Off the Charts (2003)
The Briefs are a punk rock band from Seattle, Washington, formed in 2000 and originally consisting of Daniel J. Travanti (guitar/vocals), Steve E. Nix (guitar/vocals), Lance Romance (bass/vocals) and Chris Brief (drums/vocals). They play punk rock music, influenced by acts such as Buzzcocks, The Undertones and The Adverts. They released their first full-length album, Hit After Hit, in October 2000 via Dirtnap Records. The band was courted by and reportedly signed with major label Interscope Records, following their 2002 release of Off the Charts, but that deal fell through. The Briefs surfaced on California’s BYO Records with the release of 2004’s Sex Objects and the reissue of their Dirtnap-era full lengths. They most recently released Steal Yer Heart in 2005. The Briefs have released a prolific number of 7" singles during their career, on several small independent labels.
In 2004, the Briefs went on a European tour without Lance Romance, who stayed behind to get his GED. In his place went bassist Steve Kicks of Vancouver, British Columbia’s band, New Town Animals. Lance rejoined the line-up for the 2004 release party of Sex Objects, but retired from the band in 2005. Kicks has since become a permanent addition and was a full member for the follow-up, Steal Yer Heart.
Lyrically the Briefs have carried on many themes prevalent in `77 era punk rock. The Sex Objects single "Orange Alert" gained notoriety as a seething criticism of the Bush administration and of the culture of fear in post-9/11 America. It is one of a number of their songs critical of the U.S. Government, including "No More Presidents" and "Destroy The USA" from Sex Objects, and "We Americans" from Off the Charts. The band has also written a number of love songs in a consciously off-kilter style, similar to the Buzzcocks’ "Orgasm Addict." With songs like "Dolly Parton", the band has also illustrated their penchant for light-hearted absurdity.
In 2007, the Briefs released a feature-length documentary about the band, entitled The Greatest Story Ever Told, which was directed by the punk filmmaker, Lewis Smithingham.
The Briefs are currently on hiatus while Chris Brief is in Germany. Travanti has relocated to California and has joined two other bands. The first, Sharp Objects, has released a 7" single entitled "Zero Ambition", sounding somewhere in the vein of early 80’s LA punk. A full-length album from them is reportedly slated for late 2010. The second band is called Modern Action, in which Travanti is joined by members of the bands The Bodies and The Shifters. Modern Action has recorded 2 7" singles, "Modern Action" backed with "Bleeding Red", and "Radioactive Boy" backed with "Problem Child", as well as a full-length LP/CD, Molotov Solution, all of which have been released on Modern Action Records, a label that Travanti co-founded.
Nix and Kicks both play in another band called Steve E. Nix and The Cute Lepers, playing a very similar style of music to that of The Briefs, with some added power-pop drive. They have released a 7" single of the song "Terminal Boredom", backed with "Prove It", on 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. Two more singles are expected to be released on the European labels NFT and Drunk’n’Roll Records.
The Briefs are slated to share the stage with Rancid, NOFX and Pennywise at the 2012 Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival held in Las Vegas over the Memorial Day weekend.
In 2005, The Briefs released a CD called Singles Only which contained all of the songs released on their different 7" releases to date. In 2012, Modern Action Records re-released Singles Only as a box set with five 7" records containing all of the songs from the original release. The box set also contained a cassette tape including the first 6 demo songs recorded by the Briefs in 1999. Some additional content was added in the digital download including a more recent 7" "The Joy of Killing" totaling up to 32 songs of Briefs history.
In the fall of 2012, The Briefs played a show in Long Beach, Ca with The Stitches and The Bodies. They performed with original bassist Lance Romance but drummer Chris Brief was replaced by the Adolescents drummer as he was unable to return from Germany in time for the show. Then the band went on to play in Texas at the Fun Fun Fun Festival 2 days later and have since slipped back into a dormant state.