Brooks Nielsen - The Growlers

The Growlers

Well, here they come again! In less than two years since their last visit, Basement's beloved Californian beach goth (that's how they define their sound) heroes The Growlers are returning to Greece for three more live shows: Athens (Gagarin, 16/4), Thessaloniki (Principal Club Theatre, 17/4) and Volos (Tsalapata, 18/4). Of course, we were there to see the band in their Athens show at AN Club in their November 2013 performance and we can definitely tag their shows as unmissable. Party atmosphere, loads of alcohol and dancing to the beautiful tunes of the American band.  They have released a new album since then, their 5th one, the cool and elegant Chinese Fountain and have played numerous gigs. Not surprising, as The Growlers are a band that lives and breaths through live performances... That's all from us, prepare yourselves for an unforgettable beach goth party! In the meantime, check this cool chat we had with the band's leader and singer, the one and only Brooks Nielsen.  

The Basement: Hi guys! So, back to Greece for a gig, in less than two years time since your last live performances at Athens An Club and Thessaloniki Eightball Club (Nov. 2013). What are your memories of that mini tour in Greece ?
I remember the train ride over staring at the beautiful mountains and foot hills. Reminded me a lot of home in Southern California. Mediterranean climate similar to ours. I was surprised to see the streets filled with people drinking and partying. We had heard of the bad economy and pictured a scene that would be  gloomy. But it was quite the opposite. The show was a rowdy bunch, and the majority of them pretty women

The Basement: Truth is that there’s an extremely dedicated Growlers audience here in Greece. What should they expect this time ?
I dunno. We've been touring hard and playing  a lot of material. Loving the road and excited to be back in Beautiful Greece. Expect a better show.

The Basement: 
There’s a cool new album, 2014’s ‘Chinese Fountain’. Slightly different that its predecessors, sounds more...mainstream, in a way. Was that a deliberate choice or it just happened ?
The higher fidelity was planned. I dont think the song material is all that different from the previous. The recording just gave more clarity to our sound.

The Basement: 
Who was responsible for the production ?
 Mostly us. We also had our Old Manager JP Plunier in the studio producing and an excellent engineer Rober Coranza

The Basement: 
Let’s talk about... beach goth: It seems that you guys have somehow invented the particular music genre. How would you define it ?
I cant. Thats why I like it. Sounds good but it doesnt really have a meaning. A vague statement thats up to the listener to define. Its the opposite of the beach boys. Its not surf fashion. Its darker and affiliated to nothing.

The Basement: And now l
et’s go back in 2006, this is the year of Growlers’ formation, isn’t it ? How did it all start? How did you come up with your name ?
We started in San Clemente California. Originally named ourselves the heebee geebees.  Just wanted to party. I fell in love with organizing everyone to use their talents. And I fell in Love with creating. Our first goal was to move to a real city(long beach) and fully submerge ourselves in rock n roll. Shows drugs and writing. We also did a lot of jamming and home recording.

The Basement: 
So, it’s been almost ten years of Growlers. What moments/periods would you pick as your favourite ? And on the opposite, what moments would you pick as the most difficult ? Were there times you said “okay, let’s give up the whole thing” for some reason ?
Nothing has been easy but its never gotten too difficult to make me wanna quit. There is no obvious marker to tell me Ive reached success. Thats the best part. I never have to chill.   I can continue to try and out do my self forever.

The Baement: 
Are there any new songs? Any plans for a new album? 
Writing a little bit now. I should be relaxing but I dont know how. Cant wait to get back in the studio

The Basement: What bands or artists would you consider as your main influences ?
First singer I loved was Bob Marley. The first lyrics were Bob Dylan and Lou Reed. The first rock n roll band in a scene i witnessed was The Grand Elegance, a Long Beach band we would see play house parties and small venues in LA. They were psychedelic and drugged out. They were careless, talented and sexy. Best of all it looked doable. 

Thank you Brooks!

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