Art Brut Biography
Art Brut was willed into being in 2003 by its sardonic frontman Eddie Argos. Argos seemed to think that everyone should be in a band—why not? Jonathan Richman-obsessed and more of a talker than a singer, Argos fronted The Art Goblins in his native Bournemouth, before packing up for London and convincing guitarists Jasper Future and Ian Catskilkin, bassist Frederica Feedback and drummer Mikey B to record a demo. The band recorded Brutlegs in 2004, and it included early versions of “Modern Art,” “Formed a Band,” and “Moving to LA.” “Emily Kane” was released in early 2005, about, yes, Argos’ actual high school love. It didn’t win her back (she’s got a boyfriend, natch), but it did turn Art Brut into a buzz band in their native UK.
A few months later the band released Bang Bang Rock and Roll. Touring commenced. They played with Oasis, and performed at Coachella. Then came the cover of Rolling Stone in Germany. There seemed a good chance that Argos might get his long-held wish of playing on Top of the Pops (it never happened).
While they haven’t yet written the song that “makes Israel and Palestine get along,” as promised in “Formed a Band,” Art Brut have succeeded in garnering a dedicated legion of fans and copycats. It’s all part of Argos’ master plan—Art Brut “franchise” bands. He swears there’s “at least 30 or 40 around” and it’s cutthroat competition to be the best. In a recently held battle of the franchises Art Brut 7 won (they’re Argos’ favorite). Art Brut 4 is rather sour about that.
Having just finished the band’s second full-length, It’s a Bit Complicated, Argos and crew are set to head back on the road this spring and summer, playing dates across the U.S. and Europe with Maximo Park in tow. Argos claims the new record is poppier than the first—could that be possible? Either way, with tracks titled “Pump Up the Volume” and “I Will Survive,” expect it to be tongue-in-cheek and rancorously funny.
And yes, it might just lead to peace in the Middle East.