Brutai are a London and Reading based metal and progressive rock quintet, are having a rather successful 2017 having seen themselves nominated in the ‘Best New Band’ category at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards, as well as playing Download festival earlier in the summer. They now find themselves as the main supports for the entire United Kingdom tour of the Canadian metallers Kobra and the Lotus. Ahead of the first date at the Talking Heads music venue in Southampton, I sat down with the bands frontman Felix Lawrie to ask him a few questions before he jumped on stage!
How does it feel to be playing Southampton tonight and kicking off the tour in this city?
Well it’s kind of weird because the last tour that we did, we ended it in Southampton. So there’s always some of sort like, different vibe. Next time, I’d love to do a Southampton date bang in the middle of the tour, because its a really cool city and it was a great time when we ended the last tour we did here. It’s great to be back!
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?
I’d probably say it’s obviously metal. Metal with prog elements but also with like, a tinge of pop music even because we like our simple structures and stuff, but we also like our additional prog elements.
Who are your main inspirations as a band? Anyone you all looked up to when starting out?
For me, it was definitely the likes of Megadeth. I wouldn’t be playing guitar if it was not for them and Metallica. I developed a slight obsession with learning Megadeth songs as a teenager, so they’re the main reason why I’m in a band properly. As my taste developed, it got a bit more progressive in terms of styling, but looking back Megadeth was the root of why I play in a metal band like ourselves.
What are your favourite songs personally to perform live?
Oh gosh, I’d probably say ‘Deep’ because it’s our most popular single and it’s always fun to kick off. It’s got a good vibe and everything. Another one I’m having really good fun playing is ‘The Border’ which is a seven minute song, so it’s our longest and proggiest song and we’ve only played it once live before but, it was amazing. We all had such fun playing it, so we’re looking forward to bringing it back and playing it a few more times on this tour.
If you could play any venue in the world, regardless of the city/country, where would you play?
What about if it still exists and what about if it doesn’t? (Cue myself realising that was a better question) If it does exist, I’d have to say the Koko in London. Purely because I’ve seen so many gigs there, and it’s quite an iconic venue for me. I always enjoy myself there and it just looks amazing in there, so I would love to play there. Also if it still exists, I’m not sure anyone will remember the London Astoria? When I was a teenager growing up, I would go there religiously, there would just be every band I listened to, would be playing at the Astoria within a month or two of me discovering them. It was just, one place that I always wanted to play but obviously they knocked it down for crap reasons, but yeah what are you gonna do?
What is the one thing you can never go without on tour? Is there always one thing that has to be in the van with you?
I would probably say my lemon and ginger, with a little bit of honey, just because especially when you’re screaming every night and singing loud every night, you probably need something to soothe your throat afterwards. It’s an essential that I try to bring on every tour that’s not like, underwear!
What advice would you give to new bands just starting out?
I would say just keep practicing, keep writing, you know the obvious stuff! Also be easy to work with because you’d be surprised, even if you’re an amazing band or your work is great, if you’re not easy to work with, word gets around and stuff will catch up with you. So always be easy to work with, and keep practicing I’d say.
What are your bands plans musically for 2018? Any festivals in the UK planned, perhaps further afield?
Festivals are a bit of, nothing in the pipeline just yet. We’re just putting the feeders out at the moment but we’ll know soon towards the end of the year. In regards to other plans for the band, because it’s coming up to a year of our album release, we’re knuckling down and writing quite a few new songs and just trying to get an albums worth of material down now.