Band to Play Material from First New CD in 16 Years âStranger Thingsâ
âWhat I am is what I am,â Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians declared nearly two decades ago. âAnd what you are, you are.â After rocketing to stardom with the anthem about acceptance, Brickell flew solo . . . then faded away.
Stranger Things, their first recording in 16 years, reunites Brickell with Kenny Withrow, Brad Houser, Carter Albrecht, Brandon Aly and John Bush. For fans of the New Bohemiansâ toe-tapping adult rock and Brickellâs smooth, familiar vocals, itâs like 1988 all over again!Â
Now the band is playing select markets around the country to promote the new disc.Â Before returning to The Fillmore Tuesday, Oct. 17 â âWe love San Francisco,â Brickell says, âItâs so liberal and loving, and we really connect to thatâ â the singer tellsÂ Bay Times about putting her career on hold, the motivation to return and why the New Bohemians might never have formed if not for a lesbian friend.
How does a New Bohemians record differ from your solo work?
The New Bohemians sound reflects jamming. Thereâs a real spontaneous, collective energy. When I sit down with a guitar to see what comes out, itâs just one person. âWear You Downâ I came up with and took to the band. I knew they would like and understand it. The song has big spaces for jams. The band can stretch out and play. Itâs more fun creating with the band. Thereâs something magical about working together with a shared vision in the creative process.
How does Stranger Things compare to previous material?
This album was meant to express the joy of playing music, not make a stand other than being joyful noise. Itâs impossible to hear yourself objectively. There are songs I really like. âNo Dineroâ says a lot about the struggle to pay bills and still have a good time. That speaks to my family upbringing. There was always juggling of bills, yet my mother insisted on having fun. That record is fun but speaks to the reality of trying to keep your head above water.
Which track is your favorite?
âBuffalo Ghostâ was stream of consciousness. Kenny Withrow started playing the guitar line, and those images came into my mind. I like the rhythm and melody inspired by it. When I go back and listen, thereâs something very simpleâyet very emotionalâabout revisiting the house where you once lived or a road you once walked along.
Whatâs it like being back together?
Itâs more fun now. We donât feel the pressure of a record company like when we were 19. I thought I could leave it. I thought, âIt was a fun, wild ride. Now I want quiet time, peace and a loving family.âÂ If I was a guy, the band would have stayed together publicly all these years. That female instinct to get quiet and have kids was a very powerful pull away from those ambitions. Walking through Central Park with my kids, I realized how much I love music. I kept singing and writing, thinking of the band and missing them. We have a deeper appreciation now. Thereâs a much more relaxed vibe. Weâre not hungry or out to prove ourselves like we were early on. Weâre just out to enjoy playing music.
What role have LGBT fans played in your career?
I never really thought about it, frankly. I owe a lot to a friend who after high school revealed she is gay. She got me to go out and meet the New Bohemians in the first place. She saw me looking at a sign that said âSinger Wantedâ when our high school was visiting a local college. A year later, she called and said I had to go with her to meet this band. At first I said no. Something made me go. It was a very powerful thing she did for me. Iâm very grateful. I know âWhat I Amâ has meant something to gay people on the sexual reference level, but I donât really think about it. I donât differentiate between people.
What inspired âWhat I Amâ?
In a world religion class, everyone was complicating life and existence by over-thinking. I had this sense itâs right here, right now. Itâs who we are and what we feel. Itâs not this tangled web of psychology and philosophy. I was driving to band practice and started singing that song. I wanted to be real, not adopt some philosophy or role. Instinct is our driving force.
What is your âinstinctâ on gay marriage?
People ought to marry whomever they want. Itâs ridiculous there are rules against it, that anyone stands up and speaks out against somebody wanting to marry someone they love.Â Itâs just wrong to use loveâor, for that matter, religionâto divide people. Theyâre both supposed to uplift. It doesnât make any sense at all to me.
For more information, visit www.NewBohemians.com