by Ashley Kolpak
I recently caught up with Caleb Nott, half of the brother-sister duo BROODS. The Auckland, New Zealand, pop group is making waves with their single, “Bridges“, and a US tour this spring. Nott shared his thoughts on the BROODS EP, touring with HAIM, sharing a producer with Lorde and more.
Ashley Kolpak: You come from a musical family, is that what kick-started your relationship with music?
Caleb Nott: Of course it did! We were always playing instruments, we always had access to guitars and pianos and when all that stuff is around and your parents listen to music all the time, it’s natural.
AK: With the EP released at the beginning of February and the full release due in August, how are you feeling during these in-between months?
CN: Feeling really good! We just finished the album, we’ve been writing for the past four or five weeks. It’s been a long process getting it down, it’s exciting to see where it goes. To be able to write a full album has been a fun experience. We haven’t been able to do that yet.
AK: You’re signed to both Polydor in the UK and Capitol in the US – how does that work?
CN: We were approached first by Polydor. Both labels have really cool people and that’s why we ended up going up with both. Having two specialized teams in two completely different markets is really good and really helpful. The UK industry works completely different than the US industry. London is a lot quicker. Singles go through radio and charts, you wouldn’t see your song at the top of the charts for more than two or three weeks, unlike ten weeks at the top in the US. In London, people rotate music a lot quicker. Also, it’s harder work to build music in the US.
AK: You briefly toured with another family band, the HAIM sisters. Your styles are markedly different, how did the show come together?
CN: Touring with them is awesome! They’re such cool girls. It’s so funny, I have the same relationship with Georgia and it’s cool seeing someone else doing music like that. Their life is so fucking cool – they go so hard. Their show is so much rockier in person, it’s so good to watch. I guess you pick up tips always when you play alongside another band. While our music has similar production values, the two live shows are so different. It was interesting to see the crowd react. We’re happy with how it went and grateful for the opportunity.
AK: Your cover of Empire of the Sun’s “Walking on a Dream” is haunting and really beautiful. What made you choose that song to cover?
CN: Empire of the Sun are a huge favorite of mine personally. I love their production. I listened to their first album [Walking on a Dream] on repeat for a very long time. I love their attitude, I love their presentation. They present themselves like they’re a giant product or something. Their live show, it’s like watching aliens come to Earth. It’s amazing, it’s these extravagant outfits, these ripping guitar solids, it’s just…wow. I don’t know how they manage to come up with that stuff. They’re just geniuses and I really appreciate their work.
AK: Being from Auckland, what bands from NZ and Australia are you listening to right now?
CN: I lived in Melbourne for a while and I listened to a lot of Crowd Control and The Rubens; I was in a big indie rock phase then. Right now, I’m really into Sheep, Dog & Wolf. Another artist I’m into is HIGH HØØPS, a good friend of mine who recently did a remix for us. He does some really cool pop music.
AK: You’re label mates and share a producer with fellow New Zealander, Lorde. You’ve often been spoken of in the same breath, BUT your unique sound sets the band apart, at this point in the game, who do you feel influenced by?
CN: It’s hard to not sound like an artist you share a producer with, but that doesn’t bother us at all. We’re such big fans, personally, of hers. You become more influenced by new artists when you start working in the industry. You pay more attention to new music than you did before. We’re discovering more music and we have a wider appreciation and range of influences.
AK: What’s the best and worst thing (be kind) about being in a band with your sister? Go.
CN: The best – you get to take someone from your family around the world. Having your sister, your best friend, travel around the world with you, that’s pretty sweet. The worst? I can’t think of anything! It’s really, really great.
AK: You’re setting out on your first US tour. Thoughts, feelings, any new cities you are looking forward to visiting?
CN: We’re looking forward to places like Chicago, Detroit, Portland, Seattle, places with such strong music cultures. We’re looking forward to being in the places where so many bands got started. Every place we’re going to I’m excited about! Every place you go in America has its own style and feel.
AK: Where do you see BROODS going?
When we started this project, we had no idea what to expect! We’re excited to see where it’s going to end up, but honestly, for now it’s about releasing the album, touring for a while, seeing what the reaction is and building from there.