Biography All Music GuideWikipedia
All Music Guide:
Looking like a new wave band sharply dressed in skinny ties, bleached hair, and plastic sunglasses, retro-punks the Briefs blasted onto the Seattle music scene in the latter half of 1999. The charmingly snotty quartet took sonic cues from late-'70s British punk and early-'80s L.A. bands, wearing influences like Buzzcocks, the Adverts, the Adolescents, Generation X, and the Undertones on their collective sleeve. The Briefs quickly made a name for themselves locally with an energetic live show, cheeky humor, and undeniable hooks; they soon took their spirited sound nationwide, touring the country with such bands as T.S.O.L., the Queers, Flogging Molly, and the Adicts.
Originally comprised of Daniel J. Travanti (guitar/vocals), Lance Romance (bass/vocals), Steve E. Nix (guitar/vocals), and Chris Brief (drums/vocals), the band initially released a single on Dirtnap Records before issuing their debut album, Hit After Hit, in 2000. Writing songs as a collaborative process amongst multiple members, they returned with 2002's Off the Charts. Around this time, the Briefs signed to Interscope Records, but the deal eventually fell through before the band ever released a recorded note. Undeterred, the Briefs bounced back in 2004 with a new deal on BYO Records and another full-length effort, Sex Objects. BYO also reissued the band's first two Dirtnap releases that September. Touring constantly, the group followed up with Steal Yer Heart in October 2005. The record marked the recorded debut of the group's new bassist, Stevie Kicks (formerly of the Vancouver punk outfit New Town Animals), who joined after Romance amicably parted ways to concentrate on other projects. Romance remained involved in the band, however, directing the video for Steal Yer Heart's "Getting Hit on at the Bank." A singles collection, Singles Only, also appeared in 2005 on Revel Yell, and the band spent the early part of 2006 touring across Europe. They then headed back to the States for spring dates with the HorrorPops, followed by a hiatus during which Nix formed the Cute Lepers.
The Briefs are a punk rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 2000 and originally consisting of Daniel J. Travanti (guitar/vocals), Steve E. Nix (guitar/vocals), Lance Romance (bass/vocals) and Chris Brief (drums/vocals). They play punk rock music, influenced by acts such as Buzzcocks, The Undertones and The Adverts. They released their first full length album, Hit After Hit, in October 2000 via Dirtnap Records. The band was courted by and reportedly signed with major label Interscope Records, following their 2002 release of Off the Charts, but that deal fell through. The Briefs surfaced on California's BYO Records with the release of 2004's Sex Objects and the reissue of their Dirtnap-era full lengths. They most recently released Steal Yer Heart in 2005. The Briefs have released a prolific number of 7" singles during their career, on several small independent labels.
In 2004, the Briefs went on a European tour without Lance Romance, who stayed behind to get his GED. In his place went bassist Steve Kicks of Vancouver, British Columbia's band, New Town Animals. Lance rejoined the line-up for the 2004 release party of Sex Objects, but retired from the band in 2005. Kicks has since become a permanent addition and was a full member for the follow-up, Steal Yer Heart.
Lyrically the Briefs have carried on many themes prevalent in `77 era punk rock. The Sex Objects single "Orange Alert" gained notoriety as a seething criticism of the Bush administration and the of the culture of fear in post-9/11 America. It is one of a number of their songs critical of the U.S. Government, including "No More Presidents" and "Destroy The USA" from Sex Objects, and "We Americans" from Off the Charts. The band has also written a number of love songs in a consciously off-kilter style, similar to the Buzzcocks' "Orgasm Addict." With songs like "Dolly Parton", the band has also illustrated their penchant for light-hearted absurdity.
In 2007, the Briefs released a feature length documentary about the band, entitled The Greatest Story Ever Told, which was directed by the punk filmmaker, Lewis Smithingham.
The Briefs are currently on hiatus while Chris Brief is in Germany. Travanti has relocated to California and has joined two other bands. The first, Sharp Objects, has released a 7" single entitled "Zero Ambition", sounding somewhere in the vein of early 80's LA punk. A full-length album from them is reportedly slated for late 2010. The second band is called Modern Action, in which Travanti is joined by members of the bands The Bodies and The Shifters. Modern Action has recorded 2 7" singles, "Modern Action" backed with "Bleeding Red", and "Radioactive Boy" backed with "Problem Child", as well as a full-length LP/CD, Molotov Solution, all of which have been released on Modern Action Records, a label that Travanti co-founded.
Nix and Kicks both play in another band called Steve E. Nix and The Cute Lepers, playing a very similar style of music to that of The Briefs, with some added power-pop drive. They have released a 7" single of the song "Terminal Boredom", backed with "Prove It", on 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. Two more singles are expected to be released on the European labels NFT and Drunk'n'Roll Records.
The Briefs are slated to share the stage with Rancid, NOFX and Pennywise at the 2012 Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival held in Las Vegas over the Memorial Day weekend.
In 2005, The Briefs released a CD called Singles Only which contained all of the songs released on their different 7" releases to date. In 2012, Modern Action Records re-released Singles Only as a box set with five 7" records containing all of the songs from the original release. The box set also contained a cassette tape including the first 6 demo songs recorded by the Briefs in 1999. Some additional content was added in the digital download including a more recent 7" "The Joy of Killing" totaling up to 32 songs of Briefs history.