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Interviews: Sudden Ease

Sudden Ease: Interview with Tim Carr and Mike Brainerd
September 2004
By: Blair Bryant

promo photo of Sudden Ease courtesy of The Vision Agency

It's not often that most twenty year olds know what direction they want to take in life. And it's not everyday that most people end up in a band with their closest friends. But for Tim Carr, Matt Brainerd, Alix Berube and Dave Trombly, their band Sudden Ease is reaching heights by simply doing what they love and honing their craft. From selling out shows at the Middle East Downstairs to recently opening for Norah Jones, things are looking up for this hardworking New England band.

Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, the quartet has released four albums since 2001. Their latest full-length album, Trace of You, is a work the band takes a lot of pride in. Released in March 2004, the members of Sudden Ease worked with award winning producer Matthew Ellard of Weezer, Rubyhorse and Mighty Mighty Bosstones fame. Guitarist Brainerd says of their latest release in comparison to their previous efforts, "This one is more directed and focused. The previous one we had produced ourselves. A lot of trial and error took place. This has a lot more cohesion to it. Working with Matthew Ellard really made a difference." Needless to say, the band was very pleased with their album and Ellard's work. Brainerd recalls, "It was incredible. He's a cool, down-to-earth guy. Very upfront and to the point. He really helped us develop a sound we're really proud of and trying to achieve." Ellard also gave the guys artistic freedom in creating their album. As Brainerd states, "A lot of people you run into, they always want to put their stamp on it, but he worked with us to achieve what we wanted to achieve."

One of the more intricate aspects of piecing the album together was the songwriting process. Vocalist Tim Carr penned most of the lyrics with the help and inspiration of Brainerd, Berube and Trombly. Aside from great musicianship, Sudden Ease is strong in terms of songwriting as well. Songs like their first single Ordinary Way and the refreshing piano-driven Cause for Concern are sure-fire hits and fan-pleasers. Some of the songs came easier than others. A couple of the songs on Trace of You were written in a short amount of time as Brainerd recalls, "It's funny because we started writing a lot of songs and started throwing in ideas. A couple of songs on the album, Cause for Concern being one and I think Somebody Else and Ordinary Way, we wrote within the span of two or three days. Some other songs really took a lot more time to develop, but those songs came on out." Singer Carr adds, "I think we all went in with different ideas of what we felt was going to be the first cut off the album, but then we sat down and saw how things were progressing."

Sudden Ease has accomplished a lot in the time they've been together and have had moments of affirmation when they knew for certain that music was what they wanted to do. Carr recalls one of those moments, "We played a show at the Middle East Downstairs. We were only into a year being together and the show was sold out. There was something about looking over five hundred people, when we're just playing our music and seeing that people are really enjoying it. That was our first large-scale show. There was definitely something there that night and we knew this was something we wanted to keep doing for as long as we can possibly do it."

Within the past year, Sudden Ease has recorded a new album with the critically acclaimed Ellard, played with indie favorites Jump, Little Children and recently opened for Norah Jones in a sold-out show at the Tweeter Center in Boston. Be on the lookout for this foursome. The first time you hear of them definitely won't be the last.

Photo: courtesy of The Vision Agency