“Reno Divorce” publish almost lost treasure
Reno Divorce from Denver, Colorado recently released an almost lost treasure. With “Outsider, Escape from Berlin” a great live album with Berlin roots was released. Johnny had the opportunity to talk to Brent about the making of the LP.
Johnny – Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, was the live album planned or something that came about from the Pandemic?
Brent, Reno Divorce – Thanks for having us, Johnny. We are really excited that the record is finally out there in the ether and available on vinyl. It’s the perfect introduction to any newcomer and it showcases our first and most important value: to be a live band. Our whole career we’ve strived to sound as good or better than our recordings, and I feel like we’ve done it with this one. What I really love about this album is that the decision to record it that night was an afterthought. We were nearing the end of our 2016 European tour and Uli from Wild at Heart (Church of Confidence) suggested it. He’s got a great studio in the basement that is made up of mostly analog equipment, which means no computer tricks or magic. What you play, is what you hear, so you’d better play it right. But as I mentioned, our minds were probably more focused on getting back home than making a live record. When we got back to America, so many other things were happening with the band and life in general. We were writing new songs and the momentum from the 2016 tour was still rolling. I got an endorsement from Gretsch guitars, we made a video for “She’s in Love With the Avenue” in California, we were invited to Rebellion. Every day something cool and exciting was happening. I have a young son who was around three years old at the time, too. It was definitely one of the most exhilarating times to be in Reno Divorce. I also bought a new home, and the CD with the tracks from the live record got lost during the move. And then, here comes 2020. Everything changes all over the world. During the shut down here in America, I had a lot of time on my hands. Time to dig through all those moving boxes, hahahaha! Because there was no live music happening anywhere, it was just the right time to do it.
Johnny – How much can you actually remember from the night? Were there moments that you thought weren’t taht good, but when listening back it surprised you?
Brent, RD – I still remember the whole tour vividly. For us, this was an all-or-nothing situation. In 2012, our booking agent had tried to forceon us a terrible record deal for our album “Lover’s Leap”. When we refused the deal, we parted ways. Some cool stuff started happening for us in America, but it was heavily implied that we weren’t going to have an easy time in Europe anymore. In 2015, I reached out to a friend of mine‘s new booking agency and we both decided to gamble on each other. It paid of tremendously. We approached the 2016 tour with a very serious and professional mindset, because we wanted to prove that we didn’t need the power of a label and that sooner or later the music industry would have to deal with us on our terms. We knew that our fans had been waiting to see us again for a very long time, and we definitely didn’t want to let them down. Playing as a three-piece meant we had to perform as flawlessly as possible. There’s nowhere to hide your mistakes in a trio. That night in Berlin, we didn’t adhere to any particular setlist. I remember forgetting we were recorded until about the fourth song. All three of us knew something cool and magical was happening. That concert was certainly the highlight of the tour. To be in such a beautiful city, to be on such an esteemed stage where so many of our heroes have played, and to be there with our friends… it was awesome.
Johnny – Wild at Heart in Berlin is one of my favourite venues to both play and visit. What do you think makes it so special?
Brent, RD – Man, it’s EVERYTHING! Uli, Leah, Banana, the whole crew. The Tiki Bar. The shop. The city. The stage. The sound. The Lemmy Burger. The neighborhood. For me, it’s like playing Madison Garden. All the bands that have played there. The green room. The studio. I’m blessed that Uli suggested us to record that night. Blessed that our fans showed up and that Sascha from Wolverine Records always believed in this band and trusted us as artist. Blessed that W@H put our poster on the ceiling. It’s like CBGB’s.
Johnny – The Vinyl release contains two studio tracks. Were they recorded during the lockdown or did you keep them for a while.
Brent, RD – The two bonus tracks were recorded especially for this album. Jason and Johnny, who played on the live part of the album, have since moved on to different projects. I decided it would be cool for the new lineup to be a part of this record as well. “Hopeless and Dopeless” was actually written a few years ago and played with my other project, “Brent Loveday and the Dirty Dollars”. The songs kind of move naturally between both bands, and at the time it felt like home with Reno Divorce. I wrote “Tired” about a year ago and it was always intended for Reno Divorce.
Johnny – Finally, can we expect to see you back on stage with us soon?
Brent, RD – Absolutely! Coming back to Europe and re-creating live is an absolute priority for us. I feel like we’ve never sounded better than we do now. Tye Battistella is back on rhythm guitar, Andy Brown on bass, and with the addition of Michael Lindau on bass, we’re firing on all cylinders. Expect a new record in 2022! Until then, head over to Wolverine Records to pick up the live disc or “Ship of Fools/ Fairweather Friends”!
In a trio, there's nowhere to hide your mistakes - Brent, Reno Divorce
She's In Love With The Avenue
Outsider, Escape from Berlin!
I am a Rock’n’Roll Junky
Foto: Kenna Ortitz