Interview With Brigade - 29th October 2006
Photo Of James From Brigade © Copyright TriggerWe caught up with Brigade outside their dressing room at the Guildhall in Gloucester to talk about the bands current album 'Lights', the bands current tour supporting INME and what the future holds for Brigade.

Hello and thank you for taking time out to do this interview…
(Will) No Worries

First of all can you give us a brief history of the band for people who have never heard of you?
(Will) Yeah, Brigade started in 2003 with Naoto, me and a japanese drummer who later was replaced by Fim. Fim and James are from Suffolk who are old friends of mine and were helping me out live at the time to just get fucking out and about and playing gigs, then they ended up sticking around so that’s how the band started and we’ve been playing around the country for the last couple of years, we got signed too Mighty Atom records, we released our first album ‘Lights’ in May and its been building since then.

How would you describe your style of music?
(James) I think it would be big anthem like rock music. It’s just song based, good old fashioned rock music, simple as that.
(Will) There’s no particular one avenue we’re going down, it’s kind of hard too ‘genre-lise’…is that a word?! “Genre-lise!”
(Will) So yeah it’s just rock music with lots of melodies and loud guitars!

Photo Of Naoto From Brigade © Copyright TriggerWhat was it like writing and recording your album ‘Lights’?
(James) It was an interesting process but it was a good process in the fact that we had lots of older tunes that we kind of wanted to re-work and develop for the album so that it was good. We’ve now done that and feel we’ve cleared out a lot and feel we can move straight on to the new material so and it was fantastic and amazing releasing a debut album.
(Will) Yeah, really good.

Well that album ‘Lights’ has been out for 5 months now, are you happy with how it’s gone down with the fans and the press?
(Fim) Very happy, we couldn’t have asked for better press really. Nothing but positive feedback really, I mean there’s only been a couple of negative things but it’s just been constructive criticism really or someone saying, “Oh yeah, it’s really good but not my cup of tea” and that’s the worst thing. There’s been so much good feedback it’s been unbelievable really.
(Will) We’re obviously not a massive band but the people who have heard of us are amazing who have gone and given us a chance. I think people have been generally receptive of it and very supportive so we’re very lucky.

All your CD artwork is awesome, who designs and makes the covers for them?
(James) A good friend called Tom hodgekinson and we’ve known him for many years and he’s just got an amazing flare for that sort of thing and it’s perfect to do.
(Will) He did the cover of our demo ep, the one that got us signed so we are going to stick with him!
(James) It’s really nice sort of balancing themes on a record and seeing a theme running all the way through, we’ve definitely been so chuffed and we will definitely be talking to him about the second record and see if there’s something we can work out again.

Photo Of Will From Brigade © Copyright TriggerDo you prefer recording in the studio or playing live shows?
(Fim) Playing live shows BUT that’s not to say that the studio isn’t fun!
(Will) I think we’re definitely more of a live band than a studio band because we wouldn’t lock ourselves up in a studio for two years doing an album. We just want to get out there and play so definitely a live band.
(James) That’s what I like to do as well is playing live. I don’t want to go in and have to twiddle with a load of knobs!
(Fim) It’s great going into the studio and seeing things evolve and what you’re creating and you keep piling stuff on and watching something grow is amazing. But it’s all about getting the crowds reaction and seeing people appreciate what you’re doing and seeing people right in front of you. It’s good having your records for sale and you see people buying that but to actually see someone enjoying what they’re hearing is for me definitely… ‘It’.

Where was your first show and how did that go down?
(Will) It was at the Bull and Gate in London and James was there in a drinking capacity obviously… It was good! It was scary but what was really nice was it was really busy and I remember one of the support bands was asking ‘how do you do that?! How have you got so many people down here?!’ Because when you first start off it’s really hard. So we just had lots of friends and family down because we’d been trying to get a band together for about a year so it was about bloody time that it finally happened. We look back on it now and we weren’t that bad but we weren’t great and have learnt a lot since then but it was very exciting trying to do it as a three piece and yeah it was good.

You’re nearly half way through your tour with Inme…
(Will) We’re actually on our second from last date. We couldn’t all do the full tour unfortunately.

Okay, well how has your tour been?
(James) Maybe…no it’s been really good! Everyday has been really good and its lovely playing to Inme’s audience and everyone’s very receptive to what we do so it’s been really good.
(Will) I think we are also performing at our best that we’ve ever done and that’s really nice to know because there’s been tours before when we know we are working in top form which is quite difficult especially headlining tours. But we have been giving our best every night and it’s been really good and we’ve all been getting on really well.
(Fim) We’ve had a right laugh as well.

Photo Of Fim From Brigade © Copyright TriggerYesterday, you played the Dry Bar in Manchester as part of in the city 2006 mini festival, how did that go down?
(James) It was good but we didn’t really know what to expect, maybe a load of people in suits or something! It wasn’t really like that, they were pretty receptive to what we was doing which was a bit weird because there were so many bands playing in the one venue and it’s like one stage starts, then another stage starts, then another stage starts so we had to load in from the street, literally, ten minutes to set up, play, get off and then load out again so it was a bit strange, it was just a continual wheel of bands going on but it was good.
(Will) Obviously it’s fun trying out new songs that we haven’t done before on tour and we’ve got about three that we are switching between and it’s nice trying the new stuff out.

You’ve toured many places with loads of bands, so who has the best band that you have toured with?
(Naoto) fighting With Warriors, it was a really long tour and very difficult but was really fun.
(Will) Yeah I think it had the funny stories but I think the best band has been Biffy Clyro. We look back at it and think we were so lucky to play that tour we just kind of wish we could of done it now because back then we wasn’t as good a band as we are now.
(James) Yeah they are such an incredible three piece and all of us were sat there watching them with our mouths open just going, ‘God, I hope we get that good one day!’.

What is the most memorable gig you have played and why?
(Will) We played with Fightstar at Leeds University and it was absolutely rammed full of 1800 people and we went on, and everybody was there for Fightstar and it was all hyped up because it was just after Charlie had left Busted, but the crowd were incredible. It was like a headline gig for ourselves.
(James) Also we got to play the London Astoria which was one of our dreams and to play the London Astoria was just marvellous, absolutely marvellous playing on that legendary stage where we’ve all seen loads of acts play. So yeah they’re the best two most memorable gigs.

Photo Of Naoto From Brigade © Copyright TriggerHow did you feel to be nominated in the best British newcomer category at this years Kerrang awards?
(James) Delighted! We were actually shocked. It was just amazing. If someone had said a year ago that you have been nominated for a Kerrang award, we would be like no way! We were just really really happy.

Your song ‘Queenie’ has recently appeared on the Kerrang New Breed compilation album, how did this come about?
(James) We got contacted by a record company and they asked if we would be interested in this. We didn’t know much about it at the time but we thought yeah we’ll give it a go so then we found out just how good it is. We picked the first cd which was really nice as well which was kind of like them saying, well you’re one of the bands who are already established which was cool.
(Will) It was a song where in the studio we all thought it was the weakest song on the album but since then we’ve all grown to actually being one of our favourite songs to play live and we do get the best reactions from it. It actually shows our heavier side as well which we very much love playing.

What is the best and worst thing about being on tour?
(James) The worst thing is missing all our families and stuff back home, it’s hard being away and we’re all attached as it were and it’s difficult being away for periods of time and stuff.
(Fim) Yeah I think that’s the worst thing.
James: We all get run down and it’s difficult to keep doing it night after night after night.<
(Fim) The best thing is being on the road! Actually doing it! It is the best job in the world, we all go back to our day jobs on Wednesday and the thought of that is just…it makes me shiver!
(James) We’re not headliners we don’t have the most luxury but it’s just being out playing and having the chance to play to this many people, it’s incredible.

What do you do when you’re not on tour?
(Will) Work! We haven’t got any money so we just go back and work so we are able to do this.
(Fim) It’s a bit of a cycle really, work, tour, work…
(James)Yeah we will all work and write some stuff and then do it how we used to do it and get together every week and rehearse and we will really go back to our roots again.

Photo Of Will From Brigade © Copyright TriggerWhere do you see Brigade in five years time?
(James) I would like to see us as a well established and respected British rock band. Just that we have kept it going and that we have got there slowly, that would be awesome.
(Will) Like that bands that we’ve toured with, if we could get to the stage where we are not so much of a side band we would be really happy. Also, I hope that in the next five years we can do this for a living and not have too work alongside it.

Thanks for your time, is there a message you would like to add for your fans?
(Will) Cheers for your patience with us, it’s been a long road to getting our record out but we hope you enjoy the album and we’re looking forward to getting new stuff out in the next few months.

Interview by Trigger And Charlotte
 Band Members

Will Simpson (Vocals, Guitar)
James Plant (Guitar, Vocals)
Naoto Hori (Bass)
Fim (Drums)
 Latest Releases
Brigade - Lights
Release Date - 29th May 2006

1. Magneto
2. Meet Me At My Funeral
3. Assemble/Dissemble
4. Made To Wreck
5. I'll Be Your Emergency
6. Go Slow
7. Adjust
8. Guillotine
9. Null And Void
10. Queenie
11. Hits The Scrapes>

 Band Related Links
Brigade Myspace
Brigade Official Site