Several years ago three brothers Chris, Matt, and Kent Brooks, along with their drummer mate Thomas Karanasos, formed a band called Like a Storm. They played their first rehearsal in a little country known as the land of the long white cloud. That was the only time they rehearsed together before packing up and moving from New Zealand to the other side of the world. It was the best move these guys could make and, by following their hearts, they ended up in Canada, being signed by Prospect Park record label and touring with a little band you may have heard of, Creed.
Like a Storm are now fronting their own tours and have released their first album The End of the Beginning. For their first hard rock album these guys have struck it rich and were lucky enough to be introduced to multi-platinum producer Mike Plotnikoff (My Chemical Romance/BuckCherry) who got them started on The End of the Beginning album. It's a rich album well worth listening to as it delivers an edgy sound with definite finished quality.
The band, Like a Storm, have made a hell of an impact with their video release "Chemical Infatuation," and their dark melodic style plays out so well on camera. This single shows the capability of the band as a professional and well-rounded group that have all the talent modern rockers should bring to the table. You can hunt the video down on the band's own website at Like a Storm. Hayley Woodgate recently interviewed the stylish rock group to give you a heads up on the band's personal perspectives and invites you to deeply consider checking out their new album The End of the Beginning if you revel in dark rock sounds.
Where does the band name "Like a Storm" originate?
MATT: It came from a line from one of our earlier songs. We felt the name really captured the vibe of the band, and the kind of music that we love to play – larger than life, epic. The storm metaphor also really speaks to the range of music that we play – from hard-hitting rock to more melodic and ambient songs. A storm can be both beautiful and aggressive at the same time.
What genre of music do you consider the band to be? Who are the band's influences?
MATT: We grew up on a wide range of music, and have always strived to incorporate elements from all of these genres into our sound. We have been described as hard rock, metal, punk, industrial, grunge, pop, electronic, alternative… I think our sound is somewhere in there! As far as our favourite artists – we love anyone who pushes the boundaries creatively. Like Faith No More, Massive Attack, Metallica, Tool, and Bjork… all very different and each one totally unique. Artists like this really inspire us, musically, lyrically, visually… all across the spectrum of creativity.
The new album has a really clean professional sound. How has the music evolved since you first began as a band?
MATT: Thanks Hayley! We are really proud of how The End of the Beginning sounds – we wanted to nail that balance of big rock production while still retaining the organic sounds of the instruments, and the raw emotion of the vocals. Mike (Plotnikoff) & Igor (Khoroshev) did an amazing job of producing and mixing the record. As artists we are always trying to evolve, and Mike and Igor really helped us to do this. We have always loved to write music that combines heavy guitar riffs and melodic vocals with ambient textures – but Mike & Igor really pushed us to experiment and explore. We spent 2 chaotic and creative years making The End of the Beginning, and every minute of that madness can be heard on that record.
The first single "Chemical Infatuation" has been released with a great video. What is the story behind the film clip and did you enjoy making it?
MATT: Making the "Chemical Infatuation" video was awesome! We knew that we wanted to make a video that was dark and stood out from other videos that are out there. We'd talked to a few different directors, but bonded with Yarvo straight away over a love of dark twisted imagery. Yarvo, who directed the video, had the vision for this twisted and dark tale, pushing the song's themes of obsession and the darker side of desire even further. We loved his vision, and we love the video he made – like a mini horror movie. He is so talented man. We shot the video at the Panavision Soundstages in Los Angeles, which was cool because "Chemical Infatuation," along with the other songs on The End of the Beginning, had been recorded in LA. The video tells the story of a tormented and obsessed young man, who kidnaps and murders a young girl. He then turns the object of his affection into a potion, a drug that he can ingest to get high. When in his hallucinatory state, he enters a dreamlike trance where he imagines that he is in loving embrace with his victim. At the end of the video, driven mad by his desire and obsession, he drinks the potions of all of his other victims and overdoses, empty bottle in hand. We played in the killer's attic, which was a very cool and very creepy setting!
Matt, Chris and Kent, what impact has being brothers had on the band?
MATT: From the first time Kent, Chris, and I jammed together, we felt an amazing chemistry between us, which lead us to pack up our lives in New Zealand and follow our dream to North America. So i guess you could say the impact was pretty major! We grew up playing in different bands, but always on the same wavelength. Being brothers certainly gives you a deep underlying connection, both musically and personally. And when we found Thomas and started playing with him, we felt the same connection – he was the missing piece to our puzzle. We all share this dream, all the crazy nights and adventures, the ups and downs, and at the end of the day we are all family.
Thomas, how did you become the drummer of Like a Storm? How have you found working with three brothers?
THOMAS: Well, to make a long story even longer, it came down to us meeting through mutual friends in Vancouver. I was playing in another group at the time and the guys had seen me play, between that and us connecting on a personal level, everything fit. Now working with everyone is a natural progression. You're learning new things everyday about one another on a personal and musical level. Every show we play together our playing improves and we connect on a higher level. Working with the guys feels natural and a real positive fit for us all.
Hailing originally from New Zealand, why did you decide on a move to Canada after only one rehearsal together?
MATT: When we were growing up in New Zealand, we always loved music more than anything else. And after we first started playing in bands, that's all we wanted to do with our lives. Each of us started our own bands, and writing songs and playing shows became our main passions. When we first jammed together, we realised that we were all on the same page and that we shared a great musical chemistry. We all had dreams of rock stardom, and at that point we knew had something special together. So we packed up our lives in New Zealand, moved to Vancouver, Canada, where we could start to build a career in North America. Our time playing in Vancouver lead us to Los Angeles, where we made The End of the Beginning, and now we are lucky enough to be touring North America with some of the biggest bands in the world!
You have quite a few tour dates coming up over the year. What should the fans expect from a Like a Storm performance?
MATT: As much as we love recording and writing, we have always thought of ourselves as a live band. We pride ourselves on our live show – after all, it was all we had when we first moved from New Zealand to Canada. Everything that has happened since then has been on the strength of those first shows in Canada. We love to put on a big rock show – energetic, larger than life, entertaining. Playing live gives us the opportunity to transport people in this world that we have created, to forget about everything else, and just have a good time. We feel so lucky to be out touring and playing for so many awesome rock fans on the road!
You're all attractive guys… and I'm sure the girls want to know… who's single and who's looking?
MATT: Haha thanks Hayley – that's really nice of you to say. Don't speak too soon though; just wait till the wigs and Kiss boots come off! As far as relationships go, let me just say that one of us is taken, and three of us are not. But all of us are married to the band.
Any words for the fans and fans to be?
MATT: Yeah man, absolutely. To all of our amazing fans – thank you so much for everything. We love you guys! We feel so lucky to have met so many awesome people over the past few years, and to have rocked with so many great crowds on these past tours. And to our incredible street team, the Stormwatchers – thank you so much for all of your support and help at the shows! We can't wait to come back and rock with you all again!
Thanks for the interview opportunity guys. The new album The Beginning of the End from Like a Storm is out now and available from Amazon. Be sure to catch Like a Storm on tour. For details see their website.