"If we're doing this, you can do it too." An interview with a band who just wants a chance.

The Bordellos are an interesting band to say the least.  They have evolved musically since their start as Onion King in 2004 after some changes in line ups.  The band as it is today consists of brothers Brian and Anthony Shea, and Brian's son Dan.  With 30 years separating the oldest member from the youngest, the range of influences of the band is staggering and combines to give the Bordellos a unique sound.  Here's what they had to say for themselves.

How did The Bordellos get started? When?
DAN- We formed out of the ashes of the band Onion King, with the addition of guitarist/producer Geoff and keyboardist/general musical genius Vinny. Then there was a drummer, Mike, who was really good and left to play with ska bands who would actually pay him. I joined by osmosis - my dad was a member and it got me out of the house. The first two albums, the only ones with any distribution, I'm not on, but gradually I've seeped into it and started producing too.
BRIAN- Yes, we formed after Geoff and Vinny heard our 4-track demos as Onion King in 2004 and wanted to turn our Songs of the Wickerman into the Footloose soundtrack, so we became The Bordellos and proceeded to play gigs and such. Then Geoff, Vinny, and Mike left the band, so I got Dan in to replace all three. He was only 14 at the time but had a great talent. Around about this time, Bomp Records heard our Songs For Swinging Stalkers LP that we had made but never released with Geoff and Vinny. It looked like for a while they may release it, but cooled on the idea when they realized I had replaced the lead guitarist, drummer, and keyboardist with my 14 year old son. But Northern Star Records then came into the fray and released the Stalkers LP as a download only LP and received fine reviews. We then released another LP called Meet The Bordellos on The American Indie Brutarian Records and also reissured the Stalkers LP on Brutarian.
Where is your favorite venue to play?
DAN- Anywhere that'll have us. Where we live, there's no scene, which is a shame on one hand but no scene equals no clique and familiarity breeds contempt. Or contentment - but no chance of that in a hurry. Basically, we don't do enough AC/DC covers for St. Helens.
BRIAN- As Dan says, we really do not do many gigs, only two this year. We did both as acoustic gigs, just myself and Dan - my brother and our third member was incapacitated at the time so they could not play...
What are your hopes for the band's future?
DAN- That someone will pay attention to us at some point, really. We're never going to be a fashionista favourite but someone (and this is where you and other places come into it) needs to give people the permission they need to enjoy us. After that point, should it happen, I don't know - I've got visions of string sections and Polymoogs.
BRIAN- Well, I hope to get better known and for more people to pay attention to our strange take on music. We have a backlog of about sixty songs already recorded and some more that just need mixing, so it would be nice to find a label to release some of them on.
What influences your music?
DAN- All sorts [of infuences], musically speaking. We've all got a fairly broad range of tastes and it changes all the time. I'm reading the Wreckers of Civilisation book about Throbbing Gristle at the moment, and it's really a shame there's not much as brave or exciting going on at the moment that I've heard of but I'm sure that's open to change. Musically, the big ones for me are 60's girl groups, Rowland S Howard (and everything else Nick Cave related), Burial's Untrue, anything with that thread that runs through all those running through it. It's not about genre, it's about mood. That same principle goes into the music too, I guess - disgust at how closed minded and needlessly judgmental people can be, useless irritation but hope that it'll all get better.
BRIAN- As Dan says, all sorts [of infuences]. We do tend to mix all kinds of genres of music together. Our latest release, the Bring Me The Head of Justin Bieber EP, out on Small Bear Records www.smallbearrecords.com is our tribute to The Jamc and an attack on the mobilephone pop that is being force fed to the kids on the radi. But my main musical loves are sixties beat bands and garage punk and psych with fiftes rock n roll and rockabilly. Our third band member has a unhealthy interest in seventies singer songwriters and is currently boring everyone in earshot with his one-man appreciation society to Bruce Springsteen, but he does like Neil Young so we will forgive him for that.
Is there a message you want to get out with your music?
DAN- "If we're doing this, you can do it too. Don't wait around for permission, just lose yourself and get right into it."
BRIAN- Our message is bring the fun and excitment back to music, where is the danger, where has the humour gone to, where has the shock factor gone in music?
How would you describe your music?
DAN- I wouldn't - I'd leave it to journalists and listeners to do that.
What genre do you consider The Bordellos to be?
DAN- That depends what release you're talking about. Lo Fi, Folk Off, for instance - that's pretty straightforwardly folk. But it's all pop music, isn't it?
BRIAN- We tend to genre hop so I would call us a "postpunkpsychgaragerockcountrybillyfolk" band.
Tell us about upcoming tour dates and recent/future releases.
DAN- Bring Me The Head of Justin Bieber is available for free download here - http://thebordellosbieber.bandcamp.com/ - you can also pay if you want, doesn't hurt to try, does it? I'm doing a solo gig at the Rendezvous in St Helens, that's about it for the future that I know of but you can follow my endeavours/download my stuff for free at - http://neuroticwreck.bandcamp.com/. That's a good listen if you like every other vaguely interesting electropop with dubstep influences thing that's out at the moment, but it's not groundbreaking.
BRIAN- We have Bring Me The Head of Justin Bieber EP out now via Small Bear Records and have two LPs that can be downloaded for free. The Lo Fi, Folk Off LP and the Monkee Complex are
available to download from our bandcamp page. Both LPs were recorded over a couple of days as a bit of fun, so they're not to be taken too seriously. We also have two LPs out on Brutarian Records, Meet The Bordellos and Songs for Swinging Stalkers, and have other split EPs and such released on various labels. The future, well, we are just finishing recording a new EP which is based on the old EP The Walker Brothers Brought Out in the Sixties Called Solo Scott Solo John. This one will be called Solo Brian Solo Dan and will have four ballads and it will sound great when they are mixed. We will be looking for a label to put it out, hopefully on vinyl. Dan and I have recorded some solo stuff under the name Honeyfuzzmole so we'll hopefully find some way of getting that out next year, all recorded on a very old four track tape recorder - very lo fi. Maybe play some gigs. And I had forgotten, we have a track coming out on a Small Bear Christmas LP which will be available at Christmas.

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