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Brigade: “In the end, we just really hope for a good song”

Brigade is without a doubt the most idiosyncratic feature of the Keller Family’s musical universe. Their long-fingered sound snatches the best from disco, punk-funk, Italo, and no-wave, and it’s cheeky with its weird drummachine-grooves and synth solos. They themselves called it Potato Disco, so the tone is set. Held together by cigarettes, gas-station snacks, and an undying love for Gigi D’Agostino, Brigade is back on the road, hitting every dog and pony show from Sisyphos to Fusion Festival and all over Europe. 

Ahead of their eagerly anticipated debut album ‘Hard Times, Soft Music’, EG caught up with Brigade to learn more about the drop of their new single, ‘International Communication™’, their connection, origins, and more.

EG: Hi Julius! Hello Niels! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. Where are you based right now? How have you been?

Brigade: We’re doing pretty well. Thank you for having us. I hope it’s not boring to say that we’re in Berlin. Living the cliché, but there really isn’t a better city to be doing what we’re doing.

EG: First of all, congratulations on the release of your new single, ‘International Communication’. What has the initial reception been like?

Brigade: So far it hasn’t been out yet so we really don’t know. Our mums said they like it though.

EG: So, ‘International Communication’ is the first glimpse into your forthcoming album, ‘Hard Times, Soft Music’, which will also be available on Laut & Luise as well. Why did you decide to ‘introduce’ the LP through this particular single?

Brigade: It’s the first track on the album so we felt it’s pretty representative of what’s to come. I would describe it as a really fun sample-heavy tune that is just meant to be kind of a sonic hug. The track is not particularly for dancing, but I guess you could still play it if you feel like being an extra fancy DJ. It’s a nice combination of home listening with a clubby vibe.

EG: What’s the concept behind ‘Hard Times, Soft Music’? Do current events around the world often shape or have bearings on your relationship with music?

Brigade: We are sitting in a dark basement most of the time, so we’re pretty disconnected from civilization generally. Kidding aside, the outlook is bleak right now. Maybe music helps at least a little? Or maybe it’s just escapism and we’re all dancing on top of the volcano? Either way, I’m gonna tune that kick drum.

“It’s the first track on the album so we felt it’s pretty representative of what’s to come”

EG: And what has the recording process for ‘Hard Times, Soft Music’ been like? Did you guys discover something new about yourselves during the whole process?

Brigade: The corona pandemic got us into a weird situation. We sat at home without playing live for most of the year and that definitely influenced the album. That being said, taking a break and just focusing on production with no pressure to even release anything was weirdly freeing. We definitely had this “who cares if we ever get another gig in the world with this stuff.. we like it.” moment.

EG: What would you say is the perfect setting to listen to ‘International Communication’ and ‘Hard Times, Soft Music’? If you could listen to it anywhere, in any state…where and how would you do it?

Brigade: We would recommend doing a nice little trip to your favorite spa and making them play the album. If you can speak a sophisticated language like French or Italian, now would be the time to do it.

EG: Let’s take this back to your origins. When did you first come in contact with electronic music? What was it that first caught your attention about electronic music? Was there a record or show that pushed you down the rabbit hole?

Brigade: ‘The Fat Of The Land’ album by The Prodigy changed our musical priorities from Aggro Berlin to electronic music almost instantly. For a while, we’d just hang out at the Apple Store in Falkensee and do Garage Band tutorials. Which, let’s be honest here, comes with the best sample library of any DAW.

EG: How did you guys connect? When did you realize you could make music together? What’s your chemistry like in the studio? Do you have defined roles?

Brigade: We both used to be residents in the same club in Berlin (Keller, RIP) from 2015 until 2018. I think we kind of hit it off immediately but it really took some time until we started seriously working together. Our studio chemistry changes, but at the moment, we work with two laptops that are MIDI synced and do a sort of improvisational thing. Then, when we have collected enough material, we arrange it together. In the end, we just really hope for a good song.

“Taking a break and just focusing on production with no pressure to even release anything was weirdly freeing”

EG: What are your thoughts on the current state of the scene? What would you like to see more and less of?

Brigade: A nice development of the scene would be if people focused a little more on Instagram in the future. Less music, more stories, please.

EG: What’s next for Brigade? What particular milestones are you looking forward to now?

Brigade: First of all we want this album to finally come out. Never thought it would take this long, but it’s been a two-year process. I don’t know if it’s excitement or Stockholm syndrome at this point, but now we just feel like it’s time to let the music go like ‘Free Willy’. Then we are working on an entirely new, faster, dub-techno-influenced live set that will include only new tracks that we can’t wait to test out in clubs. Playing Tomorrowland 2023 would be the next dream, which hopefully becomes true.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, guys! We wish you all the best for the future.

Brigade: Thanks! You too!

Brigade’s ‘International Communication™’ is out now. Purchase your copy here.

Follow Brigade: SoundCloud | Instagram | Spotify | Facebook 

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