| Band: Broomfiller|
Interviewer: Julie Johnson
GC: What is the name of your band and who are the current members? BROOMFILLER
Currently is Richard (founder / guitarist / singer / songwriter). when the band is playing live it's a 3 piece.
GC: How did you become connected to make music?
My parent's bought my brother and I acoustic guitars when we were really young, and had us take lessons. a few years later, for Christmas we got an old Harmony Electric guitar, a small 10 watt no-name brand type amp and a drum kit that had pressed card-board shells. it was like we won the lottery!!
GC: What are your musical influences?
I'm huge into melody. I'm into the guitar work of Stephen Carpenter of the Deftones. He's very innovative with his discordy type on / off melodies...very haunting and intriguing. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters is a great songwriter, Face to Face, Bad Religion, Barkmarket, Blinker the Star, Sebadoh. All great bands / songwriters.
GC: What is your live show like?
Very energetic, lots of movement and interaction with the audience.
GC: Tell us about your own unique style of music?
I've defined it as: punk-based heavy melodic alternative. melody is always important to me, and I've been told that I've found the perfect mix between punk and alternative stylings. (shrugs)...I don't know what else to say...as cliched as this might sound...I just really enjoy writing and doing what I do.
GC: What serparates your band from all the other bands out there?
The fact that we really like to make connections and exchange shows, tour alot (even if it's on our own dime) and just don't take 'no' for an answer. I've always been very DIY, and I'll continue doing so until the right help comes along. Also, the comment above, about our mix of 'alternative' and 'punk' rock has given us a wider audience span. If we played a straight rock, punk or even alternative show...we would never be questioned as to 'why are THEY here'. we blend in with alot of different styles...at times even hardcore. (which is weird cause I don't really do alot of screaming)
GC: How do you go about writing songs?
I demo tunes in my home studio. I write ALL the time...and have literally volumes and volumes of songs that I've written. I usually shelf them..and pull them out either 6 or 12 months later...and re-listen to them. however it varies as some songs I've written will be brought to the band immediately.
GC: Pick one of your latest song and talk about everything from writing it, meanings, the challenges of recording it?
Well, I can tell you that recording the demo's for the new album right now is pretty challenging. I'm recording all the parts myself...and (once again) as cliched as it may sound...I live, eat, breath, sleep my music. I'm constantly listening to my own demos in my car...or when i'm going somewhere with a cd player. I never really advertise that I mostly listen to my own music...but I always seem to..and it's so calming for me. I pick everything apart - be it the crappy quick recording I just did on certain older demos (as I was just too anxious to record it) to the vocals to the guitar, bass and drum parts. everything is anaylized, but in a very non-attentive way. If that makes any sense. I never seek to go and start pulling my songs apart. I just listen to them so much, that I know them inside and out. It just makes it easier this way for me to try new things and record new parts or whatever, as i'm always thinking about this stuff in my head. I guess it's so much easier (in this aspect) to be doing all the work myself...as it's easier for me to just go and record / try something, then having to explain it to someone else.
GC: What is your latest news with the band?
In March '04 we did a month long Eastern U.S. / Florida tour and July '04we did a 2 week Eastern Canadian tour. currently demos are being recorded and these demo's will be shopped to some labels / bookers / management etc.
GC: Where do you hope to be in 5 years with your band?
Realistically, as long as I can but an album out every year or 2 years, and tour the snot out of it and make just enough money so that I can live from the band...I'd be happy. in 5 years, I'd like to be able to hook up with some bigger / better tours...and open for some bigger bands. exposure is still the main thing...and at the indie level we'll have to take all the exposure we can.
GC: How are people currently reacting to your music?
It's been very positive. I have a hard time accepting compliments (for reasons beyond me)...but people have told me that the music hits them...or the lyrics mean alot to them. one fan told me how the majority of the songs on the current album "Watching the girls go bi", made sense to her and how it helped her out of troubled times. that meant so much to me. I know what she meant, as there has been other band's music that has done the same for me. We actually hugged just outside of the club where she sat with me for about an hour telling all this. so to hear someone say that about MY music...I was so touched by her kind words, that it almost made me cry.
GC: What would be the top 3 reasons for listening to your music?
It's from the heart. It's from real life experiences - failures / triumphs. it can be interpreted in your own way, to touch you on an individual level.
GC: What is your best experience as a band?
Doing the Van's Warped Tour in 2000, and any of the 5 tours BROOMFILLER has done.
GC: What is your worst experience as a band?
Playing with shady promoters who wouldn't give you money or even respect. GC: What is most important to you in your band?
That I don't give up. It's been a very very bumpy road, with line-up changes, hard times, financial problems...you name it. It's not all glitter and fun times in a band. escpecially an indie band. i know several people who've told me that I'm crazy for going thru what I've gone thru in the last 7 years since forming BROOMFILLER and have not called it quits. usually I would hear that they'd put up with malarky like that for only a year or maybe 3 max...but not 7 years. I'm either a glutton for punishment, or I really enjoy / believe in what i'm doing. It's obviously the latter. GC: Do you have a personal favorite song, could be your own or another artist? I have several favourite songs. of my own, it's the song(s)
I'm currently working on. As for other bands - The Cult 'She Sell's Sanctuary' is an all time favourite.
GC: What was the hardest song to write and why?
Oh geez...lol...there are several that I have started years ago...even before BROOMFILLER was formed...that I haven't finished yet. I just haven't been happy with the parts that I've come up with for it. Others, I've written in a matter of minutes. (literally) it's all relative I guess. sorry...i can't pinpoint one specific song. I have too many that have been a challenge to write.
GC: What do you think of the current gothic/ EBM/ Industrial/ noise/ synthpop etc scence today?
In all honesty, I don't know too much about it. however I'm very openminded about music, as I listen to several different genres, and will give anything a listen or a chance before forming an opinion. If you can suggest some good artists for me to check out, please let me know!!
GC: What music do you currently listen to?
Mostly similar to the stuff i write..but not always. still, it has to be melodic...and the Deftones "Around the Fur" is a constant mainstay in my cd player. however i love Julian Lennon's "Valotte" album, I love Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, the self titled Seal album...and alot of punk and alternative bands. I'm pretty across the board.
GC: How do you keep changing your music from album to album or plan to change it?
There's never no 'conscience' plan to change anything. I just keep writing, and it's basically what hits me at the time, or when I go back and listen to older songs that i've demoed...and if something then and there hits me...I'll usually put it on the album. there's definately no calculation or science to it...it's very sporadic.
GC: If you have released a CD and after listening to it or making it would you change anything and why?
For sure!!! at the very least, that is a pure sign of growth!! I usually hate how I sang a part..or the production aspect. or wishing that the performance was better (i'm a self critical perfectionist).
GC: How do you go about making decisions with your music?
Read the answer from 2 questions ago. (above)
GC: What kind of recording environment do you have? I used to demo on some older analog 4 and 8 tracks. then I moved on to Pro Tools.
GC: How long did you spend on your latest effort?
I'm assuming you're referring to time spent recording and mixing etc...?? Well, the last album was recorded, mixed over the course of 7 months. there was ALOT of down time inbetween, as shows and tours where inbetween there too. the mastering was done over the course of a month, with down time inbetween as well.
GC: What is the hardest thing about being in a band for this genre?
Bands are a dime a dozen. you have to really stand out...or just know someone with connections.
GC: Feel free to do any shameless self promotion here of you band, now is your turn to talk about anything you want about your band, ideas, or life in the band.
feel free to check out our website: http://www.broomfiller.com
Tons of really cool tour pics, tour diaries, fan's participants page as well as a great merchandise page with some REALLY affordable merch and cd's. support indie music!!
GC: What is most rewarding when it comes to your band?
Whether there's a crowd of 300 or 3...as long as someone in the audience is nodding their head to the music, and getting something out of it...that to me is what makes it all worth it. playing live on stage IS the reward.
GC: What are some of your highlights as a band?
Getting national distro, playing on the Warped Tour 2000, touring 5 times all over Canada and the US, and meeting so many new / fun / cool people / bands.
GC: What are you looking forward to most right now as a band?
Getting the demos done, hopefully get some bites from management / labels...and record and tour the new album ALOT in 2005 & 2006.
GC: Do you have any band goals?
To get on some bigger / longer tours and play as many shows as possible with some good promoters / bookers, and secure a good booking agent / management.
GC: Can you tell us about your songs on your latest release, anything from messages to inspirations? past relationships, past experiences.
GC: Now, that you CD is out would you change anything?
Yeah, alot should be changed. as i said earlier...I'm very critical of my work, and i obviously have grown alot since recording that album in 2002, so there's parts that i cringe when i hear it....lol.
GC: Are you with a label working on finding one if so.. how are is it to be accepting or what was it like being accepting?
We had a distribution deal with a label based out of Vancouver, Cananda...but it went belly up...so we're currently label less...but still maintain our Canadian distribution. we're currently looking for a new home.
GC: Remixes? Do you have any or working on any?
The only remix that I've done...was actually a remix / re-recorded version of 'Herb Eaverstank' off of the "...goggles" EP and was put onto "Watching the girls go bi".
GC: Compilation experiences good or bad and why?
We've been on ALOT of comps. mostly good experiences, and alot of new fans have discovered BROOMFILLER. however, we've been involved with a few shady organizers where we got ripped off.
GC: What kind of mind set do you like to have been performing?
I'm against playing shows drunk or stoned etc.... our job is to put on a kick-ass show for 45 mins a nite...and THAT is where you should be the most 'on the ball'. as an indie band, you have to make a good impression the FIRST time you play...not the next time. so I'm against having more than 2 drinks before a show. we'll drink up a storm after.
GC: When you get a review back from press how helpful is it really for you?
We've had really good and really bad reviews of both our cd's as well as live shows. You have to have a tough skin, and learn to realize that it's only ONE person's opinion. however, sometimes that ONE'S person's opinion can be very influential to others....however it's water off of a duck's back at the end of the day. Stay true to who you are, and what you do, and you'll win in the end.
GC: How do you promote your music, and is it working?
ALOT of promotion is done online. the internet is such a usefull and inexpensive tool. i just promote any news, shows or tours on many message boards, and music resource sites. maintain a fairly large mailing list with members all over the world. keeping in touch with them is important.
GC: Tell us more about your Vans Warp Tour experience?
it was great. met alot of cool people / bands / new fans. it's a great experience, and any band that can get the chance should totally jump at it.
Do you think there has been a pop punk rock band explosion in the last few years with bands like Simple Plan, Blink 182 happening?
yeah, i think that these more 'commercial' type bands are doing very well on radio. they are getting a huge push from their labels and are riding the wave of any band that would be fortunate enough to get that attention. however, i believe that everything is cyclical in a time frame of about 7-8 years. i'm always glad when true 'guitar' rock is prominent...however i think it's nice to have other forms of music ruling the airwaves. it really does break up the monotony after a while.
What kind of popularity do you feel BROOMFILLER has right now?
lol...well it can ALWAYS get better. we have a good following, it's scattered all over the place actually. in alot of places that we've never played before, just from meeting people on the net. naturally we're wanting to expand on that, and build our street team to help spread the good word about BROOMFILLER. we're not even close to any of the popular bands, we are more of a DIY type band, as we have no corporate companies / labels / financier's behind us, so naturally our popularity isn't that big. however, we're just wanting to continue doing what we're doing - making music, playing it live, and having fun.
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