Photo by Invisible Hour
The word “Brokaw” stirs up all kinds of connotations. There’s the stern voice of reason held by news anchor Tom Brokaw, the expressive and colorful guitar playing of former Come/Codeine member Chris Brokaw…and now, the sound of one of the meatiest and meanest rock groups to emerge from Seattle, Washington.
“We chose the name because it’s simple yet has some very complex associations,” says Brokaw’s bass player Stuart Dahlquist. “And masculine which might reflect our music/composition process accurately.”
No one who has ever seen the band live would deny that they are a masculine group. The four members of Brokaw – Dahlquist, vocalist Mike Henderson, guitarist Rick Troy, and drummer Rich Medic – sweat and strain through every minute of their sets. Henderson often challenges the safety of his audience by wielding the mic stand over his and their heads, while the rest of the band churn out buzzing, brutal rock behind him. They burn so hot, you expect them to burst into flames at any moment.
And, yes, there is complexity to it as well. But we would expect nothing less from a group with the pedigree that Brokaw has. Dahlquist has worked with such iconic groups as Asva, Goatsnake, and Sunn 0))). The rest of the band are rock lifers in their own right, working in a variety of Seattle outfits like Hungry Crocodlies, Magnaaflux, and Hitshed.
But what makes the band so vital and so compelling how obviously they gel both on record and on stage. The members of Brokaw have been playing together “on and off for a very long time,” says Dahlquist. “I have been playing music with Rick for around 35 years, the two of us have worked with Mike since meeting at music school in 1984, Rich has been in and out of the picture for at least 10 years. We’ve been friends for a long time and have a great chemistry together, we all love playing music and it comes easily for us.”
You’ll hear right from the start of the band’s debut LP Interiors, to be released this fall on the new Seattle label Good To Die Records. Recorded with Greg Norman at Electrical Audio in Chicago, Illinois, Brokaw fed off the live current that runs through the band and the studio. Their hyperdriven barrage of sound pulls from the influences of the Amphetamine Reptile family (Melvins, Halo of Flies, Hammerhead, the Jesus Lizard), while acknowledging a wide variety of interests like the freeform ’70s work of Miles Davis and the swing of cheeky, literate Britpop band The Fall