Bradley Cole, Live Tracks

*Note: to celebrate the release of Bradley's new live album, he graciously agreed to an exclusive interview with the Bradley Cole Fan Club.

BCOFC: What made you decide to do a live album?

Bradley: I didn't really intend to do a live album; it sort of came about organically after the tour ended earlier in the year. We had all these recordings. I had decided I wanted to record the shows for a lot of different reasons - so that I would have something to review and listen to to get ideas for future shows, to see if there were any trouble spots, and to see what I could improve upon, and just for posterity's sake.

At the end of the year I had a collection of live takes, and some of it was pretty interesting. I played a few of the tracks for some people and they said it would be great as a live record. So I decided to think about it and I started reviewing all the material. That was a tremendous job because we had a multitude of tracks to listen to. After doing that I thought it would be a good idea and decided to go for it.

BCOFC: What venues did you record?

Bradley: Almost all of them. St. Louis, Los Angeles, Chicago, Pittsburgh, just to name a few. We had some technical mishaps in a couple of places so we were unable to tape them, but we made it a point to try to get the show recorded everywhere we went. That was not always an easy thing to do because we were playing in small honky tonks all across America, and not all of them had the greatest sound equipment. We didn't have the wherewithal to bring the necessary recording equipment with us, that would have been too costly. We were at the mercy of the sound equipment at the various clubs we went to.

BCOFC: Were there any hurdles or other problems with the sound?

Bradley: Yes there were. Because we didn't have recording equipment of our own we normally ended up with a simple stereo recording taken from the house mixing board. Which means that in every club the sound is mixed so it sounds good to the people listening in the room, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will sound good as a recording. Lots of times the vocals will be too soft, the guitar way too loud and all you hear; or the bass is too soft, the drums not right, etc. Normally when you have your own recording equipment you can control that. Vocals or other instruments can be isolated, you can bring it up if it's too soft, etc. So we ended up with the house mix. This was very problematic because a lot of times the vocals were indeed too soft or too loud, and drums too loud or soft and we were unable to correct it in post production.

BCOFC: The album will be released through Nomadic Music?

Bradley: Nomadic music is releasing it. I'm very proud of this as it's our 4th or 5th release for Nomadic and that's going good.

BCOFC: What can we expect to hear on the record?

Bradley: It's going to be something I hope represents what people heard and saw when they came to see the show, that is, a good majority of it is just me with the guitar and very few added instruments. A couple of times I had the full band with me, and that was always the most fun, so we have a few selections with the band, too. It's really an album that builds from something that's very intimate to start with to something that's full of energy and raucus at the end. Then I end it with a solo version of Wastin' Time which was kind of like our signature at the end of the shows.

BCOFC: Who is playing with you on this album?

Bradley: The usual suspects. As I mentioned it's mainly just me with the guitar but, the guys joining me are Brian Charette, Shawn Pelton, Charley Buckland and a few of my other favorite musicians.

BCOFC: Do you have plans for a new studio record?

Bradley: Yes I do. We're working on that now. A lot of the songs are being hashed out and I want to hopefully start recording at the end of the summer or early fall. I'm really looking forward to the next album because it's the 10th anniversary of the first one I made. Ten years of music!

BCOFC: Congratulations! And thank you for the interview.

Bradley: You're welcome!

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