We Could Be Heroes; An interview with Brad Lauretti of This Frontier Needs Heroes

After three years without a new album from the esteemed songwriter Brad Lauretti, This Frontier Needs Heroes completed their fourth studio album Real Job. The title provides insight as to how the duo has spent their time off: working. Lauretti recruited violinist Sadie Frederick to face the overwhelming journey of gigging with him full-time at every possible bar, brewery, and listening room across the South.
Much like their previous album Hooky, the sounds again required assistance from additional band members which brings a relentless wave of energy that refuses to cease from track to track with the help of guitar, violin, drums, bass, pedal steel, and keys. The main difference with Real Job is almost a complete genre change, working from indie rock to a more folk/Americana feel, which makes for their best sound yet. The hard work put in over the past three years has only worked to increase their musical maturity and establish themselves as a reputable source of talent.
The album was recorded by Jesse Mangum at the Glow Studio in Athens, GA. Joining singer-songwriter Brad Lauretti (Vocals and Guitar) are Sadie Frederick (Vocals and Violin) Cash Carter (Drums) Ryan Vogel (Bass) Adam Kurtz (Pedal Steel) and Jon Loyd (Keys).
Ghettoblaster caught up with Lauretti to discuss Real Job, which was self-released in October. This is what he said.
When did you first begin writing the material for the Real Job
Most of the album was written last October as part of the Stetson Kennedy Songwriter Residency in Fruit Cove, FL. (stetsonkennedy.com/residency.html) I also recorded a few old and unfinished songs from my back catalogue. “Mountain Laurel Lightning” was a song from my old band The Mountain Men, “Catfish and Cornbread” was an old song I wrote for my family that lives out in the country in South Carolina. “Never Gonna Be The Same” is something I started a few years ago one night when I was in Galveston, TX playing at the Old Quarter which is owned by Rex “Wrecks” Bell who played with Townes Van Zandt. Then I finished it after my father passed away.
This is your first release since 2013’s Hooky. This is quite a departure. How do you feel you’ve progressed as a band? 
Since “Hooky” came out and I moved to Florida I have been a full-time musician, and I have played a ton of shows. I played shows that were three to four hours and really stretched myself out and have grown as a performer. I love these new group of songs, and I am extremely proud of them. As far as the band it really is just me at this point, and then whoever is available. I have musicians I play with all over the country in NY, FL, CA, NC just depends on where I am, but the guys on the record are from Athens, GA and some of them are from Nashville.
You’ve lived in New York and Florida. You record in Georgia. Where do you call home these days? 
To be honest I am just a wandering drifter at this point.
Real Job has equal parts protest songs and love songs. Was that the intention from the outset? 
To share the balance on the record? It wasn’t intentional, but it is just something that I do. I have never made an album that was all protest or all love. I think that is boring. What I try to do is mix the two. I am a very political person, but I am also very romantic. I think it is interesting to mix the two in a single song. I don’t see them as separate. I feel like politics is just an extension of love. if you didn’t love people, if you didn’t love humanity, our earth, our culture there would be no need to be political. Some people reject politics in favor of a shallow form of love that seeks to ignore or negate politics, transforming the world through just pure love. I believe that you cannot truly love without dealing with the messy mess of politics.
Do you have any plans for a U.S. tour? 
I am totally still a DIY artist, so I have to do everything myself. It took all my energy just to release this album, but I am starting to book U.S. dates for 2017 now, so get in touch if you want to host me somewhere!
(Visit This Frontier Needs Heroes here:
http://thisfrontierneedsheroes.org https://www.facebook.com/thisfrontierneedsheroes/?fref=ts http://instagram.com/thisfrontier)