Interviews: We Broke The Weather

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the  Progressive Stoner Rock band, We Broke The Weather, from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the project on his FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or come out just like that?

Nick Cusworth: We were kicking around names for a while. I think at one point we were close to calling ourselves SNAKS based on our names. We landed on ‘we broke the weather’ in large part due to a period where it felt like every night we got together to play the weather was crummy or abnormal in some way. There was also the whole climate change aspect of it, but we didn’t want to come off as overly serious or preachy, so this was our attempt at being a bit tongue-in-cheek. We’ll let you decide if we were successful in that.

Kev DiTroia: This is not a joke, Nick.

Steve Muscari: I floated Tomato Aorta, Taint Blister, and Gecko Sex Satellite—to name a few—but none of them seemed to stick for some reason.

Scott Wood: Hearing these alt names again is making me second-guess we broke the weather. Too late to change?

Andrew Clark: "we broke the couch" is still on the table.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

NC: We came together with a lot of different influences and genres that we gravitate towards, so it was sort of like assembling a large Venn diagram and seeing where there was overlap among the 5 of us. It turns out that even though we all have our own things that we feel strongly about, there’s a lot of music out there that we all dig. So we kinda just threw all of it into a blender and worked out some music that felt like a summation of those parts. It just so happens that when you do that and have a propensity for writing longer songs it tends to get categorized as “prog.”

KD: Yeah, prog seems to cover the blend of stuff we’ve been playing from a technical perspective, but it’s fun to let loose and lean into the garage side of things when possible. The “garage prog” tag feels like an escape from the (sometimes) snotty complexities of prog without going too conventionally “rock”. Hey hey, my my.

SM: Hah, these guys will bend over backward to say we’re not prog rock. I love prog rock. That’s why I play prog rock in a prog rock band.

AC: A big strength of the band is our diversity of influences, which impacts the evolution of ideas that individuals have into a finished product that everyone’s put their spin on. There are elements that are jazzy, jammy, sludgy, indie-y, mathy, proggy… There’s some intentionality behind it but it’s also a product of combining the different perspectives we bring.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

NC: None of us knew each other before the band. We’re probably the best advertisement for Craigslist out there because that’s how we found each other. Andy and I were the first ones to connect shortly after I moved up to the Boston area from NYC, and we bonded over jazz and math rock and even joined an Ethiopian jazz combo for a bit. We knew we wanted to form an original rock band though, so we went back to Craiglist and somehow found Scott and Kev around the same time. It just so happened we were all around the same age and in similar life situations, so we quickly gelled. Steve would come in about a year later once we had written a few songs and decided we needed a bass player to hold down the low end, but he also fit in seamlessly into the group.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

NC: Ask me on a different day and I’ll probably give you a different answer. My fallback is The Dear Hunter just because I think they perfected a kind of prog rock that is complex while still being accessible and immediate. That’s kind of the model that I’ve personally tried to follow in what I write, even if most of it goes in a completely different direction from them.

KD: Right now it has to be Gizzard or Osees. I think John Dwyer revolutionized the garage prog concept.

SM: Gonna have to go with The Physics House Band.

SW: For me, currently, The Smile.

AC: Lately… Invalids, Tubelord, Johnny Foreigner, Signals, TTNG, Nickel Creek’s latest. And some stuff I should have left behind in high school, but sorry-not-sorry, Counting Crows still holds up.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

NC: Eh…the world? I dunno, I feel like it’s just become so difficult to navigate the modern world without either becoming an anxious and depressed mess or completely inoculating yourself with mindless entertainment. So I draw most of my inspiration from my own struggles with simple existence and whatever is making me feel strongly in one direction or another. The good news is that when you’re chronically depressed that turns out to be a well you can return to again and again.

SW: Honestly, it’s tough to pin down but “the world,” broadly, is certainly true for me as well. The truth is, I tend to have a pretty active imagination so, often, I draw inspiration from seemingly mundane or random observations about the world around me. When this happens, my mind latches onto some specific thought and I begin to imagine a story around it. Occasionally, I’ll feel inspired enough to write that down and, more often than not, although these are largely fictional stories, there tend to be lines of connection to my own life or experience, which ends up making them feel a bit more personal than I might have intended. 

AC: My interests and inspirations ebb and flow. Sometimes I’m cramming in as many unexpected twists and turns as I can. When that starts to feel too much, I’ll want to write something simpler. Then it swings back the other way… So having the rest of the band as a “filter” is helpful in coming up with a finished product that is true to the original idea but also true to the group as a whole.

6. Where was your last gig?

NC: As of the time writing this our last gig was July 4 of last year at The Middle East in Cambridge. We took a long break after that so we could finish writing the new album and record it. Then Andy became a new dad, so we were on hiatus through most of the fall into winter. By the time this comes out, we’ll have probably played our return show at The Bang! Space around Boston. It’s a DIY basement venue managed by our friends in the excellent “doombrass” band Eight Foot Manchild. The DIY/basement scene has been really flourishing the past few years here in Boston as it’s becoming harder and harder to find quality venues for small bands thanks to gentrification and rampant greed shutting down places.

7. Where would you like to act?

NC: We want to take the new material on the road a bit and spread out to some good spots through the northeast US, so Portland, Burlington, NYC, etc. Honestly, we’re happy for any place that’ll take us through.

SW: I’m a big fan of outdoor gigs so, in addition to lining up some solid venues throughout the northeast, snagging a little festival slot, outdoor beer garden, or something similar would be a lot of fun.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

NC: We’ve built some good connections with bands in the psych and stoner rock scenes here like Clamb, The Rupert Selection, FEEP, Eight Foot Manchild, Sundrifter, and others. So we’re always happy to play with any of those groups. Beyond that, I’d love to play with someone like Bent Knee at some point as I think they’ve got a similar approach to “prog” as us while arriving at a completely different destination.

9. Whom not?

NC: Nazis, transphobes, and other decidedly unchill people.

SW: Tough to argue with that. Chill people only, please.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

NC: I absolutely hate public speaking and pretty much any sort of public performance outside of music. Music’s always been the one place I have no trouble just living in the moment and letting go of that fear and anxiety though. If you’ve played enough times together it’s easy to just imagine it’s like any other practice session, only with positive feedback from the audience.

KD: If I’m nervous about muffing an overly mathy part (and therefore getting made fun of by my friends), 2 PBRs usually do the trick to calm those nerves. 

SM: With the amount of gear we typically need to set up before line check, there’s no time for stage fright.

AC: Not so much stage fright, but there are absolutely sections of our songs where I have to put myself on autopilot and get through it. For the most part, we just go out there and have a good time.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

NC: Aside from The Dear Hunter, I’ve been inspired largely by bands in the space between jazz, rock, and beyond like Tortoise, Jaga Jazzist, Portico Quartet, etc. Those groups are just so unbelievably tight and wide-ranging in their sound that it constantly pushes me to challenge myself.

SM: Beyond The Physics House Band, The Mars Volta, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and other bands that generally try to decapitate their listeners with sound, I’ve been drawing a lot of inspiration lately from artists like Lisa Bella Donna, Suzanne Ciani, and Laurie Spiegel. Lisa Bella Donna in particular crafts these incredible analog synth soundscapes that you can really lose yourself in, and I tried to channel that energy as much as possible in the sound design for the upcoming album.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

NC: We sometimes get requests for songs we’re just not as tight on live like “Niceberg,” which is a deceptively tricky song to play due to the way the chord patterns are constantly changing. One time we gave in and played it even though we hadn’t prepared it, and it went about as well as expected.

13. What do you think of your fans?

NC: I think most of them are probably lovable nerds like us who just want to hear something different. We know we’re never going to be “cool” or a huge hit among the demographics that writers and promoters care about the most, but we’re just happy that anyone listens to what we’ve done and resonates with it. That’s doubly true for our international fans, whom we would love to connect with and play for at some point in a dream world where we have many thousands of dollars to burn on an international tour.

14. What do you think of our site?

NC: I think any site that likes us enough to want to talk to us is pretty cool. I like how you give readers multiple ways to find new music by country and genre. It’s quite thorough!

15. Something to add?

NC: Thanks for talking to us!

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