are a punk rock band
originally consisting of Daniel J. Travanti (guitar/vocals), Steve E. Nix (guitar/vocals), Lance Romance (bass/vocals) and Chris Brief (drums/vocals). The group was formed in 2000 in Seattle, Washington
. They play punk
music common to the Pacific Northwest
independent punk / new wave scene, influenced by acts such as Buzzcocks
, The Undertones
and The Adverts
. They released their first full length, Hit After Hit
, in October 2000 via Dirtnap Records
. The band was courted by and reportedly signed with major label Interscope Records
following the release of 2002's Off the Charts
, but the 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 in their career for a number of small independent labels.
In 2004, the Briefs went on European tour without Lance Romance, who had stayed behind to get his GED. They took in his place bassist Steve Kicks of Vancouver's New Town Animals. Lance rejoined the line-up for the 2004 release party of Sex Objects, however 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 the of the culture of fear in post-9/11 America. It is one of a number of 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 written a number of love songs a consciously off kilter style similar to the Buzzcocks' "Orgasm Addict." Through songs like "Dolly Parton" the band has also shown a penchant for light-hearted absurdity.
The Briefs are currently on hiatus while Chris is in Germany. Daniel is in a new band called MODERN ACTION with other members of the bands THE BODIES and THE SHIFTERS. They have released a 7" single with songs called "Modern Action" and "Bleeding Red" on the bands own MODERN ACTION RECORDS. A new Modern Action 7" is currently in the works from Modern Action Records. A full length is planned for late 2008. Nix and Kicks are both in a new band called Steve E. Nix and The Cute Lepers.
They play a very similar style of music as The Briefs with some added power pop drive. They have released a 7" single for the songs "Terminal Boredom" backed with "Prove It" on 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. Two more singles are due on the europeon labels NFT and Drunk'n'Roll records.
- Steve and Dan both keep strong pride in vintage gear. Steve plays a 1960 Gibson Les Paul Double Cutaway, known as the "Junior" or "Special" model. During the earlier years he used to play with .11 gauge strings. Later he would switch to pure nickel "super slinky" or .09 gauge guitar strings. Heavily used in the seventies, this, along with his heavy gauge of pick (.88 Green Tortex to be exact), give him the raunchy 1977 tone many search for.
- Dan has also been seen with vintage gear including a Fender Jazzmaster with matching headstock (indicating it was a much older, late 60s or early 70s model). However, Dan has also played many other guitars including a Vintage Les Paul Custom and these days is rarely seen without his vintage Gibson SG junior.
- The reasoning for the heavy use of "Junior" Gibson guitars is mainly due to three key factors, one being the vintage "dogear" P-90 pickup. The P-90 forms an interesting culmination of single coil "twang" and humbucker "beef", bringing a sound that cannot easily be categorized. The Mid frequencies are usually very, very strong and bass is underemphasized. When played with modest gain and high volume, the pickup distorts itself due to the distance between the strings (they are surface mounted) as well as the pickup's overall output. In a sense, the P90 is a super-beefed up single coil. Another key factor is the wrap-around bridge. While they are not original (they replaced the original bridges with new wrap-arounds that had two adjustable saddles), the bridges create a great deal of tone characteristic as well as greater sustain. The number one key element to these guitars are their designs. Both include heavy fret access (The SG and Double Cut are almost identical in that nearly every fret can be accessed, unlike Gibson's traditional Single Cut Les Paul), light bodies, a slab of mahogany (Gibson's vintage guitars used much more prestigious pieces of wood), and, most importantly, they have little distractions in the way of playing so Dan and Steve can slam away at notes with no worry about flicking a tone switch out of socket or, worse, cutting their hand wide open on a sharp bridge saddle.
- Effects used by the Briefs include an Ibanez Tube Screamer (Not the reissue, the traditional TS-9), a Boss "Super Chorus", and Boss Graphic Equalizer.
- Spare guitars on stage have included a Fender (American, Blonde) Telecaster with maple neck, and some pictures have shown a standard SG being played as well. Steve has also been seen with a Traditional Les Paul "Special" Cherry Red double cutaway guitar.
- Amps that the Briefs use include a Vintage Orange amp head and also a Fender Bassman. Cabinets used include vintage Marshall cabinets. Steve once stated he used an Ampeg as well but it was too large for the touring The Briefs did.
- Dan can be seen playing a Rickenbacker 360 during the "Steal yer Heart" sessions, and Steve has also been seen with Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters over the years.