This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Photo Credit: Courtesy Big Hassle Media

From Humble Vassar Roots a Band Makes it Big

If you catch the trailer for the movie No Strings Attached (2011), you’ll hear the song, “Ours,” and the characteristic sounds of alternative rock band The Bravery, which Milwaukee’s Summerfest – the world’s largest music festival – named one of the top indie rock acts of the last decade.

The band has humble Vassar roots. During their time on campus, lead singer Sam Endicott ’99, keyboardist John Conway ’00, and Jonathan Togo ’99 played together in ska band Skabba the Hut. Togo went on to a career in acting (CSI: Miami), but Endicott and Conway moved to New York City, linked up with three other musicians, and in 2003, the quintet officially became The Bravery. A month-long residency at club Arlene’s Grocery followed, and by late 2004, The Bravery had signed a record deal with Island/Def Jam. “Then,” as Endicott notes in the band’s newly penned bio, “a bunch of stuff happened.”

The Bravery’s first single, “An Honest Mistake,” earned the band new fans in droves. The Village VoiceRolling Stone, and MTV all heaped praise on the group. Endicott, Conway, and company were soon touring with the likes of U2 and Green Day, before eventually headlining tours of their own. The Bravery’s music found favor in the soundtracks of video games (Ultimate BandGrand Turismo 4MVP Baseball 2005), television shows (Grey’s Anatomy,Gossip GirlsHeroesChuck), movies (The Twilight Saga: EclipseNever Back Down), and commercials.

More recently, band members have written songs for Shakira and Christina Aguilera. They’re also back in the studio recording their next album, which follows The BraveryThe Sun and the MoonStir the Blood, and Live at the Wiltern. This latest stint in the studio comes after their recent return to the U.S. after a month-long residency at London’s Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, which in some ways brings The Bravery full-circle since the band’s early days playing a month-long residency in New York City. By now, though, it’s clear that their musical success is no mistake, honest or otherwise. – PB

April 2011

Back Issues