New Orleans-based death grind band BRAT will help open up Flyover Fest—formerly Act Like You Know—with their Friday, November 17 slot. A product of the pandemic, the foursome is known for bringing some vibrancy to the scene with their “Yassified look,” think Barbie. BRAT ingeniously bends the foundations of, often toxically masculine, genres to forge their own unique sound. Recently, BRAT teased a new recording on Instagram. Who knows? Maybe the band will treat fans to a performance of it at Flyover.
Ahead of Flyover, drummer Dustin Eagan sat down with For The Punks to speak about his musical beginnings, the NOLA scene, new music, and Flyover Fest.
I’d love to hear a little bit about your musical background. When did you first realize your passion for music?
I think we all have a deep love for music in general outside of playing and performing. When we’re touring we really run the gamut when it comes to the van playlist. As far as playing I was maybe 5-6 years old. I remember visiting my uncle who’s a drummer and being instantly obsessed with the drums. I play guitar and produce a little as well. Our guitarist and bassist, Brenner and Hennessey also started pretty young. Hennessey started on drums I think but also plays guitar in a few bands as well as drums. Brenner is also in a couple other bands on guitar and bass. Liz however started when the band started, which is truly amazing! To see her progression in such a short amount of time is really inspiring to me as someone who’s been grinding for a while.
I’m kind of obsessed with your merch. Who comes up with the ideas for the designs?
Thank you so much! We all pitch in to some degree. Usually someone will throw an idea in the band chat and sometimes we all love it, sometimes an idea is good but needs work or sometimes it doesn’t stick. The merch obviously reflects our aesthetic and people have been super receptive to it. Liz certainly has a main role in the merch department, and she kills it!
Coming from the NOLA area, can you tell us of any other bands that should be on our radar?
There are probably hundreds! To name a few: Congealed Putrescence, D. Sablu, Sick Thoughts, Total Hell, Torture Garden, Thou, Missing, Dracula, Goura, Heraklion, Sounding. Anybody recording at Hightower Records. The list is endless, really. We have an amazing scene! Shout out Capra (Laffyette, LA).
Recently, you teased on your socials that BRAT was in the studio. Can you give us a little tease of what to expect?
So, currently we have completed our first full length record. It took about a year to write and record. We had this little formula going for a while where we’d go on tour, come home and write as much as we could, practice the tunes and then record two or three songs at a time, then go back on the road. Wash, rinse and repeat. These songs are the first batch we’ve written as a full band and it really shows. It’s a sick and twisted freak gumbo of churning punishment and RIFFS.
What called out to you about issuing bright colors (mostly pink) as your signature band look? Does it have anything to do with trying to battle the toxic masculinity that is unfortunately so prevalent in the scene?
Maybe to a degree, we definitely exude a femme energy with the pink and the imagery in the merch. We also play little snippets of 90’s/00’s pop songs between songs live to loosen up the crowd and get everyone in on the “bit”. We pretty much have always had the goal of just having fun in this band and the same for our fans or show goers. There’s definitely a switch that gets flipped for women and girls at our shows when Liz takes the stage. They go hard as hell in the pit, and really take up space there which is awesome to see and an amazing privilege for us to be a part of. I don’t feel like we chose the pink, pink kinda chose us in a way, and we wear it with pride.
Within the same vein, do you ever receive hate messages online of hecklers in crowds at your shows? I’m just curious because it seems like recently we’ve seen a resurgence of this type of behavior. I mean, look at Scowl, who are now accused of being industry plants when they are seeing some success.
Honestly, the response has been pretty positive by and large. Of course anyone putting themselves out there, in any art form, since the dawn of time is prone to the haters. I agree with you that it definitely feels like there is this echo chamber of nonsense online that can be overwhelming, but you have to tune it out. Let the positivity fuel you and not the handful of miserable people commenting from fake profiles online lol. And, of course, there are struggles that come with being a female-fronted band in a male dominated arena but things are changing quickly and for the better, I feel.
“Nothing good has ever come out of putting down an artist.” – Omar Rodriguez Lopez
Looking to Flyover in November, can you tell me what you’re most excited for about this festival? Any bands you’re particularly excited to see?
It’s certainly a great reason to hop in the van and take a drive! We haven’t played either the fest nor Tulsa yet so we’ll get to shred some new faces. Our friends Morbid Visionz and Bazookatooth will be throwing down at Flyover, so that’s sick! Also, the Tulsa Rodeo is the main inspiration for Garth Brooks’ 1991 single off of the B side of his album “New Way To Fly”, “Rodeo.” I love Garth Brooks.
Also, feel free to mention anything you’d like to plug that I didn’t get to with my questions.
We will be releasing a single and music video in the near future so for those who want to keep track of that add us on Instagram and TikTok, see @brat_band for updates. For tours, and our online shop find us at bratband.com
Check out music on Bandcamp here.