‘Every experience counts for you as a person and that’s something that always goes into song writing’: An interview with Brother and Bones (27/07/2013)

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At this year’s Redfest I managed to catch up with the guys from Brother and Bones. They shared with The Edge details of their upcoming autumn tour, power cuts and their advice for budding musicians struggling to find direction.

What has been your highlight of the festival season so far?

Rich: This was definitely up there for sure. Today really highlighted how good this summer’s been. We played at 6pm, perfect weather with loads of people out there singing.

Can we expect any new releases from you guys soon?

James: We’re actually going to the studio on Tuesday (30/7/2013). The plan is to get a 4 or 5 track EP for release around October. We’ve got a massive tour coming up in October all over the UK. 

Rich: There’s no excuses now for anyone to say “you never come to our town!” cause we’re definitely coming to your town now. 

 So will you guys be playing in Southampton then?

Rich: Yeah we’re coming to the Joiners. We’re playing Southampton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth so if you enjoyed it the first time round you can just come to all of them.

How would you describe your writing process? Do you ever have a particular end result in mind or is it a more experimental process?

Rich: The creative process for me is something that changes and develops as you do as a person. I’ve never during my time as a writer got into the process where I’ve been like “okay today I’m going to write about x”. I almost let the music dictate where the subject’s gonna go.

Do you think then its better to be less focussed on an end goal and just see where the music takes you or do you find a little bit of focus help?

Rich: Yeah its something I’m trying to work on. Especially when you have a bit of a writer’s block or you’re not really writing as well as you want to at a certain time I think they’re the times when I really try to take focus and go “okay let’s go into this with a real purpose”.

Do you ever find pressure to release new material from either fans or management ever affects the writing process?

Si: I don’t think management really affects the writing process but it can make things more difficult just because management by its very nature is business and just wants us to work every hour that is given to us. Sometimes I think their perception of work is on the road. We did a tune, ‘Burn This City’ and that was one of those songs that was constructed in the tour bus. That was our tour tune for ages and it actually sounded a lot different then than it does now. 

 Is there a particular song that you look forward to playing the most when you’re touring?

Rich: I think that changes. If the crowds on our side, at the moment they’re responding to ‘For All We Know’ as a song. That seems to be the one that’s most accessible maybe. 

 If you weren’t in band what path would you have followed, or was it always going to be music?

Rich: Chef (pointing to Yannis), Front Cover of Men’s Health (pointing to Rob), Fencing (pointing to Si), Milkman.

James: I was pretty young when I decided I wanted to be a musician. I really enjoyed sports at school but I think I was 12 when I got in my first band and it was just that kind of excitement and adrenaline you get from playing. It was only two songs, you know something like Guns N Roses and Oasis and you were just like “oh my god this is amazing”.

Did you all realise music was your passion from a young age?

Yannis: I started playing at 15 so I guess that’s kinda late compared to a lot of people. From then on that’s when I knew that’s what I wanted to do. 

Have you got any advice for anyone who is considering being a musician and is just starting out?

James: You’ve got to be so determined and thick skinned. I mean even now we notice it a lot. You constantly get push backs and set backs but then you go and play a show to a few hundred people and you’re like it’s totally worth it.

Rich: There’s no easy ride. I think the biggest lesson we’re still learning is patience. Let the music do what it needs to do. There’s no overnight success. Its a complete myth so don’t be disheartened by it. We’re trying not to be!

Can you turn those set backs into something positive and use it as a musical influence?

Rich: It’s important to take something from everything. Every experience counts for you as a person and that’s something that always goes into song writing. 

Does all this gigging take its toll on you both physically and emotionally?

 James: We’ve definitely found tricks. The biggest thing that we notice when we’re on tour is lack of sleep. Obviously being hungover doesn’t help. Its just being more aware. You know when your voice is gonna go or you need that extra couple of hours sleep. 

Finally, what has been your best and worst festival experience?

Rich: One of my most memorable moments was when we played Beach Break festival in Wales, a couple of years ago. It was an absolutely blazing gig, it was a Saturday night, everyone was up for it, everyone was quite pissed so everything was going great. We were three quarters of the way through the show and then there was a power cut. So Yannis and Rob went into this 15 minute drum solo. Then the power came back on and everyone was like “yeah!” so it was probably both our worst and best festival experience. 

Si: It’s quite funny that story as well cause the reason why our power went out is cause our cameraman tripped over a glass of water and it went on an extension lead. 

Yannis: I’d actually had a word with him before saying “make sure you don’t knock that water over”.

Brother and Bones tour the UK this Autumn. Catch their Southampton Joiners show on 20th October.

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Hi I'm Grace I risk sounding disgustingly cliched but I cannot remember a time when music wasn't part of my life. I love going to gigs and have been known to dabble in a bit of gigging and song writing myself.

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