Joe Brooks

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When you think of a perfect spot for an interview, it doesn't tend to be in a green room bathroom but we take what we can when we have an interview to do! I grabbed a few minutes with this next artist Joe Brooks during his just completed tour with The Rocket Summer here in the states. Joe is a well established singer/songwriter from the UK on the cusp of releasing his brand new album. Considering the last one dropped in 2011, I was ready to pick his brain all about the new album as well as his US touring experiences. Read on for our exclusive with Joe!

You tour here in the US a lot, you tour back home quite often. What are the three things you must have with you while on the road?
Um, labtop. Phone. You know I threw my phone the other day into the ocean and I was without it for like probably about a week. It was impossible. At first, I was like this is great and then I realized it's actually impossible to do business in music without your phone on the road. So, those two things and probably my band! We got a new van, we've called her 'The Silver Bullet'. So yeah, just all the ingredients of making a great tour. My Lucky brand boxers. I wear Lucky brand boxers with the four leaf clovers. I have like eight pairs. You take a week's worth of boxers and then you just clean them each week and I have eight pairs. They're all different colors but they're all Lucky brand.
Then I know you played this room last year with Tyrone. Maybe how has it been opening for Rocket considering you have toured the US before?
This would be probably my fourth tour in the US and my fourth time playing in Boston. Second time in this venue and it's great. I have a lot more experience at it now. Things are a little easier. When I'm faced with it, I don't get so tired, so exhausted because of how it is. It's a long journey where you know you're going to be in the car for a certain amount of time. Then you mentally prepare for it so it goes quicker. So that's kind of how this is. I'm much more prepared. I can enjoy the moments.
Then while some British bands have really toured here a lot, like Bombay Bicycle Club, Irish like Two Door Cinema Club, a lot of British bands do it once and then don't come back. What advice would you give to bands to keep on trying?
Yeah, it's very difficult if you have success somewhere else and then come to try to break the states. If you don't break the states the first time, it's very difficult because you just want to be in the place where you're already successful. You go back there because that's where you make money and sell tickets. Those bands I'm sure will come back but I am sticking it out to break it in the US and I know that takes a lot longer here then it does in a lot of other countries. A lot more options. There's a lot more bands. There's a lot more venues. Just because it's such a big country. So it is tiring to tour this country. You have to do all the states in order to really break it. Unless you get like a huge radio hit. So, I'm in it for the long haul.
Then I know it's been a while since you've released the last album. Want to say it was 2011. Are you working on the new one?
Yeah, well the new single came out 'Til My Heart Stops Beating' the other day. We ran out of time to play it tonight because we had some sound issues, in case you didn't notice. I tried to keep it together. The album is scheduled to come out May 1st.
So it's coming soon?
It is, it is! It could have been out already but I'm trying to make it as strong as it can be.
Then considering it has been a while for new music from you, for you personally, do you think it sonically differs alot or is it pretty similiar?
It is a bit more mature. It is still quite Joe Brooks. It's still quite diverse. I like that so many genres all play a influence and so yeah I guess it's a bit different. It's kind of hard to pin it all down in one sentence. It's just kind of an extension of my last records really. It's a little bit more mature lyrically. A bit crazier.
Then I wanted to ask you about the covers that you play in your set. They are obviously a bit different. The Beatles to Young the Giant. Maybe thinking of influences, do you remember the first CD or cassette you ever bought?
Yes, that's a great question. The first cassette I ever bought, I can remember it distinctly. I bought Boyzone. I can't remember what the album's called but I think maybe it was their first album and I bought it on cassette. I was so excited. Thirteen pounds which was like bonkers but I loved it. I took it into school and I would play it. It's so embarassing but at the time I was like eleven.
Do you remember your first concert?
Yeah, my first concert was a blues guitarist and I saw him at a venue called Brooks which is actually where I got Brooks from in my stage name. Because it's not my real last name. Not many people know that but that's where I got my name from. That venue. I actually always dreamed of headlining there. I did that a few years ago for a Christmas show. It's a fantastic venue in my hometown and it was a great show. We had fake snow and a Christmas tree on stage. It was really cool.
Great! Then maybe to end it off, what is coming up after this tour? I know you said the album comes out pretty soon.
The album comes out! I'm opening for Jason Mraz in Seoul in Korea. It's going to be fantastic. Then we play in Malaysia and Singapore and after that, I'm going to go to the UK. I'm 25 now. I kind of just enjoy life. Like I don't like to stress too much. I've put a lot of pressure on myself. I like to also just go with the flow. I'm sure if I had a manager right now he'd be like screaming at me, 'Do this! Do that!' but I just want to enjoy life. Play music and enjoy life. Good things are coming my way anyways so of course I work hard but that's as far as I'm looking right now. It's really nice!
I'm also working on doing a live piece at the end of this year. That shouldn't be too difficult.
Well, thank you so much Joe!

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