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Brother Interview / Viva Brother interview

From Slough, England, Brother is a band that, according to them, is going to be the “future of music!”

While poppy, formulaic tracks like “Darling Buds of May,” (the band themselves has called their style “Gritpop,”) and “Still Here,” don’t really bring to mind the revolution of all present music, who knows, maybe they’re right; the music industry does seem to be bent on playing it safe with traditional, commercially viable styles. This sort of stuff very well could be the future of mainstream music. At least they have the confidence to back up such sweeping statements, as quoted in an interview with NME: “We know how amazing we are. And soon everyone else will,” said lead singer, Lee.

With two whole released singles under their belts, Brother are already making it known that they want to play, no, sorry, headline the titanic European music festival, Glastonbury. “And we will,” they say. (This is all extracted from their first NME interview, and the Glastonbury prediction was made just thirty seconds in, apparently)

Well there.

Listeners can sign up to their website mailing list to get their track, “Time Machine,” or if you hit that “Like” button on their Facebook, you can get the B-side to “Darling Buds of May,” entitled “Homesick.”

With a heap of April and May shows all over the UK, Australia and even a show in San Francisco, Brother seem young, excitable and self-loving enough to actually be able to pull the music thing off. Cool. MVRemix has an interview with the band’s lead singer Lee Newell, and here’s what he had to say about the possibility of being music’s future, and then some.

MVRemix: I’ve heard you say that you think songs like “Still Here” could really be the future of music. When you say that, do you think you’ll be the band that all bands draw influence from in future, or do you mean that your particular style will be some sort of umbrella style for all genres from here on out? Do you think the music you’re making is individual and revolutionarily unique in what you’re doing to have that kind of weight?

Lee Newell: I can see us being the sort of band that people will look back in 25 years time and say “Yeah, they had the big idea”. Because we do. The four of us got together and starting writing these fucking good songs for two reasons. To firstly fight against this faceless bollocks we have to listen to day in day out; Jessie J, Bruno Mars etc. etc And as a vehicle out of our lives at the time. We put ourselves out there and put our heads on the chopping block by telling everyone how good we think we are. I don’t give a flying shit what other bands think, or what journalists think, this is us and this is all we can do. There was no way the four of us were going to carry on in our hometown of Slough and work ourselves into a goal-less life. Because that’s where we were heading. We never said we were innovators. Not yet anyway. This album and the creation of this band is more a celebration of great classic songs, and making the suggestion that, just maybe, mainstream music can be fucking good for once.

MVRemix: I recently read your comment about American bands and beards and stuff, (taken from the NME interview, “We’re sick of all these American bands…As can all those bands with beards. It’s time for a proper band with some bollocks. Hopefully other bands will follow us.”) As I listen to “Darling Buds of May,” however, I hear a catchy pop song that almost anyone can listen to enjoy. Why do you think other bands will follow you, instead of just doing something more original instead?

Lee Newell: By follow us I didn’t mean copy us. I mean, to help us bring guitar music back to the charts again. There are too many shoegazer bands that don’t have any shelf life. They come, put their delay pedal on, whisper a bit and fuck off. We’re looking for a revolution, and we’ve self elected ourselves to start it. Modestly of course…

MVRemix: If Brother is the future of music, what do you see yourselves doing next? What is it that you’re after with this venture?

Lee Newell: We’re touring and promoting our current album, out July 4th, Famous First Words until the middle/end of next year, way longer in the States. We’re already working on new material. We’ve got a few other things planned that will change everything. But we’re going to have to keep that to ourselves for the moment.

MVRemix: In your NME interview, you said you wanted to headline Glatsonbury Festival. Are people banging down your doors for you to do that yet?

Lee Newell: We’ll they invited us to play it yeah. We’re on the Other Stage this year. Headlining Glastonbury would be an ultimate dream. One day we’ll do it.

MVRemix: Besides Glatsonbury Festival, what would be some other festivals you’d wanna play?

Lee Newell: We’re looking forward to Summersonic in Japan among loads of others we’re doing. Coachella would be insane. Everyone says it’s one of the best in the world.

MVRemix: You guys have a lot of shows lined up for April and May, mostly in Europe, but I noticed one in San Francisco too. Have you guys ever been to San Francisco or California before? Are you excited to hit up America and play some shows there?

Lee Newell: Never been to San Fran or Cali before and yeah we are extremely excited. We did SXSW and some headline dates in NY earlier on in the year and they have been some of my favourite shows to date. People went insane! They were tiny club shows. We have a lot of love for America.

MVRemix: Why do you think “Britpop” is a dirty word, and what does Gritpop mean to you as you apply it to the music you make?

Lee Newell: It’s a dirty word in a journalistic sense. And I would never be stupid enough to invest our band into just one specific genre. We bonded over 90’s guitar music so that was a starting point for us. Other than that our influences come from anything to The Smiths to The Stone Roses to Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros to MIA. Whatever floats our boat at the time. We came up with Gritpop as an answer to people saying we were a britpop revivalist band.

MVRemix: If you had to choose a future method of payment for your music, what would you prefer to be paid in? Money, musical opportunity, zebras, panties…

Lee Newell: Free grammar lessons.

MVRemix: What’s been your most memorable show that you’ve played so far?

Lee Newell: New Years Eve last year was a memorable one for me. It was a our biggest show we’d ever done up until that point and it felt like something was really happening. People were finally listening.

MVRemix: Let’s imagine that you got the chance to play your ideal show. What happens? Where is it, what kind of stage setting, what kind of crowd and what happens during and after?

Lee Newell: It’s at Loftus Road, London. The Smiths headline. Us, The Clash, Stone Roses, Chemical Bros, and much more. A celebration. What would be better than that?

By Caile Michelle


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