Sitting outside of Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms at a packed Hit the Deck Festival, we managed to grab some time with Brawlers front man Harry Johns (and not Anthony, as our press contact had informed us).
You’ve not long finished up a mini tour with the guys from Max Raptor, how was that?
It was great, they’ve been a round a lot longer than us so they were very professional and we are always trying to expand our craft, so it was really cool to hang around with those guys. But what I loved about that tour was the opening band who joined us for dates were a band called Water Rats from Brazil, and they blew our minds! They are so good, Brazilian punk rock, so rad, just the best dudes.
It’s interesting that you suggest you learnt off Max Raptor, as it was actually those guys that brought you to our attention in the first place, and knowing that they are fans of you.
Well that’s very kind, it’s just how it goes though isn’t it. We constantly as a band want to constantly develop, and they best way to do that is tour with bands that have done it before you and it’s really cool.
You played Bristol last night, good set?
Bristol, yeah it was fantastic, really good!
And today, you seemed to have a pretty good crowd.
It was real busy man, we had a great time, really happy. Both shows have been fantastic for us.
After this you’ve got another couple of weeks of touring. How do you come down from that? Are you back to 9-5? Do you at least get some sleep?
We definitely sleep a little bit! And then we go away with a band called Anti-Flag, in this country and Europe. They released some dates, and they sold out in a day so it isn’t super publicised. In the summer we are maybe going to try and take a break from playing live, maybe try and write some new songs.
It is interesting that there is that link to Anti-Flag, as your actual sounds has quite strong hardcore elements but then lyrically it’s more about modern culture and love. It’s that a case of the music you like, and the message you want to speak coming together?
I’m really glad that you picked up on that. The music comes from punk rock 101 for us Ramones, Stooges, simple song writing, but for me as a lyricist my only as front man and singer in a band is to be honest, that’s all I want to do in this band. I don’t care if it takes us 15 fucking years to headline a fucking tour, I just want to be honest. So that’s why the vocals are like that! Music Ramones first record, vocals I want to tell a story that is real and I don’t want to bullshit people.
You can feel the storytelling.
I’m glad you are picking up on that, because that is what we are about.
Début album ‘Romantic Errors of our Youth’ was release a couple of weeks ago, how was the reception been? I know Kerrang! were quite favourable.
Everyone has been really into it man, it’s very humbling to us as a new band to have that exposure so quickly.
You’ve release the E.P and the album within the space of like a year, are Alchopop Records quite free it letting you do what you want to do?
They are really understanding! We write a lot, and we like touring a lot. We have an ideal that we want to write and record a record every year, so we are very happy to be with Alchopop who know where we are coming from.
Touching back to a degree on the music, the album is like 25 mins long. Is that a case of going back to influences such as the Ramones? You seem to keep in short and sweet, but say what you want to say, is that how you aim to be?
Of course, I don’t listen to progressive rock or music that takes it’s time. I want to tell a story, I want to be in there and then out. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Brawlers is a band that doesn’t want to waste anyone’s time.
It must be great putting together a festival set-list, because in theory you could just play the whole album.
In play the songs, out! It’s perfect for us!
What would you like to remembered for?
If you could only play one venue for the rest of your career, which would in be?
Brunel Social Club.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
How long do you spend in front of the mirror?
What was the last song that really made you stop and listen?
Wow, that’s a great question. Let’s have a look, because this is a fucking rad question dude [gets iPhone out, and scrolls through music]. Last long that made me really stop and listen was the track Buds by the Cancer Bats, the riff is so intense and so rad.
Dream dinner guest (dead or alive)?
Sounds so cheesy but, my band!
Favourite swear word?
‘Romantic Errors of our Youth’ is out now, and you can catch Brawlers alongside Set It Off and Decade if you live in mainland Europe, or if you can catch them at Camden Rocks at the end of May. And many thanks to Harry for talking to us, a true gent!