Every weekday, DIY’s new music know-it-all Neu brings you one essential new release to get obsessed with. Today’s Neu Pick comes from Brain Queen.
There’s a glint in the eye of Brain Queen; a manic edge that lends everything an inescapable fear factor. In the video for their new single ‘Better Off Dead’, premiering below on DIY as today’s Neu Pick, the Brighton band relinquish control, willingly succumbing to the madness.
Pulling at their own skin and looking like they’re about to dribble on their own shoes, the four piece douse themselves in trippy imagery that perfectly matches ‘Better Off Dead”s warped fuzz. They kick straight through the haze with ease though - never losing themselves in meandering psychedelia, there’s a perfectly executed dedication to kicking down the doors with noise that marks Brain Queen out as a gripping addition to - and potential breakthrough stand out of - a scene that’s fit to burst with rough-around-the-edges groups.
Tonight, Brain Queen play Brighton’s Green Door Store with fellow Neu Pick stars St Tropez and Fallow Deer. Ahead of that, we had a quick natter with the band’s frontman Jordan to discuss all things Brighton, Rihanna and “shitty songs about sending nudes to my ex.”
Brighton’s absolutely bursting with grungy, psych-y bands at the moment - what’s in the water down there?
Acid. Loads of acid. I can only really speak for myself really but I feel there’s a definite consistent inconsistency about Brighton that kinda keeps you guessing and always surprises you, it’s hard not to draw inspiration from that. I suppose the amount of outlets and promoters putting on great, weird shows also lends itself to people thinking, “Fuck, I’m gonna move by the sea and get involved in this” - that’s pretty much the reason why me and a lot of people I know ended up down here.
Is that Brighton community important to you?
It is and it isn’t. It’s sweet having a whole bunch of genuinely nice people around you that you see out and talk about music and go to each others’ shows, there’s no band rivalry rubbish - it’s all love. Saying that if there wasn’t this special community here I’d still be writing shitty songs about sending nudes to my ex.
It’s still early days - how did Brain Queen come about?
Brain Queen has been occupying most of my brain for nearly three years now (fuck?!?!) but we’ve been together as a band for like 9 months or something. I did the cliché “broken-hearted bedroom rocker” thing on my own for a bit but then I went and found 3 of the most perfect human beings to play my songs with and now it’s a living, breathing monster.
What are the biggest influences on you as a bunch, musical or otherwise?
We just enjoy going nuts live, if we can play songs that get that across then we’re happy. I like to make people feel weird when we play, a guy once said to me after one of our gigs “the vocals in that song made me feel really uncomfortable” - that was the biggest compliment I’ve ever received. I think Rihanna is a big influence on us at the moment… imagine going out on tour with Rhi Rhi…
Take us through the video for ‘Better Off Dead’… it’s a bit of a creepy one.
Katia (Ganfield) approached us after our first gig and said she wanted to do a video with us, she’s done some pretty awesome stuff for some cool bands so we were well up for it. Katia got her mate Jay (Bartlett) on board and they basically just took the reigns with it and told us what they had in mind, we all got totally on board and are so stoked with how it came out. The video had a loose concept of the whole song being a haunting figment of my imagination but essentially ended up with me getting a birthday cake smashed into my face.
You’re starting to tiptoe out of Brighton now, with your first London show in the bag. What’s 2016 got in store?
There’ll be a release in early 2016 with another to follow later in the year, with even weirder videos to boot. We’re also gonna get out there and play in front of lots of people’s faces. Also, Rihanna, if you’re listening, just pick up the phone and we’re all yours.