she sees it, she dumps his skanky ass. She went on to date and marry (and as of February of 2008, divorce) Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory.

In the Spring of 2006 Adam, who is no longer dating Michelle Nolan you’ll remember, starts dating a lovely girl called Chauntelle… who is also in the band Eisley and Sherri Dupree’s older sister. They became engaged on Valentine's Day of 2007, but unfortunately they broke up January of this year.

While this might not have much to do with the feud betwixt Brand New and Taking Back Sunday, I have to mention it because I find it just so heartbreaking that we have been denied a world in which Jesse Lacey and Adam Lazzara are brothers-in-law.)

In May or June (sources differentiate on the exact date) of 2004, after extensive touring and an exhausting promotional run, Brand New is signed to Dreamworks Records, part of the Dreamworks SKG entertainment group. When Interscope Records buys Dreamworks Records officially (they had been distributing for the label since 1998) shortly after Brand New is signed, the band is absorbed by Interscope (as opposed to going to Geffen Records, which adopted much of the Dreamworks roster). It's a strange move on the label's part, as Interscope at the time was heavy on rap and commercial rock acts (think Limp Bizkit). Jesse and Vin both say on several occasions that signing to a major label was regrettable, and given the choice over again, they wouldn’t13.

There’s no honeymooning for Jesse and John, though, because with their new label backing them, Brand New start to write a new record, promising to release it the following year. It’s hinted that the band wants to go even bigger than their last effort. In an Alternative Press cover story, Jesse says of the as-of-then unwritten new record, “We’re not writing this record for the people who heard the last one - we’re writing it for the millions of people who didn’t.”

Okay, this is the part of the history lesson where it gets a bit muddled, so we’re gonna do this sub-category style to break it down more easily.


In late 2003/early 2004, Brand New’s official website goes off-line. It isn’t until late May, 2005 that a note is finally posted: "Under Construction. Stay tuned for a new site in the next few days."

About a month after that, a new website goes live at a new address: (this remains the band’s official website). This new website DOES NOT include any of the following:

  • band info
  • media
  • merch
  • new album info and/or tour dates
  • discography
In fact, there’s really very little on the new site to suggest that it's a band's -- any band’s -- website at all. The only things to suggest that it's legitimate is the redirect and a series of cryptic photos, some altered with text, that were posted to it. One at a time. Over the course of a few months. (Most of these photos are really easy to find. Check photobucket/flickr.)

The site eventually goes off line again, only to come back in September of 2006 with a single release date set for November and a rather cryptic photo of a young girl and two masked figures.

A date for the new album is given as 21 November, 2006. Other than three radio interviews given by Jesse, this is about the extent of the promo done for the first album of entirely new material released by the band in three years.


In late 2004, about a year and a half after Deja Entendu is released, Brand New announces that they will be writing new songs and demoing for a new album in early 2005. However, the death of Jesse’s grandfather (for whom he wrote the song “Guernica” that ended up on Deja), and Jesse's subsequent stress-related ulcers delay them for nearly a full year. In late 2005, the band goes to Oxford Mississippi to write and record with Dennis Herring, a seasoned producer who has credits on albums by the Counting Crows, Modest Mouse, and the Hives, among others.

However, the sessions with Herring prove fruitless and the band returns to New York to work with Mike Sapone14, a producer, engineer, and mixer who had worked with the band on YFW. In late January of 2006, nine of the demos15 from the sessions with Sapone are leaked to the Internet. None of the demos are titled and they are all unmastered. The unknown source who first leaked them would only say that the songs "probably wouldn’t be on Fight Off Your Demons" At the time, this was the rumoured title of the new album, a rumour perpetuated by the band’s new website address (see section above).

Some pull quotes about the demo leaks (taken from this street team interview:

Garrett: If it affected anything, I would say it did it in a good way 'cause so many people were curious to hear what we have been doing--and for the most part, the record tracks don't sound anything like the leaked demos.

Jesse: For me it was different. It had me pretty down for a while. No one likes to show their creation in mid-process, and those songs weren't done. They were like blueprints. Just the plan, right? It put me in a state where I was under the impression that those songs had been wasted or something--that we had to go and write new things because those had been heard. Now, in retrospect, I want those songs to be on the album and many of them aren't, and I'm probably more to blame for that than anyone. This record already feels incomplete to me without those tracks and probably will forever.

Vin: I can relate to both of those sentiments. In one way it was kind of refreshing and motivating to know that people were still so interested and curious as to what we were up to in that period where we sort of disappeared. But I was also worried that it would derail the process because the four of us had created a pretty safe place where the only critics were ourselves. As much as we tried to shield ourselves from letting the leak affect us, it definitely did. There was a feeling of being robbed, after keeping everything so close to ourselves and then having it heard before it was completed. As Jesse said, I wish some of those songs were on the record. But they do exist on a certain plane, so people do know that we were working and creating.


In late June of 2006 Brand New embark on their first full-on tour in 18 months, playing nearly all new material -- most of which wind up being on the new record, titled The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me. It is released 21 November, 2006.

When the record is finally dropped, it is to very little fan fair. An inconspicuous first single, “Sowing Season,” is released a month prior with no video accompaniment. There’s no promo to speak of, save for three radio interviews given by Jesse16, and only one new photoset is released. The band does, however, do some extensive touring that winter and into the new year, playing to the UK’s Leeds and Reading festivals and returning to the US for Bamboozle 17. The band also introduces a new member to audiences. Derek Sherman, Jesse's cousin, joins the band to play rhythm guitar on most of the tracks from the new record and Jesse insists he is a full-fledged member of the band though, "sometimes he doesn't want to come on tour."

As big of an evolutional leap as there was from Your Favorite Weapon to Deja Entendu, in some ways there is an even bigger leap from Deja to The Devil & God. In the liner notes of the album's liner notes, on the dedication page, it reads:
for: Robert Sherman, Red Lacey, Leo Lacey, Bill and Virgina Sherman, James Mcauliffe, Rosemary Kancelerski, Frances Ambrosio, Manfred Cardone III, Sid Rosen, Seymour Lane, Michelle Lane, George Moe, Alexander Lambros, and Omar Ortega, all of whom left between the start and completion of this record.

Needless to say, death and loneliness are prevalent themes throughout the album, with the band musing on their own thoughts on death and the afterlife ("Jesus Christ"), and the ways in which to experience life while living it ("The Archer's Bows Are Broken"). Even the name of the album strikes a more poignant chord. The title, The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me refers to a conversation Jesse was having with a friend about Daniel Johnston, a schizophrenic musician who reportedly once told someone that his illness "felt like the devil and God were raging inside" him.


Vin Accardi

Vincent Accardi (Vin or Vinnie) was born 9 December, 1982, making him presently twenty-six and the youngest member of the band. He joined the band when he was just seventeen years old. He plays lead guitar and is also, along with Jesse, a major creative contributor to the band, having a hand in writing most of the music. Vin is incredibly expressive on stage and plays with an incredible amount of energy.

Vin's been described as funny, outgoing, sweet-tempered, and loyal. He's one of Jesse's clostest friends and has been pretty much since they met.

Also, he's badass.

Jesse Lacey

Jesse Lacey was born 10 July, 1978. He, along with drummer Brian Lane, is a founding member of Brand New. He plays rhythm guitar and "second rhythm guitar" (when Derrick's around) in the band, as well as piano. He also writes the majority of the music along with Vin.

Jesse was raised reformed Baptist and went to private Catholic schools growing up. While a lot of his lyrics contain religious imagery and/or Biblical references, Jesse has said that he is no longer religious. He remains a "spiritual person," though.

Jesse's usually inarticulate in interviews, though most of his friends describe him as funny and shy. He is said to constantly be writing music.

Brian Lane

Brian Lane was born 31 August, 1981. He's a founding member of Brand New and plays the drums in the band. His musical interests and involvement stretch beyond Brand New and he writes and records beats and more experimental music under the name Beat Scientific.

Brian's the adult of the group. He's had the same girlfriend for years and is generally more mellow than the others. He's also reportedly incredibly warm toward fans.

Derrick Sherman

In 2006, Derrick Sherman (jokingly referred to as Jesse's cousin, as Jesse's mother's maiden name is apparently Sherman?) joined the band as rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, and backup vocalist. He had a hand in the recording process, though he's not credited as a songwriter for any of the songs. Sometimes he plays at shows and sometimes he doesn't. It is unknown if he will have more of a writing presence on the new record.

Other than that he is shrouded in mystery!

Garrett Tierney

Garrett Tierney was born 22 October, 1980. He plays bass in the band and has known Jesse since childhood; they grew up around the corner from each other.

Garrett is often seen as the most apathetic of the group, though I don't necessarily think that's the case. Most of his side projects don't involve music18 (he is an avid skydiver and extreme sport enthusiast), but Garrett has given no indication that he's tired of making music or playing bass in Brand New.

Garrett's a goof. He edits all their wikipedia pages and sometimes posts his own phone number to their myspace, offering to trade concert tickets if fans will take him skydiving.


Apparently, Brand New have started a record label? It's called Procrastinate! Music Traitors, and pretty much the only information is from the AP boards, though the name of it first popped up on Kevin Devin's mysapce. For reference, if you're so inclined: the post on the boards.

In typical Brand New fashion, there is no website or official press release, but the new record, Daisy, will be released on P!MT.

ETA 28/11/08: Jesse offers an explanation in this interview with Alternative Press:

JL: That record label thing is much more of an idea than an actual institution. It's more about trying to put a record than having a record label. Not about trying to make money off of it so its starting a label everytime a record comes out, its nothing to do with a name and the people that work there. There would be no label if there was no person to put a record out. I'm not interested in having a label nor my band neither just if something comes along and we have some cash its just like, yeah we can make a 7" or a record and its cool. Its just adds fun to the whole thing we have going on.


In the Brand New immediate reality, there are a few bands to know -- other than TBS and Straylight Run, obviously. In particular, since the release of The Devil and God, BN has been pretty hardcore about insisting they only tour with bands they like and with whom they get on well. If you’re planning on writing Brand New fic, I would consider the following four bands pretty important to know. Please note, however, that these are NOT to be considered mini-primers.

Colour Revolt

Colour Revolt19 is a five-piece band from Oxford, Mississippi. I think, though I am not entirely positive, that lead singer Jesse Coppenbarger and Jesse Lacey have been friends for quite sometime, dating back to when Colour Revolt was a UofM college band playing under the name Fletcher. They released a self-titled EP in late 2005, and went on the road with Brand New. They were signed to the Interscope subsidiary Tiny Evil in 2006 and have since toured with some awesome bands, such as Dinosaur Jr, Explosions in the Sky, Manchester Orchestra.

From touring with Manchester Orchestra, Jesse C. became good mates with Andy Hull, lead singer and songwriter for the band. Jesse C. introduced Andy to Jesse L. and the two hit it off straight away. The two Jesse’s and Andy even played a one-off acoustic show together in Oxford.

Brand New still has close ties with Colour Revolt, most recently having them open a Brand New show in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Both bands have nothing be glowing things to say about each other.

Colour Revolt Officical Site
Colour Revolt Myspace

Manchester Orchestra

Manchester Orchestra20 is a five-piece band out of Atlanta, Georgia, helmed by 23-year-old lead singer and songwriter Andy Hull. As stated above, Hull was introduced to Jesse Lacey through Colour Revolt lead singer Jesse Coppenbarger. Jesse and Andy got on really well and when Jesse heard Manchester’s album, he became an instant fan and decided to take the band out on the road with Brand New.

One of the many, many great things about Manchester Orchestra is that they film little “podcasts”21 and then upload them to their youtube account. Jesse and Vin show up in quite a few of them -- most notorious being Jesse’s appearance in podcasts 28 - 30 in which he forsaked riding in a cushy touring bus to spend three days in the Manchester nine passenger van, driving from show to show.

Manchester Orchestra Offical Website
Manchester Orchestra Myspace
Manchester Orchestra Street Team


mewithoutYou is a liberal Christian band out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Their musical style is unique in that it has mostly spoken word vocals and a very percussion driven sound. On the last leg of Brand New's The Devil & God North American tour, mewithoutYou joined the band on the road as first openers. Jesse had been a vocal fan of the band for several years, but I don't think the bands knew each other prior to the tour. Jesse and mwY lead vocalist Aaron Weiss became instant friends, though, and the two often guested during each other's sets.

mewithoutYou Official Website
mewithoutYou Myspace

Kevin Devine

Kevin Devine is a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn, New York, and former front man of indie darling band, Miracle of '86 (name of the 1986 World Series winning Mets baseball team). Kevin and Jesse have been best friends for ages, though both of them get a kick out of elluding22 question to how they really met.

In the summer of 2007, Kevin and Jesse went on a solo tour23 together, bringing along singer-songwriter Grace Read to open for them. The tour was only twelve dates long and only in the Eastern United States. All the shows were acoustic and in general very laid back. They talked a lot about comic books while on stage together.

On the album Split the Country, Split the Streets Jesse offers guest vocals on three songs: "Cotton Crush", "After Party", and "No One Else's Problem." Kevin, after being dropped from Capitol Records, re-released his latest album, Put Your Ghost to Rest on Procrastinate! Music Traitors.

Kevin Devine Official Website
Kevin Devine Myspace


Please note that all music is uploaded to I am currently re'upping all the music. Please be patient!! Thanks.

It's not hard to track down Brand New music on the internet. A tip: if you like what you hear after downloading the following mix, join brand_new. The members can be really elitist and bitchy at times, but they have a account with pretty much every rarity and b-side out there. I've uploaded just what I consider to be the best.

Here is a compilation of Brand New music from their three major albums. The track-listing is:

01. Jude Law And A Semester Abroad, Your Favourite Weapon
02. Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades, Deja Entendu
03. Jesus Christ, The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me
04. Mix Tape, Your Favourite Weapon
05. Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don't, Deja Entendu
06. The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows, Deja Entendu
07. Logan To Government Center, Your Favourite Weapon
08. Not The Sun, The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me
09. Guernica, Deja Entendu
10. Seventy Times 7, Your Favourite Weapon
11. Play Crack The Sky, Deja Entendu
12. The Archer's Bows Are Broken, The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me
13. Handcuffs, The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me
14. Soco Amaretto Lime, Your Favourite Weapon


Feud Music To Know:

There Is No 'I' In Team, by Taking Back Sunday (w/ John Nolan)
A Decade Under the Influence, by Taking Back Sunday (w/o John Nolan)
Your Name Here (Sunrise Highway), by Straylight Run


Cotton Crush, by Kevin Devine featuring Jesse Lacey from Split the Country, Split the Streets
Jesus Christ (Live in Jackson, Mississippi), performed by Jesse Lacey and Kevin Devine
Holland 1945 (Neutral Milk Hotel cover) (Live @ Looney Tunes), performed by Jesse Lacey, Kevin Devine, and Andy Hull
Where Have You Been (Manchester Orchestra cover) (Live @ Looney Tunes), performed by Jesse Lacey, Kevin Devine and Andy Hull
Accident Prone (Jaw Breaker Cover) (Live @ the Downtown), performed by Jesse Lacey
Soco Amaretto Lime (Live @ the Downtown), performed by Jesse Lacey
Jude Law And A Semester Abroad (Live @ the Downtown), performed by Jesse Lacey

Jesse Lacey explains the title of "Play Crack the Sky."
Jesse Lacey explains the meaning of the song "Limousine."
Jesse Lacey talks about the Neutral Milk Hotel album, In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.

Moshi Moshi (Acoustic)</a>, b-side
Fork and Knife, iTunes exclusive single


Official Music Videos

"Jude Law And A Semester Abroad," from Your Favorite Weapon:

"Sic Transit Gloria… Glory Fades," from Deja Entendu:

"The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows," from Deja Entendu


The making of Deja Entendu:

Deja Entendu listening party:

Brand New of Go TV (Derrick's in this one!!!):

Jesse Lacey & Kevin Devine performing "Jesus Christ":

Manchester Orchestra Podcast #57 (Brand New performs "Where Have You Been" with MO, Jesse explains the "sign-up to play" tent.):


Official Websites
Official Brand New website.
Brand New page on Triple Crown Records site.
Brand New myspace.
Garrett's official website (never loads).

On Livejournal
Official Brand New livejournal community.
General Long Island bands community (moderated membership).

Camille Nolan Photography. (John Nolan's wife's flickr account -- lots of photos of John.)
Alexa Lambrose Photography (Young photographer, followed Brand New for two years.)
My Brand New photobucket. (Jesse album HERE, and Vin album HERE.)


1. Jesse Lacey is a huge Morrissey fan. In fact, I’m not entirely sure that his goal isn’t to become Morrissey. Their lyrical style has been compared on more than one occasion, especially after the release of Brand New’s second album, which contained the song The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot [LYRICS]. Many people felt and still feel that this was a nod to the Morrissey song, The Boy With The Thorn In His Side [LYRICS], though if you read the lyrics or listen to the two songs, they are nothing alike. [back]

2. The name Brand New was actually stolen by Jesse from old Rookie Lot band mate Brandon Reilly, who had said post-RL break up that if he was ever going to be in another band, he was going to call it Brand New. Jesse beat him to it and Brandon had to call his band Movie Life.[back]

3. Both Brian and Jesse have said on record that most of the songs on YFW were written years before the record every came out, some even before The Rookie Lot days. Personally, I think this is a pretty fascinating tid-bit of information, given the obvious musical progression between the first and second albums. If Brand New had taken the time to actually write an entirely new album rather than go straight into touring admittedly old material, what would it have sounded like? [back]

4. Matthew 18:22, Jesus saith unto him, ‘I say not unto thee, [forgive] Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven.' [back]

5. No one knows how or when or why John and Jesse made up, but I’m willing to bet that Adam had something to do with it. He was fairly new to the Long Island scene, and still had several side projects going. Jesse was still friends with some of the guys in TBS as it was, and it’s more than likey he knew Adam from around the scene. Mayhap the Lazz nudged them toward each other again - but this is all just speculation, and not really based in fact. Ha! [back]

6. According to John, he turned to Shaun and said, “Wanna commit career suicide?” Which, honestly? Is just gay enough to be something that John Nolan would actually say. [back]

7. Just to make everything even a little more incestuous, Fred Mascherino and Will Noon both left the band Breaking Pangaea in order to join Taking Back Sunday and Straylight Run, respectively. Former touring mates of Breaking Pangaea include, Movielife - good friends of Brand New. [back]

8. In October of 2004, Straylight Run releases a full length, self title album on Victory Records. On it is included the only legitimate love song any of these bands have every written. It’s called “Your Name Here (Sunrise Highway)” and it’s about… Jesse Lacey. Not only does John Nolan write a love song about his best friend that makes Jesse cry (nor seriously, there were REAL TEARS) when he hears it, but the lyrics also include bastardized directions to Jesse’s house! Witness:

Go east on Sunrise Highway,
Turn left at Carman's Avenue,
Go right at the first stoplight,
And I'll be outside waiting for you,
Oh, I'll be waiting for you

What?! That’s some of the gayest shit I’ve ever heard and will ever hear. Ever. [back]

9. That’s his actual second name, I swear to fuck. He even admits it in this youtube video. [back]

10. It’s been rumored that the BN song “Okay, I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t” [LYRICS] is about Adam (“these are the words you wish you wrote down/this is the way you wish your voice sounds: handsome and smart”), but unless we get a timeline of what songs were written when during the recording of Deja, I’m gonna throw this one out there with a big fat grain of salt. The timeline we have now has events taking place in a very cramped period of time. John and Shaun left TBS in June of 2003, BN released Deja the following month. Though, I would not put it past Jesse Lacey to shove a last minute song in there about how much he wishes Adam would “come down with something they can’t diagnose,” I don’t know if that’s the reality of the situation. [back]

11. Actual quote from Jesse: “I dunno if the musics actually matured, but we have definitely matured as people. So, it seems like a natural development for the music - for, you know, the product of us maturing to be a little more mature.” And if you wanna watch that awksfest for yourself, you go right ahead [back]

12. Because that website is no longer online, I’ve done the only stalkeresque logical thing, and screen-capped them from a web archiving site. Jesses’s journals can be found [HERE], Brian’s are [HERE]. Garret’s are [HERE], and Vinnie’s can be found [HERE]. [back]

13. In fact, at the Brand New homecoming show at the Crazy Donkey on Long Island in July of 2006, Jesse actively encouraged the audience to steal all their music. “I’ve never seen a dime from record sales,” he said. [back]

14. Mike Sapone has actually been called the 6th member of the band and is a heavily influential force on The Devil & God The song "Limousine" especially has the Sapone stamp all over it -- in fact, in the album's liner notes it is actually called "Limousine (MS rebridge)" as Mike basically re-wrote the bridge of the song to include "explosions" and really heavy guitars. He apparently called Jesse up at three in the morning to share this genius with him. [back]

15. Some of the demos turned out to be rough cuts of songs that actually made the album. Untitled #6 ended up being “Luca,” and Untitled #8 became “Sowing Season (Yeah).” Still more of the songs have been polished since their original recordings and are often played at Brand New concerts, the most common being Untitled #3 - or “Brothers,” as Jesse now introduces it. [back]

16. My personal favourite of these three interviews is Jesse’s rather in depth interview with 28 Faction on Sirius satellite radio. You can download it here: ONE | TWO | THREE. Jesse has a tendency to act like an ass and just, like, make shit up during interviews, but during this one he’s a pretty straight shot. Maybe because Moseley is such an obvious Brand New fan. [back]

17. MORE FEUD!! Bamboozle 2007 came after Brand New’s first full-fledged European tour in over two years. The first big American music festival they’d played since 2004, they were billed as headliners at both Bamboozle Left and Bamboozle. They were set to take the stage last on the second night. However, when the first act took the stage at 12 noon that day, the small spattering of audience were surprised to find it was Brand New - the set time change had only been announced via the Bamboozle website. Asked about it by fans (and a few reporters) Vin and Derrick claimed that Adam Lazzara, who was also playing Bamboozle that night with Taking Back Sunday, told organizers that he “refused to open for Brand New” and that once he heard, Jesse said that Brand New “were either going on first or last” and so Brand New opened the festival on the second day - and allegedly pocketed more cash for doing so. After the festival, no one in the Brand New camp would mention the schedule change, and the Taking Back Sunday camp had "no comment." [back]

18. Garrett has a website devoted to living life actively and healthily. The web address is, but it rarely every loads as Garrett doesn't understand the concept of bandwidth. [back]

19. PERSONAL NOTE: I used to not much care for Colour Revolt, but I saw them open for Brand New at the Carlisle show and I have to say that they have really improved. While the new material didn’t immediately grab me, I considered it a huge improvement over their older record. Might be worth checking out? [back]

20. PERSONAL NOTE: Manchester Orchestra is one of my favourite bands ever and it’s epic levels of fucked that I never got to see them open for Brand New. EPIC. LEVELS. LOL NEVERMIND. I saw them together at the House of Blues in Chicago and it was AMAZIN'.[back]

21. You can watch all of Manchester Orchestra’s podcasts HERE, or you can go straight to the one’s specifically mentioned: #28, #29, and #30. [back]

22. Kevin's must-read, hilarious response to an interviewer's query on the history of Kevin and Jesse's friendship can be read here! [back]

23. Kevin even made a macro to promote the tour, which he then posted to his myspace [back]:


Added 5 Aug, 2008:

* More dramz! It's been "confirmed" by several sources "close to the situation" that Jesse and John are no longer on speaking terms (again), and haven't been since May of 2007. No one knows why, but it has been speculated that Jesse was not even at John's wedding when John married his merch girl, Camille. TOTALLY unverified.

* John, since getting married, has moved to Kansas (his wife's home state), presumably to flee the Long Island drama scene.

* (This one is kind of tangled, so keep up!) Sherri Dupree, ex-girlfriend of Jesse Lacey, is now dating</strike> married to Max Bemis, lead singer of the band Say Anything. As well as being the most proud emo motherfucker around, Max is also a former beffie of Jesse, but cut ties with him after Jesse refused to sing on Say Anything's last recorded. Reportedly he told Max he "didn't want to be associated with the [emo] genre" anymore, prompting Max to title the record In Defense of the Genre. Supposedly on the record there are several songs lashing out at Jesse, though honestly I think it's kind of a stretch. However, there is a song that has been confirmed to be about John Nolan called "Skinny Mean Man" [LYRICS]. Why would Max Bemis write a bitchy song about John Nolan? Because before Max was jonesing after Jesse's ex, he was dating John's. Laura Hirsch acted as Straylight Run's merch girl for a couple years, and as John Nolan's girlfriend for even less. He took her to her prom, the creepy pedo. Apparently, John was none too nice to his young paramour, and after she ran to the comforting arms of Max Bemis, Max decided to write a little song about it.

* In the summer of 2008, Jesse and Kevin again decided to go on a solo tour together, this time of the Western United States and taking their friends Brian Bonz and Michael Strandberg with them. At several shows Jesse played a new song that he claims has both no title and no name, but that fans are calling "Trees" due to the fact that the first verse pretty consistently mentions trees. Also at the shows, Jesse has mentioned that Brand New is in the process of recording a new album and that they are enjoying being a band more than ever.

ETA #1 (05.08.08): Some random ~~gossipy info added to the bottom of the primer.
ETA #2 (30.08.08): Added some quote about the Fight Off Your Demons demos leak. Found here, in the sub-section.
ETA #3 (11.01.09): New website dramz! In place of the BN thread on the Phorum Netwerk site, there is now the cryptic message, "Gone Fishing." View the screencap here.
ETA #4 (11.01.09): The new Brand New record is set for release 22 September, 2009. It is called Daisy.

NOTE: I am no longer editing/keeping up this primer. All the photos are gone because my photobucket is gone, but for the record, every single photo I found through google images.


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