Brimstone Howl : They Came In Peace!

Written by Jens Hellroute

With their new album "We Came In Peace" (Alive Records) this Nebraska 4-piece really have established themselves as one of the prime young rock'n'roll acts in America. Mixing punkrock with classic rock, attitude with melody, Brimstone Howl excel in timeless rock'n'roll that you'll listen to 30 years from now. How many bands can claim that? I think they got a Gun Club feel going on, while the band heard more Scientists comparisons...anyhoo, I saw the boys proving that Brimstone Howl also can whoop our asses on a stage last year in Helsingør. Actually I wanted (and they wanted) to do the interview then, but I fell over in a drunken stupor and disappeared into a couch at Elværket.(I will mercifully refrain from any comments-->

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Thanks for a great show at Elværket in Helsingør (home of Hamlet) back in October...remember it?

JOHN ZIEGLER: Ya, of course we remember it. Our van broke down there and we had to wait for a replacement to be towed in from Netherlands. It was a great crowd too. Lots of Wiebroe and kicker.

WC: How are European crowds compared to the US? The girls are prettier in Scandinavia, I think, but booze and records are cheaper in America, or so I discovered during Gonerfest 5.

JZ: The crowds in Europe are more appreciative of American bands. We like the higher price of records in Europe, because we're selling there, not buying. And yeah, Scandinavian girls are prettier. Must be the rigorous attention to genepool purity. It's nearly Thulean.

WC: Jesse of Carbonas told me if you rent your tourbus in Holland, you get pulled over all the time in Germany, so be careful with the dope, haha.

JZ: Okay. We'll be careful.

WC: "We Came In Peace" has sort of a cleaner sound than "Guts Of Steel"...more Gun Club-esque one could say, maybe I'm wrong. Anyhoo it's one of the best ROCK albums I've heard all this weird punk year, and it's purple.

JZ: Thanks. It's our best record ever. I've heard more comparisons to Scientists. We love that kind of American music, into which category I think the Scientists fit despite being Australian. We find we mostly like American music, but that doesn't have to do with where a band is from only.

WC: Working with Jim Diamond, Detroit maverick producer, was...

JZ: Easy, great, fabulous, the best. Just the tops, man. I wanna' go back and do it again, with different songs. I don't care what some critics say about the album's sound. It's how we've always wanted to sound. And it sounds good.

WC: It's not bad being a 'Hopeless Destroyer' because...

JZ: It's worse than bad. Being a hopeless destroyer, according to the song's theme, means that a Nazi scientist has hardwired your brain to a singular purpose, and that you cannot even count to ten. It's sort of Manchurian and comic bookish.

WC: Calvin and Nick are also in Forbidden Tigers, damn fine band.

JZ: Damn fine band indeed. Europe loves them. Amerca does too. They don't get to tour as much as Brimstone Howl because of artwork reasons.

WC: Tell me about Nebraska - basically I only know that it's a title of a Bruce Springsteen album, and there might not be a whole lot of gangster rappers there. there good scene?

JZ: It's okay. There is some crunk ass shit, like Big Foe D and Lil Tall Boy. The Boxelders. The Dinks. The Black 100s. Bright Eyes, you may have heard of them in reference to Bruce Springsteen. The Boss's proximity to this state has shifted from Starkweather to a softer and gentler context.

WC: You're pretty "Tomahawk" you sing something like "I'm 20 and may not live till I'm 21"... a nod to The Who?

JZ: Far from it. It's the half-assed death wish of youth restated. Most death wishes of youth are half-assed. Life is okay. Look at Roger Daltrey. He went on to do become a great thespian. But maybe there are those that would say his death wish would have better served him if it had not been only half-assed. Anyways, I wrote that when I was 18, to be released 2 years later, but it was delayed 5 years and released when I was 23.

WC: I can see you're playing with The Black Lips in Memphis in a couple of weeks, they like to party.

JZ: Ya of course. They party other bands into extreme fatigue. Maybe we party with them if we dare. Partying leads to Vice, eh? Clever, huh?

WC: Plans for 2009?

JZ: Another album will be made. Touring, maybe.

WC: Anything to add?

JZ: Ya of course. Listen to Davila 666. Hello, Martin. Thanks again. Thanks to all the kids at the commune (Elværket, Helsingør, ed.).

All photos by Mette Huus Christensen

Brimstone Howl's MySpace Site