Brain Circus are a young band from Sheffield who played for us last week at our Northern Exposure @ The Frog & Parrot gig and went down a storm! They consist of Luke as singer and guitarist, Joel as lead guitarist and Joe as drummer. We caught up with them after they opened for us to find out a little more about this cool band who played a cacophony of rock, grunge, psychedelia and indie sounds to make us all sit up and take notice – not an easy task when you are the opening band!
Please introduce yourselves:
We’re a group of mates from school (King Edwards VII School) and really bonded over our similar tastes in music. We first saw Joe, the drummer, at a school talent show and asked him if he wanted to play with us a year or so on from that. The fact that we were good friends with the same music preferences really helped the creativity flow, it just felt really natural and comfortable from the very start. After about a year and a half of sporadic jam sessions, we decided to get serious and begin looking for gigs, this started a year ago. We’re all 19 and 20 now and really enjoying the band scene culture, it’s great to meet and support other bands and have a lot of people that we can talk about music with.
Who are your major influences and inspirations, and why?
Led Zeppelin is our main influence. Their ability to not follow the constraints of a set genre, to have one song that is completely different from the next is real inspiration to just play what we think sounds good. Also, John Bonham and Jimmy Page is a reason in itself – truly two of the best at what they do and did. In terms of people who have inspired us individually, Luke’s is Jack White, Joel’s is Jimi Hendrix and Joe’s is Dave Grohl. Our other big influences are Queens of the Stone Age, Red Hot Chili Peppers, White Stripes and Tenacious D. Luke also wanted to add Guitar Hero for making him want to start learning the guitar.
Who writes your songs?
Luke Lincoln, Joel Fordham and our online correspondents, Tenacious D. We are yet to receive the pick of destiny!
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
A lot of our songs are about relationships. However, a few of them are a narrative on a made-up character, like our song Wild West which is about a man dying in a standoff.
Who is your favourite unsigned/underground band at the moment and why?
Fluorescent: they’re so much fun to watch live. Tom Jackson has incredible stage presence and always puts on a great show, his stage antics go hand in hand with their crazy, loud grunge style.
Oh Papa: they have a take on surf pop style music that makes for such easy listening. It’s that rare type of music that has a massive calming effect, the type of music that you’re happy to just sit back, relax and listen.
What’s in your CD player right now or last song you streamed?
Luke: Is this it? by The Strokes
Joel: Lotus by Cage the Elephant
Joe: Out of the Black by Royal Blood
What are you like live?
We always have a different take on our songs such as when it comes to a guitar solo or drum solo it will probably be different from the last time we played it. Sometimes we jam in the middle of a song or extend some parts, speed up others etc. nothing is set in stone which keeps it exciting.
Do you have any upcoming shows?
6th of December at Washington, Sheffield
12th January at Mulberry Tavern, Sheffield
You’re stranded on a desert island and have one album with you, what is it?
Joel: Led Zeppelin 2
Luke: Anything because I’ll get sick of what I pick at some point anyway
Joe: Songs for the Deaf by Queens of the Stone Age
What’s on the horizon, and what can we look forward to from you?
We’re currently recording our first EP with Junior Park Music’s Will Stocks. This will contain five tracks which we’ll send to other venues, festivals and BBC Introducing. We’re also going to make it more readily available and put it on Sound Cloud and Spotify so if someone sees us and likes our music, they can find us online easily.
Quick-fire Questions – answered by Joel
WEAPON OF CHOICE – Guitar
BASE – Sheffield
FOOTBALL – Sheffield United
GUILTY PLEASURE – Sleepy Head by Passion Pit
HERO – Kanye West for putting up with the Kardashians
VILLAIN – The Kardashians
BEST COMEDY SHOW – It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
THREADS – No preference
TROTTERS – No preference
AT THE BAR – JD and coke
GIG YOU WISHED YOU’D BEEN AT – Led Zeppelin at the Royal Albert Hall (1970)
NIGHT OUT WITH ANYONE – Steve Irwin
FILM – Good Will Hunting
SOUNDTRACK – About a Boy or School of Rock
TOP 3 TUNES OF ALL TIME – Couldn’t answer, too many options
TOP OF THE POPS – There are some great bands out there but it’s not like it used to be, they don’t get the recognition they deserve. Overall, people care a lot less about rock music than they used to which is disappointing. As a fan of rap, I really dislike mumble rap, how it got so popular is a real head-scratcher for me.