Brigands is the brainchild of The Music Guy, Paul Ventura. Like many other control freak musicians who finally throw up their hands and say “let me do that”, Paul’s musical past is scattered with the corpses of several now defunct projects.
In 2003-2005, while enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park, Paul flyered the campus on and off. The subject of those flyers read “Musicians Wanted for Ska Band” . After a couple of years of fizzled out responses and becoming affectionately known around campus as the “ska band flyer guy”, the right lineup fell into place and “The Popscene” was formed. After two years marked by a handful of shows and an ever revolving line up of horn players, graduation came and with it the bleak reality of trying to make it as a ska band post 1999 set in (not to mention most of the members left the area upon graduating), and The Popscene was ultimately dissolved.
After a short lived 3 month recording session masquerading under the moniker “The Scene East” which saw Paul’s first foray into writing more a straight ahead style of rock music without the horns and which gained a small but loyal following online, in 2007 the “The Great Escape” was born.
Comprised of the drummer from The Popscene and a couple of mutual friends, The Great Escape lasted just one year; albeit an active and decorated one which included recording their debut E.P. with producer Paul Leavitt (All Time Low, Dashboard Confessional, Senses Fail, The Dangerous Summer) and which climaxed with the band winning the online Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands in 2008, garnering the band a coveted spot on the Van’s Warped Tour that year. Immediately following Warped Tour, two of the members (then Seniors in college) graduated and life took over to see everyone scatter across the globe and tri-state area for work and other commitments.
Even Paul himself relocated to New York City and joined the newly formed “Hey Stranger” as songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist, but spent the next 3 years writing the material which would make up his still unnamed passion project and main musical focus.
In late 2011, the name “Brigands” was decided upon as a nod to his love of the “Quest For Glory” Sierra computer game series of the 90′s. The debut full length entitled “Bent on a Line Or Half the World Away” was entirely written, recorded, and produced by Paul Ventura and was released November of 2011. One month later, Hey Stranger alum Danny Finerman and Frankie Gaeta joined Brigands on bass and drumming duties, respectively.
Averaging a new album each year since then, the summer of 2012 saw their sophomore effort with “My Waves Have Lost Their Water”.
In December 2013 they returned with their 3rd full length, the darker “Famous People Our Age or Younger”.
One year after that they released the more introspective “LPOE” in December of 2014, and last year in 2015 Brigands released their fifth full length record in as many years with “How Soon Do You Give Up When…”.
Now in 2016, the band picked and remastered select tracks from their first five albums. Including never before heard acoustic versions of a handful of songs, the 20 track compilation “Where Have We Been, Where Have You Been: ‘The First Five Years'” was released June 3rd.
The compilation serves as a retrospective look at the first five years/albums of the band’s career and a great intro to anyone new to the music of Brigands.
With a well deserved breather, the band looks toward the future and the next record, thus ensuring that Brigands will never take a breather as they take on the world one chord and rhyme at a time.