Over the past few years New Zealand musicians have made more than a ripple on the international music scene with acts like Lorde, Brooke Fraser Ladyhawke and The Naked and Famous proving that the kiwi’s can cut a record just as impressive as the rest of them. Broods are the latest export from the tiny island country to crack the mainstream and deliver consistent hits and make a name for themselves on the international stage.
The band come from the seaside town of Nelson in New Zealand and consists of brother sister duo Georgia and Caleb Nott. Together they have released several hit singles and EP’s over the past couple of years and most recently the pair unveiled their acclaimed debut album, Evergreen.
Enjoying the success of their debut album and following a successful tour of the U.S, we caught up with front-woman Georgia to talk about their journey as one of New Zealand’s brightest breakthrough artists, the recording of their first full length collection and what the band believes New Zealand brings to the international musical table. Here is what she had to tell us…
Brendon Veevers: You have been getting a lot of attention and coverage over the last 12 months. How has life changed for the two of you over the past year?
Georgia Nott: There isn’t a lot that hasn’t changed to be honest. We’re constantly on the road playing shows and writing music. We’ve met some incredible artists and fans. I think we know what we’re doing now, whereas in the beginning we were all over the place and a bit overwhelmed. We’ve grown up so much and accomplished things we never thought we would.
GN: It was a total rollercoaster at the start! We were running on adrenalin 80% of the time. I think we’re getting into the swing of things now and learning heaps.
BV: You come from one of my favorite places in the world – Nelson, New Zealand. How did things start for the two of you – talk us through the creation of Broods that got you to this point?
GN: Ever since we were kids we had it in our heads that we were gonna be musicians. It wasn’t until we hit high school that we realized we were pretty good writers as well. We played covers in bars at first and then started to enter competitions with original music. Our manager discovered us through a competition called Rockquest and got in touch with us soon after. To be honest I thought it was a joke because I didn’t think it could be real. But, 4 years later we’re still going so its either an incredibly well planned prank or we’re doing what we said we would do when we were 6.
BV: The response to your music around the world has been very positive. What do you think people are most drawn to about Broods?
GN: I think its our honesty. We sing about things we’re going through on a very personal level and its really valued by our fans. We want people to feel like they’re part of something and we make a real point of inviting them to know us better when we play a live show.
BV: Not many New Zealand artists or bands can claim success in the US or the UK. What unique qualities do you think New Zealand brings to the international musical table?
GN: We grew up in a very laid back environment (I feel like that’s a very kiwi thing). We feel really humbled by the opportunities we’ve been given and people like that. We’ve also got very kiwi humour and everything sounds hilarious in a kiwi accent.
BV: What’s the best thing about working as a brother sister duo? Also, what’s the worst thing about that?
GN: Best thing is the understanding that we have between us. We know each other so well and we can be super honest with each other.
The worst thing is that sometimes we’re too honest. But even then we don’t get offended.
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BV: You recently toured the US. What was that like? How did fans over there react to the music?
GN: It was an awesome tour and it really opened our eyes to how much our fan base has grown in the last year. Its amazing that everytime we go back it gets bigger and better and our fans are actually the coolest.
BV: You released your debut album Evergreen at the end of last year. What was the writing and recording process like for you?
GN: To be honest we just let it happen and don’t try to force anything. We just play with beats and synths and chords until we get super excited and go on a tangent that later becomes a song.
BV: Given you had early success with your first singles and EP, was there pressure to replicate your performance on Evergreen?
GN: We don’t want to replicate Evergreen. We are experimenting at the moment and trying to figure out what direction the next album will take us.
BV: You both wrote all of the songs on Evergreen. What would you say inspired you the most during the writing process?
GN: Our personal lives. We don’t ever really write about things unless we have a personal connection to the subject. We may exaggerate a little bit and use our poetic licence but we always write from a very honest place.
BV: You had the help of Joel Little on the record who helped write the songs and also produced the record. He is of course known for his work with Lorde. You must have felt quite confident having the record left in hands like his?
GN: Of course! He is and probably always will be one of the most important people in our lives not only as Broods but as Caleb and Georgia.
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BV: Where would you like to see the bands career go? How do you define the ultimate success of Broods?
GN: Success is in the eye of the beholder at the end of the day. We’ve done more than we thought we’d ever do as musicians but in saying that it does make us want to keep doing this and keep building on what we’ve created so far.
BV: You come from quite a musical family. What do your parents think of your success?
GN: I think they’re just as buzzed out by it as us. They keep pretty chill about it though.
BV: You’ve released several successful singles, a successful debut album, toured the globe and cracked some of the toughest music markets in the world. Out of all of your accomplishments so far, what are you the proudest of?
GN: It’s hard not to feel good when other artists start to recognise you as good writers and musicians. When people that we’ve been listening to since the beginning of their careers like our music, it’s mental!
BV: I know that when I was growing up, my sister and I had completely different tastes in music. She would be listening to Poison and I would be listening to Roxette in the room next door. What acts did you both grow up listening to and in terms of the music you create as Broods, did either of you have to compromise?
GN: We were always into similar music. We just listen to music differently. Caleb listens to music and breaks it down into all the different parts and I listen to the lyrics and the vocal. Caleb listens with his brain and I listen with my heart.
BV: Australia has a way of claiming New Zealand successes as their own – Crowded House, Lorde, Pavlova. Any chance you will be heading toward the dark side?
GN: Never!!!! Haha! We’re very patriotic and love New Zealand so much. I myself, am like a walking tourism advertisement, I talk it up so much.
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BV: You have always wanted to be musicians and to do what you are doing as a career. Now that you are doing it, is it everything you hoped it would be? Is there anything about the job of being a recording and touring act that hasn’t lived up to your expectations?
GN: It’s exceeded all expectations! I had no idea that when I told people I wanted to be a singer when I was 6, it would actually happen. We are constantly humbled by this experience. Nothing could ever be more rewarding than standing in front of a crowd that looks at you like they understand exactly what you are singing about. Especially when we wrote about things that are so incredibly personal to us and our own experiences.
Brood’s debut album Evergreen is out now!
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
Interviewing and reviewing the best in new music and globally recognized artists is his passion.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to review thousands of music releases and concerts and interview artists ranging from top selling superstars like 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss, Boyz II Men, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Loeb and iconic Eagles front man/songwriter, Glenn Frey through to more recent successes including Newton Faulkner, Janelle Monae and Caro Emerald.
Brendon manages and coordinates the amazing team of writers on RenownedForSound.com who are based in the UK, the U.S and Australia.