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BROODS The X-Press Interview

Ahead of their third album Don’t Feed the Pop Monster, out this Friday, February 1, and Australian tour announced this week, MIA CAMPBELL-FOULKES jumped on the phone with Georgia Nott from New Zealand pop duo Broods. They discussed Broods’ crazy support shows for Taylor Swift, being pushed into boxes by labels, and the beauty of mortality. 
Broods will be performing on Saturday, June 1 at Metropolis Fremantle. Tickets on sale 9am next Monday, February 4.

Hey Georgia, how are you?

I’m good, pretty jet lagged, been up since about 4am.

Wow, where have you come from, New Zealand?

Through New Zealand but from LA. So I think it’s something ridiculous like 9 at night there. I’m so confused!

So how did the shows with Taylor come about?

We just got an email one day saying Taylor Swift has asked if you want to come on tour. She came to one of our shows on our very first album tour, one of our LA shows and so we met her like 3 or 4 years ago. I remember we were on stage and looking out to the crowd and I could see Joel Little (our producer of six years) and I was like oh, there’s Joel sitting next to Ellie Goulding, sitting next to Taylor Swift, OK!

That would have been really high pressure!

Yeah it was weird, we didn’t have any idea that they were going to be there, except our whole team did and we were just on stage doing our thing and then it was like, ahh… hello!

Who else have you been starstruck by in recent times living in LA?

I’m the kind of person who sees the same 15 people every weekend. To be honest, we don’t really get in the scene in LA, we just hang out with our Kiwi and Swedish friends, we’re all kind of like “So, do you find it really weird here too?”

So in general, music is continually evolving and there’s always a new sub genre or classification but I guess how do think genres limit you guys or does electronic/ pop sit well with you both?

I think you’re right. I think pop is ever evolving, especially in the last couple of years it’s taken a real r’n’b and hip hop turn and I think it’s long overdue that it does that. We write the music that we like to write and this next record is a lot more relevant to where we are right now. It’s a lot more dance vibes than electronic, a bit more psychedelic pop, a lot more colourful. There’s so many feelings in this album – as usual.

Do you ever feel like you’re ever restricted by who you get asked to support or the type of venues that you play at? Do you feel like you’re ever forced to be something you’re not?

I think people are always looking to put a name to something or define and label something. We don’t play music to play in a certain venue or be played on a certain station, we do it because it makes the world make sense. That’s the biggest thing. That’s why a lot of our fans listen to our music because a lot of the time the world’s pretty confusing.

I think some people are just really good at pretending…

Yes, Anybody who says they know what’s going on is bullshitting – nobody knows what’s going on. Music’s there to help you escape what’s confronting and confront the things you’re escaping. It’s what, in my opinion, keeps people sane.

So can you talk us through Peach? To me it’s about those days that you’ve totally smashed it but also those days that you can’t even get out of your pj’s and it’s kind of a reassurance that that’s also ok and to be at peace with that fact. Is that where you guys were going?

I think you kind of nailed it there. For us our whole lifestyle over the last six years has been super erratic and there’s times that there’s nothing going on and there’s times where you don’t even have time to sleep and it’s a very high intensity kind of lifestyle and it does make the highs really high and the lows really low. It pushes you around a lot of the spectrum and I think for us being able to feel life to its full extent and exploring what we’re capable of feeling as a human being is a huge part of getting the most out of your existence on this earth. It can be really fucking tiring but at the same time it feels worth it. When you feel content, you FEEL content. When you have your moment of being in the present, that’s what Peach is about I guess.

How do you overcome that emotional roller coaster in the real world when you have deadlines or restrictions and you can’t just feel those emotions?

‘Check yourself before you wreck yourself’ because sometimes it is really easy to get in slumps or feel like you just want to keep holding onto the highs, you just have to take a good look in the mirror and say I think i need to do yoga everyday this week, or give myself green juices. I think your bodily and mental health can sometimes take a back seat when everything else feels like more of a priority.

And that’s usually the first things to catch up with you when you’re going full steam…

Yeah and having people around you that can recognise that, who say, “Hey, stop, slow down, go have a nap”. My husband will be like “what the hell is wrong with you” and then two hours later I’ll be like, “So it turns out I was just hungry”.

So going back to that topic of restrictions, is that what Free was about? Being forced to perform at the benefit of a hungry market or label? Although your fans are there to support you, I imagine sometimes it can be a bit take, take, take and forget that you’re a human being?

We’re there to connect with our fans on a very vulnerable, very human level and that’s the way we’ve approached it from the very beginning. Our fans have connected with that side of us, I feel like they’ve been very supportive especially when we’ve switched labels and Free was about feeling like we’re being fed into a direction that didn’t feel very true to us. Then coming out of that and wondering, “can we still do this?” and “does anybody still care?”, there were a few dark times and I think when people listen to that record they hear that.

I think that’s a really interesting point, I guess it would have felt like biting the hand that feeds you, leaving the label but if you weren’t able to do things exactly the way that you wanted, then what kind of is the point?

The thing that you feel is the biggest part of you. This has been our whole lives, since kids. We are what we make as artists, as musicians, so to feel like we weren’t being 100% truthful can be really mentally draining and quite a dangerous road to go down. If you’re not yourself or you don’t feel like you have the room or opportunity to be yourself, it kind of just makes everything feel a little bit fucked.

Definitely. So on a lighter note, what happier sunshine songs can we expect from this new album? Is Peach a precursor for what the rest of the album will be like?

The album as a whole is about this process of internalising what we go through as human beings and both of us being in our early-mid 20s is quite a hard time. It’s so transitional, you’re shedding your skin every five minutes and it’s kind of about that and tearing away the bits of you that you used to be and trying to accept who you are and who you want to be. You have to have day and night and hot and cold and sad and happy to feel like you’re living. I was watching Atlantis on the plane and there was a line that stuck out to me, “you have to know you can die to know what it is to live.” There’s a couple of songs accepting the fact that you’re going to die. There is a beauty to being mortal – if we lived forever I think we would be much more shitty as humans, a lot more selfish.

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