Roll up, roll up, it’s time for your weekly dose of new music and this week we have something a little different lined up. Montreal-based trio BIG | BRAVE have already built themselves a not-inconsiderable cult following over in Canada on the back of their expansive, experimental noise rock, which trades on taught, paranoid guitars, pummelling, drone-laden soundscapes and frontwoman Robin Wattie’s yelped vocals. Imagine Melvins being fronted by Patti Smith, recorded by a bunch of art students, and you’re sort of on track for an idea of the type of thing you should expect. Sort of.
We catch up with the band below, to find out more about the new album and what they have coming up next.
Can you introduce yourselves – where are you from, who does what and what are your roles in the band?
“We are from Montreal, Quebec – the French speaking part of Canada. Robin Wattie plays the electric guitar and sings. Mathieu Bernard Ball plays electric guitar, Louis Alexandre Beaurgard plays the drums.”
How did you guys meet and start making music together?
“Mathieu and Robin were roommates when they first started playing together. Nothing about [the band] was being taken seriously – it was just something to do while at home. Old friend Louis Alexandre, who lived in another city, joined the band when we moved back to Montreal.”
What were your key influences/inspirations in getting the band together?
“Most of us have simply always been in bands. A basic need to be making music with people. However, all of the previous bands we’ve been in eventually broke up. This one did not! Not sure we ever had a set idea of what kind of band we wanted this to be but we’ve always seemed to agree with the direction its been going [in].”
How would you describe your sound in three words for people who’ve never heard you?
“Minimal, cathartic, pummelling.”
What makes you special/different to other bands out there?
“Not sure we’d consider ourselves special, but we definitively strive to make music that isn’t being made by everyone else at the moment. When you make music/art, the goal, at least for us, is to think about what you are doing and try to make a voice of your own with it. It is one of the most rewarding aspects of making music.”
What’s the story behind new album Ardor, and how did it come together?
“Ardor was simply a continuation of our previous record AU DE LA. When we finished recording that [album], as soon as we had time, we got back to writing new songs. A year later, we booked some studio time to record what we though could be a cohesive [album]. Now that Ardor is done, the songwriting process has already begun and we’re already thinking of the next record.”
How does it feel to be releasing music as part of the Southern Lord family?
“It’s a great honour. Being part of the label has really changed things for us. So many incredible opportunities have come up since the release of our first record with the label.”
What were your key influences on the album, and what drew you to the themes it covers?
“The themes explored on this record are themes we’ve explored on our last two, only we keep focusing on what we find more successful on past records and try do it better every time around.”
What, in your opinion, is the stand-out track on the album?
“Couldn’t say that there is. The three songs make the most sense when experience with the entirety of the record. Every song we wrote for this record had the others in deep consideration.”
What’s been the highlight of your time in the band so far?
“Being able the tour and visit all the countries we have has definitely been a highlight. We’ve been to places none of us would have dreamed of visiting if it weren’t for the band and the incredible opportunities that have been presented to us.”
If you could choose, who would you most like to tour with in future?
“A tour with Dirty Three would truly be amazing.”
What are you most looking forward to about the future?
“Looking forward to keeping on touring, writing new music and making records. These are all pretty basic things for a band but we already feel privileged to be able to do all of these things and to be able to continue would only be extension of this privilege.”
Big Brave’s new album Ardor is available now via Southern Lord Records. Catch them on tour at one of the dates below:
Oct 21: Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton, UK
Oct 22: Star And Garter, Manchester, UK
Oct 23: The Underworld, London, UK
Oct 24: Le Biplan, Lille, FRA
Oct 25: BarHic, Rennes, FRA
Oct 26: Soy Festival, Nantes, FRA
Oct 27: 3Pieces, Roeun, FRA
Oct 28: Gare XP, Paris, FRA
Oct 29: Melkweg / Southern Lord Showcase, Amsterdam, NL
Oct 31: Caves Du Manoir, Martigny, CH
Nov 01: AltroQuando, Zero Branco, ITA
Nov 02: Gromka, Lubiana, SLO
Nov 03: Bronson, Ravenna, ITA
Nov 04: Dong, Recanati, ITA
Nov 05: Serendipity, Perugia, ITA
Nov 07: Sonic, Lyon, FRA
Nov 08: Het Bos, Antwerp Autumn Falls, BE
Nov 09: Le Guess Who?, Utrecht, NL
Nov 12: Le Guess Who? as part of 12HOURDRONE, Utrecht, NL
Nov 13: MTS, Oldenburg, DE
Nov 14: Kurzbar, Mannheim, DE
Nov 15: Herna, Brno, CZ
Nov 16: Ilses Erika, Leipzig, DE
Nov 17: Scheune, Dresden, DE
Nov 18: ACUD, Berlin, DE