When I first heard the words "The Brilliance" together as a title, I immediately visualized an immaculate ray of light (perhaps sunlight or pure light descending from the heavens) symbolizing goodness, epiphany, and - yes - brilliance. An idea, even. Now maybe, that's not what comes to mind to most upon discovering "The Brilliance" is actually a rock band that hails from the city of Toronto; but, in a sense, there's truth resonating from those initial instincts. The band was based on an idea of "brilliance." The Brilliance was created in the Autumn of 2008, uniting five friends and a mutual passion for making good memories and great music. Admittedly taking notes from bands like Keane, Coldplay, U2, The Killers, and Queen, The Brilliance pens contagious pop/rock beats to "emotion-filled" ballads that are wired to appeal to as many demographics as possible. In the Spring of 2009, The Brilliance jumped into the music business with their first EP "Love, Hope, Fear & Consequence", a five-song list of the band's early recordings (available on iTunes). The band has since started inscripting their lyrics and voices into recording a full-length debut album, with the first single "My Town" already hitting national radio play.
The Brilliance - Gary Stitt, Bret Killoran, Carmine Scandale, Jason Sulyma, and AJ Pinsonneault - just released their brand new music video “Runnin’ For The Hills” and will perform at Tunes for Haiti @ The Drake Hotel tonight.
V.B. Recreate the moment you guys decided to build The Brilliance.
T.B. The five of us guys were attending Canadian Music Week at the Royal York here in Toronto. A well- established and respected woman by the name of Linda Dawe had set up a meeting with us at the piano bar one afternoon. During our time spent with her, she had introduced us to many people within the industry (who are "somebodies") - people with credentials who we knew of but never thought we would meet. We were music-industry starstruck. After the meeting was over, the five of us went back to our hotel. We looked at each other and smiled. We had realized that this is what we want/need to be doing with our lives, and we felt - and still feel - that there is so much potential and opportunity for our band to start a career off of the music we create.
V.B. How did you guys put yourself out there, in terms of getting live gigs? Are there any specific strategies you utilized that many local musicians may not be aware of?
T.B. We asked the bar owners (laughs). We made sure we had some sort of product for bars to listen to, then sent them an email requesting to play a show. Once you get the gig, you should just be super nice to everyone involved in the process, especially the promoters and sound crew! Once you create a reputable name for yourself, word-of-mouth spreads, and it's just so much easier to get gigs after that :)
V.B. Your website claims Coldplay, Queen, The Killers, and U2 are your muses. How would you say you incorporate their authentic elements into your own songs? Do any of your songs remind you of their songs, and why?
T.B. We are fairly subtle about how we implement our influences into our music - for the most part (laughs). As much as we love our favourite bands, it's also extremely important to put your own artistic voice to anything you create. This is how The Brilliance keeps their own sound and (makes sure) they're not a straight copy of something else. We do, however, utilize what we learn from bands things we like to accomplish and certain moods that we set out to capture. With that being said, we don't have a song that makes us all think of some other song that we were inspired by - bits and pieces possibly, but nothing significant.
V.B. You describe your music as being "emotion-filled." Have any life or love experiences inspired your lyrics, and why?
T.B. Yes, we do describe our music as "emotion-filled". This is because we feel that a song is just like a picture - a photograph - except we capture emotions and put them on paper in the form of lyrics and melody. Our songs are inspired by anything and everything that has affected our lives significantly enough to be able to successfully capture and recreate at an enjoyable level.
V.B. Do you plan on making a difference and confronting specific world issues with your lyrics and press?
T.B. Yes, absolutely! Many of our songs address poverty and unity as humans. One day, we would love to help make a difference on a larger scale.
V.B. How's "My Town" coming along? How did you celebrate its success?
T.B. "My Town" went over real well for us. We originally were going to release a different song, but somewhere along the line, decided last minute that "My Town" would be a better fit. Not all of us were happy with this decision at the time, but once the song was received well out west and out east, it really raised the morale of the band. We didn't celebrate really as a band; we had a few beers and cheers to the start of something great (laughs).....That's about it, really (laughs).
V.B. What can we expect from your debut full-length album? When will it be released?
T.B. You can expect a BIG sounding album, vocally and musically. Our goal is to create an album that takes you on an emotional ride from start to finish, lyrically and musically. Songs will fade right into other songs, lyrics will connect, and ballads will be placed correctly on the album to take you for that ultimate ride. We really want people to be able to play this album and listen to it from start to finish. BUT, with all of that being said, who knows how it will turn out?! (Laughs). Money and time are very large factors in the making of a fantastic album. We have one of those - time (laughs). There is no set release date; however, we would love to be ready for the Spring. Only time will tell!
V.B. With all the radio play and new gigs, how would you articulate the life change or feeling into words or lyrics?
T.B. Truthfully, our lives haven't drastically changed. We've always surrounded ourselves with music and performance, so things are transitioning quite smoothly. We are working on a new song called "All I've Ever Known," which is about us only knowing about the stage and music in our lives. So, I guess that would be the choice of words to sum it up (laughs).