Glam Adelaide’s Jonathan Matthews chatted to Manuel, drummer of Bavarian Brass band, LaBrassBanda, about their upcoming Australian tour and their performance at WOMADelaide, as well as the new music they’re working on, and their unique, crazy style.
Your band has quite the mix of genres involved, how did you come up with the idea for this project?
I think it’s because of the different influences that each member of the band has in their songwriting. When we started, we didn’t even have our proper instruments, no guitars or keyboards or anything, all we had was horns and drums, and we introduced the rest later. I think that has created a unique sound. We used what we had to try and create music that people would dance to in night clubs, it was a lot of fun. In Germany, brass music is a very traditional thing, and our goal was to take that tradition and turn it into dance music, from there we branched into different genres and different instruments, and the result it’s the crazy band we have today.
You guys will be playing at the WOMADelaide festival in Adelaide, Australia, are you looking forward to that?
We’re really excited for that. We did a world tour a few years ago, but this will be different because we get to focus on one country, which is Australia. It will be great to explore and play shows with our friends Caravana Sun, who have played shows with us in Germany before. This will be a really fun trip for us.
Do you know much about the WOMAD line-up, and are there any other acts that you’re looking forward to seeing there?
I did check out the line-up and there are a few that I know of. There’s a few acts from New Zealand that I want to see, and we’re really excited about it. We played WOMAD before in 2010 in the UK, and it was mind blowing. We’re so excited to come to Australia, festivals are great because you get the chance to see so many other bands, and there’s an awesome vibe. We always make so many friends at festivals.
You’re also going to be in Melbourne at ‘Stay Gold’ on the same day that WOMAD kicks off, have you been to Melbourne before?
No, we haven’t. I’ve been, but not with the band before. I know it’s an awesome city, it’ll be great.
You last album was released a couple of years ago, when do you think we’ll be hearing a new album from you guys?
This year, actually. We’ve been working on new stuff, and we recently switched labels, so this one will be a big deal for us. I think in the summer for us, so the winter for you guys. We’ll be releasing a single at some point, but I’m not sure when. We’ll definitely be playing it live though, and you’ll be the first ones to hear it.
You’re the drummer in LaBrass Banda, Tell me about your kit?
Yeah, it’s a reduced drum kit. I usually use one like this, I get rid of some of the cymbals and toms and stick with the high hats, snare, bass drums and bongos. That’s the philosophy of the band, to reduce yourself. On stage we play without shoes in our lederhosen, and the reason behind it is that we want to reduce it to the minimum, while getting the maximum out of it, if that makes sense.
You’ve played in all sorts of places, what’s your favourite kind of show to play?
I can hardly tell these days. A club show is rewarding because you can look people in the eyes, it’s intimate. Then there’s the big stages, and you can just see a sea of people and you feel so huge, I love both so much, I love performing. When we played in Sydney, we played in a small venue and it was really, really amazing.
You’ve got a music video for your single ‘Around The World’, can we expect any more for the new release?
Yeah, that video was our first in ten years and it took us a long time to film and produce. That was when we found out that we’re better on stage than in front of a camera *laughs*. We’ll see what happens, maybe it’ll be animated or something, we’re not the most photogenic people.
Will you be getting up to any sightseeing while you’re in South Australia?
I think we have some off days on this tour, but I think they’ll be in Tasmania. It’s somewhere that bands don’t often get to visit, so hopefully we’ll have some fun on our days off and do some exploring.
If you could collaborate with any artist in the world, who would it be?
That’s a tough one. I think it would be our friends in Caravana Sun, I hope to spend some time with them in the Studio. We had the idea of re doing some old songs with other artists from other countries, so that would be amazing.
What is the strangest thing that you guys have ever done while writing a song?
While recording our songs, we’ve done things like doing the drums takes in a cornfield because we didn’t like the sound of a studio, and we’ve recorded trumpets in a bathroom before too. That’s a little odd *laughs*.
Have you got any messages for your fans in Australia?
I hope that we see heaps of you there, come see us and be open minded. Try not to be distracted by our outfits, and try to shake your booties. We can’t wait to be there.
LaBrassBanda are playing at WOMADelaide 2019, March 8-11. Click here for tickets.