Our Natural Affair with California bred, The Growlers, has only just begun. If they aren’t yet on your radar, they should be. With an unconventional start in the music industry in 2006 thanks to their wild party band antics born out of their own annual event (and fitting description for their sound), Beach Goth, the boys have had one hell of a ride. From their debut album, ‘Are You In Or Out?’, to starting their own label, surviving a major lawsuit, working with Julian Casablancas, to Natural Affair, lead vocalist, Brooks Nielson is the first to admit The Growlers career has been a whirlwind.
“It starts so innocently. You just want it to be weird and cool and just free and you don’t want it to be this grown-up take on anything. I think it did go from Matt [Taylor] and I’s fun idea to Matt and I’s baby and we had to protect it and we had to nurture it to keep it going and we’re still doing it,” Nielson says.
“You gain friends, you gain fake friends, you get sued, you get all sorts of things, you lose buddies to many things like drugs or they can’t keep up with the road life or they didn’t sign up for the workload that entails being in a band because when you first get into music you want to do it because you want to party and you don’t want to work but that’s a bunch of bullshit. Like anything else, you have to make yourself work. I realised that responsibility a while ago and I tend to do what I can to keep this thing alive and keep being able to be creative and share this shit.”
All of this is reflected in their latest release, Natural Affair, with the dysfunctional component the key focus of the title and opening track, as Nielson, a recent father, explores his perspective of family and sees the band return to their roots.
“I’m finding a lot of parallels between being in this dysfunctional family that is The Growlers for so long and many years that we were in these little micro worlds that we created and these little scenes and all of the little riff-raff kids who didn’t have anywhere to go, they were just hanging around. It’s kind of like we had this big weird circus family for a long time and I just find a lot of parallels between that and where I am now. Listening back to it, I don’t even know which family I’m talking about, it kind of weaves back and forth.”
“I felt everything coming back home on this one, we’re going to put it out on our own label. We finally got Beach Goth back and made it through a lot of feats after some asshole tried to sue us and steal our name. Just one feat after another that we pull off with nobodies help. It’s our own little team and it’s just persevering and taking it one party, one tour, one record at a time and it made sense.”
It hasn’t just been little feats though; the band have been slaying the touring circuit and will be returning down under for their biggest leg yet in January 2020.
“I have slowly realised over the years who the hell we are – we are a touring band. We tour hard and everything makes sense when we’re on the road. It’s what we do! I just do what I know- just try to make genuine songs and go on the road with them and throw parties.”
Torquay Hotel will be the host of one of The Growlers biggest parties on Friday 17 January 2020. It’s a not to be missed show! Tickets via Eventbrite.
Written by Tammy Walters
Photo by Taylor Bonin