As you know from reading this site, we don’t get caught up with what’s popular or not, we just write about what we like and in turn we feature amazing bands and artists. Even so it frequently mystifies me when I hear music that I feel should be heard by the masses, and the band is having trouble getting a record out.
Melbourne, Australia’s Them Bruins make that kind of music. I have no idea why these guys aren’t touring the world, playing to sold out crowds. We’ve featured their music earlier this year and the truth is I’ve been sitting on this Meet the Band for months, waiting for their debut album to be released.
But now they’ve crossed the pond and will be playing the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City so the time seems right.
If you are anywhere near the NYC area – you don’t want to miss them. Them Bruins play massive rock and roll music – snarling vocals, giant guitars, huge drums, mammoth bass, and absolutely gargantuan hooks.
Anyone I’ve played their for music for always asks – why aren’t these guys famous?
Meet Them Bruins!
Grif, Woody, Jimmy & Timmy
People say we sound like….
Jimmy: “A shotgun marriage between Bloc Party and Eagles of Death Metal.” I like that. That was you 50thirdand3rd.
We are originally from…..
Woody: All over the shop. Grif is originally from Brisbane but moved down to Melbourne when his mum got sick of him eating all the corn flakes. My bro Timmy and I are from country Victoria and Jimmy is Melbourne born and bred.
How did you become Them Bruins and what’s with the name?
Woody: I originally met Grif in a record store in Fitzroy, Melbourne. We both had an itch to start a garage rock band so we booked a rehearsal space and started jamming as a 2 man 4 piece rock band. After we had an EP’s worth of material we roped in Tim and his skateboarding pal Jimmy to round it out. Grif came up with the name. I still don’t know where he got it from.
What music has had an influence on your sound?
Grif: Like every teenager born post 1980 we grew up listening to Nirvana. We realized pretty quickly that ripping them off wasn’t going to work so we thew a few more chords into the mix.
Tell us about the scene in Melbourne/Australia…
Woody: Melbourne has a great little rock n roll scene. We have a pub called The Tote that is the heartbeat of indie music in this town. We have a local label called Poison City that really champions local garage, rock & punk bands. If you want to watch some live rock n roll there will be a band playing somewhere every night of the week.
Tell us about your live show…
Timmy: Pretty much the 3 of us looking at Grif wondering whether someone in the audience is going to either a) kiss him or b) head butt him.
How does the country’s/city’s musical history, or landscape influence your sound?
Jimmy – Melbourne is a very straight to the point and a no bullshit kinda place. You can’t get too wanky (for the loss of a better term) with anything you do or people will see straight through it. I think this comes across pretty strong in our music. It’s all straight to the point.
What influences the band lyrically?
Grif: Two things: Mainly lady problems and me dressing them up as something more universally important than they actually are. I always like to try though. And secondly and maybe more importantly, once I purge myself of the lady rage, I like to infuse enough broader speaking tongue in cheek, cavalier fuck-ya-problems’ness to keep ourselves and whoever in the world listens to us smiling. Each song kinda comes full circle by the end of all that. Influence-wise I can’t really think of anyone rock doing that, I think its more a hip hop thing. I’m all in for Biggie. It’s also probably an Irish folk thing that’s stained into our pale-arsed blood. Having said that, this song is allllll lady problems and me thinking of creepy ways to move on because I don’t want to and maybe if I did any of them I’d be arrested and not have to worry about ladies anymore. Prison is a little light on them.
Our most memorable gig ever was….
Timmy: We played a gig at a pub called The Retreat a few months ago where Grif turned up after a horrible date. I think he must have drank his way through it because by the time he turned up to the gig he already had his shirt off.
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
Jimmy: Have to be Seattle in the 90’s
Growing up, at home we listened to…..
Woody: Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, At The Drive In, The Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age, Bloc Party etc. Basically all the guitar bands of the 90’s/naughties.
What tunes are on heavy rotation for you…
Woody: The Districts new album rules. Also a massive fan of NYC band Skaters. Cage The Elephants albums of a couple of years ago still gets a run with me most weeks.
If you could open for any band right now who would that be and why?
Woody: Would be Cage the elephant I reckon. I was over in The States for Coachella last year and their set to kick off the 2nd day was something else. The energy their front man brought to the show was insane and were by far and away the best band of the day IMO.
Jimmy: I’d take an Arctic Monkeys stadium rock show for sure.
If you could only bring ONE record (you can each pick one if you want) in the tour van what would it be?
Woody: At the moment I’d bring The Districts.
Jimmy: Can’t go past The Kills, Blood Pressures for me.
Tim: Skaters Manhattan. Saw them for the first time at SXSW last year. So good.
Grif: No record for me. I’d use my 45 minutes listening to talk back radio.
When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…
Woody:I’ll be at an Aussie rules footy game rooting for the mighty cats.
Tim: I’d at the skate park chasing the ultimate ollie. Ha!
Jimmy: With Tim
Joel: At home perfecting my poached eggs with smoked salmon and smashed avocado.
The one thing we want you to remember while you’re listening to our music….
Woody: That we’re poor and that you should seriously consider going to iTunes to buy every one of our songs. Ha. Nar, we don’t really care about that. I’m just happy if our music can evoke some kinda emotion (be it happy, sad or angry) out of someone when they hear it. That’s what music does for me so if I can return the favor some how then I’m happy.
What’s up for 2015?
Grif: Releasing our first full length. Hopefully a trip to The States/Canada in October. Yew!