After releasing their outstanding sophomore record Conscious in 2016, New Zealand born brother-sister duo Broods found themselves dropped by their label. Whilst that situation could seem terrifying to many, the duo took their newfound independence to create a new album that wasn’t subject to any label opinions and sounded exactly how they wanted it to.

Ahead of the release of their new album Don’t Feed The Pop Monster, Georgia Nott spoke to me about the duo’s time in limbo, the process of creating an album as independent artists, and their new live show.

Watch: Broods – “Peach”

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TD: Before the recording of this album you ended up splitting with your previous label. Talk me through that and what happened after.

Georgia: I mean, it’s been a pretty hectic couple of years with all that stuff going on. We were writing the new record and we knew that we were gonna get dropped but we were just like, “Okay. Just do it so we can move on. Just break up with us already.”

But when it happened we were like, “Yes, okay, cool. We can make the kind of music that we want. We can choose where we go now.” That was exciting but then there’s also that side of it like, “Oh, shit. How are we gonna do this next record without a label?” For a while there we were like, “Holy fuck. I don’t know if we’re gonna be able to put this out.”

It’s kind of crazy how everything can be so up in the air for so long and then within a couple of months everything falls into place. We signed with Neon Gold, but we wrote pretty much the entire album while we were independent. We A&R’d the whole album ourselves and just showed it to Neon Gold. They were like, “Awesome. Love it. Let’s work together.”

It was kind of this perfect situation although at times it was stressful. It really made us realise that we have to be sure of ourselves and when we have no other opinions and ideas apart from our own it’s a really good thing to help us grow, assert ourselves and back our own vision creatively. I think that was definitely a lesson that we needed to learn. It was a slightly tricky way to learn it but I think that’s always the way it goes.

TD: You said you pretty much wrote and recorded the album whilst you weren’t signed to any label. Now that you’re signed with Neon Gold what is the main difference you’ve found so far as an artist signed to a smaller, independent label as opposed to a major label?

GN: I think we’ve always seen ourselves as more of an alternative band than a mainstream pop band. And now we’ve completely slipped back into that world rather than trying to force ourselves into this situation where we’ve never really felt super comfortable being called “mainstream pop”. We just wanted to make music that we liked and that we could sing on stage with conviction. Now I feel like this record is so much more us and so much more the kind of music that we actually listen to. We listened to our album and we actually enjoy listening to it even though we’ve heard the songs so many times. It’s gonna be such a fun one to play live because of that reason as well.

TD: Because of that do you look back on your first two records and think, “Oh, I wish we hadn’t done that,” or, “I wish we could have done something different”?

GN: No. There’s not really any point regretting anything that we’ve done because every experience we’ve had in this industry has taught us to be what we are now. We’re super happy with who we are as a band and as a brand and the kind of music that we’re making.

The way that we’re thinking as ourselves feels very authentic now. It takes a while to get there and it takes trial and error. I think those songs and the last two albums are still so important to us and a huge part of who we were at that time.

I think the beauty of making art is that who you are at that time is suspended and I think that’s special. I don’t think that there’s any point in thinking back negatively. I’m still super proud of those albums but I think this is definitely the one that we feel is most authentic.

TD: You collaborated with a lot of different people on the new album. What was it like to branch out with these new collaborators?

GN: I think the traveling was the best part. When we were writing in Nicaragua there was just nothing to think about apart from writing. You’re away from home, you don’t have to think about what you’re gonna eat, how you’re gonna wash your clothes. You’re just in this little fortress of bliss.

You’re just writing with a bunch of other dope people that are on the same page as you and love the same things as you. They’re making music for the same reasons as you and you’re constantly inspired.

It’s hard to explain but it just felt like everything apart from writing music was irrelevant. It was cool to work with so many different people and I think it really showed us how much we as a duo contribute to our sound. We collaborate with producers but our sound comes from us.

Listen: Broods – “Falling Apart”

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TD: Talking about your sound, the tracks on Don’t Feed The Pop Monster span a wide variety of genres, did you intend on that?

I think what we noticed is that we like writing lots of different kinds of music. It’s been a three year process making this album so there’s a lot of different emotions. There’s a lot of different points that we’ve written about, different things that we’ve gone through.

It’s cool because I think there is the story we’re telling about our whole weird couple of years of moving to LA and becoming independent from a label. And then writing a whole record on our own. It was a lot of growing pains that we went through. That’s what makes the whole album cohesive. There’s a lot of different shit going on, but that’s kind of how we are. It’s definitely a reflection of us.

TD: Before this album you also worked on a side project  (The Venus Project), which was entirely produced, managed, and A&R’d by women. After that did you feel a greater confidence in yourself as a writer and producer when making this album?

It definitely taught me that I am more capable than what I’ve let people believe in the past. At the same time Caleb and I both going and doing a bit of solo stuff really made us appreciate how easy it is when we write together.

Because we’ve been doing it for so long and we’ve gotten so in tune with one another in the studio it did make us miss writing with each other. We really appreciated being able to come back and write this album together. You’re more grateful when you know what it’s like to be in a different situation.

I think we both came out of doing those side projects a lot more confident in our own abilities. Caleb as a producer and me as a general human being. I think we both wanna keep going on, working on the side project stuff because as you know we like to write a lot of different types of music. Gotta have those multiple creative outlets to stay sane.

TD: I wanted to talk about the track “Too Proud”. It’s Caleb’s first time singing lead vocals on a Broods song. How did that come about?

GN: It just kind of happened. We were in Nicaragua and we were all feeling very inspired. We were playing around with this track and then Caleb put down a certain melody and we were just like, “Maybe you should sing it.” Because it’s quite a personal song to him, what we were singing about was his own experiences so it felt like the right time to throw Caleb in the deep end.

I think we’re both gonna be changing it up a bit on tour. I’m gonna be playing more instruments live, which is terrifying for me. And Caleb’s gonna be singing, which is terrifying for him.

TD: The last time I saw you guys live was your insanely amazing Enmore Theatre show about, three years ago now, are you excited to get back into touring?

GN: Yes! I feel like the thing that we’re most ready for is to build this new show and play all these songs that we’ve been sitting on for two years, live. We’re working on that now and it’s quite intimidating because it’s a lot of work.

We’ve been thinking about how we’re gonna play the new album live the whole time we were writing it. We’ve already got a lot of ideas and you learn a lot more about what you can achieve in a live sense. One of our good mates is helping us with the actual visuals and the lighting production for the set.

I’m so pumped to actually get on the road again, it’s the most routine I ever get in my life. That’s my idea of stability, being on the road.

Don’t Feed The Pop Monster is out now. Broods will be touring Australia in May, check out all their tour dates below, and watch the video for “Hospitalized”.

Watch: Broods – “Hospitalized”

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Broods’ 2019 Australian Tour Dates

Tuesday, 21st May
The Forum, Melbourne
Tickets: Official Website

Wednesday, 22nd May
Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
Tickets: Official Website

Tuesday, 28th May
Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Tickets: Official Website

Thursday, 30th May
Eatons Hill Hotel, Brisbane
Tickets: Official Website

Saturday, 1st June
Metropolis, Fremantle
Tickets: Official Website