BRUTUS, the three-piece band from Belgium, is blurring the lines between hard rock, metal and post rock with their debut album ‘Burst’. The band is made up of vocalist/drummer Stefanie Mannaerts, guitarist Stijn Vanhoegaerden and bassist Peter Mulders. We got to chat with Stanie and Peter about their upcoming album release, making music together and more…
Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Stefanie: “Hi! We’re Stefanie and Peter from Brutus. I am 27 years old. The most important things in my life are music, my friends, my better half Joris and animals. I play drums and I sing in Brutus”
Peter: “And I am Peter, a little older. I’m a graphic designer and I play the bass in Brutus.”
Where did the name BRUTUS come from?
Stefanie: “Oh. I just loved the name. I think every band knows, it’s not that easy to find a ‘good name’, haha. But Brutus felt right. And also: I do have a love for names as words. So, perfect.
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I’ve read that you all have very different taste in music. How does that impact your creative process?
Peter: “It’s not so easy. But in a way, it’s super interesting too. We all bring in different vibes into our music. But at the end, we do have to write together and that can be hard and emotional too. But it’s who we are and what we are.
Stefanie: “Yes, our personality has also a big impact on the creative writing process. Maybe even more than the pure taste of music. Maybe both are linked, and of course you have a bigger love for some genres in particular. But who you are, is in what you are making or saying.”
If you could tour with any act, who would it be and why?
Peter: “Biffy Clyro! If they play as a three piece band? But there are so many cool bands out there to tour with. In March we play a show with Big Business and Whores in the UK. Both great bands, both would be cool to tour with I think!”
Stefanie: I would tour with all our friend-bands. You know, like the ‘Family Values’ tour that Korn, Limp Bizkit and Cypress Hill once did in 1994? That looked awesome! It would be like Christmas the entire year!”
What do you hope listeners take away from your forthcoming album, Burst?
Peter: “Maybe to come and check us out live? Because the album is just a caption of one moment of Brutus. Every live show is a new one. And I don’t think we wrote this album to send out a message. But maybe: contrasts can work? Differences can work? And pushing hard to find deep emotions brings out stuff you don’t expect.”
Stefanie – what’s it like being the drummer and the singer? How physically demanding is a live show for you?
Stefanie: “I can honestly say that I am exhausted after a show of drumming and singing. The drumming is intense but I think that the singing is the most difficult part. And it’s hard to combine both. I do have some moments during shows where I wish I had a little more breathing space. You have to constantly think (besides drumming properly) to not sing out of tune, not to force your voice. I have been a drummer for more than 12 years, but then a singer for only, like, 2 years… There is also a lot of noise sitting behind the drums … So sometimes it’s hard to hear myself. So no, it’s not easy.”
Your single ‘All Along’ has been described as angry and brash, (in a good way!) is there a meaning behind the song and all of the emotion?
Stefanie: “For me this song is a perfect summary of the BURST album. Angry and brash are good words, thank you! The song is about an inner struggle but I’ve translated it to a different person; ‘she’.”
‘Burst’ is set to be released on February 24th via Hassle Records. You can pre-order it here: http://brutus.bigcartel.com/