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BRILLIG (MATT SWAYNE)

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HI FOLKS, HELLO TO BRILLIG. LET’S SPEAK ABOUT THE BAND – WHO IS DOING WHAT? WHO ARE YOU ANYWAY? Elizabeth Reid and myself provide Brillig’s songwriting and most of the recorded instrumentation with Elizabeth adding vocals, viola, piano accordion, autoharp and ukulele, whilst I provide vocals, guitars, banjo and harmonica. Denni & Ben play bass guitar and drums respectively. Elizabeth is Brillig’s graphic designer creating all of our CD artwork, images and the basis of the promotional materials. We are currently self-managed, with Elizabeth handling most of those duties as well. IF BRILLIG WAS A CAKE, WHAT INGREDIENTS WOULD HAVE TO BE IN IT? I don’t care for cake (unless it’s from Katja) but to create BRILLIG beer you would need the following; 1 part Sorrow, 2 parts Tragedy, a healthy amount of Death, a liberal dose of Intrigue, a splash of Comedy, all bottled in the most Beautiful glass.Do you know who would drink this beer? Johnny Cash, Nick Cave & Leonard Cohen. We would let Lewis Carroll have a bottle or two as well. HOW DID YOU COME TOGETHER TO MAKE MUSIC AS A BAND? WHAT IS THE FASCINATION ABOUT IT? Brillig’s music always contained flourishes of acoustic instrumentation, even when we were at our most electronic. For “The Red Coats” LP we decided to make the record entirely acoustic. I think this works firstly as a way to draw focus toward the vocals and lyrics, which we treat very seriously and also as a way to highlight beauty within the music to balance the tragedy within the lyrics. HOW IS THE SCENE IN AUSTRALIA? IS THERE ANY GOTHIC SCENE AT ALL? Australia certainly has a gothic scene, although with the country’s small population Gothic is not a large part of the music population. Most of Australia’s most significant Gothic acts such as Ikon and Dandelion Wine spend a lot of their time playing shows outside of Australia. At home we often share stages with Alt. country and Folk acts whereas in Europe this is not so much the case. YOU PLAY A LOT OF “EXOTIC” INSTRUMENTS. DID YOU HAVE A CLASSIC TRAINING? We are all self taught. We use our different instruments for the moods they create and the colours they contribute. The banjo can add a sinister, brooding element to the music, whilst the autoharp brings a beauty. The accordion can remind people of the ocean – everything we play is used to add to the song; to help set the scene of the story within the lyric. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE A GERMAN LABEL TO RELEASE YOUR NEW ALBUM “THE RED COATS”? HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT THEM AND HOW DOES THIS CO-OPERATION WORK IN AN INTERNATIONAL WAY? Black Rain state that “Music is our Passion” – we at BRILLIG feel exactly the same way. It is a perfect marriage. Our music is less hard and heavy than many other groups on the label, however emotionally we certainly hold our ground. We first came into contact with Black Rain via label mates and fellow Aussies Dandelion Wine and were lucky enough to have the label release our previous album “Mirror On The Wall” which was a hybrid electric/acoustic album. WHAT CAN THE LISTENER EXPECT FROM THE NEW ALBUM? The album is very much focussed on the “song” and the storytelling within. These tales of sorrow, tragedy, love, loss and despair are presented with acoustic instrumentation which highlights the dual vocals of myself and Elizabeth. AND WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES REAGARDING YOUR PREVIOUS RELEASES? In the past we have tried to create moods with our music, but this time in addition to that we have also made a big effort to present more complete stories that the listener can become involved with and follow. I think that presenting this with all acoustic instrumentation has added something quite magical to the music. DID YOU ALREADY GET ANY FEEDBACK FROM THE PRESS OR FANS? Most of the songs contained on “The Red Coats” LP were performed live before they were recorded so we did get feedback from fans first, and they were all very excited about the new “storytelling” direction. The press have also given the new music an amazing response. ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE NEW ALBUM? Absolutely. It is by far BRILLIG’s best and most cohesively realized work and we would certainly not change a thing about the CD. BEFORE THE RELEASE YOU HAVE TOURED A LOT. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE WORLD. Our recent tour of Germany and the Czech Republic was in fact the first time we have toured outside of Australia. BRILLIG has played extensively across our home country but were extremely pleased and honoured to be invited to play Wave Gotik Treffen and certainly jumped at the opportunity. WHICH GIG DID HIT YOU THE MOST EMOTIONALLY? There were many good shows, in particular Prague and Berlin were special, but performing at the Schauspielhaus in Leipzig as part of Wave Gotik Treffen was one of the most beautiful moments we have ever had performing as BRILLIG. Performing “The Red Coats” LP in its entirety complete with encore of The Plagiarist is something we will never forget. IN WHICH PART OF AUSTRALIA DO YOU LIVE? We all live in South Australia in a small city named Adelaide. Most people in our country live by the ocean and have a strong association with it. I think this comes through in many of Brillig’s songs. WILL YOU COME BACK TO EUROPE TO PLAY AGAIN? Most definitely! We were all so impressed and inspired by the recent tour that we are already making plans to return whilst “The Red Coats” LP is still fresh. HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF BRILLIG? Our new album has not even been released in our home country yet, so touring that release is a priority. Returning to Europe and Germany in particular is also of major importance to us. I think we will do those things before embarking on creating a new series of songs. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR TIME AND GOOD LUCK!

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