The Jane Bradfords Return
Frontman Deci Gallen on new album 100 Miles of Broken Pavement
Who/what/where/when/why are The Jane Bradfords?
We're a Belfast indie band who are not trying to reinvent the wheel, we just want to write good songs.
We haven't heard a lot from you since your debut album wound down, aside from a few singles releases. What have you been up to?
Quite a lot behind the scenes. Paul (bassist) has been doing lights for ASIWYFA and touring all over the place, while Johnny (guitar) has been playing with Yes Cadets and lording it up at Glastonbury and other major festivals.
I've been composing music for TV, the internet and film, while also writing copious amounts of music for the Bradfords. The songwriting on this album is really from 2008 – 10. The upshot of this is that I already have a lot of songs written that will go on to form album three.
The new album is called 100 Miles of Broken Pavement (listen to tracks 'Tonight the World is Always Ending' above and 'About Our Love' below). In the short time I've had to listen to it, I'd say it's a bona fide early contender for Irish album of the year. How would you describe it?
Thank you! It's more organic than the last album. The first album was very much a solo effort and as a result was very synth-laden. This album reflects the live band more. Songs that I'd written on my own took on this different life as we started playing live. I wouldn't call it a 'dark' album, but it's certainly more downbeat than the last one.
Will you change it to 'Sidewalk' for the yanks?
In honour of one of the greatest bands America ever gave us I think I'll stick with Pavement.
The new album sounds very polished. Who produced it, and where did you record it?
It was produced and mixed entirely at home in my studio, with some extra tracking done in our practice room. While this gave much more control over the sound we wanted, it meant that the album took longer to make. I spent well over a year with Rich Lower mixing it. Sometimes I wish we had a producer to just say 'Ok guys, we're done'.
There are hints of Arcade Fire, New Order, Talking Heads. Don't you know that only pop sells these days?
Talking Heads were a major influence on this record, but the biggest influence on me personally was Echo and the Bunnymen. I also love what Arcade Fire are doing. They've showed that if you love what you're doing and write good songs, they will eventually find an audience.
Is it a lack of originality, or simply a lack of good songwriting, that has affected sales of indie and rock albums in recent times?
I honestly wish I knew. There is plenty of great songwriting and originality out there, but pop rules. Our music certainly isn't massively alternative – I never wanted it to be – but it's not pop either.
Will you be touring the album?
Yes. Although we've not gone for a series of launch gigs, we are planning to tour as much as possible to support the record. Hopefully once people live with the album for a while they'll be intrigued to hear it live.
If the doors of rock heaven opened for a day, and all bands, dead and alive, came together for one giant gig, who would you like to see perform?
I would only need one: Nirvana. I never saw them live, but as is the case with so many musicians they were the band that made me want to play guitar. OK, maybe you could throw in 1979 era The Clash and a pre-superstardom REM too.
Where can we see you perform next?
100 Miles of Broken Pavement is released on February 13, and will be officially launched on March 2 at Bunatee Bar, Queen's Student Union, Belfast. Listen to the album in full on Soundcloud.