Brasstronaut Interview: SXSW 2010
Started by Edo van Breemen and Bryan Davies in 2005, the Vancouver-based Brasstronaut have morphed over the years to include six members playing instruments like flugelhorn, lap steel, and trumpet in addition to the usual rock 'n' roll lineup. The self-described experimental pop band "with electronic and ambient tendencies" is set to put out its debut LP, 'Mount Chimaera,' on March 1 on van Breemen's own label, Unfamiliar Records. Following a tour across Canada with pit stops in Chicago, New York and Boston, the sextet heads to Austin. There they will play three SXSW shows, including the Pop Montreal showcase, and probably eat a lot of nachos. Spinner recently chatted with Van Breemen about the band's influences and tour tendencies.
How did your band form?
Four years ago I started casually playing with Bryan, our trumpet player, and we steadily acquired additional hands. We have good friends play in shows with us, and we just see what works or doesn't work. At this point we have six people, most recently a lap steel/guitar guy and a clarinet/synth player.
Describe your sound.
I think that we are sort of an experimental pop band, with electronic and ambient tendencies. And I mean "experimental" in the literal sense. On this album we reworked our ideas for so many months, and it took a long time to come to decisions on how to put arrangements together on the recording. What we are not is indie jazz.
You've gotten that a lot?
Yeah, it's happened a lot because we have a trumpet and our name is Brasstronaut, so people think we're, like, a ska band.
Speaking of your band name, how did you come up with that?
My ex-girlfriend. When Bryan and I started out we had no real vision for turning into a