Denver’s Churchill to debut new songs at hometown show - Reverb

Denver’s Churchill to debut new songs at hometown show

By Erik Myers

Since signing with a major label last fall, Denver’s Churchill has been trying to take things one week at a time. But as guitarist and vocalist Tim Bruns tells it, keeping up has not been easy.

“We’re so busy, insanely busy,” Bruns told Reverb on Saturday from a Denver Starbucks he used to work at. “Since early January, we’ve just been on a crazy roller coaster.”

The year began with the band’s hit single “Change” holding its spot as the iTunes Single of the Week for two weeks, hitting more than 445,000 downloads by the end of its run on Jan. 7. The following week, Churchill released the single’s music video. Then came the sudden appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and the announcement that the band would tour Europe with pop star Pink, starting in the end of April.

Throughout it all, they’ve labored in studios in Denver and Los Angeles, finalizing the band’s debut full-length with the help of Grammy Award-winning rock producer Brendan O’Brien. The yet-to-be-named record will be released in late spring or early summer on A&M/Octone.

Speaking over the phone, Bruns and singer Bethany Kelly said they were both anxious about their show this Friday at the Ogden Theater, where they’ll be debuting several new songs, followed by a trip to Austin, Texas to perform at South by Southwest.


Q: What was it like performing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”?

Bethany Kelly: Pretty much unreal. We were all really nervous — I think Tim was the most. (laughs) Every time I looked at the camera, in my mind I was thinking “There’s nine million – billion – people behind that camera.” Then I’d be like “OK, it’s not airing yet. I have a couple hours… calm down.”

Tim Bruns: I think we were all terrified. But they did such a good job over there making sure we were ready to go and all of the audio was good. It was a pretty surreal experience for me, especially since it was so last minute. I don’t get nervous often, so it was weird thing.”


Q: You had to reschedule Friday’s performance in Denver so you could spend more time on the full-length. How’s it going?

BK: All the sudden, we realized that if we didn’t set aside the time to finish the album, then we were not going to be recording it until summer or fall, and that’s just not what we wanted. We wanted new music out before the end of the year.

TB: It was a tough decision for us to move that show, but I think it was for the best. I think the show is going to be better now. The plan for the Ogden is to just play all these new songs for people and try to get people excited for the new record.


Q: You got to work on part of the album in Los Angeles with Brendan O’Brien. He’s well-known in the recording industry for producing some important albums for bands like Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and Rage Against The Machine. Was he what you were expecting?

TB: He’s an arena guy. He produces arena-sounding records, and I think that’s what we’re going for. We’ve joked about being the first “arena” folk band, the first “arena” band with a lead mandolin.

BK: We’ve never worked with an outside producer on any of our tracks before. It kind of brings a perspective and help us approach what we’re doing in different ways, but I think we were able to stay true to the sound that we’ve always had. I’m more excited about the new album than I have been about any Churchill project.

More of our Churchill interview >>


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