BROCKER (from l-r): Janchi Mugica (drums/vocals), Pako Mugica (vocals/guitar), Ky Wilkinson (bass/vocals)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
PHOTO by PAULTERGE PHOTOGRAPHY
Influenced by rock n’ roll, punk, ska, rockabilly, and bands such as Rancid, NOFX, Green Day, and The Ramones, Hertfordshire three-piece Brocker bring to the table a sublime mix of melodies delivered at breakneck speed, powerful basslines and drum beats, as well as defiant lyrical content.
Since unveiling their debut album, ‘Out Of Order‘, back in 2013, the collective have played across the UK and continental Europe – performing at iconic venues such as The 100 Club and Dingwalls – as well as supporting the likes of Chrissie Hynde and Slaves.
Having recently released their second album, ‘Shambolic‘, the trio’s frontman, Pako Mugica, spoke to me, in-depth, about its recording process, how the offering has so far been received, and more.
How did the band first get together?
Me and my brother, Janchi, started jamming at home in around 2004/2005. Janchi had a mate at uni who played bass, so he joined us, we recorded an album at home, and played a few gigs around Hertfordshire and London. Ky joined us just before the release of ‘Out Of Order‘, and that’s when the line-up was properly completed.
How did the name Brocker come about?
It’s a really stupid name! (laughs) It’s actually a combination of “brother” and “rocker“…I told you! Some people like it…
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
For me personally, songwriting is the most frustrating yet the most exciting experience – once whatever you’re looking for in that song clicks, the satisfaction is unreal. The most important thing is that you are a fan of your own music.
What inspires the band lyrically?
Anything, really, ranging from personal stuff, to drinking/partying, the current political/global situation, etc. We’re always trying to be honest.
Recently, you brought out a new album, ‘Shambolic’. How was the recording process for that?
It was completely “shambolic“! We had that word in mind for the title, but after the 10 days we had recording the album, we simply HAD to use it.
We went to record in Seville, Spain, at Sputnik Studios in 2017. The reason we went there was because we played with this big Spanish punk band called Reincidentes, and one of the members told us that his son was playing in a band from Seville called Horror Business, so we played a few gigs with them, both in Spain and in the UK, and then we decided to go to Seville to record in the studio with the sound guy for that tour.
For the flight there, I had to loosen up my Gretsch guitar strings, because of the cabin pressure, but I did it a bit too much…so when we got to the studio, the bridge was completely misplaced, and the intonation was gone, but luckily, these guys knew this “crazy” guy who helped us with that, along with many other things.
It was mad, as every morning, we would all meet up in this bar to have some breakfast, and a big shot of anise, before going into the studio, which was the perfect “medicine” to bring us up, and start our sessions feeling “powerful“, or something like that.
This, plus all of the beers and bottles of anise (yeah, more) we drank, got to the point where Janchi forgot one morning that he did some backing vocals for a song…One night, we actually went out after the session, and came back to the studio at 4am to record a live track called ‘Balls Deep‘…We never got the mix for that, but we’re definitely going to ask for it.
The only downside is that we recorded the album in 10 days in March 2017, but we didn’t release it until last August…this was because the producer took forever, messed up the momentum we had going, and more stuff…but I suppose this will do – all in all, it was the best experience we’ve ever had as a band.
Also, how does the album differ stylistically to the band’s 2013 debut release, ‘Out Of Order’?
‘Out Of Order‘ was a collection of songs we had done over the years, which we finally put together as an album. It had great songs on it, and it’s something we’re very proud of, but ‘Shambolic‘ definitely a more mature, thought-provoking kind of album, and I would say that it’s more like a signature of our sound.
And how has the response been to ‘Shambolic’ so far?
It’s been really good. Everyone who has listened to it seems to like it a lot, although, for some reason, we were expecting a better response.
I think this was because of what I mentioned before, we had a really good thing going on, and then we had to stop, because we wanted to prepare the album and stop playing so much, which – looking back – was a big mistake. We even had people emailing us asking if we were still going! (laughs). We are, and we’re stronger than ever!
The band have performed at venues across the UK and much of continental Europe, and have also supported the likes of Chrissie Hynde, Slaves, and Anti-Nowhere League. How were they as experiences?
Unfortunately, we couldn’t meet Chrissie, as her security guards wouldn’t let us speak to her…the fuckers! We wanted to take pictures, and give her a copy of ‘Out Of Order‘, but we didn’t get the chance – it was a great night, though.
Slaves were great live, and came across as really nice guys, however, we didn’t manage to speak to them much.
Anti-Nowhere League were amazing! They were really nice guys, and even brought some merch from us, which was great. During their set, this guy threw some beer at “Animal“…big mistake! He didn’t like it, so he punched him, then everything went back to normal…well, sort of…
Also, how is it overall playing live?
There’s nothing better than playing live, as we love it, and try to play as much as we can. We understand each other really well on stage.
And lastly, what are your plans for the near future?
We have a lot of gigs coming up this year, and we’re waiting to confirm more, including some festivals and European dates. We want to promote ‘Shambolic‘ as much as we can, we think it came out really well – we’re very proud of it – so we’re also putting ideas together for new singles/promo videos, and you never know, we may release another album next year…
‘SHAMBOLIC’ – THE SECOND ALBUM FROM BROCKER – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: