On Sunday, London’s Et Tu Bruce will be heading back home to England. Before then though, it’s Brooklyn’s Coco66 tonight and a celebration of what has been a more than successful introduction to the United States.
“We’ve been here for about three months this year, we love it and the reaction’s been fantastic,” said frontman Jamie White. “We love playing to full houses with huge amounts of people and people who really got into what we’re doing. They’ve understood what we’re trying to do and have been really supportive.”
What the UK foursome (White, Matthew O’Toole, and brothers Craig and Darryn Bruce) are trying to do is something rare these days: playing the music they love without worrying about how it’s received or who “gets” it. In the process, their debut album Suburban Sunshine and the subsequent tour has been getting critical and popular raves from those who most certainly get their brand of pop music.
“It’s genuine and the product of the four of us getting together and putting everything we have into that record,” said White of Suburban Sunshine. “And I think that’s what we and everybody we know wants from music – just honesty and something that’s real, rather than something that they’re told is the next thing. People just want to go and play music and listen to music that they like.”
Sounds simple enough, but can it be these days?
“I think when I was a teenager I would worry about who was gonna be there and who wasn’t and how we were gonna play,” said White. “Now you go out for the joy of it. You go out to play the show and it doesn’t matter who’s there or how many people are there. Having people there is fantastic, but it wouldn’t make a difference.”
The son of Chris White of the legendary Zombies, White has a better view than most of the music business, but that hasn’t shaded his worldview when it comes to his day job. So instead of bemoaning the ever-changing landscape of the biz, he’s embraced it, because with Et Tu Bruce producing music that sounds like nothing currently on the radio, it’s the only way to go for them.
“There are very few physical record stores that are left, and all the majors are pretty much gone, so there isn’t that need for classification anymore,” he said. “There isn’t a desire to put something neatly in a box so that you can categorize someone’s sound. Things are coming more in line where people can just search for what they like. Pandora and things like that help as well, and everyone needs to just embrace what’s going on a bit.”
As for that unique sound, which mixes modern pop and rock with distinctly 60s harmonies, while leaving some space for the band to stretch their legs as well, “I think it’s a good thing,” said White. “Some people, it worries them because they hear what’s popular and they want to change their sound and adapt to what’s interesting and exciting now. But there’s no substitute for making music you love and I think that comes out and that rubs off on the audience. You can hear what’s gone into a record often, and that’s why sometimes when you record a song, the first or second take is key because that’s where all the energy is. And I think the music we make, we haven’t really considered that we don’t sound like anyone else; we just like to sound like ourselves, and that can be a good thing. People want to hear that and they can hear within the music the effort and the love that’s gone into it and how much it means to the people who made it.”
Needless to say, it’s been quite a year for White and his bandmates, but even though their U.S. tour is coming to a close, you haven’t heard the last of them.
“We’ve pretty much finished the next album,” he said. “We’re one track away, and we’re very proud of where it stands at the minute. Now that we’re nearly finished, we’re thinking about the third one and thinking about coming to tour again in America next year. We just want to keep doing it. If you allow yourself a little bit of room by working on things in advance, it gives you that incentive to go out there and get things finished and make sure you do what it is that you want to do and what it is you love doing.”
Et Tu Bruce plays Coco 66 in Brooklyn tonight, October 18. For more information, click here