Braebrook at On Rock, May 2015//Interview & Review

Braebrook's latest album

A hot, Friday’s summer night yielded a relaxing night for the show at On Rock, a community services center that aids people living in poverty in Montreal located in Pierrefonds, on the West Island.  The night’s line-up consisted of Offset, Saul Hittner, Strengthen What Remains, Braebrook, and Kennedy.

Offset started the crowd off with what they describe as “orchestrated chaos/butter sludge punk”[1] creating noise that incorporates elements of sludge punk, metal and grimy noise.  With Leim Poncho Morrel on vocals, Blunt Nose Wizard[2] on guitar, Juju on bass and Pablodrums on drums, these guys aren’t a joke band, but you’ll get a kick out of ‘em at no ones cost.

Saul Hittner set a more serious, sad note when they took over the stage. French Montreal band, more melodic metal and post-hardcore with a La Dispute sound mingling with Defeater.  With Pierre-Luc Blais on vocals, Tyan Woo on guitar, Mathieu Vallee also on guitar, Hugo Cavailles on bass and Mike Guglia on drums.

Braebrook took the stage next, with vocalist Jesse Nasielski, 7 string guitarist Etienne Antione, guitarist Benjamin Glover, 5 string bassist Stephane Thomson, and drummer Brandon French.  The band looked undeniably prepared for their upcoming tour with their active and dynamic stage presence and Jesse’s singer’s box.  Incredibly animated and ridiculously heavy, the band started with “Eternity”.

The hard/metalcore band, just walking the fine-line of deathcore, was without a doubt, the heaviest band on the scene.  Sounding like Structures,  the song has it’s softer parts, but comes in heavy.  The next song was one they just released an official lyric video to, “Slander”.  A song about the police, Jesse mentioned, was much heavier as Brandon’s stick broke and headbanging executed. Both songs were off their latest EP, “The Savegery Of Time”, with killer guitar parts ripping into you and heavy bass, it’ll leave ears bleeding.  “Mariana” came in softer than the two previous, more hardcore, Emmure sounding. Entropy was their last song on set and they ended with phenomenal energy and stage performance from the band.  The vocalist’s little cousins came by to watch his show since they listen to his music and enjoy it.

It was heartwarming to see the 2 young boy’s come out to support their cousin, and even more so when the vocalist of Strengthen What Remains gave a speech about equality and safety within the hardcore community.  Made up of Devin Stroud, Josh White, David Ball, Anthony O’Neal, Danny Mills and Joe Finney from Tampa, Florida.  Powerful and tireless stage performance, the hardcore/metal band from Florida blended right in.  With a sound like Buried Alive, or Figure Four, these guys ripped in to the crowd with heavy, riff-laden sludge songs.

The headlining Kennedy’s, a more fast aggressive type of hardcore with a punk stride kind of band, came out with an incredibly strong dynamic.  In your face and antipathetic while still being melodic metal as some points.

INTERVIEW WITH BRAEBROOK

After the show I got to ask them a few questions; modest, sweet guys, with a passion for music and great attitude.

Jesse Nasielski – Vocals
Etienne Antoine – Guitar
Benjamin Glover – Guitar
Stephen Thomson – Bass
Brandon French – Drums

When did you guys first start out as a band and why?

Jesse: we started the band a year and a half ago or maybe close to two years ago, Ben and I, he had just parted ways with Pandora’s wake and this was just a means of keeping on creating music.  He called me up when after and uh from then we just started finding members. Stephen the bassist and Brandon the drummer kind of came as a joint par, which was really cool cause you know cutting the search down to a minimum was really convenient for us, as a means to make music. Oh, also Etienne, I met Etienne at another show he was a guitarist, we started talking and got to talking about where he lived and turns out he lived a five minute walk from my house, so that was even more convenient.

So where did the name come from and is that the first name?

Ben: The Street, it’s called Braebrook by my house. It’s actually really hard to come up with a band name, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. And I thought it was a cool word and I think people liked it a bit.

Jesse: As a means again, to try to veer away from wanna-be, try hard, hardcore bands.

Best, Worst & First Gigs?

Etienne: The best gig we’ve ever played for me was the last time we played here (On Rock).  I don’t know, it was just such a fucking turn-up and it was fun and there were a lot of people and we weren’t expecting that so it turned out to be a pretty chill night. Other than that we actually played with “Thy Art Is Murder” and that again was really fun. The worst gig we ever played, well, I’d rather not talk about it.

*chorus of “dude like what” from bandmates*

Etienne: Well “Black Tongue” but like, yeah…

Jesse: Oh, “Black Tongue”. Yeah.

Ben: Things broke, it really didn’t go well.

Jesse:  I think my favourite gig actually was our EP release show party, we had silly strings actually. We also learned silly string is awful to get off of you and smells really bad.

Ben: We went to the dollar store and spent like 20$. Bought silly string, like huge sung glasses and lei’s and balloons and shit yeah, it was pretty cool. The whole building was just filled with balloons.

What are your influences/Favourite Bands?

Jesse:  Protest The Hero by far for me. English literature actually really inspires my lyrics, like the song “Mariana” was actually written about a book called “Mariana” by Alfred Lord Tennyson about the civil war and I’m a huge English Lit nerd so instead of being super hardcore death grind we decided, or I decided I guess, to be English Lit nerds
Stephen: Black Dahlia Murder, Behemoth, Criptopsy, old White Chapel, Satan is always my influence, Cattle Decapitation,  uh just technical death metal and deathcore.

Jesse:  It’s really cool because we all have different genres of music that influence us so it’s really fun when it comes to the writing process.

 That leads onto the next questions, how does the writing process take place? How did you guys decide on such a unique heavy sound?

Jesse laughing: dude that’s all Ben

Ben: That’s so not all me, man. Honestly it’s all of us.  There are actually songs where you’ve written all of it, it goes around. We all contribute.

*Ben you’re Braebrook*

Jesse: We all contribute our own styles, like obviously I write my lyrics, Ben’s a guitar pro god except for unbalance which is Stephen and I .

What’s your favourite song to play onset?

Brendan: “Slander”.

Jesse: “Mariana” for sure.

Stephen: “Unbalanced”.

Ben:  “False Importance.”

What’s the easiest and hardest thing about being in the band?

Jesse: The hardest part about being in an emerging band is the time and effort put in to it. Getting your name out there, and renting gear if you need a trailer and promoting. We’re going on tour and we just now are ready because our boys in Eye’s Of Sinner let us use their trailer. Just preparing for that, you don’t get in to music for the money, it’s more for passion because you don’ get much money out of it.

Ben:  If you like what you’re doing then you’re going to find a way to get it done, you know. There’s a lot of effort and money you have to invest, but you know it’s worth it.

Jesse: I think I speak for all of us that it’s fucking worth it, we wouldn’t be in it if it wasn’t.

Do you guys have a ritualistic kind of thing for band practice?

Jesse:  Thursday practice at Brendon’s house.  His cat doesn’t like our music.

I heard you guys have a tour coming up, how’d that happen?

Jesse:  Yeah, uhm so one day I decided we were going on tour. I’ve been playing in bands for close to seven years now and I’ve never gone on tour, I’ve been in 3 bands now with Ben and we’ve always talked about going on tour so I contacted close to 20 promoters and most of them where like “we don’t know who you are” but this one guy, Gabriel Cory, actually was like “Alright I’m going to book your entire tour and contact all the promoters I know and book you in Toronto”. Silver Wings studio was actually going to help us out, but then we decided to do it independently.
[1] https://www.facebook.com/pages/Offset/724355944255575?sk=info&tab=page_info

[2] ‘’

Written By Grace Karam, a big thanks to  Braebrook for taking the time for this, and putting on a killer show!