After five years together, Canberra indie-rock group Brother Be decided to explore their sound further, shifting from upbeat party jams to brooding and epic rock. The first result of this shift is their latest single Nine Dollars.The song sees front man Michael Rhydderch entertaining those feelings of doubt that play in our everyday lives against a background of thumping rhythm section and massive wall of guitars. Alan Hilvert-Bruce answers a few questions for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about the single.
How busy have things been for the band since the release of Nine Dollars?
It’s been great fun – the release has showed us off to a brand new audience and we’ve also reconnected with old fans. Airplay on MTV and national radio slots has been really exciting.
What is the story behind Nine Dollars?
While we were warming up for a gig at Bateman’s Bay, Mike’s (Singer) girlfriend confessed that she only had “Nine Dollars” to last her for the rest of the week. To make her feel better we proceeded to jam out a song which repeated the words “My Baby, She Got Nine Dollars”. It was actually pretty catchy so we started performing it live. The audience seemed to like it, and we decided to record it. In the studio it went through significant changes, and so the original words are no longer present (sadly).
Was it a whole bunch of fun being involved in the film clip?
Sure was! But our input was pretty limited. One of our mates Dan Unsworth came up with the idea for the clip, and proceeded to put together an awesome team (Jarred Powell, Zorah Hilvert-Bruce and Hew Sandison). They then shot and edited it all with no interference from us. We showed up for some quick scenes, but all the credit is to Dan and team for their amazing work.
How did the band get together?
Sometime in 2013, Alan (guitar) and Lynette (bass) invited their friend Sam (drums) over to help clean out their garage. However, Alan and Lynette had forgotten that they also arranged for their ex-housemate Mike (singer/guitar) to come over for a jam at the same time. Faced with a choice, they decided to not clean the garage and have a jam instead. The result is us – Brother Be!
To the uninitiated how would you describe Brother Be?
A group of long time friends making the music they love. A sound somewhere between Of Monsters and Men and The Dandy Warhols.
What are some of the common influences the band share?
That’s a great question. We all personally listen to very different music, so I don’t think you could definitively point to one artist and go, “yah that’s the one that had a great effect on all of us”. One thing we do have in common though is listening to a wide variety of music, and the skill to imitate different genres of music. This approach is why the usual Brother Be set can include a traditional acoustic country song, disco funk tunes and big epic rock. It’s where we felt each song wanted to go, so we took it there.
Not to many bands come out of Canberra, what’s the scene like?
The Canberra music scene is AMAZING. Heaps of great bands and a fun, supportive community. If you’re passing through, make sure to hit up a local show – you won’t regret it.
Are there any plans for an album?
Not just yet – we’ll continue releasing singles here and there.
Where to next for Brother Be?
Back to the grind! Writing, gigging, recording. Having fun with each other and making memories. You can otherwise catch us next on July 21 at the Phoenix (Canberra) and 3 August at the Howlin Wolf Bar (Wollongong).
Interview by Rob Lyon