GIITTV Introducing: Braids

braidsIf Preaching From the Pews launches from the dock, GIITTV Introducing is the tremulous journey. The downtime before we reach our final destination is far from dull. This section will offer readers an in-depth look at PFTP’s most successful finds; culminating in our final destination, the soon to be announced Act of the Month.

Wasting no time in their attack on British shores, Canadian band Braids recently played a stellar set at The Great Escape – or so I’m told. As a Bristol resident in need of a railcard, I couldn’t make it down to the festival. Catching up with my credibility, I tracked down Katie Lee of the band by the virtual footpath of the internet.

You started out as a Red Hot Chilli Peppers cover band. What aspect of their sound do you think remains in your music, if at all?

Actually, we lost to a Red Hot Chili Pepper’s cover band in a high school ‘battle of the bands’! If we were a Red Hot Chili Pepper’s cover band, we would probably play their songs on an iPod throughout our entire set and we would jam over top of it to the point where you would not even recognize it is a Red Hot Chili Pepper’s song.

Oops! Do you prefer original material over covers, then?

We’ve never played covers. I think we covered a Death From Above 1979 track but that was to humour ourselves (we didn’t play it very well). We’ve always played original material, I don’t think we could cover songs by bands we look up to, we would not be doing the songs or band justice.

When did you write the material on Native Speaker? Was it over a period of years, or in the studio while you were recording?

We wrote Native Speaker over a span of 2 years, some written when we were still living in Calgary [and] the rest when we moved to Montreal. Recording the songs that we wrote live was the challenging part.

What influences your lyrics and are they supposed to make sense?

The experiences we’ve had, we’re always constantly putting ourselves in new environments and so much of what was written have been about our response and growth to these moments.

Who directed your video for “Plath Heart” and who came up with the concept?

Blair Neal directed the video for “Plath Heart”. The video was more of a collaboration between the director and the song. His response to the lyrics and the mood. We talked a lot about the womb and the frustration to break free from it. It was a challenging experience because we do not necessarily like to tell people what to see or hear or feel when listening to our music.

Did you naturally migrate to Montreal from Calgary? Would you have preferred to move elsewhere, given the option?

The main reason was because of school. Most of us were planning on taking our post secondary there and Calgary was a bit too familiar for us. Montreal seemed like the exact opposite of where we were from.

Have you found you’ve been more successful in particular countries or areas, and why do you think that is?

Not particularly. Perhaps there are more people exposed to us in North America but that is probably because we’re based out of these areas.

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Losing to a Red Hot Chili Pepper’s cover band and realizing that we’ll never get show outfits.

What do you have planned for the rest of the year, and what are you most looking forward to?

Playing many shows. Playing many shows.

Read Braids’ Preaching From the Pews entry here, and/or see them live at one of the following gigs:

05/18 Brussels, BE – AB Club *
05/19 Paris, FR – Flèche D’Or
05/20 Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso
05/21 Liverpool, UK – Sound City
05/22 Glasgow, UK – Captain’s Rest
05/23 Leeds, UK – Cockpit
05/24 London, UK – Lexington
05/25 London, UK – CAMP
05/26 Cambridge, UK – Haymakers
05/27 Oxford, UK – Jericho
05/28 Bristol, UK – Dot to Dot
05/29 Nottingham, UK – Dot to Dot
05/30 Manchester, UK – Dot to Dot

! w/ The Antlers

* w/ Friendly Fires

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.