It’s an exciting time for Leeds based psyche grunge act Brooders, who are aiming for the top, following the release of their debut (self titled) mini album.
RUSHONROCK co-editor Adam Keys sat down with singer / guitarist Adam Bairstow to discuss all things Brooders.
RUSHONROCK – Hi guys, thanks for joining us at RUSHONROCK. You’ve just released your debut mini album; can you tell us a bit about it?
Adam Bairstow – Cheers for having us! This mini album has been our baby for what feels like forever but, in reality, has been about a year now. It plays as a relentless descent into psychedelia and darkness and gives quite a personal insight into what was going on in my own life and that of the people around me over the last year or so. The best songs come from the darkest places, so there’s a lot of twisted and ambiguous lyrical content to match with some fiery riffs. As a listener though, we hope it makes you get up and jump, scream, shout, laugh, cry and everything in between.
RUSHONROCK – Your sound has been dubbed psych grunge – tell us a bit more about this …
AB – I think Psych Grunge is just a bit of a label that we began using when we found ‘our sound’ so to speak. We’d dabbled in a lot of different styles of Grunge-y sounding heaviness, but had a lot of interest in bringing in the heavy elements and contrasting them with the soft and surreal dynamics that a lot of psychedelic songs usually go for. I think as a general statement for the roots of Psych-Grunge you’ll need to look at bands like The Smashing Pumpkins; ‘Soma’ is a pretty good representation of the influences we let bleed into our skulls when we first started as a band. We’ve crafted it a lot further from there though, I feel, having that psychedelic element combined with heavy characteristics was a massive challenge to balance. But between myself Speare and Liam it all just worked like clockwork, we all had a sonic direction that we wanted to take the music, and it just correlated so well when we came to write and record together.
RUSHONROCK – What influences, both individually and as a band unit, have shaped your sound?
AB – I think there’s such a broad spectrum of acts, musicians, styles and experience more than anything. We’re all fans of such obscure music, myself and Liam are actually classically trained before anything else, so we’ve grown up listening to Debussy, Mozart and all sorts of classical icons. However, moving into popular music culture was never a problem, we’re all such avid music fans that we’re always introducing each other to ‘the next big act’. Myself and Speare originally bonded over our love of The Wytches and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, however through spending time together as a band we started delving into a wider musical world together, it moved towards listening to bands such as Alice In Chains, Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, All Them Witches, Radiohead, Queens Of The Stone Age, Cage The Elephant and so many more. That list could literally go on for an age, so I won’t bore you with the full breakdown of our sonic influence. Ha! Aside from the music, though, experience has driven a lot of this writing. Life throws a lot of boulders at you, and I’m just learning to turn those boulders into sculptures, if you get me?
RUSHONROCK – Grunge really peaked in the 90s, and over recent years bands like Dinosaur Pile Up have done a great job resurrecting it. Can Brooders take this a step further, and how do you differ from other acts out there?
AB – The thing is, the 90s Grunge scene has never died. People claim that Grunge died with Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley, but that’s just nonsense. Yes, they we’re pioneers of the movement and it was such a huge tragedy when they both died, but I think their influence has never died. I’ve been on a number of music scenes in a number of cities for a number of years now, and there’s always some of that ‘Grunge’ floating about wherever you look. The trick is to not expect the expected of the genre; it’s developed into something new and fresh nowadays that we view as even more refreshing and exciting than the first time you blasted out ‘Nevermind’ in your youthful angst-y teen stage. With bands like Dinosaur Pile Up, Pulled Apart By Horses, Drenge, The Wytches and so many others heading up this movement, it’s a surprise it’s not back in the mainstream yet. But there’s still time with all these things! I like to think that we do things differently, we provide a fresh take on this genre and push the boundaries of comfort, and as soon as people are taken out of their comfort zones they respond the best. A lot of bands seek to work with a formula or something that works conventionally, whereas I like to think we’re pulling ourselves out from this generic sonic space and trying a lot of new exciting things. Our live shows are absolutely hectic, our record sound is intense and unrelenting; what else would you need to be enticed?
RUSHONROCK – You formed in 2014, got off to a good start, then went quiet for a bit. But you’re now back with intent; can you tell us more about this?
AB – In 2014 we actually formed under the name ‘Hunny’ with just Liam and myself. We released two singles and then faded into the backdrop a bit. We’d had some really good shows in Leeds and Nottingham, but we were just not happy with our sound at the time, we wanted to be something more than a generic ‘rock band’. We spent a good solid six months crafting the Hunny EP and played some ace shows off the back of it. However, we’re always aspired for something bigger, better and badder. I think Brooders captures this perfectly. It’s the ideal balance of gritty emotional turmoil and sheer anger, and to play it through feels like throwing my world at others, figuratively speaking. We’re determined to be jumping back on the live scenes once more, touring, writing, festivals, the works. It could be an ace year and I know we’ll not stop until were convinced we’ve done this LP the justice it deserves.
RUSHONROCK – You had a very successful tour last year; was the the catalyst behind the rebirth of the band the drive to get new music out there?
AB – I don’t think there was ever a trigger as such to resurrect us as a band, we’ve always kept going and strived to make it something bigger, but I think that the LP release made everything so much more exciting. We’ve had a number of these songs for so long its just been grating at us more than anything, this release is going to be such a weight off really after so long of holding back and keeping in the shadows. We just can’t wait for people to hear it. But we’ll always be keen to write, record and practice together. We’re all really good mates within the band and whether we’re prominent on the scene at the time or not, were always in the backdrop planning our next move.
RUSHONROCK – You’ve got a couple of dates in Yorkshire to launch the mini album, when can we expect to see Brooders hit the road for another UK tour?
AB – We’ll be coming South and further North soon! We’re just enjoying soaking up the Yorkshire atmosphere for now, but we haven’t forgot about the rest of the UK …
RUSHONROCK – You’ve got the mini album coming out, can we expect a full release from Brooders any time soon?
AB – Were always writing and recording, so who knows? Good things come to those who wait.