An interview with Matt Brooks of Like A Storm at Download Festival 2015 – “We’ve been fighting each other for years so you get used to it”

Posted by: Lisa Fox on 18th September 2015

Our Lisa had a chat with Matt Brooks from Like A Storm at Download Festival. They chatted about the delightful weather, New Zealand and how to stay friends with your bandmates!

Hi, how was the show this morning?
It was awesome, thank you, it was 11 o’clock, I think we were the first band of the day. Very cool to open Download.

How did it feel to be playing Download?
This is our first time here and Download’s one of those rock festivals we always dreamed of playing so it felt awesome to be playing.

Had you heard much about it before?
Yes we have. You know we’ve heard a lot about it, especially from the bands that we’ve toured with in the US. The Alter Bridge guys, they’d always tell us how amazing it was so when we got added to the bill we were just stoked.

You’re touring with Tremonti at the minute?
We are, yes. It’s going awesome man, we’ve been lucky enough to play with Mark, with Creed and Alter Bridge and now Tremonti. We’re huge fans of his and actually when I was growing up learning guitar he was one of my favourite guitarists. It’s a really cool experience to be able to share the stage with him every night and his band is amazing.

Fantastic, so Like A Storm are from New Zealand?
Yes.

Would you say that you bring much of the cultural signs of New Zealand in to your music?
I think most people think we’re Australian…

You’re not Australian are you, you are from New Zealand?
No you are right.

Phew! I thought I’d been really rude there?
No. No. You’re fine. It’s funny we always joke about it because my brother, Chris, who’s our lead singer he plays the didgeridoo, which is Australian. And we play AC/DC in our set which is Australian so we’re setting people up for a fail. But I don’t know, I guess that what we do bring as New Zealanders is we’ve always had the attitude of just doing it yourself and making things happen. We made our last record ourselves and produced it ourselves. We’ve always had that approach which is a very kiwi mentality so I suppose aside from all the Australian stuff we do have a certain New Zealand charm.

If you could share one thing about New Zealand with the whole world, what would it be? See I would have been fucked if you’d said you were from Australia?
Yes, I kind of wish I had now. No there’s a place in New Zealand called Lake Taupo and I think it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth. I think everyone in the world should go there once if they can.

Is it warm in New Zealand or is wet like here?
Both. Our winters are like this. So when people are apologising for the rain I’m like, ‘Dude this is what we grew up with’, you know.

But this is our summer.
Well yes. Yes that’s where we feel sorry for you guys because our summer is warm and hot. It’s cool because it’s more temperate than Australia, you know, I love Australia but it gets pretty hot there. New Zealand’s warm in the summer but it doesn’t roast you to a crisp. It’s more pleasant.

Whats next for Like A Storm?
Well we finish up the Tremonti tour and we playGrasspop in Belgium which we’re really excited about. Then we go back to America, which is where we’ve done most of our touring in the last few years and we’re going out on tour with Three Days Grace. Which will be awesome and then we’d love to come back to Europe and England one more time this year before we go back to New Zealand for a rest. We tour 10 11 months out of the year so we’re going to be on the road, which is what we love to do.

Is that not what it’s all about at the end of the day?
I mean it is and especially for a rock band. You know rock music is such a live entity. We left New Zealand because we wanted to be able to tour the way we are, so we’re very grateful for the fact that we get to travel the world, playing music every night.

Do you miss home though?
Yes I do,I’m really fortunate in that my family is in the band with me, so it’s my three brothers and Zach, who’s our drummer, is American but we’ve known him for years, he’s basically like family as well so I think that helps. You know you do miss your parents and your, our grandfather in New Zealand and you know your friends that you grew up with but we’re getting to live our dream so it’s a trade-off but we’re very grateful for what we get to do.

Do you guys ever fight on the road?
Yes I mean you do. I think the reality of being in a band is that when you have to spend 10 or 11 months of the year with the same people, every year sooner or later you’re going to fight with someone. The best thing about being family is people say what’s on their minds and then it kind of blows over. You’ve already kind of got through that initial… Well in a way we’ve been training for touring our whole lives. We’ve been fighting each other for years so you get used to it and ultimately I think it helps you just move through any conflicts that you do have but you’d be amazed, we don’t fight anywhere near as much as you’d think that brothers should. We’re lucky we all get on really well and we’re all doing what we love.

So how do you guys write?
Terribly! My brothers and I are like we all write songs. When we grew up we were all the main songwriters in our own bands. So when we started playing together we thought it was cool to keep that dynamic, so when we write albums everybody brings their songs to the table. We have a lot of songs to choose from which is cool because we can just pick the ones that we all really love, you know. When we write together it’s kind of a collective adventure I guess. I play guitar but anyone of the three of us could write guitar riffs, lyrics, vocals, drum parts so it’s a fun band to be in because any crazy idea that we have you know we kind of get together and work on them. I guess that’s how we end up with things like didgeridoo in our music, or crazy Delta Blues influence. Writing in the band’s fun because anything goes.

Do you one final message to get out to your fans?
To our fans I’d say thank you, man we love our fans, we’re so lucky to have amazing fans all over the world now and to anyone new listening I’d say if you’re curious to hear what hard rock sounds like with a didgeridoo then check us out.

Thank you.

Like A Storm’s brand new lyric video for Become The Enemy can be seen below:

You can also Like A Storm on Twitter at @RealLikeAStorm.

Interviewed by Lisa Fox

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