Papadosio’s Billy Brouse Talks Brooklyn Bowl, ‘Content Coma’, GoT and more [interview]
Entering the third week of Spring tour, things are certainly blooming for five-piece fusion rock band Papadosio. Off to a fresh start on the East Coast, the boys are preparing to return to the legendary Brooklyn Bowl this weekend – so it’s only right that we got the chance to chat with Billy Brouse (keys/vocals) in regards to their return, ‘Content Coma’, Game of Thrones and more.
You guys are currently on your Spring album tour for ‘Content Coma’, having kicked things off at Madison Theater in KY and BUKU in Nola. Any notable moments this early on in tour?
Billy: Well out of the two shows we’ve played so far, BUKU was pretty insane – we had a show that started at like 3:30 in the morning, and it was crazy in there. I did not expect it to be that crazy, but it is New Orleans, and it was a festival, so it was bonkers. So that was kinda cool.
On the subject of that after party, it was an official BUKU late night event with you and Mersiv, which is definitely a rather funky combination of talent considering you guys are on pretty opposite ends of the electronic spectrum. How did that come to be facilitated?
Billy: I don’t even know. I thought it was kind of strange too, but I like doing stuff like that, so why not do something totally different. Pretty sure BUKU hit us up about it, and I suppose they wanted a bunch of weird stuff on there, which I’m cool with.
It is pretty character of them to do off-the-wall things like that.You guys had a solid turnout during the actual festival, despite being a little out of norm in regards to the lineup. BUKU tends to be predominantly EDM acts and rappers. So you guys and SunSquabi and that kind of vibe is way different for attendees that come to see the headliners and big DJ’s. Do you cater to those crowds differently, as opposed to one that comes to your shows and knows what they’re getting into?
Billy: Sometimes, but not really. It’s good to expose people to other music.We’ll play some bangers, more electro-themed stuff, but we’ll also toss in some straight up Rock ‘N’ Roll because that’s what we do. It’s nice to play to the whole spectrum of people.
Sometimes there’s a sort of stigma in terms of the more rave-oriented kids perceiving bands such as you guys at EDM-dominated events, where a lot of the time they aren’t fans of you simply because they don’t know who you are. But once they stumble upon a set or happen to walk by, they see that you’re actually getting down and going hard.
Billy: Sometimes I’m not super familiar with the lineup because we’ll be on tour and fly in directly to the festival. But we’ve played a bunch of festivals where we’re pretty much the only band on the lineup, like Imagine in ATL and a few others.
That’s cool though, because it certainly sets you apart from the masses, and also, it’s refreshing to stop and check out some organic production amidst a schedule that is practically one DJ back to another all day.
Billy: Yeah, I mean I haven’t been to a festival just to go in forever, but I can imagine that it’s nice to break it up.
You guys are about to play a two-night run at Brooklyn Bowl, which is a pretty well-renowned and unique venue that sees the likes of a lot of major talent. Anything particularly special for that spot?
Billy: We’ve played there a bunch of times – we definitely have a history with that venue. I believe we’re going to do a meet-and-greet bowl type of thing on Friday with contest winners. And Brooklyn Bowl has the best fried chicken on the face of the earth. I mean, I’m in Asheville right now, I can get dank fried chicken anywhere – but that place, I don’t know what they do, but it’s crazy.
You probably don’t have much free time during those two evenings that isn’t dedicated to rehearsal or resting, but is there any NY stuff or fun activities that you want to accomplish while there?
Billy: We probably won’t have much time, but there is a really sweet synthesizer store in Brooklyn that I’d like to mess around in, and look at things I shouldn’t buy, and also just walking around Brooklyn is cool.
Recently, have you discovered any artists or bands that have really caught your eye?
Billy: I’ve been listening to a lot of this guy Dorian Concept. I haven’t heard anything like that in a long time. it’s really really cool. I believe he’s on Ninja Tune, which is a cool electronic label, and apparently he’s been around for a long time but I was just sleeping on it and had no idea.
Sometimes it’s awesome to be late in the game of discovering these artists because then you practically have archives of music to catch up on.
Billy: It’s like starting to watch Game of Thrones right now. There’s so much back catalog that I haven’t listened to of this guy.
So, you’re a GoT enthusiast?
Billy: I mean…it’s awesome. I grew up reading Tolken and enjoying things like that, and my brother was reading it, and was like “you have to read this”, and yeah..it’s really really good.
I often get ridiculed by my friends because I’ve never read or watched any of the series..
Billy: It is so good. If you get sick or something or can’t go anywhere for a while, you should watch the first two because then you’ll be stuck.
In regards to ‘Content Coma’, it has that signature Papadosio sound – spacey, energized yet tranquil at the same time, and obviously it has a lot of emotion to it. Can you share a little bit about the motive in conceptualizing the album?
Billy: It’s basically an observation. No one is saying what’s going on is good or bad, but there’s just constant content in the collective consciousness of the whole world, so it’s kind of a reflection; just stepping back and checking things out. It also refers to how people will sort of believe anything all the time, and it’s just like yo man, chill out, go outside or something for a little bit. I’m not saying throw your phone away, but take a breath and cool out.
In the album, is there any one track that really resonates with you?
Billy: I like playing “Fanfare for the Rain People” a lot. It doesn’t have any words or anything, but it’s really fun to play, so I’ve been digging on that one.