It was with great pleasure that Alt Dialogue got chance to have chat to Brontide. We get the inside scoop on the forthcoming sophomore album Artery out on the 30th June and delve into the band’s style and inspirations. Remember you read it all here first!
First of guys congratulations on Artery, it’s a fantastic album. One of its best qualities is how it encapsulates several different moods. How does the mood of each track come about, is a purposeful effort or does it come naturally? Or does each of you feel / get something different from each track?
An aim for this record was to strip away anything unnecessary and make something more musical with a higher emotional content. Where as previously most songs were always getting bigger, cascading to a big riff we tried other ways of creating the same drama. Usually I might start with a small idea on the guitar that presents to mood of the track and we work from there. It was nice always having the knowledge that we were putting together a whole record, with Sans Souci we had to include some older songs but Artery we always had the big picture in mind so there was always a rough plot for how things wanted to flow.
We, at Alt Dialogue, were huge fans of San Souci then you seemed to go very quiet while Artery was behind recorded. Was this part of concerted effort to focus on the album, or was there some down time? How did you find the writing and recording of the album?
It probably took a year before we were writing toward a new record, I think because you pour so much into an album it takes a while to think about the next one. We spent another year writing and the following year recording. We did turn down several offers whilst we focussed on making the album and we didn’t want to rush any parts of the process so even picking titles took a while. A lot has changed for us over the last few years musically and personally so it was important that reflected in what we were doing with Brontide so we could be one hundred percent happy with the work we had done.
I find it hard it pin down the sound of Brontide, there’s elements of Math and Post rock but there’s something different there which I can’t put my finger on. Where would you place yourselves and are there any particular influences you had whilst recording Artery?
No idea, describing what we sound like to people is always pretty torturous but you’re right in that our roots centred on math and post rock. Over the last few years we have all listened to more electronic stuff, hip hop and pop so we have tried to weave in those influences this time and make music that better represents what we are into now. It’s always been a pretty big melting pot but the three of us have similar tastes and all come from playing in heavier bands but not limiting ourselves to one avenue has been crucial to making Artery.
With the promo photos that accompanied the news of Artery you released several photos of yourselves looking stylish and pretty dapper. It’s not how many people would imagine the typical rock band would look. Was this a statement to say we don’t look like a rock band there’s something that sets us apart from the rest. Is style important to Brontide?
To an extent but they’re all our clothes, it’s just how we dress! It’s nice to surprise people though, I am very fond of having people at a show confess that they didn’t think they would like us and they come out loving it. We wanted all the art and the aesthetic of the album to tie in and have a very clean and crisp feel to it so the style is important too. It’s not how most rock bands look but I don’t think we sound how most rock bands sound either.
The announcement of Artery and the Facebook campaign behind it seems to have a DIY feel about it. How essential are sites like Bandcamp and social media sites to a band like Brontide and how have they helped you?
It allows you to be more personal, which we like and engage directly with fans of the band. We run most elements of the band ourselves and I very doubt we would have ever had the same reach we do without it, receiving messages from folk all over the world is pretty incredible! Hearing peoples responses to the new stuff has been very humbling and I doubt we would hear so much without social media so we’re very grateful to everyone showing interest.
On the flipside of things, music streaming websites – where do you stand? Do the positives (easier to discover new music) outweigh the negatives (small amounts of money going to artists)?
I think so, you can argue about this sort of thing all day and the amount Spotify pay to artists is poor but it is the internet and it’s probably not really going to change. It is undoubtedly a great way to discover new music and I still believe genuine fans will still buy records and take pride in the music they enjoy
As an instrumental band how close have you come to adding vocals to a song? There’s a hint of distorted vocals on ‘Kath and Kim’ is that as far as you’d go?
Exploring more synthetic sounds and sampling has been a key part to a lot of the new songs but vocally it was something we treated as another instrument. You never know when something might just beg to have a vocal line but I doubt we will ever have an actual singer. We have thought about asking some vocalists to see what they could do with one of our songs so that may appear one day but being instrumental is a lot of fun and we always work on making the songs appeal to folk who wouldn’t normally enjoy no vocals.
‘Bare My Bones’ is an amazing song, I had some serious goose bumps listening to it. The riffs in ‘Knives’ blew me away with their force, and ‘Still Life’ is hypnotic – it’s impossible for me to choose a favourite track… Do you guys have a favourite on Artery?
It’s near impossible to pick one song, we are so pleased with how the album came out and really I see it as one piece. Whenever I listen back to it, it has to be from start to finish and pretty loud. ‘Red Gold’ I think is pretty special, it’s definitely one of the most uplifting songs we have ever written but you pour all you can into every song and you wouldn’t be hearing it if we didn’t feel like every song was the best we could do.
Finally, what’s the mood like in the Brontide camp? How excited are you about the release of Artery and what are your plans for the rest of the year?
It’s great to finally be introducing the record to people and hear what people think, we can’t wait for June 30th and to get it out! We have a couple shows in the diary including the launch at Oslo in Hackney on June 26th and more shows will follow over the summer, plus we have just finished shooting a new video. This stage, just before it’s due out is really exciting, hopefully you can catch up with is in a year and we can tell you about what a huge success its all been!
Stream the new track ‘Cabin’ below:
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