The Dark Side

12 July 2012 | 11:32 am | Daniel Cribb

"You get to that point where you’re feeling sick... but then someone says ‘let’s party!’ and you go down the rabbit hole every time and end up out until the sun comes up.”

It's no secret that life on the road for musicians is often accompanied by at least some mild partying. There's no need to wake up early in the morning, and even if you have an interview locked for the day after some post-show partying, 3pm gives you plenty of time to sleep-in and be ready for the interviewer's call… Or so you'd think. “I'm answering on behalf of Sky [Eaton, trumpet/vocals], because he doesn't look like he's getting out of bed I'm afraid,” vocalist Nic Owen of The Brow Horn Orchestra laughs. “We had a show at the [Oxford] Arts Factory last night, which is a really cool venue in Sydney. I guess it's kind of like Sydney's Bakery. We've been on a few tours now and every time, you get to that point where you're feeling sick and you say 'I'm going to be good tonight and I'm not going to go out', but then you finish the show and you're on a buzz and someone says 'let's party!' and you go down the rabbit hole every time and end up out until the sun comes up.”

Currently on their second major national tour, the Perth lads are burning the candle at both ends to ensure their second EP Two Fires gets the exposure it deserves. Since their debut EP Can't Afford This Way Of Life, they've have had a slew of member changes – more than most bands experience in a lifetime – including the departure of two to have a baby together, one who relocated to Melbourne and another parting ways to focus on other projects, and then enlisting two new members to join the team. “It's kind of helped in a way, for touring, to be a bit smaller. We were always a big band and everyone was doing their own things, but I think we've achieved this small family now, because we're just five people and it's a lot easier to fit around the dinner table when there's less people because you're not going off in sub-groups.“

The new line-up is here to stay, including a member that jumped on the bandwagon during their first circuit of the country in Victoria. “We were driving past this garage sale and just went, 'Fuck, did you see that camel?' We literally went around the block to come back, and for one reason or another decided to buy a fake camel without considering that it wouldn't really fit in the car. We dubbed him 'Callum' and he's becoming an integral member of the band,” Owen explains, proving one man's junk – or paper maché animal – is another man's joy.

The Brow's increasing popularity around the country can mainly be attributed to the refined sound created from their new, solidified line-up. “We always felt like we were a live band and we wanted to try and achieve that on records, try and capture that live vibe… A lot of the feedback we got from the first EP was 'Love the EP, but you guys are still better live', and whilst that's a massive compliment, you want people to like it for different reasons, instead of just comparing it to your live show. This time we wanted to make something a bit more produced and a bit more electronic, and we tried to focus on writing a record, rather than trying to out-do the live show, which is where having a lot of members leave kind of solidified that in a way.

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“Compared to our last EP, [Two Fires] is a lot darker, because a lot of people just think of us as this upbeat happy band. We often get compared to The Cat Empire, which is an awesome compliment, but we wanted to show people that we were more than just this upbeat happy vibe.”