Interview With Brigade - 7th May 2008
Photo Of Will From Brigade © Copyright BrigadeWe did a email interview with frontman Will Simpson from Brigade just as they were finishing their tour with Aiden, we talked about the new album 'Come Morning We Fight', how the past two years have been, if they are looking forward to being back on the road with Fightstar and much more.

A lot has changed with Brigade since we last interviewed you back in November 2006, how have the past 16 months been?
A lot has changed for the band but it’s felt like a slow process getting to be able to finally release our second album. We were overwhelmed with the critical acclaim we received for Lights and the response we had while touring it. But at the end of 2006 we parted company from mighty atom and our management and so were left at the start of 2007 needing to write and record a new album, but having to worry about finding a new team to support us and enable it to happen. We didn't plan on taking so long to finish the record, but it took the best part of a year to get everything back up and running and complete writing the album amidst day jobs. So, while we have developed as a band in that time, on the flipside we are also left wondering whether anyone still really cares about this band and in certain respects it now feels like we're starting again, slowly trying to re-establish ourselves and build on what we previously achieved.

You are currently touring with Aiden, how is the tour going?
The tour’s going great, even better than we hoped and it’s been a lot of fun. We weren’t sure how well we would go down with Aiden fans but the response so far has been really positive and it’s been fantastic playing these big venues again as we feel more at home on larger stages.

Are you fans of Aiden as musicians?
I hadn’t really listened to them before the tour but seeing them every night really impressed me as they are great musicians and are awesome live. On the first night I looked at the other Brigade boys and you could see we were all thinking now that’s how to put on a show!

What are Aiden like to tour with?
Lovely, lovely guys. I’d been told they are the nicest band and they certainly live up to the reputation. Also, they are always up for a laugh and look after us really well which has been great.

Soon after the Aiden tour finishes you are heading back out on the road to support Fightstar on the bands Ride The Deathcar tour, are you looking forward to be playing with them again?
Definitely. We’ve only toured with them once before and that was in 2005 and we had a brilliant time. Obviously it’s wicked to hang out with my brother every day but we feel this time round will be much better as the new album will be out and I think the Fightstar fans will hopefully really appreciate some of the new tunes. We’ve got quite a heavy set lined up and we’ve upped our game a lot since last time and so are determined to go out and silence any remaining doubters or preconceptions.

Can we expect a headline Brigade tour shortly after the Fightstar tour?
We hope to be out headlining in July with a bit of luck!

Your forthcoming single 'Shortcuts' is stunning, what made you decide to give this track away as a free download?
Thanks very much! It was a track that I wrote way back in 2003 and so we were unsure for a while whether to put it on the album, especially as an earlier version had appeared as a B-side to ‘Guillotine’ from ‘Lights’. But we felt the new arrangement was really strong and believed in the chorus and so went for it as an introduction to the album bridging where we left off to the present with a balls out rock track! I would have loved it as a full single but we realised how important radio play could be to a band like us and felt there were stronger singles to hold back.

Your second album 'Come Morning We Fight' is released on the 12th May, what can we expect from it?
I think the main thing to expect is simply a collection of hard hitting great rock songs with bucket loads of melody, which falls outside of genre pigeonholing. The riffs and bigger, it’s more dynamic and we’ve pushed ourselves with our playing skills and experimentation on this album so you can expect a few curve balls too along the way.

How does 'Come Morning We Fight' differ from your previous album 'Lights'?
The main difference between the two records lies with the fact that we have become better songwriters and so CMWF is a stronger album with greater diversity and with this one we realised the importance of vocal melodies as opposed to simply concentrating on guitars. The new songs are much more vocally led and we paid a lot of attention to the song structures and arrangements and the whole thing sounds far more concise.

'Come Morning We Fight' has been really hyped up, are you positive that it will live up to expectations?
With Lights I always felt we were finding our feet and had a long way to go but I really believe in this album and am proud of these songs to the extent that I think people who love rock music ‘should’ hear it rather than simply hope they do! I am positive that for anyone who will listen to this album with an open mind will definitely not be disappointed. I feel like this is the one that will hopefully give us the opportunity to reach a wider audience and can only hope enough people give it a chance!

How did you go about writing, recording and creating 'Come Morning We Fight'?
As we still have full time day jobs it was difficult to find the time to write but we took 3 weeks off and wrote the majority in that period in a rehearsal space. It was the first time that we’d written as a unit rather than 1 or 2 of us writing all the songs, Someone would bring a riff or part of a song and then we’d work on it and make it into song which if we were still buzzing about a few days later we’d keep in the mix rather than ditch! We then fine tuned the songs over the following months in rehearsals and went into Monnow Valley Studio in Wales with Chris Sheldon in December for 3 weeks and then a week in his own studio in London to record it.

Pilots' is the first official single to be taken from 'Come Morning We Fight' and is released on the 28th April, what made you choose this song as the lead single?
We had discussions with our manager and radio plugger and decided that this song was a great choice of first single as it perfectly mixed the big pop melodies with the driving riffs people have come to expect from us. We have embraced our pop sensibilities on this record and didn’t want to confuse the hardcore rock fans too early on who might question our direction! When you hear the album I think it all makes sense so Pilot seemed to fit following on from Shortcuts.

The artwork for your new material is a lot different from your previous stuff, have you chosen a different artist this time around?
No it’s the same guy, a good friend of ours and extremely talented graphic designer called Tom Hodgkinson. A band should always evolve in some degree and we wanted that to go right across the album with the artwork aswell and so Tom tried a different approach which worked brilliantly. He had a concept in mind from the start and we were very happy to let him run with it as we knew he’d do an amazing job again and we were delighted with the results.

Fim left the band in May 2006, was this a shock to you at the time?
Not so much a shock just disappointing as we saw it coming but hoped it wouldn’t happen. We knew Fim had been unhappy on the road for a while and as it’s such a massive part of being in a band we knew we had to respect that and were just very grateful for everything he put into the band over the past 3 years.

It didn’t take you to long to take on new drummer Andrew Kearton, what made you chose him and has he fully settled in now?
We held auditions and were overwhelmed by the response! We narrowed it down to 12 and he simply stood out above everyone else and we knew immediately he was the right man for the job. We were very lucky to find him so quickly and now it feels like he’s always been there and the band unity couldn’t be better.

Can we expect to see Brigade at any UK festivals across the summer?
Download in June and we are keeping our fingers crossed for others!

Do you have any plans to try and conquer America?
At some point we’d love to and hope the album might be well received out there but we need to cement ourselves in the UK first and of course make our first trip to Europe.

What advice would you give to a new band starting off?
Believe in yourself and don’t ever give up but most importantly don’t stop trying to better yourself. If I look back now to when we first started I cringe at some of the songs I was writing which I thought were good at the time! I’m now a much better songwriter as I’ve kept working at it and I believe if your songs really are great they will be discovered you just have to get yourselves out there as much as you can and don’t get complacent.

Last time we interviewed you we asked you where you see your band in 5 years time and you said you would like to be a well-established rock band, do you see 2008 the year that this happens?
I really hope so simply because we really believe in this album and think it’s the one which deserves to cement us as a rock band who will still be around in a few years time.

One final random question that we ask every band; if you had a choice, what animal would you be out of a Zebra and a Giraffe?
Giraffe - It’s all about the view!

Thanks for your time, is there a message you would like to give to your fans reading this?
Thanks for continuing to believe is us and I hope you are as proud of this record as we are! See you on the road!

Interview by Trigger
 Band Members

Will Simpson (Vocals, Guitar)
James Plant (Guitar, Vocals)
Naoto Hori (Bass)
Andrew Kearton (Drums)
 Latest Releases
Brigade - Come Morning We Fight
Release Date - 12th May 2008
1. What Are You Waiting For
2. Pilot
3. Together Apart
4. Res Head
5. Stunning
6. Slow Dives & Alibis
7. Four Kids to Glockenspeil
8. Come Morning We Fight
9. Shortcuts
10. Vice to Versa
11. Asinine
12. Sink Sink Swim
13. Boundaries
 Band Related Links
Brigade Myspace
Brigade Official Site