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Josey Exclusive: Brendan Bond Talks Black Pumas Tour, Inspiration and More

Blog > Brendan Bond Talks Black Pumas Tour, Inspiration and More

Written by Morgan Learn

Posted January 18th, 2024

Black Pumas broke the hinges off doors after the release of their debut album in 2019. The twists of soul and rock and roll ballads lent itself to a growing fanbase asking for more. In the height of their early success, the Austin band responded by delivering their sophomore album ‘Chronicles of a Diamond’ in October of 2023. The ten track record explores thundering guitar riffs paired with emotional vocal punches that leave you feeling sanctified. Bassist Brendan Bond speaks with Josey Records to discuss ‘Chronicles of a Diamond’, touring and more.

Morgan: I’m here with the one, and only, Brendan Bond of Black Pumas. Thank you again Brendan for taking the time to talk with me today. Sorry I can’t present a plate of wings to you ala ‘Hot Ones’, but I’ll make sure to budget for that next time.

Brendan: [Laughs] Alright, deal.

Morgan: So, I do have to ask. Do you remember when we first met, at the pool hall, what I referred to you as?

Brendan: I think you called me Dave Matthews Band. [Laughs]

Morgan: I did call you Dave Matthews! I couldn’t remember your name, but I was told you and Black Pumas had just opened for Dave Matthews Band, hence your new moniker. You definitely beat me in a game of pool afterwards. [Both Laugh]

Morgan: So, what was that like? You know, playing smaller shows, then opening for DMB, and now doing another US/International tour?

Brendan: Yeah, it’s very surreal. The band experienced a large amount of success fairly quickly. I joined the band shortly after they began in 2017, I think I joined 2018. And then it felt like, you know, at the end of 2018, it was like a rocketship. Suddenly we were playing- I think we went to London and played at like, a high school gymnasium. It was tiny. I think there were like 20 people there. Then the next time we were in London, it was for a couple thousand people. It was just very, very quick. So yeah, pretty surreal. I’ve been super blessed to have the opportunity, and the success that came so quickly.

Morgan: You guys did play a show at Josey awhile ago, and it’s crazy to think about the heights you all have reached in such a short amount of time. What do you think solidified that success? Was it a certain show or moment in time?

Brendan: Yeah, I think the band’s success can be attributed to just how much of a generational talent Eric Burton is, and how much of a mastermind Adrian Quesada is. I think they’re two extraordinarily talented dudes. In terms of what I remember, it was that same trip in London when we played to like, nobody. I remember one of the 20 people who were there, was like this tall man in sunglasses and a huge fur coat. He had this comically large fur coat. I think I was talking to the tour manager at the time, Rory, and I asked, “Rory, who’s the mysterious dude in the fur coat and glasses?” He said, “Oh, that’s Radiohead’s booking agent, he came to watch you guys play.” Then a couple weeks later, I think I was hungover in the morning, and we were all in this van called the “smasher”, and Rory said, “Hey, you guys got nominated for Grammys ‘Best New Artist’.” For me personally, I realized this wasn’t just another gig with my friends. It was gonna be a crazy ride.

Black Pumas at Josey Records, January 11th, 2020. Video courtesy of Jeff Schroer.

Morgan: With the first album being a success, which led to the Grammy nominations, the talk-show appearances, and now this Josey exclusive with yours truly…[Brendan Laughs] Do you think there were any challenges in finding success so early on? How high do you think the ceiling goes?

Brendan: Yeah, you know, I can’t really speak for the guys who have skin in the game. I’m just lucky enough to be a member of the band and support them in their journey. I can imagine it's extremely difficult and a lot at once. For example, we just came out with this second record, and I love the second record, but the pressure to make the second record be as successful as the first was immense. Not just successful in terms of sales, but successful artistically. I think Eric and Adrian this time around really wanted to make changes that fell in line with their artistic goals. But for a guy like Eric Burton, and a guy like Adrian Quesada, the ceiling is limitless. Those two guys are generational talents. Also, no greater plot than this Josey Records exclusive.

Morgan: Speaking of the new album, this question is more personalized for you. Do you have a favorite song you like to play from ‘Chronicles of a Diamond’?

Brendan: Yeah! So I played on the record, but I think the one I enjoy the most is ‘Sauvignon’, track 7. It reminds me of like, early 90’s new jack swing rippers. It’s just super bouncy, with crazy keyboard stabs. In terms of songs I like to listen to from that album, I like the singles a lot. ‘Tomorrow’ is an amazing song. If I’m in a sad mood, that’s the song to listen to, it really gets you on your feet. It changes, but ‘Chronicles of a Diamond’ is amazing. ‘Rock and Roll’ is also super fun to play.

Morgan: That is very cool! I’m gonna hit you with my final question to wrap things up. Josey Records promotes and features a lot of local acts. Since Black Pumas has played at Josey Records and are now positioned in a high state of growing success, what advice would you give other bands and musicians starting their music journey?

Brendan: Well first of all, shout out to local Dallas artist Abraham Alexander. That dude is an absolute gem and he’s destined for great things. What advice do I have? Boy, that's tough. Show up on time. [Laughs] Don’t chase what’s cool, do what’s authentic to you. If you’re chasing something that you think is cool, you’re already sorta behind. I’d say strive for authenticity in your art. If you’re not materially successful, you’ll be artistically successful.