Like a Storm Biography
While supporting Creed on a summer 2012 run, the band— Chris Brooks [lead vocals, guitar, didgeridoo, keys/programming], Matt Brooks [vocals, lead guitar, keys/programming], and Kent Brooks [bass, vocals, keys/programming]—would immediately retreat to either their dressing room or hotel after each show and begin recording new music until daybreak. This intense work ethic fostered a fertile creative spell for the boys.
"We were growing as a band and getting inspired by life on the road," Chris explains. "We never stopped writing as we were touring. Our fans were hungry for new music, and we were hungry to put something out. We didn't want to sit around and wait to see which label came knocking at our door. So, we decided to make the album ourselves, produce it, tour it, and preserve this awesome connection we’re lucky to have with our fans. We made a mobile studio rig and brought it everywhere."
Cut on the road, their new hit single "Love The Way You Hate Me" began to make waves on its own. Midwest radio station "The Banana" in Flint, MI started spinning it, and it eventually spent four consecutive weeks at #1, owning the station’s “cage match". Organically, other stations picked up the track, such as KIBZ in Lincoln, adding it to regular rotation. Soon, Sirius XM’s rock station, Octane caught wind of it as well, and it seized #1 on their nationwide Big 'Uns countdown for five weeks. The single eventually went Top 30 on the US active rock charts, a major achievement for a completely independent band, and making them the first New Zealand group to ever do so.
It's no surprise though. "Love The Way You Hate Me" slides from a gnashing guitar and entrancing electronic flourishes into a genuinely unshakable refrain. As the musical madness subsides, it breaks into a warped and wild didgeridoo breakdown, heralding the band's proper arrival.
"The lyrics are important," Chris goes on. "It's funny when we walk through a truck stop or pull over at a diner for some food because everybody turns their heads and looks at us. We were in some tiny town, and someone muttered, 'Freaks', as we were walking past them. It really stuck with us. It's such a great thing to be different and have the freedom to live the life you want to live, rather than conforming to everyone's idea of who you should be. The song's about being true to yourself."
As "Love The Way You Hate Me" exploded at airwaves, Century Media reached out and signed the group in 2014. They immediately jumped back into recording, converting a remote lake house in Michigan into a recording studio and self-producing Awaken The Fire. As a result of this approach, Like A Storm fully realized their sound.
"We're making the music we want to make," the singer exclaims. "There are no rules when we're writing except the three of us have to love whatever we're doing. We push it creatively. We love to see how far we can take things. That's the sound of Like A Storm."
Songs like "Six Feet Under" deliver the requisite hard-hitting hooks and kinetic rhythms. Chris adds, "That's about the ups and downs of life in the music industry. We had come up against wall after wall. But we never gave up. It doesn't matter what's in our way. We'll break through it."
At the same time, they experimented with "Gangster's Paradise". Like A Storm added a torrent of rock 'n' roll bombast to the Coolio classic, updating it for a new generation.
"We heard the intro to the song somewhere," recalls Chris. "We all agreed it's one of the coolest intros ever. There's just this dark vibe. We joked like, 'A band could do a really awesome cover of that song!' Then, I said, 'Well, you know we do play in a band. Let's give it a crack'. The result was awesome. Lyrically, it's about as far away from our lifestyle as you could possibly get, but it was really fulfilling and freeing creatively. We saw our own musical identity by reinterpreting this song."
Like A Storm also continue to deliver on the road. They've toured with everybody from Alter Bridge and Shinedown to Puddle of Mudd and Drowning Pool, and played high-profile festivals alongside Korn and Five Finger Death Punch. However, they begin their biggest and boldest chapter now.
"Musically, we want to inspire and empower people," Chris leaves off. "We write songs about the things we feel strongly about, things that really matter to us. It's amazing that we've made an impact. We came from the other side of the world, and we're living our dream. If that inspires someone, that's incredible."