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BRMC Interview 2015

There are people whose lives cannot do without the “right” amount of drama, and sometimes this tendency accumulates when it comes to bands. BRMC are certainly one of them, having suffered several strokes of fate throughout their now almost 15-year-old career. Distributed over the making of six albums so far, they had to endure problems within their lineup, losing their record deal, and most gravely Michael Been’s sudden demise five years ago. But Robert Been, Peter Hayes and, since 2008, Leah Shapiro, have always found their way onto their feet again. Until last year, when fate struck again and Leah was diagnosed with chiari malformations, a condition of the brain that threatened her supposed purpose in life, not knowing whether she’d ever be able to play the drums again. A serious brain operation, a heart-rending fund-raising campaign, and six months of physiotherapy later, however, BRMC have successfully outperformed another stroke of fate, flipping destiny the bird and, instead of taking more time off, releasing a Live DVD / album and touring Europe for the summer.I meet Robert Been in Amsterdam’s picturesque Paradiso, which seems to have become their mandatory venue to play at in the Netherlands’ capital, and we talk about said struggle, their recent tour and release, and very many more things.Before I know it, we’re right in the middle of things, as being outside, waiting, I picked up somebody saying that they had played a new song during soundcheck, so I ask Robert whether that’s true. Robert asks whether the two Irish guys had said something about it, but I don’t know them…… this is a drag…And everybody will have their ears on the door like “Whoa, what’s this?! I haven’t heard it before…”It’s good, but it can be frustrating… You can be frustrated touring when you’re writing because you want to share what you’ve got and you can’t. It used to be easier…Well, the venues should probably get better sound absorption or something. That would make things easier for you…We need one of those like White-House-Secret-Service, whatever they’re like, where it kills all the cell phones, but you’d have to make sure the amps don’t break. But that’s what would make it easier to do new songs on tour.When you played in Berlin a couple of days ago, I almost felt like this was a best-of show of all your albums. Do you feel like it’s good to be touring without having to promote a new album? Like it gives you more freedom to choose songs?(thinks, laughs) It has. I haven’t even thought about that, but it actually has. And it’s a good excuse to bring back some that we kept putting off rehearsing and bringing back to life. Weapon of Choice, As Sure as the Sun, a couple of others…… Salvation.Yeah, Heart and Soul, Salvation…Heart and Soul, woohoo!Yeah, that one… It’s a bunch I wanted to do, but it’s also, on this particular tour, Leah’s… Physically, we’re trying to keep an eye on her and not pushing her too much. And Heart and Soul is one of the hardest ones to play so we didn’t want to do it every night. But we’re playing it tonight, I hope so… I think so. And she got a rest yesterday so she should be good to go.So Leah’s problems definitely have an influence on your tour then.Yeah, and writing, too. A lot of songs that we have need to kind of… you kind of stretch them out and play them as a band to see which ones are really working and which ones just work in the bedroom. Or recording… So it’s… It’s been frustrating, (laughs) ‘cause I’ve been really anxious at home, a lot of ideas that I can’t… I don’t know if they work or not. But it’s been like a very strict rule from the doctor. For six months she couldn’t do anything physically strenuous. And then even now she really wanted to get herself like a goal and that’s kind of why we did this tour, so she could… I get it, if I broke my leg or something I wanted to get back in shape and motivate, otherwise I would probably just whine about how bad I got it and never get around it. And that’s a big reason why we did the tour, because she wanted to come and have that and I would have personally stayed at home and sit tight and record, but… You know… (laughs)We have to thank Leah then…It’s a democracy in the band… But this has been one of the finest tours, so I’m not being super-negative. I was surprised. I honestly wasn’t looking forward to this one very much, because my brain is so in like writing mode and then playing old songs takes me out of that gear. But it’s really been fun, one of the best tours so far, yeah.So was it ever a question to involve the public, involve the fans when it came to Leah’s diagnosis? I can imagine it can be quite difficult when it comes to physical problems.Yeah, that was a big one. For a long time, a really long time, we didn’t say anything to the public about it, it was a very scary family situation, like internally, with the band. And because there were so many unknown factors. There were tests being done and we didn’t know conclusively what was wrong, or what was going on. It wasn’t until it was like “Ok, this is what it is, this is what it’s going to be like” and we knew early on it was going to be like at least six months and even after that six months it wasn’t any guarantee that she could ever play again, so… It was a lot of really hard… It wasn’t just on Leah, I think all of us… We all need each other and so when anyone of us has a bad accident or something, it’s like we all kind of go through it together. But she definitely had it the worst.At first, yeah, I think she felt like… She learned so much about it, from when she got the diagnosis and it was so, so confusing and hard. She got so much misinformation from people that once she figured out exactly what it was and how to cope about it, she wanted to kind of share that with people. So then it changed, it kind of became more like… It’s a rare thing, but there are a lot of people that go through this. Hopefully, they now feel less isolated with it. And she does, too. She got a lot of really amazing letters from people and incredible support. All of us were kind of shocked with all the amount of support that came back. We didn’t expect that at all. It was literally directly thanks to the fans that at least the financial side, like, you know, just seeing crazy doctor bills and stressing out about money as much as the physical life-aspect, the surgery… It was important that there was one less thing, like to be up all night, you know, to be a nervous wreck about, it was a lot about that. So, yeah, we are bizarrely grateful to people and have no idea how to ever return that.I think everybody was just so happy that they could help in a way, even if it was just with a small amount of money, like “Do I spend 10€ on some shit, or do I give them to somebody who really needs them?”No, no, that’s all good. Accepting other people’s help, though… I don’t know whether it’s pride or whatever. I have a hard time with that and I know Pete and Leah do, too. So it was actually initially Ian [Ottaway]’s fault or crazy thought that started the ball rolling and then… He kind of has more the instinct to know that, like you say, people wanted to help in some way, and that was definitely a good thing. It’s still hard to take, you know. The job, the whole Rock ‘n’ Roll thing is about giving, you know, not taking.Then again you connected this whole thing with this brilliant “I Want To Beleah”-shirt, which is a kind of mix-up of the “Effects of 333” background, the hi-hat as the UFO and the pun on this famous X-Files poster (“I want to believe”). Who came up with that?(laughs) I first thought of it for the Moon Block Party, because I was just... There was something really funny about the theme of the Moon Block Party, which was all like a space, weird psychedelic theme. So I thought the UFO as a hi-hat… Don’t ask me how many drugs I was on… (laughs). But then, after everything happened, it seemed like it would be for Leah more than something else. It’s funny where it started and where it ended up, it was a long strange road to get there and then I just like that she has a shirt. (laughs) I like that. The drummer’s kind of the last person maybe you think is going to have their own shirt.Well, ladies first.Yeah. But I always think of the out-of-focus-guy thing from Almost Famous, the argument over the T-Shirt in that scene when they’re arguing over that shirt.Oh, I don’t remember that scene right now…The whole band’s pissed, except for the guitarist, ‘cause he’s in front, but all the other guys are kind of shadows or something. And then one’s like “I don’t see anything wrong with it” and then the argument’s like “Oh, that’s because you’re not one of the out-of-focus guys!” That’s really good. But you can’t be backstage interviewing a band and not have seen Almost Famous!I have seen it, but I don’t know it by heart. I think I’ve seen it twice and that was like yeeeaaaars ago…Yeah, it’s been around a long time…It’s funny though that your T-shirt and the X-Files are connected…(laughs)… are you excited about the new X-Files coming up?I was always really, really frustrated with that show because it never gave you… I just wanted to know what the fuck was going on and it was like “Oh, you’ll find out tomorrow, you’ll find out tomorrow, you’ll find out next week, maybe in the movie, maybe it’ll be ten years later when we don’t even have the show” and some kind over… like the manipulation of it.Our old tour manager actually on the last tour started watching all of them again, on every flight on the tour. And he was always sitting there, going through it again, like Season 1, 2, 3, from the very beginning. And there were like eight seasons of that?I don’t really know. Once Mulder was gone I stopped watching it that regularly…The only thing I even remember about anymore was one episode where a guy turns up… it’s like the first two minutes of the show, it’s like a guy somehow becomes invisible, and he’s like it’s the greatest day, and he’s so excited, and then he walks out the front door and gets hit by a car. (laughs) That was like the greatest superhero story I’ve ever heard, which was only two minutes long. And, I don’t even remember how it went on… Oh, yeah, then they had like the cadaver, the dead invisible body, which was also good. That’s pretty clever.So, you’ve got this great DVD out featuring the live gig in Paris and the documentary by Yana Amur. I was curious how or why Paris was chosen to be the gig to be recorded. Or how do you decide where to set up stuff for recording?We were in the neighbourhood… (laughs) and we’d come up with the idea of filming pretty late in the tour, so there weren’t like a ton of options. And out of the last couple of months with the tour it worked out for a bunch of reasons. The venue is beautiful, we played there the year before, and I liked the idea of it being, like a year later, coming to the end of the story in a way, ‘cause it was one of the last shows on the tour or something like that. Beautiful room… In France in general, there was some strange energy, pull, that we kept… We kept coming back there and people there felt like they’re in tune with that particular album a lot. And so that felt like everything kind of centred on the informality. France is always for us one of the… they’re like the most difficult to win over. When we first started touring Europe and anywhere else outside the States… In the beginning, we were really spoilt with the British press, NME and all that shit, and all that echoed throughout all of Europe, and everywhere we went all the doors were already open for us, and people were already really excited, which the whole time we felt like… a little suspicious. (laughs) At the time we hadn’t earned it yet.It’s that hype thing the British press tend to do, I guess…Yeah, and it was actually why I wrote the song Stop, it was the first line of that, “We don’t like you, we just wanna try you”. That was written during that tour because at that time it felt like it was a room full of people… you could tell they were going to be there tomorrow, you know, they’d be there for the next band that happened. So, it felt weird and when we got to France, the first show we played ever there, it was really cold and really hard and we loved it, (laughs) because it felt like the way it should be. No free ride because of the British press. And every year, every record it would just be a little bit better, a little bit more people. It’s the only place in Europe that actually felt like, I don’t know, so it felt natural. And everywhere else kind of declined a bit. Maybe not in Europe… But it had that kind of once the press thing started dying out, a kind of lot of people left that… They came back, albums later, I always respected that. But it’s always like the girl in high school that you can’t ever quite to get to look at you. (laughs) A little stuck-up, but it’s still hot. (laughs)How was the decision for the documentary made then?Oh, that was… Yana [Amur] contacted Ian [Ottaway] about wanting to do this, actually she wanted to do a photo project with the band through that tour and that was the initial thing. And so she was going to come over on her own and kind of travel on her own and fund it all herself, which was a lot of time, energy and work. And so I thought “If you’re going to be out here, we might make it more than just a photo project and try to film it.” So we talked about it as the tour was going, but she was really not sure what it would be for, so it was kind of just shoot whatever happens and it might be nothing, but it ended up being a kind of pet project that kept growing. We really hate cameras around us, so once she showed it to us, we were kind of like “This is a side of the band people maybe haven’t seen” and I can understand how some people maybe want more than just a live show. I certainly would, if I liked a band and I wanted to know more about them. But we’re still hesitant even now about everything, doing anything like that again, I mean…I can imagine that being on tour, there are so few places in which you can feel like you have some privacy, when you’re not on stage, when you’re not talking to fans, and then they get invaded by a camera… That must be really strange.Yes, she’s been up with a lot of abuse (laughs), ‘cause it’s not every day that we’re in a mood… Actually, when we face that, literally, every day we’re not in the mood for the camera, and she fought to get something out of it. Sometimes we actually sat down and did interviews she later used, which she definitely needed ‘cause we were always like running into the other direction when we saw her with the camera. So it was kind of like the guilt thing again…So how were you involved in getting the final cut of the documentary, the editing of the whole film?She pretty much edited and put it all together herself. She sent a couple of versions, we had a couple of comments, which was more about pacing than anything, ‘cause it was longer. And it made us feel insecure, “Who are we? Who is gonna want to sit down and watch like three hours of us?”. That was it, the really big thing was that kind of self-consciousness. I didn’t want it to come off as too indulgent, although I’m sure some people would have liked that, yeah.That will be the director’s cut out for Christmas.No. (laughs) I don’t even wanna have that conversation, ‘cause she would probably do that. But it’s just a lot of like sitting around and, you know, eating chips, it’s like “No, no, no…”. There were some good things about it, I really liked some of the things Pete said and she captured a few things from the tour which felt unique to that particular tour. But no, no one needs to see… I was sick on that whole thing, so she has about two hours of just me putting my head over the kettle, steaming, well, there’s hours of that, ‘cause every show it was pretty much all I could do, I was trying to get my voice just not to croak out too soon. It was that huge tour of France mostly and I just wanted to die and then we, urgh, the night of the show I was so fucking sick. Every time we’ve done a live DVD I’ve been really sick, like coincidentally, it’s always like a throat thing. And so I’ve been frustrated that every single documented good show I’m sick. But I took a Theraflu and a lot of whiskey and I kind of faked it good enough for the live DVD. But the whole time I was up there I thought “There’s no way I’m letting this come out!”But it wasn’t just me, Pete and Leah… Pete was also having his worst night. When we went on stage for the encore, this would actually be more interesting for the documentary, Pete just like threw something against the wall and we were about to go back on and do the last couple of songs and he was just furious and said “This is never coming out.” And then a month went by, we calmed down and saw the rough edit of it and the audio, and it should be really good.Speaking of films and everything, there was the score you did for Life After Beth. How did you find doing this kind of work different from writing the music you usually write?Night-and-day-different approach to seeing music, not seeing it, but it’s so different. It still feels like, for us, it was an exercise in learning the process of it, and a challenge, because he [director Jeff Baena] is a friend of ours and we thought it’d be a challenge to try and do something that wasn’t like typical, I don’t know, kind of sounds. So it was very hard to get into like a flat-comedy mode, ‘cause all the things were contrast, and the director had different opinions on things. So it was good exercise with it, but me and Pete felt like we didn’t really have the gun to make a score that feels like it’s a natural expression of… It’s hard to explain it. Yeah, that was an exercise, and we’re just getting warmed up to kind of do something that feels like us. But maybe at the same time it’s not really supposed to be your thing, it’s supposed to… A lot of the process is similar to if you have your band and you have a singer, writer, comes in that day, that you try your best to make your song work. So they have like all their lyrics and they’re gonna sing their song and you gotta try and do the best musically to support their words, and their voice, and the atmosphere they’re hoping can complement. So you have to be very aware of that as well as when you write a song as a rock band you’re trying to create a whole world, like the whole landscape of feeling and bringing everything to life. And with a film, everything’s kind of already there, except for the subtle subconscious of it, which is like this little… It’s like the difference between writing a big, bombastic song versus smoking pot and staring at the centre of a flower for like four hours and being completely immersed in that.Okaaaay…But you can imagine the difference between trying to take in everything at once and just focusing on the smallest detail in all the depth and richness, like building a ship in a bottle, just like really delicate, small fraction, but it’s supposed to have all the richness.So you really had to delve into the topic.Knowing it inside-out, that’s what you naturally do. You’re not bringing a whole world into the room that’s already there, you just like get into it without being in the way.So it doesn’t really sound like you’d be up to doing it so soon again, or would you?I’d actually love to. Pete as well: While Leah was in recovery, we were talking to some people and came close to this other film that they wanted us to do a score for, but we’re going to wait until it’s just undeniably like it feels right, because I don’t want it to feel like work. (laughs) But it’s an intense amount of work, it’s like making another record. Like people think it’s not… I thought it wouldn’t be, I was like “Yeah, we’re not writing any words, it’s gonna be a piece of cake!” and it’s intense, really, not like that at all.And then there are more people involved, of course.Yeah, and the amount of attention to every few seconds of every instrumental part you make matters so much that… It doesn’t matter as much when you’re writing a rock album. (laughs) That’s when it starts becoming… general momentum, energy, force, feeling, and words become a pain in the ass. (laughs)I was really curious before I watched the film how it would turn out. And then there are like the very first few seconds of the film when she’s walking through the woods, hiking on her own, this is such a distinct BRMC sound, I think. Even if I hadn’t known, I think I would have recognized it instantly. So that was really cool.Talking about composing music…What? Proposing…?Proposing? No, COMposing!Aaah, okay… Erm, yeah?Now, what was I going to ask…? Yes! I’m quoting you now: “Having nothing really helps acquire something.” Do you remember saying that? It’s on the DVD…Sounds like some shit I might have said… (laughs)So I was thinking, does that, by implication, mean that bands with less financial success write the better songs?(pause) Well… I like the question but I think it’s too black and white, it’s kind of like saying “Manchester is the best city for music”, or “Seattle is the best city for music”. Anytime you hear anyone generalize, there’s some good things that have come out of it, and there’s a lot of terrible things with any city. So that’s like saying the starving artist is the most… literally fighting to stay alive and that’s going to bring out everything they’ve got. And, I don’t know if it’s technically or literally about starving, but it’s about being afraid. (laughs) And I’ve been afraid every fucking hour…First album, because I knew it was special and in the beginning you’ve no idea what’s coming next, so immediately it was like “Ok, how long will it be before we fuck up?” (laughs) And the second one was like the whole pressure of the follow up, but it was more internal problems with the band, it was like getting a taste of success and not having any idea how to live. And a taste of like being on the road and drugs and all that shit for the first time. And then, the third album was, we lost Nick, intentionally. (laughs) And our record deal, unintentionally. And so we didn’t have a drummer, contract, and it was the scariest time, which kind of brought the most of us for Howl and even doing Howl, doing this direction, was scary, so it was like so many different aspects of fear. Baby 81 actually wasn’t bad (laughs), now that I think about it… but we were so shell-shocked remembering everything, that was still around. And then we lost Nick again and then it was all, you know, for those who know the band, there’s always something going on…A bit of drama…And of course this has been Leah not knowing if she would ever play again. And I’m intimidated myself by the work we’ve done. Like, I know what’s good. We didn’t just kind of daydream through it, we took everything we had. And so the next one, losing all this time with her being operated, that’s created a panic, changed our whole rhythm and everything that we’re used to, with like a safety net of write – record – tour. Sorry, that answer’s taking quite long…Well, that’s fine…But I’ll answer it in another way. Because, just speaking on the side of bands with money versus, or successful bands versus struggling ones, I had this realization the other day and I hadn’t really thought about it so clearly before. I still don’t know exactly how to end the thought, but the beginning of the thought is: I see music now, especially now, with what the internet kind of ended up doing in the beginning, as a class system.And it’s in trouble, it’s in great trouble, the same way the rich and the poor, and the in-between, it’s like an economic picture (laughs). Which is why the music is so bad that’s popular right now, there’s kind of this like 1% top, rich artists that work really effective by the internet, killing album sales and all this stuff, because they are already making so many million that they just made a few less million and that didn’t change essentially what they’re doing. They’ve not only sustained through the great internet depression of early 2000s (laughs), but they’re thriving in what should have been like a five-year… boybands and… all the pop music bullshit, and there’s still Justin Timberlake and there’s still a fucking Britney… And Jennifer Lopez! I remember she was on Virgin when we first signed Virgin, our first record, and she’s still fucking going on, and this is insanity! This should have been over like ten years ago. Somehow, it’s just sickeningly staying with us…The reason for that is, the middle-class of music was destroyed, in a similar way that like any country that’s falling apart is… so the rich are fine, the middle-class is fucked, they don’t have a hope of getting to that, bridging the gap, and changing the way the machine works, or getting into power, like they can do some real good. And all you’ve got is the poor, they can still make a record, like a guitar band, a garage band or whatever, they can still put things online and struggle, like locally, and it’s really fucking hard. The middle-class, blue-collar rock bands have been like wiped out (laughs), and it’s funny, I couldn’t believe it when I finally figured it out, so it’s amazing.And we’re actually really successful, considering that we’re not. (laughs) But we’re struggling every time we come off the road, off of an album, it’s like we get a couple of months before the panic button of management and stuff, going “You gotta start writing to get the next thing out, ‘cause you guys burned through money to live on.” So for us to be in that position means anyone that’s just widely less going on is fucked, like badly, struggling.And these days I just have so much empathy for bands, nearly all of them, except for the ones that I hate, in terms of money. Yeah, it’s weird, but it starts making sense, while the rich are staying rich like that.And it’s even creepier when you get more like a dystopian future… Pop Idol and things, The Voice or whatever, those started emerging right at that time when we really hit, which to me is the equivalent of the dystopian future where… Now it’s like “Get up and try and be like a millionaire, get up and do your sorry dance and maybe you’ll become one of the 1%.” And that’s psycho. Music is kind of going through the similar thing where now there’s a TV show, that’s like all or nothing, and… like some 80s Arnold Schwarzenegger movie (laughs), where there’s like a game show where people are being killed trying to get rich, but most of them just get killed off, that’s what’s happening with music. It’s not a business at all. That came right when the music industry was kind of down, too, so…And it’s so unsexy to me (laughs), that it all comes down to class and money, which is affecting like the… things getting better musically, artistically, like things changing “What sells?”, you know? And that’s usually why things change, even though we think it’s different, it’s like “Ok, well, this band, this rock band that isn’t in right now, all of a sudden is selling something”, so then that’s what’s changing right here, it’s what poor people are listening to what’s making money. It’s horribly creepy. It’s best to ignore it and eat your banana. (Laughs and takes a bite of his banana.)What I found creepy and unsexy as well was while you were in Berlin there was like a radio show, like a Berlin radio station, and they have this kind of feature thing where they have this musicologist Professor Doctor You Don’t Know Who and he regularly analyses songs of bands that are in town. He analysed Weapon of Choice and he was really like dismantling it bit by bit, like doing an autopsy on the song, which was the worst thing I could imagine to be done to a song I like. So, do you think there is anything like science to music, anything that needs to be analysed, or is it rather magic that happens to you when you listen to a song you like?Wow…And he didn’t even understand the song lyrically, he didn’t understand the words, he translated it wrongly. Would you even be interested in listening to this kind of shit?(There’s a knock on the door and Peter comes in, heads straight to the table with food on it and starts peeling and slicing a piece of ginger.)Robert: Analysing music…He’s a scientist, mind you.Robert (laughs out loud): She’s just said this very weird thing, Pete. (We both fill Pete in about the radio show.) They did it for Weapon of Choice when we were in town, that guy just dissected it.Peter: Phew… That’s how you destroy the soul…Exactly!Peter: We don’t claim to… (pause)Scientific approach to music! When you write a song that’s all you think about, right?Peter: What did he have to say to that?I think the bottom line was that it was surprisingly diverse and therefore it was good, but he didn’t understand the lyrics. They didn’t make any sense to him.Robert: He misinterpreted it like…Yeah, he didn’t understand the English correctly. Translating it back into English, he said something like “I won’t waste my love on a nation” was “I won’t destroy my love for a nation” or something…Peter: Well, that’s pretty straightforward… “I won’t waste my love on a nation”…Well, it is…Peter: No hidden meaning there. (Shakes his head in disbelief.)Robert: Analysing songs… I guess like anybody else I like the not-knowing-what-the-artist-meant-by-it, but liking what it means for me. And then every once in a while you’ll hear later on someone else’s interpretation, or you’ll hear what they thought of writing it. Or it’ll change for you later on, or you’ll be mumbling the words wrong (laughs), and it will be like “Aaaah, that’s what they’re saying?!” I like how things change over time like that, it seems like you might steal away that particular part if you try to dissect it too much. And I get that too, like the urge to… if you like something you want to tear it apart and see how it works. But it’s not a machine or a car, it’s not a car engine, ‘cause if you do that, you might never get around again. You might not enjoy the riiiide! (laughs) That’s the cliché, (in high-pitched voice) “Enjoy the ride, man!”Well, it was really strange. Now, about your next album: Some of your earlier albums have seen the resurrection of songs that hadn’t been released before, so what about the next one? Is something like that maaaaybe going to happen? Are you going to dig out old, unreleased stuff maybe?Robert: Like what do you mean? An example? Like Evol or something?Evol, 1:51…Robert: 1:51, yeah…… which, by the way, it’s great that you named it 1:51.Robert: Well, people named it that. I guess the irony of it was that it was originally called BRMC, before the band was called BRMC. We were in desperate need of a name for it anyway. (thinks)Peter (still busy with the ginger): I know which one!Robert: Old one?Seeeaaasons? Seasons, come on! Everybody’s still waiting for Seasons, this always came up on the old forum. God, I miss that forum sometimes…Robert: Yeah, I can think of some old ones that are worth…Peter (starts humming): Dedep, debedebedebep, dededede depdep, dededede depdep…(Robert looks like he has no idea whatsoever.)Peter: Dumm du dumm, dumm du dumm…Robert: What?!Peter: Remember? (Robert laughs.)Peter: You know? The one that…Robert (the penny seems to drop, even though I’m not sure whether Peter has just made this up in order to pull my leg): Oh!Peter (heading for the door): Dedep, debedebedebep, dededede depdep, dededede depdep… (Leaves the room.)(Robert laughs out loud.)And off he went…Robert:(Realizes which song is meant.) Aaaaah, oh, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeaaah!Peter (from the corridor):Yaaaah, remember?Robert: Ah, okay, we did that… Yes, so the answer is yes. (laughs)Ok.(Referring to Peter's "Dedep, debedebedebep" Robert starts humming the circus theme song.)Really, I can quote that! (And then we both sing that stupid circus song.)Yeah, there’s actually a few, well, I have 420 (laughs) songs in general, like random ideas of things that are unfinished. There’s hundreds, but as far as ones that I end up finishing, or ones that maybe have snuck out in the past… could be one or two, I hope, ‘cause there’s a lot of good things that don’t get finished, not because they’re not good, but just… I don’t know, there’ll be like one that you always can’t finish, or that it’s hard to find your way back to where you were at when you were writing it. Or recoding-wise, they’ll always slip through your fingers, as soon as you track it, but you still know the song’s good, you just haven’t figured out how to turn the keys around with the recording.The last album, we didn’t reach back very much and that means this one we might. Because you always kind of give respect to what’s coming in the moment, if there’s something now that’s happening in the room with the band it’s best to catch that, if it’s like the blood’s really flowing. But as soon as you’re in transition point with that, I personally really like going back and trying to finish things that didn’t get done. I think it’s my OCD, it makes me feel like getting things done, cleaning the plate. (laughs) Otherwise, if you’re forever lazy and ungrateful, doing something I didn’t do the work to finish… But it’s like really, I know it’s special, like a little jam to be squandered of, in notebooks somewhere…And thus end sixty minutes of talking to Robert of BRMC, including a musical guest appearance by Peter Hayes. Dear fellow BRMC fans, there’s a new album coming up and you might be in for a treat soon…

BRMC Interview


Photo by Yana Amur