We are a brass n beats party band all the way from sunny Fremantle, Western Australia called The Brow Horn Orchestra. We mix electronic sounds, hip-hop scandals, indie rhythms and dub vibes tied together with upbeat party horn hooks and the occasional African marimba. We’re just about to head off on our second national tour playing 11 shows across VIC, NSW and WA to support our second EP “Two Fires”.
What’s your earliest memory of performing and who inspired you to start?
I got into song writing quite young but my first gig came from producing Moby esque soundtracks in early high school. Encouraged by my piano teacher and musical mother to enter a Song Writing competition (our local music body WAM put on annually) I found myself nominated in a shortlist and asked to perform on the presentation night at a great local Fremantle venue The Fly By Night Club armed with nothing but a laptop and keyboard. I think growing up around music was all the encouragement needed; it’s hard to not get seduced into a life of music! I also had an exotic far away aunty who was a local Jazz singer for many years before moving to America to complete a doctorate in Jazz Vocals and take on students such as Norah Jones. She was so modest about that; I feel the need to brag for her haha.
You must answer this question honestly or we steal your rider. What and where was the first gig you went to?
As a young child I use to always go with my mum to see an African outfit called Sundiata play beautiful music. Growing up as well, families would always frequent an annual folk and world music festival called Fairbridge which was always an exciting mark on the calendar each year. I think my first true “rock concert” was a Big Day Out though, falling in love with bands like The Mars Volta and White Stripes live.
‘Fess up. What records have you stolen from your parent’s record collection and why?
Haha – at the moment ALL of them as I’m the only one with a working record player and I’ve “promised” to convert them all to CD. By which I mean listen to over and over again at my own leisure. At the moment some favourites of theirs include anything from Beethoven, Cat Steevens to Talking Heads.
What’s on heavy rotation on your iPod right now?
A few years back I gave up on the iPod as I realised it really wasn’t the ideal way to listen to music. So now I have a beanbag, a record player with wine, beer, cider or a milkshake on standby. Some of my recent and frequent spins include ‘best ofs’ from Quantic and Nina Simone, The Low End Theory by Tribe Called Quest, anything Radiohead, Joss Stone, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, James Blake and Nas’s debut Illmatic.
How do you find new music?
Main three sources seem to be Triple J Unearthed, Soundcloud and Bandcamp; people give away so much amazing free music, it’s unfathomable!
Do you have any particular ritual before you go on stage, or even a lucky charm you take with you?
Mainly vocal warmups and stretches haha, probably look like an idiot, but after tearing countless number of pants in the crouchal area, I think testing the fabric is often a good preshow ritual.
If you could curate your own festival, where would it be, who would be on the bill, how many people would you let in and what features would it have?
What a tough question! I love the concept of the carnival touring Australian (except with camping) so one that would reach all cities around the country and New Zealand. It would be boutique and a little bit hippy, small and respectful but wild and young. (So probably not financially viable haha but one can dream)
As for the musical acts incredibly hard but maybe something for everyone along the lines of a Glastonbury type equation. I think if it managed to bill acts such as Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Manu Chao, Quantic, The Herbaliser, The Cinematic Orchestra, Gotye, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Erykah Badu, Empire of the Sun, Roni Size’s Reprazents, PJ Harvey, Groove Armada, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Nas, Mr Scruff, De La Soul, Thiervery Corporation, A Tribe Called Quest, Onra, Roy Ayers, Gorillaz, Wutang Clan, Herbie Hancock, The Menahan Street Band, Shapeshifter & Radiohead to name but a small, small selection I’d be quite a happy curator.
When you’re Rolling Stones Big, what are you going to request on your rider: don’t be shy. We want specifics!
Pretty sure that Fleetwood Mac had it going on with their backstage medieval tent and banquet. To be honest a good meal, shower and a good party flagon of wine each night backstage constitutes ‘making it’ to me. Oh and having someone set and pack your gearup. It’s all rock’n’roll until you’re carrying a 30kg keyboard case up a flight of stairs to the top floor of a youth hostel ;-)
Because it’s more fun to do things together, which living Australian artist would you most like to collaborate with? Tell us why? I have a lot of respect for Gotye as a fellow beatmaker and have followed his music since his first LP Boardface. I know he’s kind of left that realm these days to break into the American market but seeing him triggering samples and tapping away behind a drum kit whilst singing at festivals over the years ago has a rewarding experience! Plus I love his influences in dub and reggae music across all his records!
What is your band’s music the best soundtrack for?
I think summer feel good vibes at best. Our new record is a bit darker and more electronic but I think there’s still something about bombastic horn lines that brings everyone back to their primitive selves, bare feet on lush summery grass.
Where we can see you play next, what releases do you have available and where can we get them?
The new record has national distro with MGM so should be available in good record stores all around Australia. ;-) You can also grab our music digitally from bandcamp (browhornorchestra.bandcamp.com) and iTunes, or listen, watch and stream across the facespaces and youtubes.
Here’s a list of all the dates on the upcoming tour:
28th June // The Prince Band Room, St Kilda VIC
29th June // The Westernport Hotel, San Remo VIC
30th June // Baha Tacos Music Bar, Rye VIC
05th July // The Oxford Art Factory, Sydney NSW
06th July // The Macquarie Hotel, Sydney NSW
07th July // The Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle NSW
08th July // Rock Lily Live Music Bar (Star Casino), Sydney NSW
13th July // The Rosemount Hotel, North Perth WA
14th July // The Vault (Under 18s – Arvo Show), Melville, WA
14th July // Mojos Bar, North Fremantle, WA
15th July // Clancy’s Pub, Dunsborough, WA