Interview – The Brilliancy

By: Jenna Melanson

The Brilliancy is a pop/ rock band from Ontario featuring the musical stylings of Austen Leadley (Vocals), Brendan Friel (Guitar), Rob Raco (Drums) and Bradley Merryfield (Bass).

You may remember a review of their EP which was posted a while back, you can read it here: I highly recommend you looking into this band, and also continue reading to find out more about them during my email interview.

How did you choose the name “The Brilliancy”?

TB:We had spent a lot of time thinking about a good band name. It was important to all of us that we had a name that set a standard for the type of music we made. We wanted a name we would have to live up to and strive for. After tossing around a few different ideas “The Brilliancy” somehow got brought up and we loved it immediately.

When did you meet and form the band?

TB: Rob, Austen and I (Brendan) met in high school. The beauty of this band is that we were friends who just happened to all be musicians as well. As for our newest member Bradley Merryfield, I (Brendan) met him when we were both playing a pit band session together. The timing was perfect, we needed a bassist and all of a sudden I meet this great guy who is just a master of the instrument. I introduced him to the rest of the gang and the rest is history.

You released “The Brilliancy EP” in June 2013, how has the response been so far?

TB: We have been overwhelmed with the positive feedback we’ve received so far. We have been working on this group of songs for a few years now without having anyone else hear them and it’s safe to say we were going a little stir crazy. We can’t describe how great it feels to have these songs out finally and have such a great response from our fans who stuck by us through the writing process.

What was it like working with Juno award winning/ Grammy Nominated producer, Gavin Brown?

TB: Gavin is one of a kind talent. I mean we grew up listening to albums he produced (Billy Talent, Three Days Grace in particular). He just has that amazing ability to make decisions on the little details that we would get stuck on for hours without him. We’ve definitely all grown as writers and musicians through working with him.

When writing songs, where do you draw inspiration from?

TB: We find songs resonate better with people when they are rooted in honesty. So for our inspiration we look into our own personal experiences and try to capture that at it’s purest. Part of the band’s sound is including that uplifting and positive energy which we think you can hear on each track.

What song from the EP has the most meaning to you?

TB: That’s a tough one….the two that seem to resonate most with us live are Can’t Take It Away and Hold On. They are complete opposite energies but the impact they have when we play them live really resonate with us and, we hope, the audience.

Up until now in your music career, what has been the highlight?

TB: We put on a sold out home town show for our CD release last summer that really meant the world to us. It had been such a long process in the studio up to that point that getting on stage in front of that many people felt incredible. Proceeds from that nights event also went toward our local Pediatric Ward which is a cause everyone in the band feels very strongly about.

Who would you love to tour with in the future?

TB: There are bands that really have helped shape our sound like NeedToBreathe and Switchfoot that we would LOVE to tour with. Obviously every band dreams of touring with the likes of Coldplay or U2 and we of course are no exception.

Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who is your favourite Canadian band or artist?

TB: There is SO much talent in the country. We are big Brian Adams and Gordon Lightfoot fans. Lights is an amazing talent and Drake’s lyrical work is just fantastic.

When it comes to social networking, do you find it now plays an important role in the music industry? Which social networking site do you prefer?

TB: Social networking is the key to success in the music industry which is something we love. It’s nice bands can have that kind of direct contact with fans. We are all Facebook and Twitter addicts. Each of us has the bands account hooked up to our personal phones so if you are tweeting at us or messaging us, we are getting it directly!

We always like to include some fun questions to help the fans get to know you even better, so what was the first concert you ever attended?

TB: (Brad)- Van Halen at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. (Rob)- Robert Plant, (Austen)- Chicago, (Brendan) – Mine is nowhere near as cool as these guys, I saw Weird Al when I was 8 I think.

I notice that you post a lot of cover songs on youtube, what is your all time favourite cover song to sing?

TB: (Austen) Singing that Passenger cover was a ton of fun and I could really connect to the style and theme.

We all have our guilty pleasures, what’s yours?

TB: When we play on the road we all usually share a hotel room and watch “Dog the Bounty Hunter” marathons together!

What is your favourite thing to do on a day off?

TB: See guilty pleasures! If not that we all take staying healthy really seriously so something physical.

If you had to describe your sound in one word, what word would you choose?

TB: Empowering

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?

TB: THANK YOU AND WE LOVE YOU! Those words aren’t close to enough but they’re the best we have to work with. The fans that visit our page and comment on our music mean the world to us. Our goal it to play every city we can so we can meet you all in person!


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