BROTALITY Metal faith18 min read
When Michael was surfing on YouTube he found some powerful trio playing some metal legends covers, and then we started to follow them, discovered that they are planning their future very clearly, It´s so exciting when you can talk with young musicians that just published their first album and we must share with you all these sensations.
The brothers REECE (17, bass & vocals) and BRYCE MAOPOLSKI (18, guitar & vocals) are from Narrowsburg, a tiny place in New York, we think there´re a few hundred people tops, very rural, and the drummer LIAM FENTON (15, backing vocals) is from Scraton, Pennsylvania, all of them are under twenty years old, and have a music career since they can remember, so we wanted to know every detail of this amazing story.
How did you come to metal?
Bryce: Our parents growing up were huge metalheads they were at Ozzfest when I was still in the womb, we´ve been exposed to metal for our whole lives and they´ve shown us they got us into metal in the first place.
How is when you go to school, are you the only metalheads there?
Reece: We go smaller school basically the only people that like metal there, I´ve grown older a lot of my friends at least respect it even if they don´t listen to metal they respect what we do and they´re very supportive, it wasn´t always like that though, just because, you know, being kids and in high school and everything like for the majority of the time we were in BROTALITY and even in other bands when we were younger, people didn´t get it and they didn´t really care but it never stopped us.
What´s the opinion of your schoolmates about you?
Reece: As I´ve grown older I´m still in high school but as I´ve gotten older just in school my friend definitely get it more and a few of them actually listen to it which is surprising basically is cool to see them branch out and listen to our stuff but yeah, people definitely respect it I tell my teachers “hey guess what my band just dropped the new album” I don’t know if any of them listen to it haha
Which other bands before BROTALITY?
Reece: We were really young haha, I was 9 and Bryce was 11 we started with our first band it was just like rock covers and stuff we only played a handful of shows, but I mean it was what got us started so it was fun.
Bryce: I was 7 when I started playing guitar, and then for vocals, I didn´t really do anything like I kind of would like scream for fun along the songs and stuff but I didn´t really start until we started doing stuff for BROTALITY, our first EP and our fist bunch of songs were all instrumental anyway so we didn´t even start right off the bat but then once we started getting into writing that type of music more than we were like well instead of getting someone else to do it like why don´t I just set up a mic or why doesn´t Reece start singing? I mean he started singing before BROTALITY too he´ll tell you about it.
Reece: I started out on guitar when I was like seven, my dad started me on guitar but then I´m just moved to bass because I wanted to do something different and it worked out well because Bryce and I wanted to be in a band so it was just nice instead of two guitar players I filled that bass slot and then like Bryce said with vocals with our earlier band we had vocalists kind of in and out just commitment things but Bryce and I were always like committed and still are to this day and so vocalists would kind of be in and out and so we got to a point where we were like I think we had three vocalists already and we were kind of just like where do we go from here do you want to just get another vocalist and then maybe run into similar problems so Bryce and I think we’d done backup vocals up to that point and then I just started singing to some of the covers that we were doing and then we started coming out with originals and we were like I don’t know if we really need a singer like we could do this and so now we do it that’s all.
How was to write the first own song?
Bryce: Writing our first original song that was a lot of fun we would do that sometimes like when we would do the covers I would always kind of like come up with riffs and stuff and even with our earlier bands we had a few original songs but it was like few and far between that we would write something that was our own and even farther between we would actually play it live but once I started really getting into it more then we decided like okay we really want to be serious now and then we found LIAM FENTON (drums) and we knew from now on we just want to be 100% focused on the stuff that we write and make our own sound instead of playing other people’s songs.
You learned everything super quick in just a few years. Do you still learn and discover new things when playing your instruments?
Reece: I’m happy with on the bass um for now and but I’m definitely interested in learning new instruments but we’re always like things because we’re so and even though we’ve been listening to metal for I mean literally our whole lives just there’s constantly new music to discover that’s never gonna run out there’s constantly gonna be bands to discover and so when you discover new bands you have new influences and you have more creativity so just different types of music that are always available I know helps us and it influences our sound in a big way.
When I want to learn something non-musical I always turn to YouTube. How much has YouTube played a role in your evolution as musicians?
Bryce: I do have lessons and jam sessions with somebody so I do have somewhat of a structured thing that’s not like YouTube learning but even just like besides the hundreds of lessons that I’ve watched on YouTube and stuff even just being able to see things that other people post on YouTube and like oh look at this song this guy wrote or look at this rum that this guy can do on guitar like YouTube is definitely a huge source for inspiration too.
Reece: and we watch just from an entertainment perspective on YouTube we watch so many music entertainers on YouTube which again just inspire us and even in our YouTube channel we have an active youtube channel which we just see as first of all it’s just really fun and that’s why we like to do it we post stupid funny videos that are music-related but also because being like an up-and-coming band I think it’s really important to have an established social media presence and so we’re doing that with YouTube and it’s really fun and just getting inspiration from other stupid funny metal YouTubers I know that has a big part in our YouTube presence.
What´s your favorite bands nowadays?
Bryce: we would both say that our favorite band is MASTODON, even right now I got the shirt and the banner behind me, I´ve actually been listening to a lot of kind different stuff lately we have a bunch of playlist on Spotify (you can check our account called Brotality Band), and there´s one playlist on there that’s called Brotality´s current jams and it has all the stuff that we´ve been listening to lately we update it every two weeks or something, we also have some playlist uplifting songs or we just put one together that song that was an inspiration for “Worldwide Desolation” so if someone likes “Worldwide Desolation” they can see where we were grabbing our influences from for that album.
Reece: definitely MASTODON, but another two major ones are GOJIRA I´ve always loved GOJIRA they might be my favorite band they just dropped the new sponge too and that new single is absolutely incredible, and OPETH I just recently got into OPETH and they´re just incredible. I take a lot of inspiration from their lyrics first I just think they´re well written but also that GOJIRA has this environmental stance a lot of their lyrics are about environmental corruption and so I just love bands that take a stance like that about a certain subject and GOJIRA does that amazingly, I think.
Which bands inspired you to be musicians?
Bryce: there´s such a mix because our parents would play tons of stuff for us but I remember the first one that comes to my head is probably AS I LAY DYING we ever got into like screaming music with and we have one of their DVD it´s a documentary about them I remember watching that over and over and that was one of the first time that I really saw like “oh this is what goes into touring and this is how they´re playing and you get little snippets into them writing and talking about the band and I thought that was very influential to see all of that.
What about old classic music of 80´s and 90´s?
Bryce: We definitely take a lot of inspiration from that we like to bring that old-style into our sound a lot and like kind of call back to that and so you can hear a lot of influences from OZZY with RANDY RHOADS, METALLICA (Ride the lightning and Creeping Death) we like to pull a lot of inspiration back there Reece is a huge STRYPER and RUSH fan I love THIN LIZZY we love to listen to a lot of those old bands too.
Reece: I feel like some bands that were around in the 90s were way before their time but in metal, it’s not even really that way it’s just like it ages really well I think metal is kind of like that, in general, I don’t know how many people go and listen to a lot of rap from the early 2000s I’m sure there are those people but just, in general, I think metal as a genre I think it ages pretty well and the classics like the oldest stuff has grown to be the most legendary.
You guys are still at school. What have you guys been doing the last year?
Bryce: when everything got shut down we were online I was actually in my senior year of high school so I was online to finish out high school and then I was online for my first semester of college too but now still all my classes are online but I’m at college right now (Music Industry and Business Economics major) but for most of the time when we were online there we wrote we had three of the songs of the album done before quarantine started but once quarantine hit we got a lot more free time and we wrote nine of their songs on the album in quarantine and then recorded them all that summer so writing the album was a huge thing and we also did a lot of stuff we’re both big runners so we got into running a lot we built this huge mountain bike course all around our house during the quarantine but the quarantine has given us a lot of free time to do something and we’d like to make the best of that free time and the album came out of it which is awesome.
It sounds like you guys have been very productive using that time wisely.
Bryce: so I’m full-on like let’s make BROTALITY full-time touring like playing the big shows and stuff like my number one goal is for BROTALITY as a priority full-time touring musician but the music industry degree will obviously help a lot with knowing the music industry when we’re in a situation like that and the business economics degree is great because not many jobs look for a music industry degree so the business economics is like very versatile and it’ll still it’ll teach me how to run the band like a business so we can do it full time. I’ve definitely been interested in that maybe one day we’ll get that going we would love that.
Reece: that’s what we see ourselves doing that’s really the only thing I could see myself being truly happy doing so BROTALITY is plan A and we work super hard every day regardless to make that dream come true um other than that something to supplement the band or that would at least be some financial um thing that would help BROTALITY so like a way that I could just say if we’re on the road if we’re touring whether it’s like writing articles or something with a communications degree or something or a journalism degree doing something where I don’t have to be in an office but I could be on the road and doing my job um and earning an income that way and then touring while we’re doing that so it’s definitely band focused I’m not a hundred percent um but definitely something that would supplement BROTALITY.
How exciting is to publish your first album?
Bryce: right now we’re signed to Rottweiler Records and it has been amazing so far there’s this brotherhood and it’s called the pack and all the bands are so supportive of each other there’s never any competition like “oh your song is doing better than mine” or anything like everybody truly wants each other and each other’s songs to do as good as possible everybody really wants the best for each other so having that support system with all the help and just having all these other people in bands and just that are enthusiastic about metal it’s been awesome.
What about your live experience?
Bryce: in 2020 our plan was to go on our first full-on tour we had a bunch of festivals booked around the U.S. heading out into the middle of it and that was going to be our first big run but that got bagged but it’s all scheduled for this summer though if that can happen which would be incredible so we’re gonna be going on a nice tour into the midwest of the U.S. and then up around the northeast a bunch and so that’ll be our first full outing which we are super stoked about because that’s been our dream since we’ve like seen that as a dying documentary way back when we were four or whatever but we’re gonna tour around the U.S this summer if all that can happen safely but as soon as we get the chance if we were able to go into Europe or South America or Australia we’ll play any show just as long live we’re good with it.
How do you connect with other young bands around the world through social media?
Bryce: we actually know a lot of bands through social media and that’s one of the there are definitely downsides to social media we even have a song about that but that’s one of the great things like we can connect to people like recent I have uh some people who we talk to all the time that live hours away from us we haven’t even met them before but we’re always sending back and forth like tracks and working on writing stuff for with each other and we know bands across the country and all this different stuff so social media has definitely been great because there are these connections that I don’t think ever would have happened without it. The collaboration opportunities as well like you could never meet a band like collaborate with a band in Germany send over a vocal track or a guitar solo and then you know yeah that’s amazing that’s awesome it is awesome.
I saw you playing like basketball in your videos, do you practice any sports?
Bryce: Reece is pretty good at basketball but none of us play basketball, but Reece and I are actually very into running Reece run for our high school I run for the college that I go to so we’re big into that Liam started playing football so he’s super into that, so sports are a big part of our life too, but I think we’d all say second to BROTALITY.
How did you find Liam by the way?
B: we were actually down where Liam lives around the Scranton Pennsylvania area there was a studio where Reece and I had recorded before and Liam had recorded there separately and the studio owner knew Liam’s dad and the person who owned the studio wanted to do a project to promote the studio like everybody record a song and it’ll go out for some promo and the song was actually “I want you to want me” by CHEAP TRICK and it never even ended up coming out but he got a recent eye in there for the day and Liam in there for the day to record the song and the song was never published or anything but we met Liam that day and then we knew we had to keep jamming with him.
Are you looking for somebody else?
Bryce: we’re good with three guys right now we love the three-piece energy I mean sometimes I think it’d be sick to rip a dual guitar solo with somebody, but I like the three-piece energy a lot cooler.
How’s to be in the band with the brother?
Reece: it’s a lot more fun first of all but also we’re able to be a lot more productive right now Bryce is in his dorm at college so we’re not like living together at this moment but all through quarantine we were and only till like a month ago or so and during all that time like the first couple years of BROTALITY and even now still it’s just that chemistry, we were each like seven have been doing this together so for over half of our lives and so just almost every day like “hey check out this riff awesome check out this riff check out this vocal melody let’s go downstairs let’s figure out a vocal melody for this part” and then Liam comes to us with drums and we all work on that and it just helps. I feel like the songs come together so much easier and a lot faster too because again it’s just constantly saying what do you think of this riff and even now with even though Bryce is far away he’s sending me videos and how much you like this riff and I’ll send him the lyrics to a song that I was thinking of and he’ll give me feedback on that and we facetime about it so just having that relationship it just helps BROTALITY so much and it’s such a staple so I mean it’s amazing.
Bryce: and if we weren’t we have to think of a different name too so yeah haha.
Who came up with the name?
B: we actually were all kind of brainstorming together I don’t remember whose mouth that came out of first but it was the product of a brainstorm session we were like “oh we’re all we’re brothers and William’s like an honorary brother and we love brutal music so let’s call it BROTALITY yeah“.
Reece: and we wanted to do something to that wasn’t like what a lot of band’s names are nowadays if that makes sense we didn’t want the name to be forgettable we didn’t want it to just be like “oh yeah that sounds metal cool we’ll go with it” we wanted to be very passionate about the name we wanted there to be a meaning behind it we didn’t want it to just sound cool and we love band names like METALLICA, MEGADETH, ANTHRAX those one-word band names I just think they’re so cool and all those bands have the killer logos that just like stick out to you no matter what and so since I think our music is kind of a callback to more classic music um because we’re influenced by a lot of like classic bands that I just mentioned um we wanted a band name that was representative of that and so I think BROTALITY is just a fun awesome name, yeah and even if that’s cool they’ll never forget it.
How do you go to parties and stuff?
Reece: we don’t really go to parties and stuff and mostly just because that’s not really our scene and also because we’re so busy with BROTALITY it’s a full-time job but it’s not a job because we absolutely love doing it and we never want to stop but we do extracurricular stuff, we do track we have other passions of course but we’re very thanks to our parents for like instilling this mindset in us but we’re very like motivated and just productive minded people I’d like to think and so even when we’re not doing something that’s super productive we still want to be doing something that’s productive and so we’re always like BROTALITY-minded and so I think that that’s really just our lives so we don’t really have time and we’re happy about it but we don’t really have time for just other stuff like that.
How important are your parents in all your musical project?
Reece: they’re a hundred thousand percent supportive they always have been like Bryce said I know it sounds cheesy but we literally could not have done it without them like this album would not have been out without them where we are now wouldn’t be where we are without them so yeah like 100 support all the time they’re our business people in the band so they help us with all those decisions with marketing and getting gigs and communications and social media all that stuff like they really they’re 100 supportive they’ve said before that they’re willing to really do anything to help us get on the road and you know to achieve our dreams so I mean we’re so grateful for that.
Who collaborates with you with the with the art of the album?
Bryce: that album art was actually done so Liam’s mom is an art teacher and she referred us she said one of her greatest students that ever came through her art program she said Antonio Milas is her name, so we reached out to her and she wanted to do something with us, and the album art came out of it and we are just ridiculously happy with that.
Reece mentioned passion, how do you feel about passion for BROTALITY?
Bryce: I’m so passionate about it it’s my number one thing that I love to do, this is all I can see myself doing in the future like when I try to picture where I’ll be in 10 years all I can picture is being BROTALITY full-time like whenever I’m not doing school work that’s do or something it’s always working on BROTALITY riffs or doing BROTALITY promotion like 100 of my time goes into that and it’s because I am and we are so incredibly passionate about it.
What is your next immediate goal for BROTALITY?
Reece: we have a lot of goals one that we’re working on now is another album just getting albums under our belt a long-term goal of mine is to like to be one of those bands that look back and has like a plus album career in those are my favorite bands and there’s just so much to dive into and so because of that goal that ultimate goal we’re always writing ways writing we have songs roughly down for our next album even though our first album just came out so we’re looking to record sometime relatively soon and then get that album because we’re a young band we’re a new band and I think it’s important to constantly be releasing new music for fans so I think in next goal that’s kind of coming relatively soon if you talk about like two-year spans that most bands have in albums sophomore album; as soon as it’s safe to do so playing shows albums.
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YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj2kXahFMywMEKIQq7-QOAA