New Zealand indie-pop dup Broods released their third album Don’t Feed The Pop Monster in February this year. The album followed 2016’s Conscious and 2014’s Evergreen (both of which peaked at number one on the New Zealand Music Chart). The band – comprising of siblings Georgia and Caleb Nott – have toured with the likes of Haim, Sam Smith, and Taylor Swift, and they’ll be heading to Aus shores early next year to play a few shows, including Taronga at Twilight in Sydney, and Party in the Paddock in Launceston. We caught up with Georgia while she was in America to chat about the band’s upcoming fourth album, the excitement of writing camps, and the importance of art in the modern age.
Music Feeds: Can you hear me okay?
Georgia Nott: Yeah, it’s all good! Sorry, I’m just outside, so [laughs].
MF: Oh, cool, what are you doing?
GN: I’m actually in Philadelphia for Thanksgiving.
MF: That sounds nice!
GN: Yeah, it’s like my first American Thanksgiving thing.
MF: That’s so exciting! I’ve always wondered what that would be like, like the American Thanksgiving vibe.
GN: Me too, and it’s kind of exactly what I thought it was gonna be like. It’s dope.
MF: Speaking of dope things — what has you the most excited about playing at Twilight in Taronga this January?
GN: I think, to be honest, I get excited to play anything in Australia [laughs], because, I dunno, I think our music really connects there, and every time we’ve ever played any show – whether it’s a festival or our own headline show, or a support thing – it’s always been like, received so well. I always look
forward to playing in Australia, no matter what shape or form it’s in or whereabouts it is, to be honest.
MF: In the theme of Taronga Zoo, what’s your favourite animal?
GN: My favourite animal… Aw, I’m gonna be that person that’s a real cliché and just say dogs
[laughs], because they’re just so [sighs]… I feel like they give me everything I want! They just give you attention, snuggles, they follow me around, you know?
MF: Do you have a dog?
GN: My parents do. They, funnily enough, got a dog when I left home, after asking for a dog for my whole life [laughs]. Classic Mum and Dad move… but they just needed something to replace me with [laughs].
MF: Of course, of course. Have you been working on any new material lately?
GN: That’s kind of all we’ve been doing, to be honest. We’ve just been in the studio pretty much every day, just like… I think when you’re working on your fourth album, it takes a bit of time to just experiment with how you’re going to evolve, and figure out how you wanna change or stay the same as an artist or just like, figuring out how to say what you wanna say in a new way, or like… yeah. Fourth album [laughs].
MF: Yeah, it’s exciting!
GN: Yeah, it’s cool! I feel like it comes with like, a little bit of pressure to be the best album you’ve ever made because you’ve learnt more and you’ve like, experienced more, and you know more about music and you know more about yourself as an artist. So, I think we’re just trying to like, really give it the time and the energy that we want to, so that it can be a really authentic and organic thing, but also be like, an evolved and better version of us.
MF: Have you been working in the studio in America, while you’re over there?
GN: Yeah. We’ve got a studio in downtown LA, and we go there a lot. We’ve been working in other producers’ studios. We’re going on some writing trips, we’re doing like, a writing trip in Colorado next week, and hopefully doing another one at the start of next year. I think writing camps are dope ‘cause it takes you away from everyday life, and everyday life can kind of infiltrate your creative brain, sometimes and I like to just wipe everything off the table, and like, really hone in on just music and just being creative. So, I’m excited! I feel like lots of the best stuff comes from that.
MF: That’s cool! So, what kind of things happen at writing camp? Is it a bit like a regular camp?
GN: It’s mostly just like, a condensed version of being in the studio every day. Because you’re not like, you’re not going home to your own house, you just kind of live and breathe music. You’re
writing and staying in the same place, and you just like, basically wake up and eat and… I’ve only been to one or two [laughs], but all you do is wake up and eat, all you think about is like, what you’re going to make. It’s really refreshing ‘cause when you’re at home, writing, you’re thinking about making an album, but you’re also thinking about like, how you need to do laundry [laughs], or you need to buy some more bread or milk, or whatever, or how you need to get new batteries for your remote [laughs]. It just sort of takes away that everyday admin brain, and I think sometimes your creative brain is such a specific world that you live in when you’re creating, and your admin brain sometimes takes up some room. And so, whenever we go on these camps that are like, just 100 per cent the designated time to be just in music world and just in writing world, I find it really inspiring. And they usually have been in places that are new, and there’s nature, usually, and it’s just like, this little thing that picks you up and lifts you out of your everyday world and like, puts you into this new environment that you can feed off and draw inspiration from, which I think is really important, especially when you’re working on your fourth album and you’re like, ‘what to say now…’.
MF: That sounds so fun, and like such an interesting thing to experience!
GN: Yeah, and there’s always a lot of people that are very similar to you when it comes to like, the way that they process the world and the way that they need music to make sense of everything, and you end up having really important conversations, really inspiring conversations, as well as writing really cool music. I’m just all for writing camps. I’ll be the poster girls [laughs].
MF: I love that, the whole connecting with people thing. It’s one of my favourite things about life, like when you just find people that are so much like you, it’s just the best!
GN: I think like, in your everyday life you’re faced with all this information. Like, I feel like you just
look on your phone in the morning and you hear 1000 articles about how everybody is at war or at odds or thinking differently, and there’s always so much concentration on how we’re different as people, that like, when you find those connections where you’re like, ‘oh my god, we’re so similar!’, it’s just like, it’s really comforting.
MF: No, for sure! So, what artists are you listening to at the moment?
GN: I went to the best show I’ve ever been to in my entire life recently. This chick Kazu, who used to be in a band called Blonde-Redhead – and I never really listened to Blonde Redhead at all – but she’s under the same publisher as us, and our publisher was like, ‘you should check out this artist Kazu, and go to her show’. And so, my brother and I and a couple of our friends went and we were just like ‘cool, don’t really know what to expect’, it’s pretty like, experimental and like, very emotional music. Man, we went to that show and honestly, my jaw was on the ground the whole time, and people were looking around at each other just like, laughing at how good it was [laughs]. Just strangers turning to one another being like, ‘what?!’. It was so good! And another guy, his artist project is called Hether. Just got introduced to that new EP, it’s called Hether Who? and it is so, so good. It’ a really perfect summer EP, actually, so everybody should look that up!
MF: Thank you for the recommendations! Reflecting on 2019, what have been some of your favourite moments?
GN: 2019 I think like, has been a really big personal growth year for both me and Caleb, and I think that will reflect in the new music that we’re making, but to be honest, a lot of it has been like… I mean, Caleb’s 27, I’m 25, I feel like we’re going through another puberty [laughs]. Like, your mid- twenties puberty. It’s been a lot of internal transformations and really trying to understand how we can take what we’ve learned to people, and like, express it through art and use music to help ourselves process really hard times that we’re going through or transitions that we’re going through, and trying to like, connect with everything through music and use music to connect with other people.
It’s been a really personal year of growth, I think, like, the most drastic year of persona growth and transitions I’ve ever had. It’s definitely going to be written all over the next album, so you’ll know all about it soon!
MF: I mean, I relate to that. As a 26-year-old, I get the feeling.
GN: Yeah, it’s real, it’s real, and we need music and art to be able to like, just make sense of it all, I think. We’re trying to make sure that everything we do is real honest and really authentic. We always do, but like, I think sometimes when what you go through is very personal, or what you feel is very raw, it’s scarier, to be honest. But, it’s also really fun to be terrified and still do it. I find it really satisfying. I get a kick out of being terrified [laughs].
MF: Like rollercoasters at theme parks?
GN: Oh yeah! All of it! I love it
MF: It would be so… just opening up ‘cause you’ve got so many people listening, and you’re discussing your feelings and thoughts for everyone to hear, I can’t imagine how that would feel.
GN: It’s scary! It is, but it’s also like… I think that’s why it’s so necessary. Because, you know, a lot of people, especially in this world that we’re living in at the moment, where you have so much information flying in your face, like I was saying before, but there’s like a lack of connection and a lack of like, face-to-face talking about your feelings. It’s like a lot of the world seems to exist online, and like, the real world seems like such a scary place because of everything that you’re seeing when you like, open your phone in the morning and you’re like, looking at all these articles about all the terrible shit that’s going on in the world, and all the ways that we’re, like I was saying before, all the ways we’re different. It’s really important for people to be honest through art so you can build those connections, you can like, reach out to people that are maybe on the other side of the world to you, but they’re going through something similar.
MF: It’s so good as well because you can feel less alone when you read writers or listen to musicians talking about it.
GN: Yeah, and when you find those connections and it pulls you out of your own isolation a little bit, and like, you can feel like there’s a little bit of a community around you, rather than like, being an alien in your own world, in your own life. Like, it definitely feels like that. And the older you get, and the more you learn about the world, and the more empathy you have, and like, as your capacity grows for emotional intelligence or empathy, or anything, the more you have to connect with other people to hold each other up. Because it’s a heavy place. The world is a heavy, heavy place.
MF: Yeah, I resonate so much with that. So, what’s on the cards for Broods for 2020?
GN: We are starting with shows in Australia, and then just trying to like… at the moment we’re just trying to figure out what we’re going to give in the way of new music next year, because I think that’s our goal: to give some new music. We’ve been working so much, it’s kind of like, we feel like even though we’ve put out a record this year, it feels like we need to show everybody what we’ve been doing, because we’ve been working so much in the studio, and we’re definitely ready to put some new music out. Especially ‘cause there was such a long time between records last time – for us anyway – feels like we’ve been ready to release music for so long, we’re just like, ‘yep, we’ve got more now!’. So, new music!
MF: And last question, what are your New Years’ Resolutions?
GN: I think [Caleb] was saying how he’s just trying to follow up on every step of the process, rather than like, making something for the sake of the end product. I think that’s what I want to do. I want to learn to like, love every single moment of like, making music, and every single moment of sharing music. And that would be, probably, the best use of my time, would be learning to just be happy at every single stage of what I’m doing. Obviously, it comes with a lot of pressure, and it comes with a lot of self-doubt, and it comes with a lot of fear, and like, you’re kind of tearing yourself open every time you’re making music, but just learning to love that and learning to be friends with that would be my New Years’ Resolution.
Catch Broods playing live at Twilight At Taronga in 2020!