I normally form an aversion to any artist who feels…
compelled to put their name in block capitals. With BRICKS, it seems perfectly suitable. Aside from the fact it looks a bit weird in lower-case lettering; the London trio means serious business. One gets images of hefty, industrial-sized Grunge and Hardcore sounds. In a way, that is what Lee, Worgie and Teo create. Whatever your views and definitions, you cannot help but fall under the spell of the lads. New single, Not Proud, is out so I ask the guys what it is all about. They explain how they got together – and their association with Scroobius Pip – and whether an E.P. is coming. BRICKS talk about their recent Camden Rocks show and how important London is to them; who their idols and how they like to blow off steam – if at all possible – between musical demands.
Hi, guys. How are you? How have your weeks been?
Making new noise in the studio, mostly, AND juggling childcare with creating new synth patches – AND Worgie’s production of various podcasts.
For those new to your music, can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are called BRICKS. We are Worgie on Guitars and Vocals; Lee Hughes on Drums and Teo Antim on Bass. We make a kind of Billy Bragg-inspired, post-Hardcore, story-telling Punk-noise in the vein of At The Drive-In, Drive Like Jehu and The Jam.
When was the moment you all got together? Were you friends before the band started?
Worgie met Lee in London around 2007 when looking to form a band whilst writing for various artists and projects. Just as they managed to actually get an act together, Worgie was asked to be part of Scroobius Pip’s writing team and live band – and their collaboration was put on hold.
Nine years later, still constantly in touch as friends, schedules finally cleared and a bunch of songs were written and recorded with the help of Teo on bass.
I know the likes at At the Drive-In and Gallows are idols of BRICKS. Did the band form in that spirit? Do you think there are enough bands creating that sort of solid Post-Punk sound?
BRICKS’ start was quite honestly down to a bunch of songs Worgie had written – that were best communicated that way.
As fans and producers of music, typically we all enjoy and make a huge variation of genres and sounds.
But, when three passionate musicians can tell a personal story in such a concise and kinetic way, it just makes sense for us to use that sound.
There are plenty of awesome bands out there, just like us, perhaps: you need to find them and give them the listens and exposure they need outside of the mainstream.
Not Proud is your new single. What can you tell us about it and the inspiration behind it?
It’s a song about loving your friends: when you know you’ve been a questionable one to them and yet they give you the love and support you need because they see through it.
Between an Apology and an Observation is your self-produced debut (released in 2016). What was the reception like from that and has that given you the confidence to produce more music and keeping pushing?
The nicest thing was when we shared it with friends and colleagues who work in the music industry. They were impressed that we made that entire record in our little studio, alone, and managed to capture exactly what we wanted to.
The best thing is that once you’ve made a record, you only improve.
Each new track becomes not only an easier process but more enjoyable and confident.
Are there any plans for an album or E.P. later this year?
We are already four tracks into what will be our follow-up record. Absolutely loving the new material and hope to release as we go.
I am interested to find out who your heroes are. Which bands/artists are important to you guys?
Structurally and creatively, Radiohead are big heroes of ours. At the Drive-In, most notably the Relationship of Command era, sonically stood out as a Post-Hardcore, kind of Post-Rock-Indie record that crossed-over between those of us that loved Indie and the harder Punk sounds. Linking Les Savy Fav, Fugazi; Dillinger Escape Plan to Joy Division, Sonic Youth and darker sounds. Lyrically, Worgie sites Dizzie (Rascal), Billy Bragg; Björk, (Paul) Weller and label-mates Scroobius Pip and B. Dolan as huge influences.
You played a Camden Rocks ‘Presents’ show at Camden’s Crowndale to coincide with the song’s release on 31st of last month. What was that show like and how did the new single go down?
We thoroughly enjoyed it. Only our fourth show to date was very well-attended and, after our rather brutal opener, new song Not Proud lifted the mood and seemed to go down wonderfully!
How inspiring is London to the band? Do you think it is the best place for new musicians to get exposure and cut their teeth?
London was where we all cut our teeth in the previous band – with early gigging in Blackpool, Essex and Romania, respectively.
In London, you fight with oversaturation of similar ideas and sounds and it makes you work harder on developing a sound that’s your own.
The band, I’d say, is more concerned with its immediate, personal social surrounds that float in and out of East London. It’s always an inspiring landscape if you know where to look.
Are there any tour dates afoot? Where can we see you play?
We are working on some rather special support slots around festival season – look at www.thisisbricks.com for updates.
What do you guys do to blow off steam between gigs? Do you have any rituals or is it pretty much all-go at the moment?
We all have other full-time projects so it’s a case of squeezing in family life, children and studio time where possible. No rest for the wicked and all that.
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
Natasha Fox, of Warrenpeace (Worgie’s other project), is working on something wonderful. Go and find her.
Also really digging new sounds from Totorro – who aren’t that new but are amazing.
If you each had to select an album that has meant most to you; which would they be and why?
Lee: In Utero by Nirvana. It made him realise that he had to go and buy a guitar and sit in a room for six months to learn it.
Teo: Sailing the Seas of Cheese by Primus was a massive influence on him as a Grunge kid in Romania.
Warren: Ride Paranoia by JR Ewing. In the wake of At the Drive-In, this record was one the most finely-crafted Hardcore records ever made. Guitars were angular but raw and melodies were solid throughout. It’s a masterpiece.
Is there any advice you’d give to artists coming through at the moment?
Don’t stop. Get good, get better. Don’t stop.
Finally, and for being good sports, you can each select a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Lee: Morning by Beck
Teo: Have a Cigar by Pink Floyd
Warren: It’s In Our Hands by Björk