Recently, Seattle’s Bréag Naofa released their EP Cearo via their Bandcamp page in digital and vinyl formats. And have since released II via Halo of Flies and, again, on their Bandcamp page. So, needless to say they’ve been busy but what they offer is an expansively dark version of post metal sprinkled with sludge and black metal. To dismiss it would be a grave error as the results of both Cearo and II are stunning and extremely well executed. We got the chance to ask Roger Kilburn (guitars) our set of Profile questions and he was kind enough to oblige with great answers. See for yourself after the jump.
How did you first get into playing music and have you achieved the level of success that you always hoped to achieve?
Always been into music, but as a teenager, it was the whole grunge movement that got me really interested in playing. I couldn’t stand the glam bands as a kid, and thought they were a bit ridiculous, before i even got into punk, grunge was the first big “fuck you” to the standard, and unfortunately it slowly became commercial too. I immediately wanted to play guitar/bass and bugged my family for an entire year until I got an instrument. I have since played in various hardcore, punk, and metal bands from my teens until now. I’ve been able to tour a good portion of the world with these bands, so I think the level of success has been phenomenal considering the small town I grew up in. Bréag Naofa is a band I wanted to start as something a bit different from my comfort zone of fast, aggressive and no effects. I wanted to play something slow and heavy, more involved with pedals and tempos.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, debased and praised? If you don’t have a story please tell us any embarrassing story.
We haven’t done too much to debase ourselves. I was in a Ska band at 16 (who wasn’t in the 90s?) and we wanted to play this stupid show so badly we told the venue we’d “pay to play.” Very dumb idea in hind sight, but we were kids. As for embarrassing tour stories…I got slapped around by a dom in a bar once while the singer of Hatebreed was DJ for an after party show at some bar in Chicago, hahaha.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
The metal scene seems to have it’s shit together with bands that are really talented. Some people look at slower tempo music and feel like it’s pretty easy to play, but a lot of those bands add tons of layers, extra dimensions with unusual instruments, and just lots of work with pedal boards and effects. Not sure if there’s much in the post-metal scene that i see wrong. I grew up in the punk and hardcore scene and I’ve kinda drifted away from that, as I see a lot of the “scene politics” either going in a direction that seems ludicrous or not even political at all. Most of what I’ve seen in the post-metal scene is just the dedication to creating art.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music? (This question is especially appropriate for you since your music is quite an outlet for your physical and emotional pains).
Bréag Naofa, in particular, speaks about a lot of social issues that involve religion. The band takes a stance that religion is like a virus and something that poisons everything it touches. That is our biggest stance which does have its hands in the political realm. Especially today in the US. We also deal with a lot of social issues that hinge on depression and things of that nature. A lot of the older hardcore bands I’ve been in have spoken up about a plethora of political issues, ranging from US foreign policy, US domestic treatment of indigenous peoples, and outright of profiteering that corporations basically carry out on the “parasites” of society. Music is always a good outlet for these ideas. Bréag Noafa just takes a different perspective, but still manages to cover important issues no matter how cryptic the lyrics may be.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
Haha, surprisingly, my dad! He loves metal. I pretty much updated his metal tastes from the older metal of the 70s and 80s to what’s around today. My dad listens to shit I don’t even like, like Morbid Angel (sorry Morbid Angel).
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Hmm, I guess just realizing that music is changing, and it’s so easy to get our music for free…we’re happy that people get to hear it, and we’ll spend every dime we have to put things out. A lot of our recent releases come out on labels, but we still fork over cash just to make sure it’s getting out there. I think just recognizing that, hey, not only are they putting their hearts and souls into this, they also shell out their entire wallets for it too. I don’t care if people get things for free. Just appreciate the work that others have put into it and spread that around so others find out.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
This band is comprised of old men who all used to be in other bands. We like to tour when we can, we love playing, and especially writing music. If we can officially start the cult of Bréag though, I’m on board. Let’s get it moving! As for hobbies and jobs…we’re all punk sell outs…we have dad jobs, haha. I spend a lot of time getting my ass kicked kickboxing, and for some reason I love it. I think the other dudes just sit around eating tubs of butter and ‘baitin.’
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Cult of Luna, Year of No Light are in regular rotation for post-metal. I love listening to shit like Phantogram, Naked and Famous, Sigur Ros, This will Destroy you on the other end of the spectrum. I probably listen to more post-rock than metal. I keep trying to start a chill band, but somehow keep getting drug back into the metal scene haha.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thank to Roger for his time!