AL: Vincent and I met working at Apple about 6 years ago and we became good friends sharing an interest in britpop music. We soon discovered that it would be a lot of fun playing surf inspired music. Vincent was already playing in band with Scott at the time and I was doing the same with some other friends. Once those projects fizzled out we got together and Vincent put a tune together which we named ‘Next Summer’ and which became the title track to our first EP. We convinced Scott to come on board and we worked together as a three-piece seeking a drummer when we discovered that our mutual friend Dan plays drums. We recruited him on the spot and here we are now.
HOLDUPNOW: So where did the name The Brigantines come from?
AL: We stole the name from the town of Brigantine in our home state of New Jersey. Brigantine, NJ is a beautiful beach town and the name has a nice ring to it. Its suiting that with a surf-inspired band we decided to take on the name of a beach town. It is a tribute to our style of music and our home state.
HOLDUPNOW: What do you think defines your sound the most?
AL: I am a big fan of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. I think he is a musical genius but I wouldn’t say we are trying to sound like his band. What he did was take the pop music of his day with the likes of Phil Spector bands and combine it with a new trend in music at the time, surf. As for our band, we are attempting to take a modern approach to this by combining pop sensibilities with surf sounds. Although we have written classic surf songs, we would not consider us a surf band nor a pop band but instead one that meets somewhere in the middle – surf-pop. Interestingly enough some of the bands we personally admire and listen to comes out in the music as well. I’ve read reviews likening some of our songs to The Smiths and Joy Division yet as a whole they sound nothing like them, but some elements resonate.
HOLDUPNOW: What are your main influences when it comes to writing music and lyrics?
AL: In respect to bass lines and rhythms I have taken queues from The Lively Ones, walking bass lines heard in ska, some early Motown, Iggy Pop, and do my best to emulate Andy Rourke of The Smiths. Lyrics have been mostly inspired by real life occurrences or fictionalized takes on them. The song Ray-Bans came about while hanging out at the beach and fearing losing our favorite sunglasses in the surf! Verity is the name of a British girl we befriended in NYC. Next Summer is a pure romance while Take You Home is pure lust.
HOLDUPNOW: Being based in New Jersey there must be many great influences surrounding you. Which band inspired you the most to play music professionally?
AL: Scott and I grew up in the NY/NJ hardcore and punk rock scene and we frequented countless shows. The culmination of all these bands have inspired us to play music. New Jersey has had a pretty big music scene for many years and has created many great bands.
HOLDUPNOW: Following the release of your first album Vacation! And your latest single Ocean Park, do you have any plans for a second album?
AL: We are planning on recording a bunch of singles and then eventually take our favorites and compile them on second album.
HOLDUPNOW: The artwork you use, particularly for Ocean Park is beautiful! Tell us how you guys design and create your covers.