Every artist is a puzzle piece. Whether they’re riding solo, with a group, born with a guitar in hand or picked one up for the first time that day; every person that creates music serves as a piece to the art that we describe as different genres and bands. When I initially heard of Brightwell, I was interested in the band mostly due to the history they brought with them, which portrayed the idea of a puzzle even more so than most people tend to. I had to wonder, what does four guys all with different musical experience, three different states, and one new band equal? The answer was clear when they took the stage in Houston, Texas on the Ice Nine Kills tour just finishing up this month: just like the title of their first EP, it equals an “alpha” level combination. I sat down with unclean vocalist Nick Barham to talk about just what it is that’s made Brightwell who they are today.
ADRA: First off, you guys are on this tour right now: Ice Nine Kills, Get Scared, all solid artists. What were your feelings coming on this tour as a new band, and how does it compare to other tours you’ve done?
NICK: Like you said, we’re a new band. I can’t say this is our first legit tour, but in a way, it is. All the other ones we’ve been on it’s been three or so bands, and it’s good! We love it. But it hasn’t been like this. This tour has been nice. Everything has been really organized, we come to the show, everything’s planned out. We love all the bands and they’re all good dudes. It’s been great.
A: Do you feel like this experience – being on a bigger tour – has helped you, as a band, learn more about yourselves?
N: We’re one of those bands that if sh*t happens, we’re gonna figure it out ourselves. And on this tour so far, we’ve had a lot of vehicle problems. Sometimes it’s felt like things aren’t going right, but at the end of the day we’ll do what we have to do to get to the next show. It’s a bonding experience. On top of that, we’re a brand new band. We kind of started like … how do I put it? We don’t give a f*ck what happened in the past, this is all new stuff. Everybody in my band I love to death, and I don’t care about what happened in the past. We’re here now. We are brothers.
A: Speaking of that, you do have an interesting history. You were in Attack Attack!, Arvin was in For The Fallen Dreams; and all of you have your own past in music. What’s yours like?
N: When I was a kid, I always was like “I wanna do this, I wanna do that” and one of my goals was “I want to do Warped Tour for real.” So I joined Attack Attack! and not a lot of people know this, but we were a small band when I joined. I was 18 years old! Of course I was going to join a good band that’s popping. [laughs] I had to learn the whole CD on a plane ride, and we killed it. We did our thing, and it just escalated, every tour it got bigger and bigger. Next thing you know, we were drawing a thousand people a night. It left me speechless, but it all worked out!
A: Given you’re all from different parts of the U.S., how did you all come together? How was Brightwell born?
N:I’m from Michigan, Arvin’s from Chicago. We started talking online, because I knew who he was and he knew who I was, we had talked in the past. We said “Hey, let’s start a band!” and I had not done music for a few years, so of course I was down. We found Tanner, from Houston, on YouTube. And what’s funny is the day Arvin hit him up, his old band broke up. So we kind of formed it just like that. Arvin and I flew to Texas, met Tanner and our guitarist Vaughn for the first time, who Tanner found, and we went to a house over in Galveston right by the ocean. We just hung out. We didn’t write anything, we just connected, and that was the biggest thing for our band. We’re worried about our friendship and how we do things first. At the end of the day, if you’re on tour with a band and you can’t stand the other people, you’re going to fall apart. But we’re brothers. Everything is working out great.
A: Now that everything is working out, are there any big plans in the next year that you can tell me about?
N: Yeah! We have Eminem on our record, and Lil Wayne did a feature…
A: Tell me that’s serious.
N: Not at all, I’m kidding! [laughs] I wish. We’re so brand new, our EP came out in February, so we’re going to keep pushing that. Every show we play, not a lot of people know who we are, but after we play we have people come up and say “I’ve never heard of you but I’m so stoked for you guys.” It means so much to us, because that’s what we’re here for. We’re not here to be super popular. We’re here to connect with people. So we’re going to keep up with that, playing shows, and just loving the music.*
Get Brightwell’s EP, “Alpha” on iTunes and check out their music video for their hit song “Scripts” here.