Meet Nashville-based (by way of Phoenix) up and comers Brotherun (aka Trevor and Nick Tillery).
Taking two very different musical journeys, Trevor embarked on songwriting whilst at college in Seattle and spent years in a rock band in Phoenix that ended up receiving major label attention, whilst Nick taught himself how to play drums by joining a thrash metal band (also in Phoenix).
Like all good rock musicians, the brothers’ lyrics are full of organic emotion. As well as being genetically bonded, both have a real love and knack for songwriting.
Their new track, ‘Wishful Thinking’, started off as a guitar riff that was laid to rest for a few years, then brought back to the table with their producer Josh Niles. The synthy track has an unsteady beat as the brothers sing about an almost unattainable or impossible desire.
The artwork for their debut EP (also entitled ‘Wishful Thinking’) perfectly showcases the imaginary journey through Brotherun’s 4 subtle and ever-humble tracks. The EP is available for purchase on iTunes now. Have a listen below:
Indietronica caught up with the Brotherun boys and asked them some questions – read their answers below;
1. Tell us how Brotherun started.
Trevor: We started Summer of 2012. I was living in Nashville and Nick was in Phoenix at the time. Nick was going to join my old band and move to Nashville. We initially were sending each other song ideas back and forth to write for that project. When those plans for that band had fallen through, we were left with a good batch of songs and ideas. That’s when we decided to start something new with the two of us. It essentially started as a happy accident. I also had no idea Nick could sing until he sent me one of the first songs he wrote. Before hearing that, I only thought he was a drummer and pianist.
2. How did you make the musical journey from rock, and thrash metal, to more of an electronic sound and how do you feel your past experience being in other bands has added to this project?
Trevor: I had been playing rock/pop music for a long time before getting into and experimenting with more electronic sounds and instrumentation. I think it was a natural progression and getting bored of just playing and writing on guitar. I was in a punk band turned turned emo band throughout high school. After that, I started a rock band that put out a few releases and toured a bit for about four years. That’s a decent portion of time writing music based around loud guitars. My ears needed something new and fresh, I think. When we started Brotherun we wanted to do something that the two of us could pull off live as just a duo and we both were really getting into and listening to a lot of electronic music at the time.
Nick: Thrash metal and metal in general is an extremely challenging style of music to play, especially on the percussive side of things. From the challenge of it I definitely grew as a percussionist. I gained a great sense of coordination and timing, which has allowed me to perform multiple tasks live with Brotherun (i.e. singing and playing beats/keys simultaneously). I did grow tired of frequently playing that style of music, so it was time to take what I had learned and apply it elsewhere musically.
3. Is there any sibling rivalry?
Trevor: Not really. If there is, its probably just because we care about each other (insert “aaawwwe’s”)
Nick: I wouldn’t say there’s any rivalry. There’s occasional bickering, but that’s just part of any sibling relationship.
4. What do you hope the next step for Brotherun will be?
Nick: We will definitely be making our physical presence more known this coming year by playing out of town frequently as well as playing locally. While still pushing our debut EP, we will continue writing/ demoing and plan to record and release new music in 2014.
5. What are you thoughts on collaboration with other artists and producers? Who are some of your ideal collaborators?
Trevor: I like it when its done tastefully and not when the artist becomes reliant on collaborations or producers to make who they are. It should only elevate and highlight your own craft even more. I’d say we are definitely open to it in the future. Maybe once we’ve established ourselves first. It’s always kind of a bummer when young artists collaborate with someone way early in their careers. Just seems more like a ploy to draw attention than just making good art. I’d love to collaborate with Nigel Godrich, Damon Albarn, Brian Eno, James Blake or Win Butler… for starters.
Nick: I’m not opposed to collaborations, but there’s definitely pros and cons. To collaborate with others allows for a greater flow of ideas, but has the downside of musical disagreements regarding a song’s/artist’s direction. I would love to one day collaborate with Nigel Godrich, Damon Albarn, Dan the Automator, and/or Brian Eno.
6. We love discovering new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to at the moment?
Trevor: I’ve been in a deep, deep love with Arcade Fire’s new record Reflektor and everything they are doing. The new Poliça record is really cool too. I’ve also been looking back to older artists lately too. Like Talking Heads, David Bowie, Lou Reed, and The Rolling Stones. I don’t really stop digging.
Nick: I’ve really taken a liking to De Staat, Rhye, Rejje Snow, Among Savages, Hopsin, and The Naked and Famous recently. Much like Trevor, I tend to listen to a lot of older music as well. Mostly older hip hop/funk as of now; Busta Rhymes, Dead Prez, The Roots, Blackalicious, Clarence Carter, and Bill Withers.
Sounds like: Washed Out, Golden Filter, Youth Lagoon, Radiohead