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Brawlers: No Holding Back

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By Robyn Morrison

Punk rockers, Brawlers, have released their new album, ‘The Romantic Errors Of Our Youth’, and Harry George Johns spared a large section of his time to chat about that record and a whole lot more.   In actual fact, he really wanted to tell us about his favourite flavour of ice cream so we chatted about that first.

“Yesterday, I went to a super artisan food truck. There was a food truck that was just doing ice cream and I tried Black Treacle and Burnt Raspberry and they were both amazing.”

According to Harry, a band releasing an album is like unleashing a tiger. “It’s like a zoo for the people, it’s just now we have a ship to sail on. It’s just play, play, play, touring, touring, touring.

“We rushed the album,” he continues, “because it felt like there was a demand for it. After our second ever gig, someone asked if we wanted to do a record. By the time we’d been a band for a little less than a year, people were saying things and we were getting live agents, so we thought, let’s do a record. Let’s do it with our friends. Here’s a week. Let’s do it. If it takes longer, too bad.”

They recorded the album with ten songs. “ It was never our intention to do anymore,” he says. “We bashed that out and I say rushed, but not like we are hating it. Everything’s a little bit too fast and rough around the edges but that’s what I like.”

Explaining the writing and recording process for the album is like listening to someone who’s genuinely keen to work with the three other members of the band. And it’s this genuine passion that delivers an honest album in ‘The Romantic Errors Of Our Youth’. “When we’re thinking about making a record or a track listing, we’re all saying: ‘that would be a really cool song to open up with.’ And everyone says, ‘yeah, totally.’ It’s not like anyone is saying: ‘f*ck you’. It’s just lovely that we’re in a position to be able to sit down together and work things out.”

Harry also believes that long-term friendship bodes well for their live show. “You can tell that we know each other. It’s like this weird, unwritten thing. I think that’s why we’ve got this reputation as a live band. You can’t fake being mates. It’s like the oldest trick in the book for live bands; if I look like I’m having a good time then they’ll have a good time.”

To put it in perspective, this time last year, Brawlers were gearing up to play their first shows outside of their hometown of Leeds. “We’ve got an American live agent and our management is half based in Australia. Our eyes are on coming to Australia before anywhere else. It also depends on whether anyone likes the record.”

Wrapping up as the interview began (with a random, funny story), Harry explains how the album earned its title. “I used to work in a coffee shop with a psychopathic boss. There was this chap that used to come in. He was a doctor. He was my age but he was a doctor. We used to hang out because we both really like John Mayer. He was a doctor and I was serving coffee and in a band, yet we still have these things in common. Everything about him was different to me. He said, ‘it just depends on the romantic errors of our youth I guess, and I was like, ‘no f*cking way’. I spoke to that guy twice, maybe three times. I didn’t know his name. He was just a guy who, every Wednesday, would come in for a sandwich and a coffee and we’d just talk about music for half an hour. He was so blasé about it. He’d made certain decisions when he was younger, which had forced him down one road and I’d made certain decisions when I was younger to get me here.”

‘The Romantic Errors Of Our Youth’ is out now via Shock Records.



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