Band name: Brighton, MA Sound: On its just-released "Billboard Sun" EP, the indie-rock quintet channels the ragged glory of the Walkmen, veering between loosely anthemic rockers ("New Underground") and more introspective turns like the bruised "V-Day." Need to know: The band has opened for Spoon, the Arcade Fire and the Walkmen, and its music has been featured on a diverse array of television programs, including "Community" and "Gossip Girl." In Dec. 2011, Brighton's song "Good Kind of Crazy" appeared in a holiday advertisement for Jack Daniels. The group recently finished basic tracking for its next, still-untitled full-length album, which it hopes to release sometime this spring. Interviewed: Matt Kerstein, 30, Ukrainian Village
It seems like there's a lot of action surrounding the band now after a long stretch of inactivity.
That's definitely the case. I guess you'd call it growing pains. We switched up a couple key band members ... and it took a long time for this new lineup to come into its own. We also had a lot of recordings we went back and changed up. There was generally just a lot of fidgeting with things.
Did you have to have one of those "Rocky"-style musical training montages to prepare yourselves for this return?
[Laughs.] Something like that. But we have a lot of those, so it's not really anything special.
Jack Daniels featured "Good Kind of Crazy" in a recent advertisement. I'm guessing you guys aren't strangers to their product.
Oh yeah. It would have been a little hypocritical for us to be like, "Oh, we're not doing a whiskey ad." We all drink a lot of whiskey--or at least have it in our lives--so we definitely weren't opposed to doing an ad. It wasn't like that "Brady Bunch" episode where they were going to do that ad campaign but first they were like, "Well, we don't use that dish detergent, so we have to see if it works before we can sign up for the ad." We know it works.
Did you happen to catch the Twitter dustup between Avalanches and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver about the ad he did for Bushmills Irish Whiskey?
Dude, someone totally sent that to us and they were like, "You guys totally have something in common with Bon Iver." You're always going to have people who think you shouldn't be a part of something like that, but I think times are changing. The bottom line for us is we want to be making records and they cost money.
Oh, no doubt. Your music has also appeared on "Community," "Gossip Girl" and "One Tree Hill." But if you could choose any program to have a song appear on what would it be?
A buddy of ours, Nathan Xander, got a tune on "Eastbound & Down," and I was kind of jealous of that. That's one show I would love to be on.
Brighton, MA is named for your childhood hometown. What's your fondest memory from growing up there?
I was born there and I lived there till I was 6 or 7, then we moved to the next town over. Our family was close friends with the family upstairs, and I have really good memories of roaming the neighborhood with our upstairs friends, like a little kid gang just running around the neighborhood causing trouble.
Have you ever been back to play a show in Brighton as Brighton, MA?
We haven't played there as Brighton, MA. Last time we played that are we were at the Middle East in Cambridge. But one of the clubs there just got reopened as Brighton Music Hall, so I'm hoping we get to play there soon.
With a name like Brighton, MA, I'm wondering how you are with geography in general?
Could you name all the state capitols?
Probably at one time I could have, but no.
Then why lie and say you're 'okay' with geography?
[Laughs.] I thought maybe I could fake my way through. Maybe you and I just have a different standard. So I guess by your standards, no, I'm not very good with geography.
What's the last album you bought? "Young Jesus' new one at their CD release show." Song you've listened to on repeat recently? "Positively 4th Street" by Bob Dylan Song you never want to hear again? "One of those Adele songs I've been hearing non-stop. I can't think of the name right now." Best concert you've seen in the last year? "The Conor Redig memorial show at the Hideout." Favorite movie ever? "My favorite movie ever would have to be '8 1/2.'" Chicago's best music venue? "Man, that's tough. I guess you'd have to go with Metro."
Brighton, MA When: Thursday, Jan. 19, 8 p.m. Where: Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets: $10 (18+); 773-525-2508