Valley native headed toward Texas music scene’s big time
GYPSUM — Not only is Vail Valley native Nolan Bradvica deep in the heart of Texas, but Texas is deep in the heart of him.
Bradvica was raised in Gypsum, went to school here and now plays guitar for No Weapon Formed, a Dallas-based rock band.
The band has just been selected to perform at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, which is a huge deal.
SXSW is the largest music festival of its kind in the world, and Bradvica is awfully happy to be part of it.
“We’re more than excited about this,” he said.
Bradvica has been making music for more than a decade. Every now and then he’d wander down to Dallas, and met guitarist Josh Presley.
“Moving to a big city was a wonderful change,” Bradvica said.
Presley also grew up in a small town, Wolf City, Texas, so they also had that in common.
“We’re both small town boys. In a place like that you’re either fighting or drinking or lovin’,” Presley said, then grabbed a pencil to write that down, because it’ll make a great song.
They added three other guys and started to pull some material together. Brandon Thomas is the vocalist; Presley met Brandon at work. Turns out they were from the same area and knew some of the same people.
When they were done, they were a five-piece band with a great big sound.
“It’s pedal-to-the-metal music,” Presley said. “We like that big muscle-y sound and five guys will get that done.”
They take special care to point out that while they’re aficionados of country music, they are not a country band — a Texas rarity.
“A lot of people hear we’re musicians and say, ‘Oh, you’re a country band!’” Bradvica said. “Not really, although we have some songs that would be right at home in a Lynyrd Skynyrd set.”
They’re big Southern Rock fans and they do carry a bit of that influence. But there’s more Metallica than Merle Haggard.
“We’ve written some music you can drink beer to while you sit on the porch, which is how we wrote some of it,” Bradvica said.
Think Alice in Chains and other bands of that genre.
They do mostly original material, and a few covers.
“It gets the crowd riled up, and it’s also fun to step into the shoes of the people you admire,” Presley said.
It’s good to look good, especially on stage, but good musicianship is better. They’re part of a movement to help bring musicianship back to music, Presley said.
They’re working on their first album and you’ll be able to buy it soon. It’ll be available later this spring. Their latest single is “Enough.”
And that, more or less, is how they came to be performing March 14 in one of the country’s foremost music festivals.
Now Weaponed Formed’s part of the SXSW will be in Texas Rockfest.
This past year when they started booking some gigs, they jumped up their online presence. You can find them on Facebook, Reverb Nation, YouTube and about anywhere else you can rub two electrons together.
“That’s important, but so is the face to face,” Presley said.
SXSW has more than 2,200 official performers and bands playing in more than 100 venues. The event has grown from 700 registrants in 1987 to nearly 12,000 this past year.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.