By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy
I first saw the band Like a Storm when they opened for Alter Bridge at the Wiltern back in 2014. This hard rock act is lively bunch that has tremendous energy and scorching hit songs that fans love to hear. What makes the New Zealand rockers fascinating is their inclusion of a didgeridoo in their music. One does not see that in a rock band very often, but then again, AC/DC’s Bon Scott would sometimes use the bagpipes in performances. I was curious why Like a Storm chooses to use this instrument in both their albums and live performances. Luckily, I would get the chance to ask when I talked to Like a Storm frontman, Chris Brooks, who happens to play the didgeridoo. We would also be talking about their latest release, Catacombs. I should warn you listeners, there were some issues with his phone, so some of his responses are hard to hear.
I admit, I originally believed them to be from Australia, but Brooks corrected me and was a good sport about the geography location. I asked him where the band name came from, and he said it came to them after witnessing a storm coming in from the harbor they saw on their parent’s deck. He told the story of how he started the band with his 2 brothers, lead guitarist Matt and bassist Kent, and how they brought drummer Zach Wood into the fold, who was a family friend.
Catacombs are the band’s third album, and Brooks discussed what went into making the record. According to him, their first single off the album, “The Devil Inside,” is about facing your demons head on, especially in modern society. When it comes to writing the lyrics to the songs, Brooks told me that it appears to him when he least expects it. His favorite tracks off Catacombs often changes depending on playing them live or releasing them as singles. Then, I asked him about the didgeridoo, which he says he finds the sound it makes fascinating. He actually taught himself how to play it.
Though there were times Brooks’ voice was garbled on certain portions, he gave me some intriguing answers. He knows what he wants for the group, and he knows what direction he wants to take them. They are getting ready to the hit the road in the U.S. with Godsmack and Shinedown. That should be one hell of a show to catch. Catacombs is now available, and I highly recommend giving it a listen to. To Chris Brooks, I salute you. Horns up!!!
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