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Interview: Pierce Brothers


Interview: Pierce Brothers

Kate Sansome

We recently chatted to Melbourne twins, The Pierce Brothers, about their latest EP Into the Dirt, which debuted at #10 on the Aria Album Charts, as well as their massive world tour.  They have just returned from supporting the Cat Empire and the Europe/US leg of their world tour and have just begun their run of Australian shows. Their Top 10 Aria EP Into the Dirt showcases the talented duo's raw and heartfelt roots and folk sound. Just watch, as The Pierce Brothers have just begun conquering the world.


Firstly, what is ‘Into the Dirt’ about and was there any big influences for the EP?

Into the Dirt deals a lot with mental health issues; something that we’re very passionate about. Overdose we took some influences in tone from Angus and Julia Stone’s newer work with Rick Rueben, while Monsters’ solo was a very Powderfinger vibe. Black Dog was a nice quiet song that we always loved and really wanted to get out as soon as possible.


You have done a huge amount of touring this year, did you write your EP whilst touring?

Actually we wrote a lot of the new Album while touring this year, we had the songs either already written at the beginning of the year or else we put them together in the studio on the fly! However, during this year with all of our touring we HAVE written a lot of songs that will be featured on our Debut Album that we plan on recording early 2016.


Into the Dirt' debuted at #10 on the Aria chart, how did that feel? Where were you when you found out and did you have any particular way of celebrating?

We were actually up in Currumbin with our sister, and we were stoked. However we could not really celebrate because we had to get to a festival set then head straight back to the airport and fly to Melbourne then back to Melbourne and back over to Europe to finish the Cat Empire tour. We certainly did a little jig though when we found out.


Did your background in street performing influence including live performances on the EP?

Our live show is because of our time as buskers. At the time when we were first starting out, we really needed the extra edge to get people’s attention. So we just played our “big” style show. We’d do flips and tricks and really focus on trying to impress people with the show as well as the music.

On bigger stages with crowds that don’t really know us (like festivals and support slots for larger bands) we always play it as though we’re busking: they’re not there to see us so we need to make an impression! This includes a lot of the busking traits we learnt of the street as the same rules apply. Lots of somersaults and jumping about like maniacs.


You have just returned from the Europe/US leg of your tour, how was that and how does it feel having fans on the other side of the world?

It was really incredible! It was bizarre in some spots as we’d look at each other and just think, “How are these people here?”

The shows in The Netherlands were the biggest head spin. There was a girl waiting outside the Amsterdam show in 2˚C for about 3 hours just waiting for us to arrive. She didn’t even have a ticket to the show, but just wanted to say hello and give us each a card she wrote. It was amazing. We invited her in to hang during sound check and stay for the show. The Netherlands shows were all completely sold out. It was amazing! It blows our mind that we could be pulling sold out crowds in countries we’ve only been to a couple of times! 

New York City was the craziest city we’ve ever been to. The skyscrapers, the cabs, the people and the vibe of that city blew our brains out! It’s the only city we’ve been to that we kept looking around like massive dorks 10 days into it. We just couldn’t get used to it! Although our diets have taken a pretty big hit this year!


What was it like touring with the Cat Empire?

Touring with the Cats was the most fun we’ve had on the road.  Not only are they incredible musicians, but they were the loveliest guys we’ve had the pleasure of touring with. We’ve done plenty of support tours where we’ve really felt like supports, and not had any sort of rapport with the main acts, but with the Cats we instantly felt like part of the family.

Their technical skills were amazing to watch, night after night. They’re the kind of act that gives each instrument a full on solo, and they SHRED those solos. They’re musical gurus and we learnt so much touring with them.

The crowds were massive all across Europe, so it was great exposure for us! The type of music the Cats play really suited us for a support, and the crowds were ready to dance from the first beat. We had an incredible time!


Do you think your music has changed over the past couple of years and is the writing process the same?

We’ve definitely developed from the “Mumford shuffle” style of writing that we were doing a lot when we were busking. Not that that style of writing is bad or anything. We still love doing that, it’s our JAM! We’ve been working on other forms and styles, something we really are looking forward to showcasing in our debut album. On Into the Dirt we tried some different ideas in Mamma Please that we really loved; it was a piece of music that spoke to us strongly. The writing process itself has changed as we put more time and thought into how the songs play out. Having worked with a few producers now we’ve learnt a few things that we just didn’t think about before.  That’s just growing and learning!


What are your plans for once the tour finishes and for 2016?

We’ve been writing our brains out for the past few months, so we’re really excited to get stuck into that once we’re done. We haven’t really had any time off this year so we’re taking a couple of weeks just to write and focus on our debut record. We’ve put a lot of demos down and are very excited to get stuck into it. First we have an amazing run of shows to finish the year off; we very excited!


Catch The Pierce Brothers tonight at Jive Bar with Jack Stirling and Anna O. Tickets are available here.

Header Image via Pierce Brothers