Happy Hour w/ American Low
by Jeff Czum - posted 2:00 pm, March 12, 2015
It was 6pm on the first Friday in March when Michael Brady and I walk into Just Vino Wine Bar located on the cozy, “SoHo-esque” setting of Main Street in downtown Buffalo.
He’s about to tell me about his new music venture that he’s been working on this past year, but first, I put in an order for 2 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon by Ferrari Carano. “I won’t lie to you,” I tell him. “I only order the wine I can pronounce.”
Luckily for me, the bartender didn’t hear my ‘entry level’ remark.
I am by no means a wine enthusiast, and it’s now become vividly clear.
Michael begins to tell me about the vibrant aromatics of cassis, cedar, licorice and other spices that attribute to the flavor. “You just have to know what to look for when drinking a fine wine,” he says before going through the appropriate steps of wine tasting.
Once he’s satisfied with his explanation and the fact I won’t embarrass him in front of the crowd of happy hour winos, we get started.
“We only have two goals as a band: To be on Ellen, and to be able to say ‘thank you Milan.’” Michael says with only a half joking tone.
He’s just a week away from launching his debut song “Cloud” as well as gearing up for the first show with his three-piece indie/rock band, American Low.
“We’re about to put out everything we’ve been working on the past year,” he says. “I had around 40-50 song ideas just laying around with no direction.
“I showed a good friend of mine some of the material and he really pushed me into turning them into something real.”
With the drive and passion to complete his unfinished songs, Michael went into the studio to record his ideas with fellow band-mates Ben Gigone and Jeremy Shields.
“We started tracking at Quiet Country Audio and it soon turned into something I’ve been waiting for. We now have a lot of content that we’re finally ready to put out there.
“American Low will be releasing a music video for the single along with our website on Sunday, March 15th”
The group has their first show coming up this week at the Bug Jar in Rochester before heading to the Studio at Waiting Room this Friday (3/13 @6pm).
“We’re opening up for a band called Royal Tongues for a hometown show,” he said. “I honestly don’t know how it’s going to go. We haven’t even played live as a band, but I know we’ll encompass the honesty of the songs as well as the sincerity we bring to the table in a live setting.”
As a songwriter, Michael strives on his brutally honest lyrics and earnest melodies.
“I always want to come from a place of sincerity,” he tells me. “A good song is one that is honest and catchy. You can have a really honest song, but if you want it to be marketable, it has to be catchy as well.
“I’m confident to say we have a nice hybrid of the two.”
We begin to move on to our second bottle of wine, and I notice there’s something about drinking wine that makes you feel smart and pretentious at the same time.
As the glasses flow, the confidence in Michaels voice follows.
“I honestly think that by the end of the year, we’ll be signed,” he says.
I tell him it’s a bold statement, but can’t help but to be intrigued.
“A lot of bands fail when they don’t have their own identity and attitude,” he said.
“These days, bands just borrow from others and fail to remain unique. With the right songs and a professional attitude, anything is possible. We have the songs and we have our identity”
You can tell he has the same ‘I-don’t-give-a-shit’ attitude and confidence of the English rock band, Oasis. Similar to Liam Gallagher, Michael Brady isn’t afraid to name names and stir up some controversy.
“It’s tough being in a band from Buffalo,” Michael says. “I’ll be honest, I don’t think the scene has been relevant or as sincere as it was when I was growing up and going to shows.
“I’m excited to help revive that spark. I think we have the ability to do that.”
Buffalo has always been known for immense amount of artistry and cultural, but above all, music.
“When I was younger, there were a group of bands that had a collected vision and support for one another. People were engaged and it was interesting.
I’d like to see that happen again. Back around 10-15 years ago, random bars and restaurants with no affiliation to music started putting on shows because there was such an overflow of good music and bands.”
The tone of his voice has the perfect amount of cockiness that you can’t help but to admire.
“The Release of American Low will be my proudest musical moment thus far,” He says. “I’ve only played in two acts my entire musical career and both were successful in different ways.
I’ve seen the country a few times over, but I’ve never produced something so pure. These songs are the most honest thing I’ve ever created.”
~ Jeffrey Czum