Infectious Magazine’s Maria Vela got the chance to interview Matt Brooks (guitar/vocals) of New Zealand rock band Like a Storm to discuss writing, touring, and the new release of their live double-disc set, World’s Collide: Live from the Ends of the Earth. Check it out after the jump.
IM: Okay, first off, what’s the significance behind the title of your new album Chaos Theory?
MB: The name “Chaos Theory” really fit the vibe of the record, and it also sums up all the excitement, craziness and adventure of being in a rock band.
IM: You use the anarchy symbol and Greek sigma sign for letters in Chaos Theory. Any special meaning behind that?
MB: Each symbol represents one side of Chaos Theory – with anarchy representing chaos, and the sigma representing theory.
IM: What is the beginning part of “Nothing Remains?” What does it mean and how was that agreed upon to include in the song?
MB: The beginning of “Nothing Remains” is actually part of a religious sermon, given in Italian. We thought that the vibe and tone of those spoken words perfectly summed up the haunting nature of the song.
IM: Is it harder to write an album or name it?
MB: We’ve found that the name of an album becomes more apparent after we gather the songs together and get the feel of the music on the record. Once the songs are all there, it is much easier to see the total package and what name really speaks to that. Writing the record, on the other hand, is a creative process that completely consumes you. I love it, I live for it – but it is intense.
IM: How did the different lyrics to the live and album version of “Enemy” happen?
MB: “Enemy” has definitely evolved over the time we’ve played it. We’ve always loved the version on our first album, but as we have played it more, it has taken on a life of its own – heavier, darker and more aggressive.
IM: The didgeridoo is a staple when opening your shows and is many people’s favorite part. Do you feel like there is a need to include a didgeridoo section in every record from now on? Is it possible to change the sound of it to make each new song sound unique?
MB: We love the didgeridoo – I think it is one of the most primal and powerful sounds on earth. We are always excited to incorporate the didgeridoo into our rock music in new, unexpected ways.
IM: The End of the Beginning was made in a studio, while Chaos Theory was put together while on tour last year. Did this have anything to do with why Chaos Theory is being released in two parts?
MB: Last year was a huge year for us, where we played over 200 shows and travelled more than 200,000 miles. With this insane touring schedule, we decided to record the album on the road, in backstage rooms and hotels. We also decided to release Chaos Theory in two parts – that way we could give the music the attention that we wanted, without having to take time off from playing for our fans.
IM: The new double disc set World’s Collide: Live from the Ends of the Earth, just recently came out with one disc being unplugged tracks in New Zealand and the other being recorded live while on tour. Did you always plan to put out a live CD? How many shows were recorded?
MB: We have always wanted to do a live record. The energy of a live show is a huge part of Like a Storm. It was really cool to be able to incorporate both the hard rock and unplugged sides of our music, recorded on opposite sides of the world! The first disc, Adrenaline Intoxication, was recorded during last year’s Creed tour in the US, and the unplugged Southern Skies disc was recorded in our native New Zealand. We’re really excited to have the full LAS live experience represented on one album!
IM: Was there one album that was easier to make or more enjoyable to put together?
MB: We had a great time making both Chaos Theory and the End of the Beginning. After playing so many shows, we definitely had a vision for how we wanted Chaos Theory to sound – and we loved being able to translate that into our new record!
IM: In addition to World’s Collide there is also a live DVD Adrenaline Intoxication- Live in the US to be released later this year. Was there any specific process put into choosing which performances would make it onto the DVD?
MB: Our director, Chris Fisher, flew out from Vancouver, Canada to the East Coast of the US for the final three shows of the Creed tour last year. Chris is responsible for the amazing “Never Surrender” music video, and we have been fans of his work for a long time, so we were really stoked to have him direct our live DVD.
Chris is currently hard at work in the editing suite, choosing the coolest shots and the most unique angles – like the camera on my guitar. We want the viewer to feel like they’re onstage with us.
IM: You recently moved from Vancouver, Canada to Toronto- completely across the country. Is it too early to tell if your west coast fans can expect to see you again in 2013?
MB: We would love to see everyone, and we definitely want to build up to touring every part of the US. The west coast has been such a huge part of our lives for the last 8 years, and we have a lot of amazing friends and fans there. At the moment, we are focusing on the eastern part of the country, which is where we have done the majority of our touring. But we would love to expand our tours over time to cover the whole country – and of course you never know what other tours may come up!
IM: You’ve been awarded the title of Tunelab’s “Most Fan Friendly Band” two years in a row now. Between touring, moving, and recording, how do you make time for your fans?
MB: Our fans are the lifeblood of the band – you guys make this whole thing possible! Coming all the way from New Zealand, we are incredibly grateful for the friends and fans we’ve made throughout the years, and for all the amazing times we’ve shared.
IM: What are your pre-show rituals, if you have any?
MB: I always run through my guitar solos so I feel nice and warmed up, and also I run through the first song of the set so that when I walk onstage, I can just focus on putting on a great show. I have an incredible amount of energy right before we go on, so I usually end up walking around the backstage area playing my guitar – I can’t sit still!
IM: For people who have never seen you in concert, what can they expect to see from Like a Storm onstage?
MB: Anyone who is new to a Like A Storm concert can expect to see an energetic arena rock show. We also enjoy incorporating all of the musical elements that we love into our live set – so you can look forward to hard rock, acoustic songs, piano, didgeridoo… all of the parts that make up LAS.
IM: You have several YouTube exclusive songs from the earlier days of Like a Storm that many fans enjoy, but can only listen to via YouTube. For example: “Nobody’s Fault,” “Take Me to the Edge,” and your cover of fellow Kiwi band Supergroove’s “Sitting Inside My Head.” Would you ever consider re-recording these and putting them onto an EP or iTunes only release?
MB: Absolutely. Whenever we start a new record, we always go through a huge list of songs that each of the 3 of us have written – which always includes our favorite songs from the past. As much as we push forward creatively, we also love those earlier songs, so there is definitely the chance that they will be on future releases.
IM: Do you have any words of wisdom for bands that are starting out and want to take their music into the spotlight?
MB: Take chances, don’t be afraid to be yourself, and most importantly – do it for the love of it. After getting the chance to tour with people I grew up idolizing, the consistent thing you see is that they all just love music. In this day and age, it is important to understand the business side too – but as you climb the ladder, don’t let the music industry detract from the most important thing… that you are doing what you love. That is why we all started bands in the first place!
IM: Any plans for 2013 that you would like to share?
MB: Definitely Maria! We will be touring for the rest of 2013, we are having such an awesome time on our Adrenaline Intoxication headline tour. We are also really excited to finish up Chaos Theory Part 2 and get it out to our fans, and also to have our live DVD out there too! We have a few other treats in store for you too later in the year… It’s a really inspired and exciting time for us, and we can’t wait to share it with our friends and fans.
You can purchase a CD and buy concert tickets here.