Brothers Grim & The Blue Murders
Brothers Grim and the Blue Murders have only been around for a few years, and in that time have earned the reputation of being a juggernaut mix of rowdy, reckless, determined, and ready to make the crowds they inevitable pull go crazy on the dance floor. According to lead singer and one half of the “Grim” side of the band, this is just the beginning. Here’s what James Grim has to say about touring and album writing, life in excess, what crowds can expect at this year’s Dead of Winter festival, and reality:
Since the band’s inception, you’ve risen the ranks quite steadily. In your own words, how would you describe Brothers Grim’s journey thus far?
Work. We’ve never been afraid to earn recognition. From the outset we set out to win people over one gig at a time. Whatever gig we played – from someone’s living room, a backwater pub with a handful of locals, through to large venues and festivals – our aim has always been the same: Play hard for everybody in that room. Win everybody over – or get a day job. This performance ethic and heavy tour schedule has very nearly killed us on many occasions! But we didn’t get into Rock n’ roll to complain about a healthy amount of blood, sweat and tears. “It’s a long way to the Top…” and we’re just getting started.
Your first album, “A Year to Forget” was a great success, selling out via MGM, and even at the album launch itself. How has the success of your first album helped you develop as a band?
Our band’s debut album was finally recorded after four years of touring, sweat, parties, highs, lows, excess, hate, love, and all things that destroy and define you as lesser or greater human being. I think the success of the album for the most part is that people know that it’s real. We’re not just telling stories – those are our lives we’re battering or crooning into your ears. The end of last year however, was our breaking point as a band. We spent so much time with each other that we began to take each other for granted, and grate on each other, which I think ended up weakening us as a band and as people – so this year has been about family. Looking after each other first, music second and everything else after that.
“A Year To Forget” is also representative of a very emotional time for the band. How did the creation of your debut album help you get through it?
We slammed out 15 songs in 3 days in a “hammer it, get it right, and lock it in” approach…in between large chunks of touring, poverty, and huge emotional burdens such as the death of Matt Grim’s girlfriend and three close friends. But life is going to throw all its got at you and you’re either going to break under the strain or you’re going to be strengthened in some way. That album, I think at the very least, gave us something that we can look back on and say that’s us at our best and worst at a time of our lives that was less than perfect. Music has a way of transcending beyond anything negative, giving you a constructive release from the horrors around you. “Blues” isn’t whinging about your problems so much as addressing the reality of them, and only when you actually look at something head on can you begin to move past it.
Brothers Grim and the Blue Murders have a very distinct, Delta-Blues-Rockabilly infused sound. What are the band’s main musical influences?
You only need to get a sense of our previous bands to get an idea. Each member’s backgrounds have been as diverse as 90’s Death Metal, 70’s Oz Rock and Stoner Swamp Rock, 50’s to 70’s Rockabilly/Punk and 20’s Delta Blues. You put that into some kind of Frankenstein Hip shakin’ Fury and you’d come up with the Brothers grim sound. I personally love Howlin’ Wolf, Jim Morrison and Danzig – Matt’s just as diverse. We never set out to make a song sound one way or another, it just begins as a riff or two, everybody then vomits their own musical personality over it and before you know it you have a set and an audience screaming at you.
Your performance style has been described by Inpress as “Howlin’ Wolf in an AC/DC T-shirt on too much cocaine.” Will crowds be getting the same fire and sweat at this year’s Dead of Winter festival?
James: After the last Dead of Winter we were discretely encouraged to get public liability insurance. I can’t imagine why? All we did was take over two stages and I almost wiped out someone while swinging from the roof. I’d say it’s a safe bet that you’ll get more of the same this year. Only this year if I land on you, you can sue us for you next house…well…actually I’m pretty sure we still aren’t insured – so I’m afraid that neck injury is on you for coming to a Brothers Grim show.
What drives the band’s charged up on stage energy?
I’d like to say it’s my ADHD…but that wouldn’t explain the chaos of the rest of the band. I think the simple answer is that we like the music we play and we’re going to do our best to deliver every nuance of it into a visual sensory overload until your dancing and sweating along with us!
You have a new album in the works. What can we except from this new installment in the Brothers Grim saga?
Well its actually going to be an EP, we learned a thing or two from the last studio experience, so this time we want to spend more time shaping the songs. Instead of 15 songs in three days, it’ll be a process of 6 songs in 3 weekends. This’ll give us a chance to give every song its own sonic world. We’ve been spending a lot more time with pre-production to really define the delivery of each song. As for what the new songs will sound like – Dead of Winter will be getting a healthy sneak peak. So you’ll be able to tell me.
Brothers Grim and the Blue Murders will be making crowds writhe with pleasure at this year’s Dead of Winter festival on July 14th at The Jubilee Hotel in QLD. Tickets on sale now through OzTix.