Image The Briggs, who we last heard on 2006's, Back to Higher Ground, are back and ready to release Come All You Madmen in June on Side One Dummy. They've played some big shows in the last couple of years and will be hitting the road on this year's Warped Tour. Guitarist Jason LaRocca recently took some time to talk to Punknews interviewer Michael Dauphin about what's they band has been up to, and what they're about to get up to.


the Briggs Letâ??s start with your new album, Come All You Madmen. I understand that a lot of these tunes were written on the road. How do you feel it affected the outcome of the album?

It was the best way for us to keep the music very inspired. Seeing Bad Religion or Dropkick Murphys live every night got a lot of creative juices going. Why wait until you are home and everything is quiet and calm? That's no way to write a record. C'mon!

You guys brought in some friends to lend their talents on a few tracks. Explain how this came about and what was it like working with them in the studio?

Well we were fortunate enough to be on tour recently with the aforementioned bands and built a friendship with them. That carried itself into our recording process. Bad Religion were back in LA and they were doing their HOB stint while we were recording the album. Brian [Baker] (Bad Religion, Minor Threat) was cool enough to come down before sound check one day and do some serious shredding.

It was amazing having Dickey [Barrett] (Mighty Mighty Bosstones) and Ken [Casey] (Dropkick Murphys) in the studio as well. Dickey is very laid back and is just "Dickey" the second he steps up to the mic.

Ken, having the production background that he does, is a perfectionist -- in a great way. He really wanted to make sure that there was enough going on to make the track cool and interesting on his part. Having guys like that on the record made it very special for me. It also kept things very inspiring for the band to make it the greatest possible record that we could.

In terms of sound, what did you hope to accomplish with this album that you may not have achieved in the past?
We wanted to try and have a record that felt really "Live" and immediate. We rehearsed the hell out of these songs and did a lot of planning before we even came close to the studio so that laying it down in the studio didn't feel disconnected and fake.

You guys have been fortunate enough to tour with some pretty high profile acts (Bad Religion, Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, etc). What kind of lessons have you learned from being on the road with these punk rock veterans?

Well all of these bands are very different to tour with. I remember when we found out that we were going to be touring with Bad Religion -- I think there was about 30 seconds of silence before anyone said anything. I remember on the third day of tour, when we were coming off stage and Greg Graffin came up to me and said "hey, how's it going?" My name's Greg" I just sort of smiled at him and nodded and then he said "I saw your set from the Balcony. Great show." That was pretty fucking great for me. I guess one thing I learned from that was that the simplicity of being cool to people and just saying "Hi" to them can mean a lot more than you really think.

Are there any bands out there that youâ??d like to tour with in the future?

Against Me!, Rise Against and Green Day.

You guys are, once again, on board for this yearâ??s Warped Tour. What are the advantages and disadvantages of being part of such a massive event?

It's Hell for those who don't like waking up early, excessive heat, nine hours of straight music, dirt, thunderstorms and high winds. Fortunately I love all of those things.

The Briggs are based out of Los Angeles. Iâ??ve spoke with other bands from L.A. that talk about how the scene there is a tough nut to crack. How has your experience been in terms of trying to stand out in a city flooded with aspiring bands?

You gotta' really just give the LA kids a damn show, man. For the most part kids try to act all tough in LA but eventually they break down and realize, "hey you know what? This band isn't so bad."

You and your brother formed this band almost 10 years ago. When you two were younger, did you guys always have intentions of starting a band? What do you think you guys would be up to if you hadnâ??t started The Briggs?

Well, that's easy really. As soon as I was exposed to live music I knew I wanted to be in a band. Joey and I have been in a lot of bands over the years. We even played in the Distillers for a little while. The Briggs have just been a fortunate project to be a part of. I didn't think six years ago we would be playing the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium with Bad Religion. If I wasn't doing The Briggs though, I would stay at home and produce and record albums.

Your bandâ??s been constantly touring for the better part of the last 6 years. How do you guys like to spend your time when not on the road?

Mixing, engineering and producing bands in LA. Or just write music and go to shows.

What can people expect from the Briggs in the future?

Getting banned from more venues and kicked off of more stages than any other band!

Bands in this story