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Seattle's angriest band is not so angry after all

Blood Brothers

The Blood Brothers: Seattle's angriest band is not so angry after all

[Part 2 of 2]


Here is the second part of the interview with the Blood Brothers...


 

[more:]
Prefix Magazine:
What keeps you guys going? What started The Blood Brothers and what motivates it? You have stuff you want to say? Or do you just want to get laid?

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
MH: It's all to get laid...which still isn't working.


JB: I think we still have ideas we want to get out. Both musically and lyrically. Once we are done with one record, we can't wait to do the next. Tour keeps us going with that also. It keeps us going and keeps us excited about being in a band because you have that instant gratification, that connection with people. And just everything happening in our world today keeps us going. Politics right now in particular has been quite an inspiration for all of us. You can draw so much from the state of international affairs. I don't really consider it coming to an end any time soon. Once we run out of things to say, maybe...

PM:
What's so great about music, then, that makes it the forum you choose to do this as opposed to painting or poetry or stuff like that. Like I said I'm in this band, and our first practice our singer said something like, "I want to do this because there is nothing better than screaming my thoughts in someone's face." What is it to you guys?

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
JB: To me it's being handed the opportunity to create something with four other people who are really close to you. It's more than four good friends. Taking that and being able to share that with people and then seeing what can come from that, how much growth. Playing to young kids who are there to listen to what you have to say to them and care about what you have to say to them. And take that as a launching point for their own lives. It's stuff like that that makes it very rewarding for me. Almost every aspect of it. I think I just covered the whole gamut.

MH: I think that when you're in a band, and you have that musical connection with people, the feeling can be really overwhelming. I think that's what I like, and that's what I'm always looking for in our songs. Just to be able to have those moments. It's something that's hard to describe. When you're playing with those other people and it's connection and expression.

PM:
You mentioned current affairs as an influence, obviously the war. I've read a bunch of interviews where you guys comment on that, and everything you say is totally valid, but I'd rather touch on other things since I think you have answered those questions tons of times. Let's talk about the issue of downloading music, since subpoenas are being sent out to people. You guys have made that step up to the bigger label now; do you feel those pressures where you don't want that to happen?

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
JB: I could honestly care less. To me, if someone is going to download our record, fine. If that's the means they have to listen, then whatever. I'd rather them buy it because I like the whole presentation of the record, looking at all the artwork. I laugh at kids who have downloaded it and asked me to email them the lyrics. It's like, do you want me to paint you a picture too? But, it just doesn't matter; someone is getting something out of it regardless.

MH: I come from a completely different school of thought. I mean it's literally taking money from bands to download music. At the same time though, it spreads that band's thing out. So there are really two sides to it. I mean we buy stuff, and a bunch of us have I-pods and we share stuff, and it's great, because you can get into all this music and share it, but at the same time, especially for people on smaller labels, like Touch and Go, where they have a really good royalties rate, it's all taking money from people.

PM:
Is this a career at this point? Do you still have other jobs?

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
JB: This is what we do.

MH: We've been on the road for a year and some months now, so it's impossible to have a job. We definitely have a musical career, but it's definitely in the beginning of it as far as being able to rest financially on it. We basically make just enough money to keep going at this point.

PM:
So you guys aren't rich?

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
MH: Nooo...

JB: I live with my mom.

MH: Yeah [laughs] ... None of us lives anywhere. None of us has an apartment. I think Johnny is the only one who pays rent. Just to help his girlfriend with rent. It's funny because there are a lot of bands out there that get onto major labels and become rich. There are bands in Seattle who sign for millions of dollars, and so I can understand the misunderstanding. But we are not one of those bands.

PM:
Speaking of the Seattle thing, you guys talk a lot about Pretty Girls Make Graves. Are you guys really good friends and you understand they are amazing and should be out there, or is it like a Seattle thing?

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
JB: Yeah, we just did Europe with Pretty Girls, and it's incredible. They are the people who both of us, when we are in town, hang out with.

MH: They are a great band. They are totally our sister band or brother band, and we have all played in bands together. But there are a lot of great bands in Seattle so it's hard not to shout out to those bands in interviews.

JB: Or take them on tour.

MH: Yeah, we take them on tour.

PM:
That's really great of you to help them out like that.

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
MH: We're trying to bring back the whole Seattle grunge thing.

JB: Seattle new Grunge. I call it Gringe.

PM:
Who does the artwork?

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
MH: We all kind of do. The first two records were photographs that I took, and then my friend Dan laid it out. The new one was mainly Cody, Johnny and his friend Yeager. Yeager laid it out. We all had a final say in what comes out. T-shirts and stuff are Johnny really, and Jordon contributes ideas.

PM:
Where do the ideas come from? Do you pull them out of the lyrics?

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
MH: Just more of your thoughts.

JB: The layouts are usually pulling stuff out of the lyrics, trying to be representative in some way but also not too obvious. We like all our layouts to match the whole feel of what the music is.

PM:
What's the deal with the DVD that came out? I don't want to call you guys out on it, but it seemed a little pre-emptive. Was it that it was just easy to do, or were you guys pressured into doing it?

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
MH: It was a label marketing idea.

JB: They wanted to put out a DVD. We were really apprehensive because we were like, OK, if we are going to put out a DVD, we want to make it, you know, five years worth of stuff. We have all this footage, from way back, we have all these pictures, we could have made it really cool, but they just wanted to have one show.

MH: It was just kind of not what we wanted.

JB: The saving grace about it was that it was a really great show. It was something really positive for the place that it was filmed at. It was a place called the Redman's Firehouse, a teen center, where they do shows, where they have been doing shows for like 10 years. We played our first show there. Almost anything that I've been involved with or any musical venture that I've been involved with has started from there. It's like the longest running all-ages place in Seattle. I thought that was something pretty special about it.

PM:
You started six years ago, and put out three full lengths, and a bunch of seven inches. So now you've broken down a bunch of barriers and set yourself up, but at the same time after breaking down these barriers of things like say, song structure, you're kind of setting up some more barriers where fans are now going to be expecting a lot more from you. How do you handle that?

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
MH: It's that same thing about being influenced by yourself. We know what we did on those records and how we feel, so we are going to go beyond what we did previously.

PM:
What's next for the Blood Brothers?

Blood Brothers: Part 2:
MH: You mean, like what our next record is going to sound like?

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