Kiwi electro-pop brother/sister act, BROODS chat to Jane Casey about their Dublin debut with Haim, working with a Grammy winner and their rise to the top of the charts in New Zealand and Australia.
After Auckland’s Caleb Nott (21) and sister Georgia (19) self-released their debut single Bridges online last year, music blogs and new fans quickly took notice. In it’s first week, the critically acclaimed debut from BROODS had over 200,000 views and the pair were quickly picked up but by Polydor and put out their self-titled EP. In the space of a less than a year, their hypnotic, electro-fuelled, emotionally charged pop – produced by the Lorde hitmaker Joel Little (Royals) – has made them one of the most exciting acts to come out of New Zealand since, well, Lorde.
BROODS talks to The Outmost hours before their debut Dublin show, supporting Haim at the Olympia Theatre on March 10.
Are you all set for the show with Haim tonight?
Caleb: We are always nervous for the half an hour before a gig.
Georgia: It is really nerve wracking supporting a band. You really want to make a good impression. Like, these fans are here to see Haim – this incredible band – I just want them to like us! All you can hope for is that you accumulate new fans from these things.
Were you fans of them before now?
G: Oh my god, are you kidding me? Who doesn’t love them!? They are amazing. We were extremely excited when we found out we were going on tour with them.
C: I am a total fan boy. Our management were like, “Hey, would you guys like to do a few UK dates supporting someone on tour”, “. Eh… who?” “Haim”. “Definitely!”
How have you found the reception to your current EP?
G: It has been incredible. We really didn’t expect it to have such a great reception so fast. It’s kind of just blown up on the internet. But I guess things can these days on the internet, I am just sitting here wondering when it is going to calm down!
Because you have such a big online following, have you had any crazy fan experiences yet?
C: Eh, Georgia, you had to be escorted out of a club the other night! There were a couple of weirdoes hanging around. She has never done an “extraction” before [laughs]. She was very excited.
G: [Laughs] I never actually saw them, but our tour manager escorted me out because apparently he was a little concerned. I felt like Beyoncé.
Speaking of Bey, the Haim girls went to see her last night in Dublin. Did you go?
C: No, unfortunately not. I wish!
G: Ugh, I would have torn off one of my fingers to see Beyoncé. We didn’t really know it was happening or when we would be here. Sucks.
Enough about Beyoncé. Your sound is so hard to pinpoint. How would you describe it?
C: I was asked this question earlier, and I’m glad you asked it again because I totally wasn’t prepared then, but I am now. It is so hard to genre us, I think. The genres have just kind of blurred into one. I mean we grew up playing folk music.
G: We take all different aspects of the genres we like to listen to and put it into our music. I guess we are kind of electronic pop that’s semi moody. I mean, our name is BROODS. I think that is obligatory [laughs]. But seriously, I listen to a lot of Bat For Lashes, Lykke Li, Banks… Thank God for Spotify! I am a really big fan of very strong female songwriters. I draw a lot of inspiration from their kind of fearless way of portraying themselves. That would be my inspiration, but I know that Caleb is into more intricate music.
C: Yeah, Georgia thinks and writes music on an emotional level, while I think more on a technical level.
How do you find working together, being brother and sister?
C:We’ve never really had that sibling rivalry or anything. I mean, we can get sick of each other sometimes, but we also know exactly when to back off each other as well, you know? Like, Georgia needs to be left alone when she is hangry.
G: Hungry and angry. It happens a lot.
So, your new album is coming out in August? Are you excited?
C: We’re still working on it! That is the plan to release it in August, but we’re not done yet.
G: We are kind of at that exciting stage where we are experimenting with different sounds and getting an idea of what it is going to be like. And it’s exciting because with our six track EP we didn’t really get a chance to show all of the different aspects of ourselves, so that is what the album is going to be. You’ll see a few new sides to Broods.
Are you worried about how it is going to be received because of the hype around your current EP?
C: I think it’s bad to think about that while writing it. I think you just need to do what you have to do. We will just work on it until we think that it’s done. We are not going to release something that we think is below the par of what we can do, and we are also thinking about how we are going to perform the album songs live. There is going to be a lot more thought going into the album. The EP was an introduction/we didn’t know what we were doing at the time. [laughs]
G: Well at the end of the day, if we are not proud of it there’s no point in releasing it. If you don’t love what you do then how can you perform it with conviction.
You worked with Joel Little. He’s huge now; he was at the Grammys with Lorde right?
C: We met him like three years ago when he was still like mixing commercials and stuff. So it’s like crazy to see him doing this. He won at the Grammys!
G: He is just such a humble, talented dude – and hilarious! Very dry sense of humour.
How did you start working with Joel?
G: We were in this high school band, and we were in the national final of a talent show where he was a judge. We ended up winning it, and that was a huge deal for us back then. That is how we got management.
C: Everyone that has come out of New Zealand and has made it has been on that talent show. We were like ‘Holy shit!’.
Are you worried that because he is so associated with Lorde, that you are now being put in the same box as her?
C: To be honest, she is such a talented young woman that it’s kind of a compliment to be thought of in the same way as her. I remember when Joel showed me the first track they were working on together, and I was like, “Damn, that is so good.”
G: To be put in the same box as somebody who is taking over the world is fine by me.
In a year’s time where would you like to be?
G: I think just to keep playing overseas, and back home in New Zealand as well. We don’t really know what to expect from anything. We are at this stage when anything can happen. We have no idea where we are going to be in a few months.
C: I mean it hasn’t even been a year since BROODS started. I was only in school a few months ago!
Was it a big decision to put your education on hold to pursue music?
C: Not Really! I was kind of like, ‘Take me! Let’s do this!’ I was studying industrial design, and it was awesome, I loved it, but this is what I want to do.
G: I wasn’t very good in school anyway. There’s just this thing about classrooms – I just hate it! I was trying to study music, but I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t like lecturers telling me that I wrote my song wrong. I am very much a person that learns by getting out there and doing things. It’s incredible that we can just jump straight into music now – why wouldn’t we take this opportunity?
C: Yeah, ‘Fuck you uni!’ [laughs]
BROODS current single ‘Never Gonna Change’ is available now on iTunes.
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