Braindead Romeo
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Braindead Romeo

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
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REGINA — Regina music aficionados who are looking to rock on Friday night should check out the release party for local band Braindead Romeo’s newest record at the Exchange, says Andrew Brandt.

The singer and guitar player for Braindead Romeo notes the live show will feature three other “fantastic” bands, too. It will also highlight the newest Braindead Romeo album, White Noize City, the band’s second studio effort and first full-length release, with 13 songs included.

“It should be a really good show for anybody who comes down,” Brandt said. “Basically, we don’t hold anything back. We’re not ones to get up there and stare at our shoes. It will be a no-holds-barred rock event. We go hard and we’re sweating and collapsing by the end of it.”

For those who might be unfamiliar with Braindead Romeo, the online bio for the group describes them as “Regina’s premier adrenalin rock band.” In addition to Brandt, the members are Tim Borgares on guitars, James Bellé on drums and Alex Howe on bass. Brandt says the style is “energetic” and reflects the band’s focus on putting on good live shows.

“It’s a little bit of a throwback to when rock really rocked,” he said. “There are a little bit of modern influences as well. We’re very focused on the live show and I think the new record really brings that kind of energy to the recording.”

The group started working on the White Noize City album about two years ago, he noted. Brandt and Borgares wrote the album’s songs.

“We started recording the CD almost two years ago now with some songs that we really believed in and it’s all turned out really very cool,” Brandt said. “We mostly did it ourselves. We recorded the drums in a recording studio, but basically the rest of it was just done from home. We were able to take a lot of time and pay attention to getting performances really good. All the performance are really killer because we had time to really sit there and wait for the right one.”

While consistent with the band’s past efforts, White Noize City also represents a bit of a departure for Braindead Romeo, Brandt points out.

“It’s a little more adventurous for us than we’ve done before as well. It’s the longest record we’ve done, so there’s just more material, firstly. Secondly, we tried to push it in a couple different areas that we haven’t gone to before — a little bit of balladry, a little bit of keyboards and stuff, but it all comes to that central idea that it still sounds like a Braindead Romeo record,” the band member continued.

Braindead Romeo is celebrating the release of White Noize City on Friday at The Exchange. Three other bands — Majetik, Hello, Lady and Port Noise — are to open the show. - JOE COUTURE, LEADER-POST


Regina rock band Braindead Romeo is cranking up the volume and going back to its roots: heart-pumping, adrenalin-induced live music.

After a foray into more eclectic sounds with its first EP, Soul’d Out, in 2012, the band has released a new album that stays truer to its favoured live show sound.

“We took a whole lot of pretty wild adventures with ambient and industrial sounds on our first EP … but we’ve had the luxury of time to see what we pride ourselves on first and foremost and that’s playing live,” said lead singer and guitarist Andrew Brandt.

On White Noize City, the band’s first full-length album, Braindead Romeo transports listeners to its live set where it infuses raw and arresting vocals with a much more refined sound.

“It’s a synthesis of getting the parts right and not right as long as it gives the feeling that we’re on stage and there’s no disconnect,” Brandt said.

But the band achieves more than just a discordant mix of chaotic guitar riffs and thunderous bass characteristic to some live concerts — Braindead Romeo also manages to hit that elusive point at which the music transcends fancy techniques and becomes a story.

In 13 tracks, the band hovers on the middle ground between its heavier classic rock influences and more soulful ballads, all the while giving a glimpse of being from the outside looking in.

“It’s this whole idea of living in the country and seeing the lights in a distance, which was how I grew up,” said Brandt, who, like the band’s guitarist, Tim Borgares, originally lived in Lumsden, Alta.

“It’s about going to the city and making something bigger out of yourself.”

Braindead Romeo’s official CD release party is on Friday at Exchange. The band will play with other local acts Majetik, Hello, Lady and Port Noise.

Braindead Romeo’s White Noize City is available through iTunes. - S. Taguiam, Metro Regina


Now in its 31st year, CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK is recognized as one of the premier entertainment events in North America focusing on the business of music. Combining informative, intensive conferences and cutting edge trade exhibition it is Canada’s biggest New Music Festival. Canadian Music Fest spans six nights of performances, with 1,000 showcasing bands at more than 60 live music venues in downtown Toronto.

Some of our own local talent has been accepted to this prestigious festival! We connected with a few of them to talk about their upcoming shows and what they're most excited for this year at CMW. Read on to find out what Blake Berglund, Braindead Romeo, Indigo Joseph, Andy Shauf, Foam Lake, and Fur Eel have to say about the upcoming week.

Where Braindead Romeo's Performing

Braindead Romeo is playing at the Hard Rock Cafe on Yonge St. on Thursday Night as part of the Road To CMW.

Braindead Romeo's Experience with CMW

We have not been to CMW before (our drummer James Belle has), but definitely excited about our first trip out.

What They're Looking forward to the Most

Aside from having James Belle drum his third show in two nights with two bands? I'm definitely excited to perform, but I'm also really looking forward to checking out some of the panel discussions and presentations going on.

How Braindead Romeo ended up getting to CMW

The competition in Regina happened at The Artful Dodger with some other really great local acts - we rocked out and were ultimately chosen as the night's winners. We're really grateful to everyone that came out to have a great time and support us and we are really looking forward to competing with some of the best acts from across Canada in Toronto (including Regina's Indigo Joseph)! There's some big prizes for winning in TO, so we'll give it our best! - RAGE Regina


Eighties hair metal is alive and well in Regina, but without the hair, and, well, it’s not the ’80s anymore, either.

Regina rockers Braindead Romeo may not be sporting the luscious locks of musical predecessors Motley Crue or Guns N’ Roses, but their sound and their style is straight from the ’80s, with a modern twist.

“I think we still take a lot from Guns N’ Roses, Motley Crue kinda stuff,” guitarist Tim Borgares said. “Guns N’ Roses will do hard rock stuff, plus they’ve got songs like ‘Patience.’ I think we tried to take a bit from that perspective and try to stay to one theme, but have some variety within it. We try to make music that we like to listen to and that other people like to hear.”

Braindead Romeo’s varied music style also finds its way into the bands they perform with, teaming up with the varied styles of Orange Honey, Mejia, and The Segway Jousters for their Feb. 10 album release show.

“I think there’s going to be an interesting variety of music,” Borgares said. “We’ve got some pretty talented bands playing with us for this show. They’re all rock n’ roll acts, but there’s some difference in their styles. It’ll be an exciting show; we try to make the live experience really good.”

A noticeable change with Soul’d Out is that it’s the band’s first studio record, as opposed to Braindead Romeo’s debut release, Live! in the Wild, which was a recording of a live performance except for one track. Brandt said the new release is “a little more crafted and precise,” but he doesn’t believe that “one is necessarily better than the other.” Live albums help to capture the atmosphere of a live performance, but they can also put limits on to what can and can’t be recorded.

“We wanted to see what we could do with the money put down, and what we were capable of with high-quality equipment,” fellow guitarist Andrew Brandt said. “What really came through for us with Live! in the Wild was the fact that you could really hear the energy and intensity of the live take. That really came through for us. It was easy to imagine us storming all over the stage with that one. With Soul’d Out, we had an opportunity to expand the parts more. ‘Comin’ Up Roses’ has something like six guitar parts going at once.”

Recording a live album as a debut release may be atypical, but Brandt insisted live performance is an innate aspect of Braindead Romeo.

“It’s more how we function,” Brandt said. “Our ethos is very being a live-performance band with a lot of energy and a lot of intensity on stage. We really wanted to showcase that right off the bat.”

Songwriting between the two records is something that has changed for Braindead Romeo, whereas the quartet scrapped some of their material between Live! in the Wild and Soul’d Out.

“There are more mature ideas in the songwriting,” Brandt said. “It’s all very current for us. Every track on this album has come up in the last year-and-a-half. We discarded a lot of the songs that were in between our first record and this one, but we really dug into the most meaningful ones for us and that were the best songs for the time.

"It stopped being about copying AC/DC riffs and more about finding our own niche. There was a lot more light and dark swings in the music that would shift really drastically … We started taking off in two directions at once where we were making really heavy stuff and lighter stuff at the same time and diverging from that middle ground that we had been on.”

Nonetheless, Borgares insisted that Braindead Romeo is still sticking to its influences on Soul’d Out.

“[Soul’d Out] got its central theme as a hard rock album,” Brandt said. “We also then tried to experiment and bring more of our fringe influences out a bit more. There’s one track on the album that’s almost industrial metal, another track is all acoustic, and there’s some soundscape stuff too.”

Collaborating on material is something that came about more so in the writing of Soul’d Out, which is an aspect that happened less with Braindead Romeo’s previous release, Live! in the Wild.

“I think the songs that we ended up picking for this album were ones that we had collaborated on more,” Borgares said. “We found that those were the best of the material, and we made sure we spent a lot of time making sure we were getting all the parts right and going back and changing things to make them better. What’s on Soul’d Out is largely the product of collaborations.”

It turns out that living with your bandmates also aids in the collaborative writing process.

“Tim and I have lived together for almost the past two years, and that’s really helped,” Brandt said. “Whenever someone has the beginning concept or core idea, they can whip out a guitar in the living room and say, ‘Hey, what do you think of this?’ We’ve collaborated on the arrangements, what riffs should go where, etc. All but one of the songs were lyrical collaborations as well.” - The Carillon


All the bands Andrew Brandt loves have reputations of being better live than on their albums. So when Regina rock band Braindead Romeo takes the stage, that idea is emulated and the result is the unleashing of a surge of passion and energy.

“We really like just cranking up the amps and really playing loud and playing hard, and it works well because we function primarily as an exciting live band,” said Brandt, lead singer and guitarist of Braindead Romeo.

“We really pride ourselves on our energetic show — it’s very intense and (we play) a style of music that really tends to suit that and mirror our stage ethic.”

Braindead Romeo is the end result of years of lineup changes to bands that Brandt and fellow guitarist Tim Borgares had been playing in since high school. When bassist Alex Howe and drummer James Belle joined the lineup in winter of 2010, the band exploded musically and it was time to adopt a new name.

Before the current lineup came together, Borgares and Brandt had written a song called Braindead Romeo. After seeing it at the top of their set list and thinking it would make a good band name, the group adopted the title as their banner. Brandt explained the song was written for a girl — to tell her that the guy she was dating was no good and was just using her — and the tag line was “you deserve much more than a braindead romeo.”

Braindead Romeo is heavily influenced by ‘70s and ‘80s rock bands like AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue, but also gets a lot of influence from the ‘90s grunge scene. Therefore, the members of the band think of themselves as a synthesis of heavy glam styles and the Nirvana-influenced grunge styles, said Brandt.

“Musically, we are quite hard-hitting … at the same time, it’s very focused on song writing. It’s not just about the riffs or what people are technically playing, we’re more about the song itself,” he said.

The band has also expanded its sound on its debut studio album, Soul’d Out. In addition to adrenalin rock songs, there are some different sounds as well, including an industrial electronic track and an acoustic song.

“I think it really creates a cool mix of experiences listening to that album all the way through, and we tried to make it a full experience,” said Brandt.

While Soul’d Out has been available to purchase since December, Braindead Romeo is celebrating the formal launch of the album with a CD release event Friday night at The Exchange. There will be deals on Braindead Romeo’s CDs and merchandise, and three other bands — Orange Honey, Mejia and Segway Jousters — will be there to round out the evening of music.

Brandt said that for the CD release event, Braindead Romeo will be playing Soul’d Out in its entirety and then the group will also play a few new songs that were written since the album was recorded.

“(People can expect) to really get slammed in the face by some heavy music with great songwriting. A lot of comments that we’ve received have been accolades to the songwriting — that people just can’t get the music out of their heads,” he said.

“So that’s really great, especially when it’s played live and not off the record.” - Leader Post


Discography

White Noize City (2014)

Soul'd Out (2012)

Live! In The Wild! (2011)

Media Activity

  • Chosen for side stage at Sasktel Summer Invasion festival in Regina
  • Finalist in the "Road To CMW" contest 2013 - performed at The Hard Rock in Toronto
  • Periodically featured on Regina's 104.9 The Wolf on Radio Active (new music) and homegrown (local music) segments
  • Regular play from Regina's 91.3 CJTR
  • Regular play from Moose Jaw's Mix 103.9
  • Featured on Shaw TV Saskatoon's "Stripped Down"
  • Song "Amedika" honorably mentioned for West Coast Songwriter's competition 2012
  • Braindead Romeo is featured on the soundtrack to the independent film "Zombigeddon"

Photos

Bio

BRAINDEAD ROMEO is Regina's premier adrenaline rock band! Built from a core of razor-sharp guitar work and finely crafted songwriting (Brandt / Borgares), the BR sound is augmented with thunderous and melodic basslines (Howe) and funky precision drumming (Belle). Layered on top are the raw, maniac vocals of Andrew Brandt - bringing together a powerful and resonant rock sound that recalls the classics AND THEN builds on them.

Braindead's new (2014) full-length album WHITE NOIZE CITY further pushes the limits of the band's sound while maintaining focus and drive. It features many songs that have been road tested through the band's live set for years, which fans have demanded to be recorded.

BR's debit studio EP - Soul'd Out - is a blistering document of fine songwriting infused with a shot of adrenaline. With five rocked-out studio cuts and four eclectic bonus tracks from the band's home studio (spanning ambient, industrial, and acoustic genres) the album pushes the limits of the listener's expectations and forms a wide bed of sounds that the band is capable of. Soul'd Out was released in February 2012 to online retailers and HMV music stores.

Look for Braindead Romeo in a venue near you and online. We hope to rock YOUR world in the near future!

Band Members