Like A Storm

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Listen to LIKE A STORM while you read.

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“Excited would be an understatement,” exclaimed lead guitarist for Like a Storm Matt Brooks on their upcoming support slot with Alter Bridge. “Alter Bridge is a band we have so much admiration for. We’ve been lucky enough to tour with them in America, the U.K and Europe and this is our first time coming to Australia so it seems right for us to be coming down with the Alter Bridge guys.”

 

Originally hailing from Auckland, Like A Storm have forged a path to success that is the dream of every young musician who packs their bags and leaves home with that elusive dream of making it in the music industry.

 

“It was one of those things where you look back at it in hindsight and think everything panned out well but at the time we had no idea what we were doing,” Matt laughed. “We packed up from Auckland where we grew up and the first place that we moved to was Vancouver in Canada. We thought that if we could start playing in Canada and get a foot in the door there that just maybe it would lead to being able to play in the U.S and so we turned up in Vancouver and didn’t know a soul and we just started playing shows at local rock clubs. You start as the new band in town from the other side of the world so you are playing on the worst nights and then you work your way up and by the end of our time there we were headlining on the weekends in the best rock club in town and that led to us meeting a lot of people. One of them was a producer who made records in Las Angeles who we met through a mutual friend and he invited us to L.A to make a record and that got everything started for us and we’ve been touring in the U.S ever since.”

 

When I point out that it sounds like a pretty easy ride Matt bursts into laughter.

 

“I would say it was a fun ride, but I wouldn’t say it was easy,” he managed to get out between laughing. “I don’t think you get into rock and roll because it’s going to be easy. I think you get into it because you love it and can’t imagine doing anything else. There are definitely periods in time where you really have to dig in but that’s ultimately what makes it rewarding. If it was a journey then in a way you have been shortchanged if it’s easy because you were never challenged and those challenges continually come up. I think that’s what makes it rewarding is that it’s difficult.”

 

Given that three quarters of the band are related, (Chris Brooks on lead vocals and rhythm guitar and Kent Brooks on bass guitar and backing vocals – drummer Zach Wood rounds out the band), the potential for family bickering could possibly be a destabilizing influence but Matt says it is in fact the opposite.

 

“Fortunately we get on really well,” he laughed. “We got on well growing up and we still do now. It’ a funny thing being in a band with your brothers because one thing about family is you don’t pull any punches. Any time somebody bothers you you are going to tell them but I think for a touring band – you spend ten or eleven months of the year together – you have to be able to work through conflict like that and I think being family helps because you just talk stuff out or occasionally scrap it out (laughs) and then everybody moves on. More than that it’s awesome to share these experiences together. We’ve got to do a lot of things that are difficult to explain to anybody else. There’s incredible moments and to look across the stage and see your brothers there is even more special.”

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Like A Storm have built a reputation based not only on the quality of their music, but also on their willingness to incorporate new instruments into the metal landscape. They have used piano, church organs, the djembe, jaw harp, mandolin and even the didgeridoo in their music and Matt says that the ability to be able to experiment with different sounds and instruments is one of the highlights of being in the band.

 

“To be honest one of the cooler things about making your own music is you get to try whatever crazy ideas you want,” he explained, “and we’ve always been really into bands that pushed the envelope musically and weren’t afraid to take risks and so Chris taught himself to play didgeridoo. Our grandparents lived in Brisbane so even though we grew up in Auckland we would come to Australia every single year and on one of those trips he taught himself how to play and to circular breath in three days or something ridiculous like that. As soon as he played it in front of us we were just… I think every Kiwi sees the didgeridoo a lot and it has such a unique and hypnotic sound but now we had someone in the band who could actually play it so we thought what happens if we work it into our music? Initially we started using it as a sort of ambient, soundscapey type of instrument – which it is amazing for – and then with our song ‘Love the Way You Hate Me’ we thought what would it sound like with a heaver riff? So we put it with guitar and metal drumming and treated it the same way you would treat a guitar with distortion and that was one of the things where we thought dude, I can’t believe no one has done this before! The way that this ancient instrument fits with the anointed rock instruments is crazy. I guess we’ve always had that approach to trying things. There’s a lot of things we try that other people never hear (laughs) but the ones that work they really work because it’s something different and I think that’s an attitude we’ve always had and is one of the things people identify with us.”

 

As well as the Alter Bridge tour, fans of Like A Storm also have a new album to look forward to, with the band currently recording their third album, Catacombs.

 

“That’s what brings us to Vegas,” Matt admitted.”We’re here writing and starting to record Catacombs and we have our first single out off it called ‘Pure Evil’. Catacombs for us is a chance to grow musically. We’re fans of a lot of different kinds of music and ultimately I think our dream is to write songs that are new to us and that connect with people, but also push the boundaries musically and show how we grow as a band and to push the envelope of what people expect from us. Catacombs is a record that brings those influences that we’ve been listening to for a long time but have never really incorporated into our music and that’s a lot more progressive metal type stuff. As a guitar player it’s an incredibly exciting genre to be playing. It’s a record that we’re really excited about. I think it will definitely be an evolution from the last one. It will sound like Like A Storm but I think it will be much more of a push into heavier territory and also more progressive musically.”

 

Written by Kris Peters

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Written by Carl Neumann

Carl is the owner and the director of HEAVY Magazine. Carl is a music journalist and photographer for HEAVY, Rolling Stone, scenestr, Planet Rock and Kerrang!

Contents – Digi-Mag #22

Steel Panther