Though they’ve only been a band for two years, Connecticut’s Bronze Radio Return have managed to churn out an EP, write and record a full-length album and build up a solid following across the Northeast in the process. The six members, most of who met at the University of Hartford, draw influences from musicians as diverse as Stone Temple Pilots and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
Keyboardist Matt Warner spoke with Innocent Words about the band’s start, self-releasing their album and getting a well-known producer to help them record.
Innocent Words: How did the band first get together?
Matt Warner: Four of us went to the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. Interestingly enough, the band didn’t begin to take shape until after we all had graduated.
IW: Why did you guys decide to put out Old Time Speaker without signing to a label first?
Warner: This is still a very young band. We have been a together for a little over two years now and have seen consistent growth. At the time Old Time Speaker was recorded, we had no label behind us. Since the album’s release, we have sparked interest and that is great to see. This entire process has been so exciting for the band. We are really happy with the way everything has taken shape since the release of Old Time Speaker.
IW: How do you describe your sound?
Warner: One of the great things about this band is the diversity, so many of the members in the band come from different places musically. Our sound is definitely rooted in rock and blues music. But there are also elements of jazz and folk tossed in as well. Our sound is something that we all see continuing to develop every time we play together.
IW: What musical influences do you have that would surprise people?
Warner: One of the best compliments we have received so far is that people can’t quite pinpoint how to describe our sound. This goes back to what I was saying earlier about our broad range of influences. We are all fans of jazz and blues music, and I think that might come as a surprise to some. Jazz and blues still continues to be an influence on our individual playing and collective sound.
IW: How did you manage to get Doug to produce your EP? (Ed. Note: Doug Derryberry has produced Bruce Hornsby and Ben Folds, among many others.)
Warner: We were playing at the Bitter End in New York City, and Doug was in attendance. After the show, we got a chance to talk to Doug, and we were able to work out some time in the studio together. It was really an honor working with a musician/producer of his caliber. Doug has a way of bringing out the best in you without being overly critical. He created a very relaxed yet focused environment to record in. It was truly a pleasure.