Brakes interviews

Interview by Paul Duffy – read in full at SoundsXP – here’s a few quotes from Thomas…

Possible songs they could do in future: “We’ll get Obama in there somehow man, even if it’s positive. It would be good to do a positive political song soon with our slant on it of course”

Credit crunch tips: “As a musician I guess it’s no good just carrying on as before. Alex has been busy working in advertising, to just keep going to release a new record. All of a sudden Brakes is ticking over again which is great, but as soon as you stop working again you see it all dry up. I end up falling into working on music for others which helps but it is difficult”

Brakes were also recently in The Argus and here’s some quotes from Thomas and Alex.

Thomas: “Right in the middle of the credit crunch we made a new record, signed a new deal. If you can still get work and scrape by you’re all right”

This latest record has seen Brakes take a little more time, spending three weeks recording with former Delgado drummer Paul Savage at his Glasgow studio Chem 19. Making the album they also formed a good alliance with their producer.

Alex: “We had a real symbiotic relationship with Paul. He was always up for driving us home, and in return we would cook him dinner”

Thomas: “Having a meal together round the table each day was a good break. It is the basis for a good family”

The experience was so good the Whites are considering using the studio again for the next Electric Soft Parade record.

Thomas: “It’s going to be a double album, but with only about 100 copies made”

Alex: “We’re calling it Blue Music. It should be out at the beginning of next year”

Until then the Electric Soft Parade is on hold for Brakes, with the brothers only planning to play one ESP show this year – for their uncle’s birthday.

Thomas: “We learned from putting the last Brakes and Electric Soft Parade albums out at the same time. We ended up promoting two records, because the releases overlapped. We were doing two shows a night in the US”

Thomas: “I think it might be the most cohesive (Brakes) album we’ve done. It doesn’t jump around – it sounds like the same band throughout whereas our other albums sound more like compilations”

Alex: “It’s the first proper Brakes album. People would say that the first album is the quintessential Brakes album because it’s the original sound, but to me a lot of the sounds are quite amateurish. It’s quite simple, silly frivolous stuff but played by good musicians, which gives it gravitas. With the second album we were trying to top the first one. This time I feel like we’ve morphed into something else. There are no songs on there that are a minute-long or silly. We had a couple but we took them off – they were there because ‘that’s what Brakes do’. We wanted to turn that on its head. In fact we decided to make the first track [Two Shocks] four minutes long, to change it up and to show we can do a serious album as much as any band. Not to slag the old stuff off, it’s just a different headspace”

Me: On hearing the album, my first thought was that it’s the best thing they’ve ever done. My second thought was, if this is what Brakes sound like under the guidance of Paul Savage, what on earth’s the new ESP album going to be like… third thought which only came to me whilst typing this – Paul also worked on the new Thomas White albums. We are in for some treats, that’s for sure. I’ll attempt an album review soon. Emotionally, I was reminded of the first time I got a Nirvana album; totally full of awe and wonder. That’s how music’s supposed to make you feel.