a chat with: BROODS

Sibling-duo BROODS are one of the most popular groups in Aotearoa. Georgia and Caleb Nott grew up in Nelson, playing in various ensembles before forming Broods in 2013. Their understated synth-pop style has made them hugely popular, with their fourth album, Space Island, out later this year. They’ve also collaborated with the likes of Troye Sivan, won ten New Zealand Music Awards and toured the world, playing at huge festivals including Lollapalooza. With their new song Heartbreak out today, we wanted to have a quick chat with them
 about their songwriting process, dream collaboration and favourite THATS A FKN WRAP moment.

Hey BROODS! How's it all going?
Great! Cant complain at all.
How did you guys get along as kids? Were you always making music?
GEORGIA: We’ve always been very good at co existing. We’re only two years apart so we grew up side by side and being the younger sister I took a lot of my cues from Caleb. Especially when it came to music as teenagers. He’s an avid explorer of music and he would show me a lot of bands that ended up influencing our sound. We played in church and in bands and enter talent shows together. We started writing together specifically later on though, when we were about 18 & 20.

Who are your biggest influences outside of the music world?
CALEB: We enjoy many types of art and I think you are always being influenced by what you consume whether you want to be or not. While we were making Space Island I was watching a lot of old Sci Fi films and was really into everything there about them. All the storylines are so ridiculous and they were often the directors pushing the limits in the realm of special effects whether impressively believable or just plain silly. Two of my favorites were Zardoz directed by John Boorman and Mission Stardust directed by Primo Zeglio. Both very different but just as out of it as each other.

After putting your work up on Soundcloud, your rise was pretty rapid. What did that feel like at the time? Were there any expectations you’d make it to where you are now?
GEORGIA: I can remember so vividly the feeling of watching the little number in the corner below ‘Bridges’ turn into a million in the space of a week. I remember listening to the first EP demos and dancing around our sad student flat, squealing and wearing permanent expressions of shock. We had already spent so long imagining what it would be like to be one of the bands we obsessed over. And that first week of people hearing our first song as Broods was insanely surreal. If I could time travel I would go back to that day and spy through the window at the baby versions of us. We were so little and green, standing at the edge of something we never thought would actually happen in real life.

You guys have gone back and forth between Aotearoa and the rest of the world over the past few years. How does working overseas compare to here in NZ?
CALEB: I’ve definitely been working a lot over Zoom this last year while living back in Aotearoa, but also been able to work with new artists here too which has been awesome to dive back into the local live scene and be apart whats coming out of Auckland again. There such an organic enthusiasm and excitement around making music here, and definitely lit a new creative fire in myself.

Give us a quick rundown of your song making process from start to finish.
GEORGIA: It varies. Sometimes it will start with a beat and we’ll write over that or sometimes it will start with the song and we’ll produce it out. We basically just uncover what is sitting below the surface and then follow it through in a way that best serves the song. The less controlling we are over the outcome, the better it turns out. Plus, its much more enjoyable that way.

Georgia’s solo album was called The Venus Project, your upcoming album is called Space Island, and your recent videos have been pretty celestial. Where does this theme of space come from?
GEORGIA: I think music is a little bit like that cosmos in the way that there is so much mystery woven in. It's the same with love and our brains. We really want to understand things that are sometimes ineffable. Things like music and art and matters of the heart, all possess what I can only describe as a type of magic. They make us feel things we can’t quite explain and touch the part of us that wonders about our own existence. The way space makes us imagine endless possibilities, art and love encourage a similar feeling. In me, anyway.

Do you make a conscious effort to change your sound up album to album, or does it just happen naturally?
CALEB: I think it's more of a conscious effort to not repeat ourselves, we love exploring new ideas and soundscapes because as you change and grow as a human being so does your taste in art and becomes deeper and more vast every year. So I think naturally our music has to change, for when we develop as music listeners our writing follows.

You’ve toured and worked with some huge names like Troye Sivan, Taylor Swift and Joel Little. If you could collaborate on an album with anyone, who’d it be?
GEORGIA: I personally take a lot of warming up to feel able to collaborate with anyone at all. Making music is such a sacred place for me, I don’t think I would ever want to work with my heroes. We’ve been working with mostly friends on this last record and I think that's why it is what it is. It's brutally personal and that can only happen in the safety of our close community.
CALEB: I have a very similar attitude to Georgia and often think to myself a lot of the artists I love to listen to also probably feel similar to us as well. There is something special about collaborating with someone comfortable because it's a lot easier to let your emotional guard down and access the good stuff. It also just seems to happen in a much more organic way too.

Who are some Kiwi artists you’re excited to see coming up?

CALEB: There are so many bands and artists from New Zealand I'm obsessed with and very excited to hear more from in the future. I'm just gonna list them in no particular order
- Adam Tukiri
- Merk
- Phoebe Rings
- Rita May
- skinnyandsoft
- Lips
- Disciple Pati
- bb Normal
Lastly, what’s your favourite 'THATS A FKN WRAP' moment?
GEORGIA: For me, it was after shooting the last of Space Island in Death Valley, Nevada. It was so fucking hot and that space suit is neoprene haha! It was a massive day of being in awe of the scenery and trying not to lose my mind in the heat. We drove home through the desert with a big fat joint and a banging playlist and just sighed over and over that we had done it! We’d fucking made Space Island!

Thanks for taking the time to chat BROODS! Can't wait to hear the new album and congrats on your release today!

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Photo by Oscar Keys, Jeremy Reynoso, Silken Weinberg & Gussie Larkin

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