The Pierce Brothers are two very energetic, happy Aussie guys – “Wild Colonial Boys’! They brought their unique synergy to the Bluesfest stage for the their first time in 2016. Jodie Bellchambers spoke with the dynamic duo Jack and Pat Pierce after their performance at the Juke Joint.
“It’s a pretty special thing to be able to play Bluesfest for the first time and our sister Genevieve was in the audience. We are from a big family – we’re the youngest of five – so she’s a part of our success.” Pat explains.
The brothers admit to swapping classes in High school. Pat took Jack’s French classes for him as he wasn’t interested, and now ironically he’s back taking French Classes at Alliance Francais in Melbourne I asked the boys how long it took them to breakthrough from busking into touring.
“It wasn’t so much a break just a bunch of different opportunities kept coming up”, says Jack.
“We started to get too busy to busk anymore and we had opportunities to tour. We just ran with them – bookings, busking, more touring. We then went over to tour in Europe. We got a break through the 123 booking agency who really streamlined and planned a path for us that worked.”
“They implemented a strategy: let’s work smarter not harder – are you looking at recording? Let’s do that. We did festivals, toured more and our Manager Regan just kept on track with this amazing strategy which basically is – if you have a great live show then use it. Slowly bigger break after break happened and eventually Warner came along then Sony over in Europe came along. Then Falls Festival things just started dropping and we would just apply our show to whatever opportunity came up.”
Touring pretty much independently in Australia, the brothers spoke about having it sussed in Australia due to all their busking experience.
“It enabled us to build markets so we were okay,’ states Pat.
“Sydney is a tough one but we are going to be playing at the Enmore with Cat Empire which is fantastic. They have been great for us we were blown away to be able to tour with them in Europe – that was one of the biggest breaks for us. We owe a lot to those guys. It was about our second or third show with them in Europe and we would sort of hang back and wait until they had eaten and Harry came up and he was like ‘guys you can eat with us, as far as we are concerned you are like family to us’. They were just so welcoming and we were so timid because we didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes and we honestly couldn’t believe we were there. It was like we have tricked everyone, I mean this was a pipe dream for us.”
Chatting about their European experience, Jack mentions how well they had been received in the Netherlands.
“Yeah one of our songs just seemed to get some traction and Dave our manager over there was working for us. Nothing has been added on rotation as yet but we seemed to have struck a chord and a lot of people have faith in us. We are able to deliver when we are put in front of important people or crowds, I mean we still haven’t had a big hit as yet. Everyone knows us but they don’t know any of our songs, we are waiting for a big hit and maybe it will come on our new album.”
“ We have come so much further than we thought we would have already and we feel like we have achieved success, we can’t believe we are at Bluesfest in a green room!”
And where does all the love on stage come from?
Jack laughs. “Nah we hate each other!”
“ Seriously probably our parents, also the crowd today were brilliant. They were completely engaged, in the slow song you could hear a pin drop, ask them to sing they sang.”
The boys are currently working on their first ever album which is being produced by John Castle who did Washington/Bamboos/Vance Joy.
Pate elaborates. “To work with him is pretty exciting so I think we are onto something pretty good. This time we have nine songs we feel great about having something that represents us and we are really excited – that pipe dream of having a big hit could become a reality but if it doesn’t who gives a shit? We are happy with what we have accomplished we are happy with the work we have put in and are proud of what we have done.”
The Pierce Brothers will be supporting The Cat Empire when they play at NightQuarter on the 8 May