Q+A

Q+A With Pierce Brothers

Photo: Dara Munnis. @daramunnis

Pierce Brothers have just dropped their new single Brother, a crescendo-building indie folk anthem.  The final track to be released before they drop their new album, Brother focuses on being away from family, a theme especially prescient now when so many family and friends are being kept apart as we head into the second year of COVID-19.  Brother is accompanied by a light-hearted performance-based music video, as the band is constantly interrupted by the aforementioned brother brilliantly spliced with sweet, nostalgic footage from their childhood. The single is the last to be released from the Pierce Brothers’ highly anticipated sophomore album, Into The Great Unknown which is out now. They have also today announced the first leg of their national regional tour, kicking off with their Victorian show dates through March, April and May, featuring shows at The Espy on April 24 and The Corner Hotel on April 30, their first headline shows in Melbourne in over twelve months. We caught up with Jack Pierce to get the low down on all that’s going on in the world of the brothers Pierce.

Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?

I’m awesome, thanks for having us! We just released the new album, and have been back busking in Melbourne for the first time in a long time! So having a bloody fantastic day!! It was SO good to get back to on the street, it’s where we came from and it’s always good fun to give it a go again!

Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for?  

Pat and I have been playing music since we were kids. We started playing pub gigs at 15, and didn’t really take the whole music thing seriously until we started busking in Melbourne while we were finishing Uni back in 2012. 

Who are your greatest inspirations?  Why?

Paul Kelly was always a huge inspiration for us from the early days. We always loved acoustic driven music, Jack Johnson, Xavier Rudd and Ben Harper (it was a dream supporting Ben Harper around Australia in 2016!).

The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons new style of folk definitely played their roles in our inspiration in the later years, and most recently Gang Of Youths have inspired us greatly! We’re always listening to new music and getting inspired! It’s just a continuous journey!

How do you create music?  Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first?  Explain your process. 

This changes every time we write a new song. We always are writing new material but finding lyrics and melodies that fit together is often the hard part. I have an iPhone full of unfinished songs, some are terrible and they’re completely written, and there’s a few great ones that I’ve forgotten and will never see the light of day haha. The hardest part is just trying to write simple, true lyrics without trying too hard. And I always find myself trying to hard! 

What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?

The greatest challenge I would have to say for “creating music” would be putting this album together. This new record is our first independent released since 2014,  and we had planned to fund the entire thing by a big regional tour in early 2020; we all know how the rest of that year turned out! We had a lot of help from out wonderful producer Jan Skubiszewski and our wonderful team to help put together this body of work. We just barely got through by the skin of our teeth and I’m really proud of the result. 

Tell us about ‘Brother’, how did it come about?

This song was written in the back of a car on the way home from Bluesfest in 2015 we only had the vs Britain and had no chorus so we didn’t know what to do with it. we then went to Europe on European tour and at a show in Amsterdam we play this for the first time to a packed audience at the Paradiso. This has been one of our biggest Tracks to perform live ever since because it is written with a big audience in mind to seeing. That is why it was so tough to record in the studio because we just ended up sounding like a footy club. it wasn’t until the we started working with Jan again that we were able to turn it into the crescendo laden anthem that we ended up with.

Your album ‘Into The Great Unknown’ is set for release this Friday, what can fans expect?

This is certainly the biggest, most ambitious project we’ve done to date. We wanted to create a body of work that Really takes you on a journey. I think we achieve this. We definitely experimented with some bigger sounds on this record with finally getting a string section in and some excellent horns. This record was put together with a much grander scale in mind than we originally had planned for and I’m really excited to see what our fans think. 

What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?

It’s hard because there are so many different avenues to take in the music industry. Busking was the biggest leap forward for us because we could practice new material, get in front of new eyes each day, and build our fan base organically. We formed new structures for songs, depending on how they were received, and changed the way we performed. Busking directed the flow of our career and we could not have made it to where we are without it. So if I could give advice, play as much as you can. It’s all about the live show for us, and that is where you have the most fun. And when the good times roll, it’s easy to keep them rolling on!

Tell us your favourite Zen practice.

Hiking. Getting out in the air of the mountains and trees is just the best thing for the soul. Also surfing. I’ve just recently moved closer to the beach and while I’m a terrible surfer, I love getting in the water and practicing!

INTO THE GREAT UNKNOWN is out Now via DITTO

Pre-order INTO THE GREAT UNKNOWN here 
https://ffm.to/pbitgu

Purchase tickets to INTO THE GREAT UNKNOWN TOUR
https://www.piercebrothers.com.au/tour-dates

INTO THE GREAT UNKNOWN Tracklist

1. White caps come
2. Dentist
3. Brother
4. It’s Alright
5. La Montagne
6. Lights Of London
7. Réflecteur
8. Trouble
9. Waves of winter
10. Petty
11. Kanko
12. One

INTO THE GREAT UNKNOWN VICTORIAN TOUR


THE OLD COAL MINE “THE SHED”, WONTHAGGI | SATURDAY MARCH 20 | SOLD OUT
HALLS GAP HOTEL, HALLS GAP | SUNDAY MARCH 21
CHAPEL OFF CHAPEL, PRAHRAN | SATURDAY MARCH 27
BLUESFEST, BYRON BAY | SATURDAY APRIL 4
VOLTA ARTS & CULTURE, BALLARAT | FRIDAY AP
PIER BANDROOM, FRANKSTON | SATURDAY APRIL 10
BARWON CLUB, GEELONG | THURSDAY APRIL 22
THE ESPY, ST KILDA | FRIDAY APRIL 23
CORNER HOTEL, RICHMOND | FRIDAY APRIL 30
SOOKIE LOUNGE, BELGRAVE | FRIDAY MAY 7
SANDY POINT MUSIC CLUB, SANDY POINT | FRIDAY MAY 21
WESTERNPORT HOTEL, SAN REMO | SATURDAY MAY 22

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