Rising rock sensation, Briefcase, makes a bold musical statement with their latest soul-stirring EP, “Are The Stars Keeping Score?“
Briefcase is a Twin Cities rock band that perfectly represents the population— two-thirds Minneapolis and one-third St. Paul. They’ve been writing 90s-leaning rock tunes out of Jeff’s garage since 2016. Their 4th EP ‘Are the Stars Keeping Score?’ carries narratives of the band’s struggles as friends, humans, pet owners, lovers, and parents.
“Something must be keeping track of that jazz. Maybe it’s the stars, maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s some alien being standing at a chalkboard in another dimension.” They said, describing their EP.
Listen to “Are The Stars Keeping Score?” and catch our exclusive interview with the band below!
Music In Minnesota: Tell us about the creation process of this project.
Briefcase: Both the cool and challenging part is we all come from very different musical backgrounds, which means, naturally, we’ve all been poking at one another’s musical tastes for years. Brian is the resident Pavement fanatic, Jeff, U2 and classical, Meleck, jazz and metal. But it also creates deeper connections with the guys.
We’re all friends first, but learn even more about each when you’re writing about things that impact your lives. Each member is a songwriter in their own right which takes the pressure off one person to always deliver, and the different perspectives provide a healthy environment for making each song stronger than it was.
MIM: What are some of the new tunes about?
Briefcase: ‘Awake Eyes’ is about being sleepless cause your kid keeps waking you up in the middle of the night to the point of hallucination. ‘Lolliscicle’ is dismayed commentary on the state of humans and our screens. ‘Aorist’ is recognition of the desire to ask for forgiveness and the need for help, no matter what sloppy shape that presents; or maybe it’s about being a Werewolf. So yeah, fun life stuff..
MIM: What does this project mean to you?
Briefcase: Well it doesn’t mean fame and fortune! Guessing our families are ok with no forthcoming world tours. Our vision continues to be staying authentic to ourselves, and creating music together that we like and are influenced by, and if others like it then … bonus.
Fair to say thus far, we haven’t strayed too far from the rock template, but we bring our own twist. We aren’t fabricating anything other some awkward stage banter. If we keep going I can see a concept album or two in our future. We’ve toyed with the idea of bringing in a second guitarist but ultimately we’re still riding the creativity that comes with imposed limitations.
MIM: Who are your biggest musical influences?
Briefcase: Honestly so many, and you can probably hear it in the music. Whether it’s the heavier busy drums (Rush) at times or the moodier tunes (The Doors, New Order, Mercury Rev) or the goofier sh** (Pavement, NOFX) or the jammier stuff (Built to Spill).
MIM: What inspires you to create music?
Briefcase: Just the love of it, pure and simple. If you don’t love music you won’t pursue, ferociously absorb, and maybe even learn how to create it. In other words, it’s the music we’ve been exposed to that’s inspired Briefcase to exist. In many ways we’re just carrying on the stew of influences in our output. Oh and it’s fun.
Probably the most fun we had in a day was filming the ‘Strong’ video. Revisiting our younger, dumber selves was pretty easy. Meleck (drummer, songwriter) produced the whole thing. How could we pass up ‘footage’ of us saving our beloved home town with some unique superpower?
MIM: What is one piece of advice you would tell your younger self, or anyone who is pursuing a career in music?
Briefcase: Can you still make a career in music? Follow your heart and maybe good things will happen. If not, there’s always a plane you can get on to New Zealand to start over. Also, be nice and mind-blowingly good at your craft. Luckily we have day jobs so we don’t have to be that good.
MIM: Do you have any tours or concerts planned in the Minnesota area?
Briefcase: We’re celebrating the release with two shows in February — an EP release party at Underground Music Cafe on Fri 2/10, followed a week later by a Friday night closing slot at Big Turn Music Festival in Red Wing on 2/16.
MIM: What can listeners look forward to from you?
Briefcase: Come to a show and find out! We love the flow of the energy — from us to the crowd and back again. At first we were just writing music so we could play live since that’s really all we wanted to do. We played a local festival last year and some drunk dude was so into it he danced himself into our PA and took down the whole thing.
Some bands would be like, “I’m done” after that but we just helped put it back up and fed off the chaos. We’ve now entered a new phase with fans expecting new music more often so we’ve really tried to focus on songwriting over the past year. Someday maybe we’ll even agree on a song to cover.
Catch Briefcase by listening to newest EP and check out their YouTube!