Who would ever think, that industrial and country of all genres, would come together as one? Well they have and in terms of music and style, it's rather interesting, and the band call themselves Goth Brooks. Perhaps a pun, perhaps a whole another meaning altogether. In any case, Mike Lee co-vocalist/programming/alternative guitar player during live sets, takes the time to give us the rundown on what's the next thing on the horizon, industrial country music!
1. First of all, who are you, and what do you do in the band?
Mike: I’m Mike Lee – Co-Vocals and Programming. Live I alternate playing guitar with Werm, the other Co-Vocalist.
2. The way I discovered your band, was from the post on Facebook, of Werm, riding a panda out of Hot Topic, what made him want to do that? Is Hot Topic a favorite store of his and your guys?
Mike: I know it is of mine.Yeah, the video was actually a video recording made by a fan. It’s hard being based out of Phoenix..sometimes the groupies and fans can be a bit bunch and chase us around a bit. I wasn’t there at the mall that day, but from what I understand Werm was just doing some shopping for Mascara for an upcoming show. I think he had sprained his ankle recently and was trying to rest his foot – thus the panda. It was all innocent enough really…and then the video kind of blew up online. I honestly don’t see the humor in the video. It’s a little too long for me personally. Kind of boring really.
3. Can I get a backstory on the band/ band biography?
Mike: This is our official biography: ...from the desert they came. Renegades of Shadow Town, the last Rock Stars on the Prairie, the original Motherfuckers from Hell. Blending Industrial+Country+Mash-Up audio Wizardry - there's a new sheriff in town - and GOTH BROOKS wants your band out by noon tomorrow.
4. Why did you want to go with country metal, or is that not the genre you have created here?
Mike: It’s actually Industrial-Country. We also blend in the mash-up aspect of other peoples music. The mash-up was more of our drummer 3pac’s influence. I brought the Red-White-and-Fuck-You Country attitude, while Werm brought the industrial-Goth vocals and aesthetic. Our drummer 3pac was really into sampling – and that’s how the entire GOTH BROOKS project came together. If you hear the other guys talk about peyote and an Ouija board they’re just making that up. Definitely no truth to that rumor.
5. So does this mean, you have hoedowns at your showcases, as opposed to mosh pits, or is it a combination of both?
Mike: It’s both. We’ve seen mosh pits and line dancing at our live shows. My favorite though is seeing fans dress up in both country and their own mix of gothic styles. So for instance, cowboy boots, dusters and eye-liner. Or girls in corsets and daisy duke shorts.
6. What bands have influenced your band and its sound?
Mike: If Johny Cash and Dr Dre had a baby; and that baby ate Trent Reznor – the poop is what GOTH BROOKS would sound like. Note, that I’m not saying GOTH BROOKS sounds like shit – I’m actually saying that GOTH BROOKS sounds like the essence of all of these artists and influences…all blended together, digested and then eliminated 48 hours later into a platter of delicious audio orgasms.
7. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?
Mike: We believe in standing up for yourself and doing what you want, whenever you want to do it. We believe in wearing black. Our message is simple – question authority and have a good time. And wear lots of black.
8. How did you guys come up with your band name?
Mike: You’d have to ask Werm. I don’t remember.
9. You released a video for the song "Dressed In Black", can you discuss the song and video accompanying it?
Mike: Yeah, the song Dressed in Black was actually the first one we wrote for this project. It came together pretty seamlessly blending in Johnny Cash’s call of humility and then intertwining our lyrics of standing up for yourself in the 21st century. The lyrics of both Cash’s and GOTH BROOKS version of the song are really timeless. Although I think our version of the song is just a little better than Johnny Cash’s.
10. The song comes off your debut album "Moonshine and Mascara", which is made available for FREE download. Why go for the free approach, as opposed to paying for it?
Mike: We couldn’t sell the album as we’ve sampled too many artists and couldn’t get clearance. We asked America to sample Horse with No Name, we asked Dolly Parton to sample Jolene and we asked The Beatles to sample Come Together…but they just laughed at us. Literally we got an email back from Paul McCartney that said “GOTH BROOKS. LOL.” You really can’t trust the British can you?
11. How does it feel to have released your debut album? What thoughts or have any comments that come to mind?
Mike: It’s exciting. The album has been a huge success and we’re excited to work on new material.Our second music video for the song She Thinks My Hearse is Sexy will be out soon. We’re waiting to get approval though because one of the dancers in the video died after we filmed the video…and she never signed a waiver saying she would be in our video…so we’ve had to dub her face with someone else’s face. They are really doing amazing things with technology these days.
12. What is your favorite title on the record and why?
Mike: Mine personally? I like Maria. Nothing says Industrial-Country like blending Brooks & Dunn with Goth Batcave legends Specimen. Plus the auto-tune doesn’t hurt. I think my second favorite song is Fall to Pieces because Patsy Cline and Ghostbusters just sound really good together. If Patsy Cline and Ray Parker Jr. were still alive, I think they would be proud.
13. Can you tell me a little bit about this album?
Mike: It’s awesome. I’m not saying that it’s the best album of 2016, but it’s definitely the best album to come out SO FAR in 2016. Hands Down.
14. What can fans expect from this Goth Brooks album?
Mike: Well how could they be fans if they hadn’t heard the album? Next Question.
15. Why do you think people should check out your album?
Mike: Because it’s something they haven’t experienced before. Besides the novelty of listening to a band called GOTH BROOKS…the songs are actually good. The songs are catchy, they’re heavy and they’re well produced. We hired multiple session musicians (steel guitar, mandolin, electronics and programming, guest vocals) to really make this album pop. And it does. When I think of the greatest albums in pop history, The Downward Spiral comes to mind….Folsom Prison Blues comes to mind, The Chronic 2001 comes to mind…and MOONSHINE AND MASCARA comes to mind. Classics really. Plus, we’ve invented an entire new genre of music. In sampling songs and then building our own rock songs off of the good parts. It’s brilliant really. Our drummer 3pac is truly a genius.
16. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?
Mike: Hopefully fans can expect to see more albums, more videos and nation-wide tour dates. I’m also working on a sex-tape, but I don’t want to share too much until the details are worked out.
17. Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Mike: Well, most bands really only have one front man. But GOTH BROOKS has two front men. So that makes us almost three times as cool as any other band that you could see otherwise. We put on an incredible show. We wear very tight pants and sweat a lot. There’s a lot of testosterone in the room when we perform. We recommend you wear deodorant and put on a second layer about half-way through our set.
18. How do you promote your band and shows?
Mike: We have an active Facebook, Twitter and YouTube page – plus we have a volunteer army of fans that leave voice mails and hand out flyers for upcoming shows. Sometimes we resort to threatening people to come to our shows, but typically people come out peacefully.
19. Can you describe your show, visually, and musically for us?
Mike: Our shows are very loud. And wet.
20. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?
Mike: We have t-shirts for sale and the album is free. We have a paypal that people can donate money to if they like what they see. We also have stickers with our logo that are a perfect size for getting tattooed while you’re in prison. I hear we have a very large fan-base in prison, but I’ve never been before. You can get more info at our website at gothbrooksband.com - About the band. Not going to prison.
21. How would you say you differ from other bands and artists on the scene?
Mike: Because we’re talented, we’re energetic and we put out. A lot can be said about GOTH BROOKS, but we are not prude!