by Alex Barbieri
– Columnist –
About a Girl: Interview with Emily Brout of The Indecent
Hardrock Haven loves to celebrate classic hard rockers, but we also feel it’s our duty to inform you of new bands you should know about. So, get a pen and write this down: The Indecent, an alternative rock band from New York City.
Think Nirvana, fronted by a teenage girl. That girl is the uniquely beautiful and disarmingly intelligent lead singer, Emily Brout, a shining star of authentic talent, openness and emotion in a homogenized you-tell-me-what-to-sing-and-wear world of rock music.
Back from the U.K. after The Indecent’s January tour, Brout spoke with Hardrock Haven from her home in New York City. Let’s find out what it’s like to be 19 and fronting one of the coolest bands in the world.
Special thanks to Paul Howell for helping to arrange this interview.
HRH: You’re in The Indecent with your triplet siblings, Madeline (bass), and Bo (bass), along with Canadian drummer, Nick Burrows. How is it being in a band with your brother and sister? Is it easier or more challenging than if you weren’t related?
EB: In all honesty, it can get annoying, but it is not without its pros. There is a sort of built in understanding which makes things easier on and off stage. We get one another. Which is why sometimes it can be boring because we know one another inside and out—but it’s hard to find a group of people all on the same page, and for that I guess I am pretty lucky.
HRH: One listen to your music and there is a clear nod to Nirvana. Were they a major influence? What other bands and artists have inspired you and the band?
EB: Yes, well I think for any band there is that one band that got them really into music. Nirvana just happened to be that band for us. That one you build on. But as you grow and mature as a band, you let go of the confines and try not to get put into a box.
So you start to draw from your other influences, experimenting. Otherwise you would just keep putting out the same record, and who wants that? We also are inspired by bands like Jefferson Airplane, Patti Smith, Sonic Youth, Hugo Largo, PIL, The Breeders, Suicide, The Velvet Underground, Pylon, The Young Marble Giants, Iggy and the Stooges—Search and Destroy for me is the perfect record—the list could go on for quite some time.
HRH: You have a very unique and hypnotic vocal style. Some have compared your voice to the legendary Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane. (The Indecent’s first video was a cover of “White Rabbit.”) I also hear some Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries (“Zombie”) in your voice. Who are your vocal influences?
EB: I grew up listening to a lot of Grace Slick. I take a lot from her. The Dolores O’ Riordan thing was not at all intentional, but I do get that a lot, and I totally get it. I take it as a compliment. The first time I listened to her voice, I had a panic attack, which is always a good sign.
I really just try to be raw, emotional, deranged, and as strange as humanly possible. I used to be ashamed of sounding weak and vulnerable. That sort of typical “pretty voice” you hear everywhere that’s been accepted as the pinnacle of beauty. But I think I am slowly getting over that, and realizing that it’s just one of many elements I can draw on.
HRH: The Indecent has a new five song EP called Control, your first release for Warner Bros. Records. How has life changed for you since signing with a major label?
EB: A lot has changed and nothing has changed. I guess what changed the most is the size of the team. I would say there is a lot more pressure and expectation, but we try to make it as fun as possible.
HRH: You played The Viper Room in Los Angeles in September, and recently played a string of dates in England and Ireland. What were some highlights of the tour for you?
EB: The Viper Room is tons of fun. The England dates are always fun as well, the energy there is great and it’s just a good opportunity to play in front of strangers, which is what I think we are best at.
Some highlights were hanging out with our friends Max Doohan (a very old friend), Phill Abott, and Jack Chater. We always enjoy catching up with them and meeting new people. Our last show was also a lot of fun; Omar Hoxton did a great job with promotion.
Also hanging out with Nite Bob is always fun. It’s really the people that make any situation, not the location. I like being in a room full of creative people and the people we hang out with in London are all somewhat artistically involved.
HRH: Do you have any more live dates coming up you want to share?
EB: We have one date in Brooklyn on Feb. 23, some in L.A and a ton in Canada.
HRH: When you’re at home in New York City, what’s a typical day in the life for you?
EB: I go to school part time, I am building up credits to be safe. But in my free time, I write, see concerts, hang out with friends, nothing all that interesting I am not a scuba diver on the side or anything, but that would be cool. I wish I had something semi-interesting to say. Just the typical normal bullshit.
HRH: What bands or artists are you listening to these days? Anyone we should know about?
EB: I have been listening to a lot of Nue and Nick Cave, some Little Richard in the mornings to wake up to. Newer bands like The Savages and Total Slacker. We have become rather friendly with Total Slacker. We plan on doing a split 7-inch record together. I also do not mind The Cloud Nothings.
HRH: Is there anything you want to say to The Indecent’s fans, and the Hardrock Haven readers around the world?
EB: Keep looking out for new material and upcoming shows. We are really looking forward to putting out some new material. It’s going in what I would like to think is an interesting direction, and we are all really excited about it.
Try to stay mentally healthy and I guess physically, that’s also important. Try not to be paranoid about things like global warming and World War 3. No good ever comes from that. Well, maybe a little bit global warming. Keep talking to your cats, it’s perfectly healthy. That’s all I got.
HRH: Emily, thank you again. You’re bright star in rock music today, and have been an absolute pleasure to talk to. By the way, I love the Control EP—it’s on heavy rotation in my car. Please stay in touch and let us know what you’re up to.
EB: Thank you!
Watch the new video “Hear Them Fear Them” on Youtube:
Visit The Indecent’s official website: http://www.theindecent.com/
Like The Indecent on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theindecent