Braddock Station Garrison are a rock band from head to toe – their vibrant guitars and melodic vocals create rapt atmosphere with distinctive American roots. Among BSG’s influences are Tom Petty with a lot of Big Star and Cheap Trick and late 80s REM, 70s-era Aerosmith, some of the rockier Son Volt and Wilco and a dash or Crazy Horse. To keep the list going Michael Chapman on drums, Patrick McCann on bass, Tom Soha on guitar and singer/guitarist Steve Schillinger also dig The FED, Bells and Hunters, The Silverites, Radiation Puppy, Technicians, Golden Gurls, Emily Henry, The Pharmacy Prophets….
Coming from Washington DC, Braddock Station Garrison currently have six songs and a bunch of demos on their Reverbnation page. My favorite is “Callifornia Specific” in which I find a Led Zeppelin-ish feeling and this quiet melancholia of The Beach Boys, both combined in a unique blend with distinctive vocals.
Of course, I can’t hide my sympathy to a song with a name like “Girl Gotta Gun”! This one possesses low-tuned snarling guitars and bluesy vocals. True badass!
My curiosity was heated so I decided to get some info straight from the source! Here is what BSG’s frontman Steve told me about the band’s roots, the location of Braddock Station, bringing back musicians from the grave… and their debut album “High Water” coming out in just two days – on September 20th!
1. How and when did you started the band?
The band started with Tom and I. He and I have played softball together for over 10 years. He knew that I wrote songs and played guitar and I knew he played guitar and we always said we should jam but never got around to it. One day two years or so ago he mentioned it again and this time I took him up on it. I came over with an acoustic guitar and my old songbook. I had stopped playing for a couple years because I had run out of things to write about and I wasn’t interested in doing covers. It was intimidating to dust off these old tunes and play them but Tom dug them and we clicked really quickly. We did some acoustic shows, we jammed a bit with the rhythm section of his old band but they lived too far away to make it a regular thing. So we put a couple Craigslist ads out and met our drummer Michael and our bassist Patrick. When we first played as a four-piece it really came together. Within 30 seconds of the first song Tom and I were just grinning like idiots. The band was born!
Why Braddock Station Garrison? Is there a real station with this name?
We are a DC band but we all live in Virginia. There’s a ton of history around here. We wanted to pay tribute to that in a way. If you drive around Virginia enough you see places with interesting names: Guinea Station, Ely’s Ford, Roaring Run Furnace, all these olden day sounding places. We both live near Braddock Road and Braddock Station had a cool ring to it. Then I got to thinking about the Civil War and soldiers and the idea of a garrison, the soldiers who are left behind to guard a place. So Braddock Station Garrison came to be. There’s a Braddock Road Metro stop but other than that it appears fairly unique, at least as far as Google knows!
You’re from DC, what’s the music scene over there like?
The DC scene is eclectic. We’re known for Go-Go, guys like Chuck Brown, on one side and harDCore and Straight Edge on the other, bands like Bad Brains and Minor Threat and Fugazi. But like any big city it is has a ton of diversity. As we’ve played out more we’ve met so many bands doing such cool stuff. Most importantly they are great PEOPLE.
Tell me something more about your upcoming album “High water” that’s coming out on September 20?
High Water is our debut record. We recorded at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, VA with Don Zientara, who is a legend in the DC scene. It was really intimidating at first; this is the guy who worked with Fugazi and Shudder To Think and Bad Brains and The Dismemberment Plan and here he is doing our little record! But that intimidation was totally unfounded; he’s one of the nicest and most talented artists we have ever met. We spent one day recording and one day mixing, really blitzkrieg-style recording, three or four takes with the full band per track, a couple overdubs to fix some stuff, and maybe two or three vocal takes. It was a seriously great experience. The record has six original songs, two of them, “A Lot To Ask” and “Fall,” I wrote something like 10 years ago; one, “Girl Gotta Gun,” is music Tom had kicking around for a long time and I put words to; and the other three I wrote after the band came together. But it is that it is the band that brings the songs to life. Each track might have started in one place but the final result is everyone bringing their talents to bear. We have CDs on the way and the digital versions should be available on iTunes and Amazon soon!
Yes! We are sharing a bill with Don Zientara and Bells & Hunters supporting Aloha Radio at The Tree House Lounge near the H Street District in DC on Thursday September 26. And we just confirmed our third visit to The Bier Baron in DC’s DuPont Circle neighborhood, this time supporting the Jonny Monster Band on their East Coast swing Saturday October 12! Our website and Facebook page have all the details. Come on out!! We’ll have CDs and maybe even tee-shirts for folks to take home!
One last question: If you could bring back from the grave an artist to play one last show who it would be?
In terms of artists I regret never getting a chance to see, I’d say Jeff Buckley. I didn’t start appreciating him till after his death. Anytime someone that young dies it’s a tragedy but it was such a devastating loss musically. He was so talented and had so much left to create. An old friend got me hip to him and the first couple listens it didn’t really resonate. He lent me a DVD of a show and demanded I watch it. At the time I was starting to get really frustrated creatively. I swear that five minutes into watching the DVD I had my guitar in my hands I was just so inspired. I would love to see what directions his muse took him. Maybe it wouldn’t be as good as Grace but it was sure to be interesting. (Extra points for this answer! Love, love, love Jeff Buckley!)
Braddock Station Garrison’s music is available on their ReverbNation Page. Keep an eye on their Facebook and show some likes! And look forward to “High Waters” cause it’s coming out soooon. Twitter : @BSGRockNRoll
And for a proper happy ending here is a video of Braddock Station Garrison playing “Any day, any time” live @ The Sidebar Tavern at Baltimore, MD.