A couple of days ago, Brutai rolled into town alongside Devil You Know, ONI and Wearing Scars. After their performance, I had the opportunity to catch up with frontman Felix Lawrie and, amongst other things, we chatted about what the band had been up to since I last saw them at Bloodstock. Read on for the full details…
How’s the tour been so far for you guys?
The shows have been awesome and it’s been a bit mad to be honest. I saw Howard with Killswitch when I was teenager and they were one of my favourite bands and to now be going on tour with him has been insane. I have to pinch myself sometimes to be honest!
Everyone’s super lovely on this package though. The Wearing Scars guys are sound as hell and the ONI guys party hard!
Aside from releasing an album, what’s Brutai been up to since Bloodstock?
After Bloodstock we had a major PR campaign for the album and also shot a music video. We also sorted out a lot of the business things to make sure it would run smoothly. We did some live TV appearances and a lot of interviews so it didn’t really stop after Bloodstock.
How do you feel the fan response has been to the debut album?
I think they really get what we are trying to do. We’ve had a couple of comments from people saying that the album is as heavy as the EP is. The thing is though, only me and Henry remain from that lineup so you could say it’s almost a different band. Alex has become a real part of the band in terms of songwriting as well so we are different from that time but the core of Brutai is still there. I personally prefer this kind of sound we are doing now to be honest.
In light of this how do you feel the past year has been for the band?
2016 was excellent for the band. We’re getting higher profile gig slots but we didn’t really do any major touring as we were still doing the album towards the beginning of the year. We fast-tracked the single “Deep” in February and after that we decided to get the album done. The Bloodstock slot then came up which was insane and then we ended up supporting one of my favourite bands, Soilwork. It was like a teenage dream come true and we had the perfect reception there. We couldn’t have asked for a better gig to be honest.
What are the band’s plans for the next 6 to 12 months?
We’re hoping to get some tours and play a couple of shows. The main aim is to get out there and play the album live. Behind the scenes we’re also going to keep on writing as well and we’ve all got little ideas for things now. Our main targets are: Having an entire demo by the end of this year, touring, festivals and getting the right shows.
Charvel guitars recently endorsed you as well…
Yes, we did get endorsed by them. Henry always had this Charvel and we used it for tracking “Flood” on our EP and I remember thinking at the time “God Damn, this guitar is good”. We got in contact with one their reps and he came down to see us live and really liked what we were doing. We then decided to start working together and they gave us some models and they also have some new guitars coming out at NAMM which is going on now. I’ve got my eye on a couple of things so watch this space!
Have your amps changed or not since last time?
Not really. I’ve been using a Peavey JSX and Henry’s been using an ENGL invader for a number of years and they’re getting a bit bruised and battered. We’re currently in talks with a certain amp company that I can’t talk about much but there are definitely some things in the works.
What advice would you give to a new band?
Don’t be a dick. Be approachable, don’t be difficult and be sympathetic towards everyone around you. That’s probably the biggest rule in terms of tour etiquette. Keep writing as well. You’ll get to know yourself as a songwriter more and also keep practice.
Describe yourself and the band in 3 words.
Erm…. *thinks for a minute*
In terms of the band I’d say “Heavy, Groovy and Melodic”.
For me, erm… “Smiley, Stern and …”
*At this point, Keyboardist Alex walks in*
Felix: Al, I’m describing myself in 3 words. So far I’ve got Smiley and Stern.
Felix: Ah yes. So there we go. “Smiley, Stern and Cuddly”. Do you agree with the description of the band?
Alex: Yep. That fits us perfectly.
Felix: So there we go!