With many bands, their reputation precedes them. This can often be a good thing, building hype and an audience, but sometimes it can work against you. Brother, for instance, have already had their card marked by many as nothing more than gobby, Britpop (or Gritpop, as they would have it) revivalists. Yet there may be more to them that meets the eye, as this video suggests….
We asked singer Leonard Newell if he felt that clip summed them up…
“In a way it did, but is also set the mark for who we are – doing things our own way and being heard. We don’t really care what anyone says, we just do it. Being a band in the suburbs is hard, you have to do things like that to be seen. There aren’t many bands from this area who make a name for themselves.”
The suburbs played a huge part in the rise of punk didn’t they?
“Musically we don’t sound punk at all but our ethics and the way we speak up about things is quite punk.
It came from a lack of feeling valued and the frustration we had from not being able to break away from this town, being forced into the nine to five routine that everybody around us seemed to be getting into. There was a lot of anger over the years, from playing in bands and not getting anywhere. It was all building up to this moment. We feel privileged for what we’ve got so far but we’re still so frustrated by what’s happened in the past that we have great ambition, we won’t stop until we get everything we want. It’s actually quite scary. Watch this space, we might die.”
You have a definite attitude, was this prompted by the music or vice versa?
“More to do how we felt as people, completely overlooked – even from a young age. Personally I knew that I had to do something, although I didn’t know what it was. I felt special, partly from being an only child. I felt completely lost for a long time until the four of us got together, which is awfully cheesy but quite true.”
Did you all feel the same way?
“It seemed that way. We knew each other for four or five years before we started the band, it was a no brainer. We were just having a drink and decided to form a band. Literally at the first practice we started writing songs that are on our album now.”
People always mention certain bands when they discuss Brother, do you acknowledge that or are you heading somewhere new?
“A bit of both. We certainly bonded over nineties guitar music and stuff before that – Stones Roses, The Smiths, Happy Mondays – but it goes beyond that. I find that each song on the album has its own influences, from Blur to Chemical Brothers and MIA.”
How was touring with The Streets?
“Mike’s a great role model for us, he’s come from the same kind of place. He’s weird though, very articulate and intelligent but he lives in his own world sometimes. It’s the same for us, we live in our own fantasy bubble, which is why we’ve come so far I think, there are less distractions.”
At the end of that video, you promise to come back in a year and play to ten thousand people. How’s that going?
“We’re looking at actually doing it, that shows how ambitious we are. On the one hand we do want to bring guitar music back to the charts but it’s also a massive personal thing for us. We’re proud to be who we are.”
Brother play the Academy 2 in Dublin tonight. To win tickets see our Twitter account.