Interview: Like a Storm
Mon, 10 May 2010 16:25:43
Like a Storm Videos
Like a Storm are about to rip through hard rock like a tornado.
In fact, the New Zealand quartet's debut, The End of the Beginning [Prospect Park], remains one of the most raucously refreshing rock records to drop in recent memory. On songs like "Chemical Infatuation" and "Just Save Me," the sound swirls from crushing riffs into infectious choruses. The intoxicating refrain on "Chemical Infatuation" is likely stay etched in the listeners' head forever just after one listen. Plus, the strangely sexy video takes fans down a whole new trip. "Galaxy" stands out, as a powerful, intriguing little number that showcases how deep Like a Storm can go lyrically and musically. The band's got some big U.S. gigs on the horizon including Rock On the Range and Rocklahoma, and soon fans everywhere will be chanting their name.
The End of the Beginning is just the Storm that heavy music needs right now…
On the eve of the band's first U.S. headline tour, vocalist/guitarist Chris Brooks spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino about a similarity between The End of the Beginning and Avatar, records that shaped him, going acoustic and more in this exclusive interview.
If you were to compare The End of the Beginning to a movie what would you compare it to?
I think Avatar only because it took so long to make [Laughs]. I don't know, dude. That's a tough one! [Laughs] The album is so much a part of the experiences that we went through since leaving New Zealand. We aimed to write a bunch of songs that we could really identify with and we were sincerely passionate about musically and lyrically. It's great playing the songs every night. We're playing more of the songs and doing a longer set on the headline run. Now, we can remember those experiences every night, and it's such an amazing feeling.
What prompts you to write?
It comes from living. It comes from experiences that we've gone through. A lot of the songs on the record are about really specific and strong situations. For example, "Galaxy" is about our grandma passing away. It's one of those things that it really doesn't matter what you watch or what you read about—when you go through something like that, it affects you. We really wanted to write about situations and moments that meant something to us.
The record also catalogs your move to America too.
Totally! You don't realize that at the time. We didn't necessarily think about that when we were making the album because we had hundreds of songs to choose from. We spent a couple of years writing songs for this record. It's only now that they're altogether in one album—one after another—that we can reflect on what we went through while we were making it. It's awesome to be reminded of all these things when we play the songs. It's more amazing to have other people identify with them. It's incredible when we get messages about how certain songs have helped people through different challenges that they've had in their lives and how the songs speak to them. It's an incredible feeling to not only help yourself get through something and then help someone else. As an artist, all you can really ask for is to connect with other people.
How did the "Chemical Infatuation" video come about?
We were getting ready to do the album's first single and we knew we wanted to come out with something that made a statement. That song really seemed like a great track to start with. The music stood out from a lot of the other stuff going on at the moment and we knew we had to follow that same approach for the video. We had to do a video that really pushed the envelope. The director [David Yarovesky] had this great idea about this song. In the video, this guy turns these girls into a drug to recreate the passion whenever he needs to. David's idea for the video was such a perfect meaning for the song in a lot of ways. In terms of a visual representation of what that song is, it's so powerful. As soon as he came up with that idea, we were like, "Do your thing!" We're really happy with it. It really gives the vibe. With "Chemical Infatuation," it's not a love song; it's a song about addiction and a dark desire for different things. With this video, he was able to capture the romance and this dark addiction as well. It was awesome to watch it being made! It wasn't bad being in L.A. having all of these girls in bikinis shoot our video [Laughs].
Rock's last that sexy edge. It's refreshing to see…
Thanks, man! It was refreshing to see them as well [Laughs]
What else are you working on now?
We've been working on acoustic versions of different songs from The End of the Beginning and a bunch of new songs. We're really excited about them! All of the acoustic stuff will be released. We've done a version of "Chemical Infatuation." We're doing "Enemy" and "Just Save Me" at the moment. We love creating music, and it's great to do it in a slightly different format—an acoustic setting. We can really push the song and see how it can work.
Where is the new material taking you?
Right now, a lot of the stuff we're working on is really energetic. We've done so much touring in the last seven months that we're on a big live energy vibe at the moment. A lot of the stuff we're working on at the moment has these heavy, energetic riffs that get us enthusiastic about going out and playing these shows. We've been on all of these huge tours. Playing these big arenas, you really feel that energy and that connection with the audience. That's inspiring us at the moment.
Which records shaped you musically?
There are so many. Nirvana's Nevermind, Metallica's The Black Album, Soundgarden's Superunknown, Alice In Chains' Dirt. There's a constant rotation of about one-hundred records that inspire us for different reasons—anything that pushes the envelope a little bit. Anytime somebody's doing something they're really passionate about, it's inspiring.