As we emerge from the dark days of lockdown taking stock of our new surroundings has become important for all of us. This reassessment is no more prevalent anywhere than the live music scene with too many bands falling by the wayside as the lack of outlets and opportunities for creativity took it’s toll.
One band to emerge fully intact from the dark pandemic tunnel is BroodMother, stalwarts of the, talent rich, Worcestershire Stoner Rock cohort since their emergence in 2015.
I caught up with BroodMother’s bassist, Ian Perry and guitarist, Clive Silviticus to find out about their lockdown experience, their band’s current status and plans for the future:
It’s been a long eighteen months or so hasn’t it? What is the current status of BroodMother?
Clive: BroodMother weathered the Pandemic like everyone else I guess, with a mixture of frustration and boredom occasionally punctuated by walks outside and swearing at the telly. We’re still doing what we do, there were a few months during the various lockdowns that we couldn’t get together to either rehearse or write but we still managed to do a fair amount of the latter remotely. It was a strange exercise but we’ve managed it well for a good deal of the last year and a half.
Ian: Yeah, after the seemingly endless dropping into and out of lockdowns, we’re finally back to practising consistently together in the same room again. That feels good. Surviving it all, as a band, is a testament to the belief we have in BroodMother as a project.
Has anything changed? Is the outlook or dynamic of the band different in any way?
Ian: The addition of Jay (Clark) on drums has made our writing a far more rounded, collaborative process as he brings a lot of experience and additional talent to the band. It has proved to be something of a missing piece to our puzzle. The stuff we’re working on now shows more maturity because of it.
Clive: Aside from “The Jay Factor” not a lot has changed in the aims or philosophy of the band. That’s the beauty of finding new members who are already on the same page as you, I guess.
I understand you’re due to release a new recording, Can you tell me about that?
Ian: Sure, We’ve got four new tunes which will be released as an EP this year, November, I think, and we’re pretty excited about it as we feel we’ve really entered the next phase of our sound evolution. There’s a good variety both between and within the tracks, upbeat fast-paced sections, big doomy riffs and some trippy, psychedelic stuff as well.
Clive: Yeah, the EP, entitled “The Third Eye”, is due for release in early November. It’s a four track deal and has, we think, a real strength and quality to it. The process followed the usual pattern of a four- way effort between us two, Jay and (guitarist) Jon for the music with (vocalist) Noel taking on responsibility for what happens in the lyrics and vocals department. It’s our tried and tested formula but now with added experience!
What effect did the change of recording venue have on the outcome of the sessions?
Ian: The recording sessions for our last release, Sin, Myth, Power, were very self sufficient, setting up our own studio and post-production facilities. This time we moved into Future Primate Studios near Birmingham, for a couple of days, to record. That proved to be a great choice for us. We still recorded everything live as a band but the additional input from FP’s producer/engineer, Matt Culpepper, freed us up to concentrate more on the actual music performance. We certainly felt that difference. The whole set up there made everything easier.
Clive: I think the effect was bigger than we expected. Working with a seasoned pro like Matt brought out levels we didn’t know we had. Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t hand over the reins to the whole thing or anything like that, it was still very much a BroodMother project, with Jay doing the post-production mixing as before but if I had to cite one stand out difference from our other recording sessions, bringing in outside help, objectivity and guidance would be it. It really worked for us.
How does it sit alongside your other releases to date?
Clive: BroodMother continue to improve. I love our previous releases, they all represent the absolute best we could achieve at the time. The quality of what we are producing now though is head and shoulders above what we’ve done in the past. We’re growing as musicians and songwriters and I think the results of that are pretty clear.
Ian: Evolution is the recurring theme, as we try and work in more interesting arrangements of our tunes, both in terms of structure and composition. We find ourselves taking more chances with what we’re producing, adding in more parts to songs and playing around more with dynamics whilst keeping connected to the style of the songs we’ve recorded before now. Each recording session we’ve done has provided us with a clearer direction on what we want and need from the next one.
Clive: It’s still very ‘BroodMother’, you can tell it’s us from the outset, but the polish is shining a little more these days. We fully intend to continue in that. After all, we’re really doing this to have fun and produce the best songs we can. We’re satisfied, with this record, that we’ve been true to both of those aims.
So, what’s in the future, near and far, for BroodMother?
Ian: Next up we’ll be releasing the EP and finally getting back to playing gigs again, which we’re greatly looking forward to. In the further flung future we’ll be going back into the studio to get the next batch of songs recorded for a new and exciting release.
Clive: Yeah, as many gigs to support the EP as possible and, of course, just because we love playing live. Then, as Ian says, we’ll be studio-bound again at the end of this year or the beginning of next. The plan is to get the follow up to “The Third Eye” out there by March ’22. The world domination we’ve been working on for the last six years or so might just take a little longer though!
Interview by J.N. Whelan