After featuring the guys a few days ago via a news article, we thought it’d be a great idea to also do an interview. Brain Ape were kind enough to answers a few questions for Distrolution! You can indeed learn more about the band’s video for ‘Graphomania’, as well as their upcoming projects below!
Photography by Gregory Hesse-Wagner
Hello Brain Ape. Hope you’re doing great? First of all, thanks for taking time to chat with me. For those who are not familiar with your band, could you please introduce yourselves, as well as your roles in Brain Ape?
Sol: Hi, I’m Sol. I’m the bass player. My role in the band is to try and derail anything that Minky tries to do.
Minky: And I’m Minky. I whip Sol back into submission whenever I have to.
Sol: We are in Brain Ape; a coalition of evil forces that have come together to make a mixture of Punk and Grunge music.
Minky: I don’t like the word Grunge.
Sol: Stoner Rock and Punk music?
You recently released a video for ‘Graphomania’. How was the shooting experience for this music video? Any funny story to share with our readers?
Minky: The shoot was supposed to be straight forward, but it wasn’t. We got to the location early in the morning and we found that it had absolutely no power.
Sol: Which isn’t fun when you’re out in the middle of nowhere.
Minky: The container we used is actually where False Heads rehearse, and a couple of days before hand they’d tripped the fuse box. This shouldn’t have been too much of an issue, but the box was behind a broken barn door which was impossible to open. So we got the owner of the property all the way down from their abode to try and fix the situation. Which they couldn’t, it being a Sunday and everything. Barn door mechanics don’t work on Sundays, apparently. So our next option was renting a generator that runs on petrol, which was looking likely, until we found one lonesome socket miles away from the container.
Sol: So we had to go to B&Q to buy an extremely long extension cable.
Minky: We ended up with power, though. All’s well that ends well.
Sol: Then while on set between takes, Minky was talking about the best ways to smash a guitar. “It’s all about snapping the neck”. He ended up smashing his guitar on stage in Paris not long after that, and the neck stayed intact. It was the body of the guitar that was obliterated.
Minky: Didn’t really break like I thought it would.
This song is taken from your 2017 second album, ‘Auslander’. Could you please introduce this record? What kind of songs can we indeed expect on it, for those who haven’t heard it yet?
Sol: Expect a dirty, Bowie-esque mixture of Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age. Add a whole bunch of Punk, specifically American Punk –
Minky: But no Brain Ape? This doesn’t sound like a Brain Ape album at all?
Sol: Well… that too.
Minky: It’s the result of years of work. We’re hoping that it’s the sort of album that you can put on and you can listen to it from track one to track twelve –
Sol: And still feel like it’s a complete experience.
Minky: Hopefully people don’t skip very many of the tracks.
Sol: I hope not.
Do you guys plan on releasing new songs anytime soon? If yes, what can we expect from Brain Ape in 2018?
Sol: There’s a definite possibility, but at the moment we’re focussing on ‘Auslander’.
Minky: There are still a bunch of people on this planet who haven’t heard the record. So our plans for 2018 are to demonstrate what we’re about to those people, and hopefully they’ll dig it. Plus, with Brain Ape we tend to go into projects with a concept. We don’t tend to write one song at a time and then release them individually. At the moment, we aren’t yet ready to move onto our next big project. Having said that, who knows? We have released singles on their own before, so perhaps this will be a year where we do that. We’ll have to wait and see.
I saw that you’re playing a lot of shows. So far, what has been your most beautiful / memorable concert and why?
Sol: For me it was Paris. That was the most memorable. We tore that stage up. And our most beautiful was probably our latest show in London.
Minky: It was nice see so many Brain Ape shirts in the crowd during our London set, which was something we had yet experienced. But in Paris, Malina Molgan was the promoter for the show and she was great to us. The way things went the day of the gig, the whole thing could have fallen apart but she kept it all together. It ended up being a really good show, despite all of the hiccoughs throughout the day, and that’s thanks to her.
Last but not least, what would you say has been the biggest highlight of your band’s career so far?
Sol: Recording ‘Auslander’. And possibly even ‘Dead at 20’.
Minky: ‘Dead at 20’. Man, that’s old-school. It was an incredibly important EP for us to make.
Sol: That was the turning point where we decided what we wanted to do with Brain Ape.
Minky: Yeah, because we’d only released one single before then which was a very lofty and lightweight Beatles rip-off. ‘Dead at 20’ was the first time we were confident enough to make really horrible sounding music. It’s also when we started experimenting with blending softer material with the heavier sound.
Sol: Dynamic changes and the like. The characteristics that would later become very noticeably Brain Ape.
Minky: Which is totally unique to us, and no one has ever done it before in the history of music.
Minky: But ‘Dead at 20’ lead to our first album a year later, which solidified the band. So our entire history as Brain Ape can be traced back to ‘Dead at 20’.
Thanks for your time!
Minky: Thank you very much for having us.