A Chat With…BREVE

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BREVE‘s music delves into a darker alternative rock aesthetic, with the trio drawing from a range of influences. Having released a double a-side last year, the band have hit up The Evelyn for a Monday night residency. Ahead of the final show next Monday January 18th, we had a quick chat Dougal Shaw.

When it comes to songwriting, is there one main writer? Where do you usually draw songwriting inspiration from? We all have a kind of democratic input into the songwriting process but it’ll generally start with me taking a half formed song to the boys and then we’ll pull it apart and put it back together. It’s always different though, for me, I don’t really have a formula. Sometimes i’ll have a full structure in mind when I take it to the boys, other times it will just be a riff or a progression and a melody and we’ll add parts and take parts away. I try to have fun with it. I get over things really easily so we’ll write a song and it’ll turn out to be really heavy and driving so the next song I start working on will be kinda sparse and mellow. Inspiration for the songs is taken from my mood at the time. In saying that, I don’t usually sit down and write when I’m stoked and having a great time, cos I’m too busy being stoked and having a great time. It’s generally when I’m in these darker places or coming down from those times that I sit and write some kind of cathartic, introspective nonsense questioning society or my existence (laughs) but it’s not nonsense, I like cathartic music so I’m sure there’s other people who can appreciate the darkness.

Your last release was a 7″ clear vinyl. Did you ever think you’d release vinyl? And are there plans for another release? Perhaps a single or EP? Yeah! We released a 12″ EP in 2014 too and at that stage it was kind of the fact that if we wanted to listen to it at home through some nice speakers then we had to get it pressed on vinyl. Dad gave me his old vinyl collection when I was 17 and I was infatuated and I’ve only had a record player in my houses since. With the 7″, that was initiated by the Psychic Ric Records boys. We recorded an album in July last year and when they heard the new stuff they offered to press a double a-side for us, the first singles off the album. Naturally we said ‘oh fuckin shit yeah’. I guess that kind of answers the second part to your question too; we have our debut album on the way early this year.

Your first headline east coast tour took place last October, how was that experience? It’s good to step out of the local scene and see what other people are doing and see if people are into what we’re doing. We got to catch up with a bunch of crew from our East Coast tour the year before and sort of cement those relationships with bands and fans. It’s important to me to hold onto those relationships and have that sense of community. To see people coming back again and bringing some friends. It seems so easy with social media to build this online presence but it will never come close to tangible, real human interaction. I much prefer a hug and a beer with people than a comment and a like. If we were judged on hugs not likes, we’d be bigger than Kanye (laughs).

Can you tell us about your favourite Melbourne acts? Speaking of hugs and beers and community; MASCO MASCO MASCO. Masco Sound System. They are unanimously our favourite Melbourne band at the moment. They play a glorious mash up of funk, psych and blues. Or something like that. It’s just so danceable and genuine. They have a painter as a part of their live band who improvises an artwork throughout their sets. Bong-rattling bass lines. Trombone. Distorted-delayed harmonica. Funky hip-hop drum beats. Two shralping guitarists playing kind of dissonant layered riffs, and one of them is a fellow lefty so I’m kind of biased. Just genuinely lovely people.

And Melbourne venues? As a punter you can’t go past The Evelyn hotel. If you’re strapped for cash you can buy a $10 bottle of vino from the bottleo and they’ll pass it to you over the bar. $10 jugs on a Monday. And a seemingly endless flow of reso’s and album launches from Melbourne’s finest. Their band booker must be a busy bloke I reckon.

You’re in the middle of a Monday night residency at the Evelyn, how’s the response been so far? Yes, final week coming up on the 18th. It’s been just a perfect way to kick off 2016. We managed to pull together some sweet line-ups showcasing the diversity of the Melbourne scene. This week we had Window playing beautiful heart-wrenching minimalist pop, The Baudelaires playing 60’s tinged psych, Masco doing all the wild and wacky things I mentioned above and then it all culminated in an improvised Breve/Masco jam session at the end of the night. The room was packed and the dance floor was pumping. Perfect way to start off a week, I’ve been dancing through the streets ever since. In and out and in and out and fucking in. Can’t wait for the final instalment on Monday, see you there.

Thanks for your time! Thanks Mismatch for the yarn.

BREVE wrap up their Monday night residency at The Evelyn Hotel next Monday January 18th. Doors at 8pm, tickets $7 with support from Luna Ghost, Bears and Smoke Rings.

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