In a music world where each rock band is a copycat of the next, The Blood Brothers and their frenzied noise-rock is a breath of fresh air in the industry. Citing musical influences ranging from jazz and classical orchestras to The Beatles, it may seem odd for the Seattle-based quintet The Blood Brothers to create a spastic rock sound of distorted guitars, violent synth, and animalistic drumming. “I guess I would call it an organized mess,” says Jordan Billie, one half of the band’s vocal duo.
Stemming from the experimental noise rock era in the late eighties, The Blood Brothers have become the paradigm of the genre today. At first listen, it may be difficult to enjoy, even understand, the musical concepts of The Blood Brothers, but after a few attempts the songs become addicting. You start to appreciate the hidden beauty and talent behind the albums, which may explain the band’s broad spectrum of appeal. “The type of fan base we have surprises me a lot of the time because we have some pretty abrasive elements in the records that we make. Maybe for all the hard indecipherable stuff that we do there is some melody or certain amount of catchiness as well. We like to appeal to a couple different ends of the spectrum,” says Billie.
From the studio to the stage, The Blood Brothers are continuing to excite fans with their latest record, Young Machetes. Released in October 2006, the album broke through Billboard’s Top 100, and was received with enthusiastic praise by critics and fans alike. Co-produced by legendary Fugazi member Guy Picciotto, Young Machetes is a comprehensive blend of the band’s progress since their formation in 1997. Not only does the record demonstrate a greater range of vocal and instrumental ability than previous releases, but it still harkens back to the band’s original franticness.
As layered and overproduced as their music is, The Blood Brothers are by no means a studio band. On making the album Billie says that “we just sort of came together and saw what happened.” The boys feel most comfortable on stage on front of a crowd. Earlier this year, The Blood Brothers played the 9:30 Club, opening for indie rockers .And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, but will return to the D.C. area as headliners playing hipster hotspot The Black Cat. Onstage, these boys exude an infectious vigor that reverberates throughout the entire audience. To describe the band’s seizure-like stage presence Billie says, “I think that it just kind of happens. It matches the energy of the music that we’re playing.”
It’s difficult to imagine that The Blood Brothers have been playing music together for the past ten years. Starting from scratch, working tooth and nail, they have since made a great name for themselves. All the while, ego has not yet broken into the band’s inner relationships. Says Billie, “I think that we have developed quite a chemistry, like when we get together on a personal level, writing and playing together. That’s pretty special. It’s hard to kind of duplicate what we have.”
Catch The Blood Brothers on tour with Celebration and The Chinese Stars April 4th at the Black Cat. Show starts at 8pm and tickets are $13 each.