Interview: BROODS (NZ) on their North American tour, family bands and VANFEST.

New Zealand brother and sister duo, BROODS, have been jumping from strength to strength since releasing “Bridges” in 2014. Since then, they’ve supported the tours of international superstars such as Taylor Swift, Haim, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith; collaborated with the likes of Lorde and Tove Lo; and have won numerous ARIA and NZMA awards. This year, their single, “Peaches” made the #19 spot on Triple J‘s 2018 Hottest 100 Countdown and are currently in the midst of a North American tour. We caught up with one half of the due, Caleb Nott, ahead of BROODS’ Australian shows and VANFEST appearance.

Hey Caleb, how are you? Where are you right now?

I’m in Toronto and it’s freezing!

Oh my goodness, I used to live there and it was hell! But a good time as well – Canadians are lovely. What’s that like touring around North America? Do you find the crowd atmosphere is different over there to Australian and New Zealand crowds?

The crowds over here are different state to state!

How so?

I guess it just depends on a lot of different things really, different cities… I feel like the places that don’t get shows as much come out and are a little crazier, which is cool.

They’ve been starved!

And at the big cities, everyone’s a little cool, you know? I find that the smaller cities, that’s when we have the really crazy shows.

And I suppose there might be more die-hard fans there because they’re like, “We haven’t seen you in forever!” whereas other cities, you’ve probably hit up before.

Yeah, exactly.

Let’s talk about your music. First up, congratulations on Don’t Feed the Pop Monster which dropped in February. How does it feel to have your third studio album out now?

It’s pretty mental, really, to have a third album out after six years.

I didn’t realise how young you guys are! So, when “Bridges” came out, you and Georgia would have been around 20 and 22 and it went platinum in Australia and NZ – do you remember what that was like at the time?

I think we were like 19 and 21, or 18 when we dropped “Bridges”.

Was it pretty crazy though? Because that’s a pretty big thing to happen at that age.

Yeah, I mean I was at university studying to be something completely different.

What were you studying to do?

I wanted to be a furniture designer, so I was studying industrial design. But then this came along, and I was like, “Cool, see you later then!” and I might go back sometime if this doesn’t work out, but right now I’m pretty good with it.

Yeah, live the life of a Rockstar – that’s the way to do it! And your family is pretty musical I’ve been reading as well. I’m from a musical family and our dad is pushing us to have a family band sort of thing – were your parents really rallying behind Broods or did you guys create it autonomously?

They encouraged us to play music and learn instruments, but they didn’t push us to do anything, didn’t push us to be in bands or anything… It’s kind of like that came on our own. I went to so many guitar teachers – I didn’t really like going to instrument lessons or anything like that, so I ended up teaching myself because I didn’t like listening to anybody else. And I wanted to play the songs that I wanted to play! But yeah, we kind of encouraged each other I think, more than anything.

There’s nothing like a good bit of… almost a sibling competition but it grows each other at the same time, I feel that. And you have other siblings as well – do they want to be in the band? What do they do?

My other sibling [Olivia Nott, who releases under the moniker of NÏKA], she just got her first gold record in Australia so she’s doing pretty good too.

Damn! Your family must be so proud! At family events, is everyone else from other parts of the family like, “Damn, that bunch there…”?

I think everyone just treats us like were Caleb and Georgia still. Our family’s very much like, when we come home, we’re just the same people and we live this, you know… We don’t really talk about anything like that. We just live our family life!

That’s what you want, you want an oasis away from the spotlight, hey. I want to talk about VANFEST – you’ll be venturing to outback NSW in May. Do you guys get around a good regional festival?

Of course, especially in Australia! I mean almost every festival is a rural festival in Australia. They don’t really have them in the cities, so you get to go out into the bush or out to an awesome venue like an hour out of the city. I think that’s the best part about playing festivals throughout Australia and the crowds are always like some of the best festival crowds you can get, you know.

They get pretty wild! I’ve been at a festival and there was a blow-up couch floating through the mosh pit and some guys in banana outfits were surfing on it. I was like, “This is Australian culture at its finest!” What about New Zealand festivals? How do they compare?

They’re pretty similar, expect I reckon it’s a little more sloppy. So, people look a little more lost rather than into it! Nah, they’re great – New Zealanders love festivals. They don’t have a lot there, maybe three festivals that people go to, so it’s usually a pretty big deal when they come around. Everyone goes pretty hard.

Awesome, three times a year, the whole of New Zealand flocks to a festival! Who are you most excited to see play in the VANFEST line-up?

I love PNAU, I think that’s fantastic, and I love Methyl Ethel – I think they’re great too – so I’ll probably be at those shows for sure!

Let’s just hope you’re all playing on the same day so you can hit them up. Otherwise you can just stay around the festival, right? Do the two days?

Probably not, probably not allowed. You’ve got to work for it, you know!

You will have worked for it! Played your day and stay for the next! Talk to management.

You have to do the promo days so you can do the fun stuff!

That’s why we’re chatting right now, this is going to get you that second day of festival!

Exactly, not that this isn’t fun by the way!

Thanks Caleb, I appreciate it – I try to make it fun. And you guys have an Australian tour pretty soon after the festival. What’s the rest of 2019 hold for you after that happens?

We’ll be doing some New Zealand shows around that time as well – we need to make up a couple of dates – and then back again in July I guess for Splendour, and then I don’t know! I can’t really think that far. I’d need to have a look at the calendar.

I think you need a holiday, put your feet up.

I think so too!

Go somewhere tropical because it will be cold.

Oh, for sure.

We don’t have much time left so I’ll let you go defrost in Toronto, or at least in your hotel room. Thanks for chatting with me, Caleb, and best of luck with the rest of your North American tour and we’ll see you over this side of the world very soon!

Thank you, sounds good! See you later!


VANFEST runs across May 10th and 11th. More information and tickets are available at www.vanfest.com.au

Don’t Feed The Pop Monster 2019 Australian Tour 
Supported by Triple J

May 21: The Forum – Melbourne VIC
May 22: Thebarton Theatre – Adelaide SA
May 28: Enmore Theatre – Sydney NSW
May 30: Eatons Hill Hotel – Brisbane QLD
Jun 1:  Metropolis – Fremantle WA

Tickets on sale now. For complete tour and ticket information, visit: HERE

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