Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Brandon Broome of THE FLESH PETS (Interview)

Trance City Limits *Live @ Rakes End* cover artBrandon, tell everyone reading about THE FLESH PETS; where the band name came from, Who plays what... How the band came together...

Our name came a mixture of a philosophy I had, and some interest in science fiction movies. Offhand, the name "The Flesh Pets" kinda sounds like a fallack reference. In our minds it means that to an alien race we are all flesh pets. Despite monetary value, talents, etc. we are the same species. In the band I play lead guitar and vocals, and occasionally keys, Vaughn Broome plays bass, Shawn Kreger plays drums, Jacob Broome plays rhythm guitar. As you can tell by the last names, 3 out of the four of us are related. Jacob is my brother, Vaughn is my cousin, and Shawn Kreger is my long time friend since 4th grade. The band really started with me and Shawn, in 6th grade we decided to start a band, his dad was a drummer so he had access to a "beater" of a kit. I got a Epiphone guitar from a pawnshop, and our interest in music took off. Shawn and I had been through various bands spanning a variety of genres. My cousin who had recently moved back to Ohio, started playing with us when our previous band fell apart. We played a lot of shows that were kind of rough, with age being a target. We were playing clubs around Dayton when Shawn and I were 15 & 16, and Vaughn was 18. As time went by, we started gaining more ground in our area and weren't take as a "kid band" shtick. We were very serious and very pissed off kids, and we still are hahaha

So is your family a very musical one or is this an all new family trait you BROOMES are flexing?

Everyone in our family has a large appreciation for music, but we don't have a lot of musicians. We were raised on a lot of good music though, my mom and dad raised my brother and I on SONIC YOUTH, NIRVANA, THE PIXIES, PEARL JAM etc. So we had a good dose of the good nineties from them

What makes THE FLESH PETS special? There’s a million bands around. Do we really need another band?

I think what makes us special is the our attitude and diversity, we take influence from so many genres spanning from punk rock, shoegaze, swing jazz, rockabilly, lo-fi, surf rock, psych rock etc. Our attitude sets apart in ways too, (some not always good) In the Indie rock world, the way we operate is kind of looked down on. We're not gimmicky or full of shit or anything, we just get really rowdy and aggressive and it seems to scare a lot of people. It's kind of a similar effect that the doors or the sex pistols may have had, our lyrical content is really honest and sometimes taboo

What sort of topics do your songs lyrics cover? Have you had any violent reactions at shows due to yer attitudes or subject matter?

Our lyrics have a wide span of topics. Some of them are in "hate letter" format (generally aimed at jock types or rednecks), others deal with our political state or social inconsistent behavior. A lot of it deals with increasing alienation that is built up from the disconnect created between ourselves and the people who are into their appearance, suck off trends, and then say your the loser. And we have had violent reactions at shows, hahahaha I remember during one of our first shows I made a statement about ex prez GWB, and then some redneck proceeded to invite me to "suck his dick". Another instance I remember is being threatened by bubble gummy pop-punk band hahaha The worst part was they had their girlfriends lift in their gear. They were awful people hahahaha And I’m sure what I’m saying makes us sound like assholes, but I'd like to think were not. Music is a just a really good chance to deal with aggression in a productive way. As people we're more about just laughing about stupid shit and creating music

What pop-punk band was it? I’m on TEAM: FLESH PETS now. Gimmie the dirt... So do you think music is dangerous?

Well I’m not sure if I wanna drop names, but I will tell you they were from Columbus and they considered themselves "ghost-core". And I think some of the songs are dangerous, others are just fun. Some songs are particularly aggressive and people in the crowd will either run with the energy and mosh or jump around, and the people who were "that kid" in high school (the jock type) will get mad and leave, or flip us off or something.

Nice... Where do you mostly play shows at? You mentioned Columbus, Dayton and Cincinnati in only a couple questions...Where’s your best show to date been and why?

We mostly play shows in Dayton and Cincinnati, we have played a lot of other places though, some like Cleveland, Chicago Indianapolis etc. I don't know if we've had a particular best show, but we also really enjoy South Park Tavern which is in Dayton, we played Ba Ba Budan’s in Cinci recently which was also really fun. The Brain House (Cinci) has always treated us well. A good show to us may be different than a good show to most bands. A good show could be in a basement or a warehouse. It really doesn't matter to much the venue, just the general energy of the crowd and walking away with a couple different connections or friends

How important is getting paid money for shows? Are you comfortable admitting your biggest pull from a show? What motivates you to do a show?

Getting paid is virtually meaningless to us, I mean someday I'd like to make a career out of it, not necessarily become a rock star just be able to tour and have a bit of notoriety. And if you mean pull by audience, then I'd say our biggest audience has reached in the hundreds, probably like 100-200 people. If your talking about money, the most we've made was 100$. Our motivation is just to play music to an audience. I like the idea of sharing a moment with people where you can completely be unfiltered. Were not the most social people so that’s the best shot we have at communication hahahaha

Sounds like your band is pretty established but yet you offer up no reviewable releases to blogs like ...Thwart! What’s the deal with that?

Well we've been a band almost two years and we're FINALLY recording an EP. We've just finished our first song and it's coming along. We've had a few DIY recordings but not a whole release. Mainly due to the fact we've had bad studio experiences and we gained most of our momentum on playing live. After long bouts of unemployment we've finally all started working and getting enough money to get out a record. It should be interesting, we plan to record different songs at different studios, we've got one done at purple monkey studios and we also plan to do a few songs with our pal Brian “Hoops” from MY LATEX BRAIN. So the album will be the studio sampler of Dayton

HOOPS! Yeah man... He is a great engineer, awesome guy and phenomenal musician. HOOPS gave me forgiveness for puking about 30 gallons of puke and pissing all over the bathroom in the late 90's despite the fact that he was not in charge of the Canal Street Tavern at that time... Would you mind elaborating on why your studio experiences were bad? What made them bad? What’s some helpful advice for someone desperate enough to actually read this interview?

Hahaha well our studio experiences were bad because our engineer was kind of manipulating the sound to his liking, and everything was too polished and it felt like we were playing money to have him trash our sound. Some helpful advice is do it yourself our have an experienced buddy help. Don't pay money for something you're gonna fucking hate

Verily well put and solid advice... What do you think of the current state of punk-rock? What’s good and bad in your opinion?

In a lot of ways it's thriving, in others it’s a continual decay. I think the DIY circuit is becoming a viable thing again. Bands don't look down on playing in a basement or a warehouse as much as a couple years ago. I also see a lot of bands really going wild, which isn't cool in Indie culture. If you're not wearing a sweater and staring at your shoes then you're wasting your time. Even as much as what I mentioned before sounds like progress, it really is the hair on the testicle of a mouse in a field, when comparing it to mainstream pop and rock. I think the people who could give this little underground movement momentum are still holding onto bands like social distortion and rancid. Both those bands are great, but really they are past their due. I think a band called DEERHOOF is real punk. I discovered them only a few days ago but they are quirky and obnoxious while still have infectious melodies like good punk should. The best part is they sound unlike anyone or anything else. Even in the hardcore movement it went through a stale point after 3 years or so. Every band tried to just be minor threat, but on the other hand you had flipper, who in my humble opinion has way more punk credentials than any punk band.
It's about innovation and revolution, not scene

RANCID... Oh man. People held onto that/them? We all gotta start somewhere don’t we? Where did you start?

Well we all started on the BEATLES. I know that's cliché an all, but they are still my favorite band to this day. From there I got into nirvana and PEARL JAM, then SONIC YOUTH and DINOSAUR JR, further into DEERHUNTER, FOALS and MODEST MOUSE etc. and LA punk was huge to me. Bands like the GERMS, X and FLIPPER changed my perspective on music entirely

Like the DANGERHOUSE comps? BLACK RANDY & THE METROSQUAD? That was majorly inspirational to me... Does The Flesh Pets rock any covers live?

Hell yeah dude. And sometimes we may do covers, we try not to very often. We have covered “The End” by THE DOORS and a song by a Canadian folk artist called HAYDEN DESSER

You and I sorta 'bonded' concerning FLIPPER. What is the personal attraction to FLIPPER? Did you drive around *high* and/or drunk when you were 18 and blast BLOWIN' CHUNKS on yer car stereo at a very loud volume or was that just me?

That's pretty much accurate hahahah I first heard of flipper from a friend and I started out on "Gone Fishin" when I heard "first the heart" I just lost my mind. Ever since then, flipper has been a godlike influence. They really were the most punk band. When everyone else was trying to be MINOR THREAT or BLACK FLAG they just wailed and introduced noise and sax which wasn't really being used in punk. They the best punk credentials

To me FLIPPER are almost a sonic-myth... Are you as passionate about any other bands the same way?

Yeah I’m VERY passionate about sonic youth. Some bands I’m super passionate about would be DEERHUNTER & MODEST MOUSE. All those bands were like awe striking to me in so many ways. I remember well when I first heard DEERHUNTER, my buddy and I had just smoked a joint in his garage and he said "this is gonna be your new favorite band" and from there he was absolutely right. I had always known MODEST MOUSE and not thought much of their hits, but then my girlfriend played me all of "Lonesome Crowded West” and I remember thinking, WOW this guy has described my life and surroundings. I could really relate to the album's underlying message about mall's springing up everywhere and just feeling yourself disappear as quick as the natural land

Smoking Joints? Brandon, your Mom may read this... Do you really want to expose your youthful indiscretions? I don’t know too much about DEERHUNTER or MODEST MOUSE but I’m a SONIC YOUTH fan... What’s your favorite era of Sonic Youth? Mines the album before, after and including Confusion Is Sex if I must choose a 3 album time frame.

Hahahaha and my favorite era of SONIC YOUTH is different years. I'd probably go more by album, I really love Goo of course, Daydream Nation is classic, Experimental Jetset is beautiful. And I really liked The Eternal, for how recent it is it sounds fucking incredible they are not one of those bands that sour and become formulated. They really kept it innovative and interesting.

I feel the same way as you with SONIC YOUTH about FUGAZI. Brandon, what’s the future hold for The Flesh Pets? Are you comfortable talking about what can be expected from you guys in 2013?

Oh yeah FUGAZI is great too, and for 2013 we can expect to an EP, we'll still be playing shows in the Ohio, Indiana area, we may branch out and do a couple cities elsewhere, then maybe by the summer 2013 a us tour. We're self funding it which we have some money saved up. With any luck we'll be operating smoothly… As for the EP We just finished the first song so it should be released by late January early February

That’s some big plans but solid hope. Are you guys recording it yourself or at a studio? Also, is your EP gonna be a DL (download) deal or will there be a tangible product like a record or tape? Are you a cassette enthusiast?

We've done some at a studio, some of it will be done by our friend “Hoops.” And we're actually recording in Canal Street, and we'll release CD's maybe some vinyl, like a 7 inch and we'll have DL's. And I do indeed enjoy cassettes I’m not sure if we will release any tapes

Oh yeah, we touched on Hoops a bit ago... I grew up spending A Lot of money weekly on cassettes which are now 'cool' and honestly, I just don’t get it. How old are you and what’s the big fucking deal with tapes? I don’t get it. Can you help an old man like myself understand this phenomenon? It will count as your 'good deed to the elderly/crippled' for the day. School me Brandon!

Really the reason I buy tapes from time is because I can't find a band I like on vinyl or CD, a lot of the stuff I like can be hard to find and somebody will have a tape of it that they bought a while back. I really don't think it sounds any better, and it is pretty inconvenient rewinding them and stuff. I honestly don't see why it's a trend either hahahha I just enjoy tapes strictly because I’ll find tapes of bands I like

How many tapes you have? In my tape heyday I had about 150… I’m not trying to brag either.

I have only a couple, I have more vinyl and CDs on tape I have some ADAM ANT, TAD, HELMET, VIOLENT FEMMES and maybe a few others I also have my friends demo tape and that band is called BLOOD NOIZE. I fill in on drums for them occasionally

Do you rock a [revolutionary] beard? While you mention BLOOD NOIZE (good name) what’s some other bands you appreciate (locally) that you feel compelled to mention? Explain what makes those bands noteworthy in your opinion

Yeah I usually keep a beard, sometimes I have to shave for work but generally I’ve got a grizzly food storage unit on my face hahha. A band I would like to mention is a Dayton band called the TURKISH DELIGHTS, they have great turn of phrase lyrics similar to BOB DYLAN. I would also like to mention ATLAS SOUND, soul coughing, FOALS, MY BLOODY VALENTINE, SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES, TY SEGALL, THE PIXIES, ARIEL PINK and THE HAUNTED GRAFFITI, ABERTOOTH LINCOLN (Dayton) A lot of those bands are pretty good lyrically, I really like ABERTOOTH'S political lyrics, its satirical but very poignant and serious in the same swipe. I've also really enjoyed dark poetic lyrics of JIM MORRISON. I heard the line "Dead presidents corpse in the drivers car, the engine runs on glue and tar, come along we're not going very far, to the east to meet the czar" and it really struck me. Another one I liked was the classic "The End" "Lost In A Roman Wilderness of Pain, and All of the Children are Insane" great fucking stuff

Can you actually sit and watch APOCALYPSE NOW from start to finish in one sitting? I did. Once.

I've tried, hahaha I’m not sure how far I made it

I'm a big fan of Col. Kurtz... How much is what your doing now gonna be viewed by you as idiocy in 15 years. Are you wasting your time now (you think) or is Flesh Pets a step in your process of success. What do you wanna be when you grow up?

I don't know honestly, we always progress dramatically in different ways. I think by the end of it we'll be playing psychedelic prog acid jazz noize no wave haha. Or maybe we'll just buy a keyboard sell our instruments for some illicit drug and make noise hahahahaha

Sounds like a plan. So now is your chance to tell ...Thwart! readers one last bit of info you want them to know about THE FLESH PETS. Go.

I'd like to any reader's know that we are available for children's parties. I'm kidding hahaha In all reality, I'd like people to know that there is change a'brewin. With any luck we'll be a part of it. A word to those who cling dearly to trends and subject themselves to comfortable lives. Clench tightly your Ikea furniture, cry deeply for your "fly" friends, pay your last respects to your imitation Indie, snapback hats, processed manufactured clear channel pop music. Times will be strange, and only the weird will survive

I suppose Imp safe under the 'only the weird will survive' clause. I have no idea what a 'snapback hat' nor do I wanna know. Thanks for your time and support Brendon.

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The FLESH PETS on bandcamp