Brantwood, a small quartet of midwest teens, is taking the basement rock scene by storm. Before they’ve even hit 20, the Brantwood boys have opened for the indie band Sure Sure, released a single with over 150,000 plays, and recorded an EP. I had the privilege of talking with ¾ of the guys over the phone and was able to ask them a few questions about how they started and what’s to come! After the exchange of “hello how are you”s, Husam (drums), Hubble (guitar/vocals), Sam (bass/vocals), and I got down to business.
How did you guys come about as a band?
Hubble: Liam (guitar), Husam, and I met in elementary school and played music together. After like a year or two, Liam brought his cousin who played bass and he walked in with this giant amp that was, like, larger than life. We played and from there it was just set in stone
Sam: Oh yeah, I’m the cousin
What genre would you guys describe yourself as?
Sam: Indie rock? Or basement rock?
Hubble: Genuine basement rock.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Sam: Beatles across the board for us.
Hubble: Definitely the [Rolling] Stones, because the way I write has a lot of Stones style to it, and Post Animal because I love Post Animal.
Husam: Vampire Weekend, they are my all-time favorites. Also Aerosmith and Michael Jackson because they made me want to be better at playing music. Without those three, I wouldn’t have the musical knowledge I do or I wouldn’t be as into playing music as I am.
Sam: Well, in January I started listening to not the Beatles, so I would say Rex Orange County and Mac DeMarco.
You guys used to be known as the Influence. What made you guys switch to going by Brantwood?
Hubble: It was meant to be!
Sam: We were getting ready to post "2+2" (the band’s first single) on Spotify, but there was already a Swedish DJ called the Influence and we didn’t want to get into any copyright trouble.
Husam: Yeah, so one night Hubble was driving me home from Sam’s house and there’s this park called Brantwood that we used to hang around and I was just like “why don’t we call it Brantwood” and Hubble was like “yeah, I like that”.
You opened for Sure Sure at S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston earlier, what was that like?
Husam: Life changing.
Hubble: We played near empty to near full rooms for years before, so it was the first show in a while that we were genuinely nervous for.
Sam: We had played a ton of basement shows and the release of 2+2 really boosted our confidence, so S.P.A.C.E. was humbling.
Hubble: Being fans of Sure Sure, it was surreal to enter the venue as they were soundchecking.
Sam: Yeah, it was also cool to have people come up to us and ask for pictures.
Husam: It was weird but not weird, you know?
An EP from you guys is currently in the works, what has been your favorite part creating it so far?
Hubble: You guys are going to think I’m weird, but I loved that I didn’t have to wear shoes or socks.
Husam: Honestly, the whole experience has been my favorite. Recording it, listening to it, and thinking that it sounds good.
Sam: Well about year ago, I was the only singer. I wrote a song with a three-part harmony, and recording it a year later with Liam and Hubble on vocals was sick.
What about the upcoming EP, musically, is your favorite?
Sam: We’ve played every song on the EP live, besides New Sun. I remember we were playing New Sun in my basement and we were taking a break from it, but I played a bass line and everyone joined in and that part is my favorite.
Husam: It has a summery feel, it’s John Mayer-esque.
Sam: Also, we only had 12 hours to record the entire EP, and in New Sun there is an electric piano part and I recorded the part once and never got back to it but I think it’s cool how the original demo is in the final product.
Hubble: I get to whistle in that one so that’s cool.
What do you guys hope for yourselves in the future?
Husam: Well, the big reason we moved to Nashville, other than school, was to make something of ourselves. Nashville is very up-and-coming so hopefully we end up going somewhere.
Sam: At least one album. I remember walking down Broadway about a year ago with Hubble, and it really filled me with hope. I just hope that someday teenagers like us will listen to our music while driving on a summer day.
Hubble: Our whole lives has been having that same connection with music. Honestly, I definitely want to write a bunch of albums with these guys.
If Liam were here, what would he say?
Sam: Probably the same thing, but he’d try to make it sound smarter.
Hubble: Shoutout to Hippo Campus!
Make sure to check these guys out on Spotify, and see them open for Sure Sure at the Chop Shop on Halloween!