2015 Like a Storm interview with Matt Brooks
In a world of generic rock and roll bands, Like a Storm is one of the few new artists to elevate themselves above the one-hit-blunder masses. Formed by brothers Chris, Matt and Kent Brooks in Auckland, New Zealand, the trio moved across the globe to Vancouver, Canada to pursue their musical dreams. The brothers are all multi-instrumentalists, but each has settled into his own role with Kent handling bass duties, Matt covering lead guitar, and Chris serving up the vocals and rhythm guitar. Matt occasionally handles lead vocals as well, while Chris may be the only frontman in rock and roll to play the didgeridoo on stage, an Aboriginal instrument indigenous to Australia.
Matt recently spoke with Metalholic and shared that he and his brothers would visit relatives in Australia every year and it was on such a trip that Chris discovered his passion for the instrument.
“Chris bought a didgeridoo,” offered Matt. “He’d always kind of been fascinated by it. And he taught himself how to play it in three days, which is nuts cause it’s like one of the hardest instruments on earth to learn. As soon as he could play it, we just thought that was the coolest sound we’d ever heard. So it’s been this kind of evolutionary process since then of us trying to find new ways to work that instrument into our music.”
Like a Storm features the didgeridoo on their monster hit, “Love the Way You Hate Me” from the band’s sophomore release, Awaken the Fire. The song ate up Active Rock Radio when it was self-released by the band on its 2014 EP, Chaos Theory. The same EP featured the band’s rocked up version of Coolio’s best-selling hit, “Gangster’s Paradise”.
The band’s success is hardly surprising, and their hard work and melodically accessible rock sound turned heads with the release of the Like a Storm’s 2009 debut album, The End of the Beginning. The record earned the guys an opening slot on Creed’s reunion tour that year, and Creed guitarist Mark Tremonti has since taken Like a Storm out with his solo bands, Tremonti, and Alter Bridge, and a second tour with Creed.
Matt and the guys live to be on stage, and their live performances are one of a kind. Having toured with big names like Shinedown, Skillet, Drowning Pool, Korn, and most recently, Three Days Grace, Like a Storm have earned thousands of fans along the way. They’ve also appeared at some of rock’s biggest festivals like Download, Rock on the Range, Summerfest, and Pain in the Grass. This fall, the band has undertaken its first full North American headlining tour.
“One of the most fun things about being out on a headline tour,” shares Matt, “is we get to play for longer and we get to do more indulgent stuff. We get to put like slide guitar solos in and we do a didgeridoo and electronic drum jam that’s like the most indulgent thing you can imagine.”
Like a Storm’s independent success on Active Rock radio, combined with their charismatic live shows and fan friendly accessibility, led to the a record deal with Another Century. The group, which also includes drummer Zach Wood, released Awaken the Fire early in 2015. The album features its highly successful singles “Love the Way You Hate Me” and “Gangster’s Paradise”, as well as new hits like “Become the Enemy” and “Wish you Hell.” The latter features some of Matt’s favorite guitar work, and features a delta blues style intro that sounds so authentic the record label assumed it would have to secure the legal rights to use it.
Matt discusses the making of “Wish You Hell”, the new record, and some back story on Like a Storm’s journey so far in the full interview below. The band is currently on tour with From Ashes to New, Stitched Up Heart, and Failure Anthem.
All photos © 2015 Katarzyna Cepek Photography