Do you remember the movie Almost Famous? Towards the end of that movie, a groupie named Sapphire is talking with Russell Hammond and she delivers this piece of wisdom: “They don’t even know what it is to be a fan. Y’know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts.” We all have those bands. I have a handful of them. You know the ones I’m talking about. They are those bands that you always find yourself gravitating to when you just need to get away.
There are plenty of bands that I love dearly but not all of them are bands that I feel that kind of connection to. Graveyard makes me feel a certain way that Sabaton doesn’t, Iron Maiden makes me feel a way that Megadeth doesn’t, and The Grateful Dead makes me feel a way that Phish doesn’t. Does this make sense? In a nutshell, what I’m trying to say is that some bands find their way into your heart and have a way of creating a connection to you that seems to transcend just listening to music. When done right, these bands can become almost a best friend or even a confidant to you. One of those bands for me is a little band from Virginia called Brave.
If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you will know that Brave is a band that I hold dearly close to my heart. Back in 2012 my blog was just going on 3 years old. In that time I was coming across bands that I had never heard of; bands that were opening all kinds of new doors for me into a world of exciting music that I would have never been introduced to had I not been doing this blog. One day I received an e-mail suggesting that I check out a band called While Heaven Wept. I gave them a listen and I remember really digging the album Fear of Infinity so I decided to do some research.
I did some reading up on While Heaven Wept and I learned that their drummer, guitarist, and keyboardist were all members of another band called Brave. I went to Spotify and pulled them up. I saw that they had a few albums up so I decided to start with one called Searching for the Sun. The first song I heard was “Escape” and right away I was hooked. I made my way through songs such as “Dark Waters”, “Trapped Inside”, “Out of Focus”, and “Hold On” just to name a few and I was continuously mesmerized. Every other song just hit a chord with me.
Brave’s sound was at times progressive, folkie, Celtic, and sometimes all at the same time. The emotive and soothing vocals of Michelle Schrotz roped me in along with the incredible guitar playing that seemed to weave notes in an out like a stitching. The atmospheric violin playing brings in an , at times, ethereal vibe while Trevor Schrotz’s jazz inspired drumming and the atmospheric, warm bass playing carried the songs into all kinds of depths. I knew right then and there that I had found “my band.”
There seemed to be a song or songs for every mood I was in. When I wanted to just rock out there was “Driven” and “Trapped Inside.” When I was feeling introspective there was “Forgiveness” and “Dark Waters.” When I wanted to just get stoned and lose myself there was “Stronger”, “Out of Focus”, and “I Believe.” When my father passed away nearly 5 years ago, Brave’s music was my solace and was what grounded me and gave me some much-needed happiness. Hell, the song “Waiting all This Time” even became a sort of anthem for me. “Waiting all this time to find the reasons for my life. I’m searching deep inside.” This is me to a “t”, constantly searching for my reasons and my wants out of life in general. This was powerful and Brave was definitely a band that I got and that got me without them even knowing.
Since first stumbling upon them, I have been lucky enough to see Brave perform live twice and to even now be able to call them great friends. To this day, Brave’s music serves as a blanket of sorts that I can wrap myself in any time I need to feel comforted. I still find myself closing my eyes and escaping into the lyrical imagery of “Dark Waters”, “Hold On”, and “Something to This” like I am hearing them for the first time. Brave’s music has been one of the greatest gifts I have ever received and this little piece just serves as a thank you to the band. As a musician myself, I know the value of hearing how your music has impacted someone and if this carries any weight, I hope Brave knows just how important they are to this fan right here. Keep making music, keep playing shows, and keep creating that magic. I can only hope that one day the rest of the world will experience the magic the way I do.