There are a few oddity bands out there that manage to find success after all the original members leave. Yellowcard is the prime example. Despite different lineups they always managed to find success, sometimes with a lineup that didn’t feature any of the original members of the band. Broadside is another band that’s similar in that respect. None of the original members are in the band anymore but they continue on, determined to keep making music and keep building on a legacy that they’ve put a lot of hard work into too. Alternative Addiction talked with Broadside’s Ollie Baxxter about the band’s new single, “Foolish Believer” and their upcoming album with a release date to be determined called Into the Raging Sea.
“All the members of the band now are all newer members,” said Baxxter explaining the band’s work on their single and upcoming album that began last year. “We’ve never truly written music together but we had studio time with Seth Henderson in Chicago. We had worked with a lot of L.A. producers, but we wanted to renegotiate our sound with ourselves. We wanted to have a different kind of vibe with this music. So, we worked on stuff, set rules for ourselves and we really wanted to challenge ourselves.”
A good example of how Broadside worked on their new album is their single, “Foolish Believer.”
“I was sitting with Jeff, our drummer, - who is also a producer and engineer – and we were working. I came up with a loose melody, a loose chorus, and some loose verses. Then, Jeff came up with all the instrumentation for that song. Then, we put the other guys in, and they filled in the rest. It was organic. The beautiful thing about this record is it’s the first time that we sat down to just write a record rather than try to top a single or replicate a sound. We just wanted to write a record with who we are now. We let it all flow organically and that was the process.”
Working with each other for the first time, Baxxter and Broadside had one main thing in mind with the progression of their sound.
“We knew that we wanted to mature the sound. We pulled a lot of our influences. I’m a big fan of buildup moments and ambient music. I’m a big fan of 80’s pop rock. Bands like The Cure, Joy Division, The Smiths – bands like that. I knew that I wanted space in between things instead of just cookie cutter music. The record went into this influx of guitar tones. Not super crunchy, but kind of dreamy and aethereal. There’s a lot of that sound and that era in this. There’s a lot of new wave and pop rock elements, but then there’s also a focus on writing songs that keep people listening. Good verses and huge choruses. Our thing was we wanted people to ‘remember the choruses and listen to the verses. They’ll like it or they won’t, but they won’t be able to say it’s a bad album. I really think this is just a good alt rock album. The songs are very vocal-driven and structured.”
Baxxter is a bit of a dichotomy. He’s approaches the complex in a simple way but approaches the simple in a complex way. At least that’s the impression he gave off in the interview he did with us.
“I constantly wonder who I am. That’s kind of what this record is. There are fun love songs but there’s also a lot of songs about what my purpose is. I never thought about what it would be like to be the man Oliver. I just always thought about Oliver the artist or Oliver the creator. I’ve been struggling with ‘can you be happy, simply being happy?’ I just got a dog and that made me start thinking. My girlfriend and I have been together for six years and that was a big step. It’s something that’s blowing my mind. I’ve been through a lot in my life, but this has made me normal. It put me into society and turned me into a normal person and made me think about that. It’s given me some clarity to where I could be happy if I just let myself be.”
To be fair to Baxxter, struggling with happiness, self-worth, self-awareness, and the myriad of other things that go into personal fulfilment is something that we all go through at varying levels at different points in our lives. He’s aware of that too. That’s what’s so cool about the album title that Broadside came up with this record; it ties a lot into that. Listening through the initial mix of the songs on the record, Baxxter heard a theme and that’s where the album got its title.
“The record is called ‘Into the Raging Sea.’ Listening back to the mixes I realized that I was talking a lot about the ocean. That’s how I like to write. I’m a big fan of reading and I’m a dork when it comes to visual things too. I like to have a visual anchor and the ocean was that for this record. I’m obsessed with it. I think it’s such an incredible metaphor in the whole disposition of life. You’re a small person against the sea. You can let it drown you or you can learn to swim in it. That goes back to being self-aware. If you understand what you can do and what you’re capable of. You know that you could learn to swim. Just breathe in. You’ll float. You’ll get the shit beat out of you sometimes but there’s ways through it.”
With COVID-19 the whole world is on hold and Broadisde is no different. Like a lot of different people, the band is in a holding pattern waiting to put the album out, so they’ll be able to go out on the road and tour.
“The record is done. We’re finalizing the artwork now. We have a release date and a loose schedule. Everything is pushed back so records are getting pushed back too. A big part of recording an album is being able to go out on the road and support it. For us, and bands in the alternative scene, you have to get out there and put it out in front of people. We might have to delay the record but I’m not completely sure. I do know we’re going to keep pumping out singles. We’ve got videos ready to go and we’re going to roll with those. We’re just taking it week by week and going it from there.”-aa