Brookside: hit single 'Jimmy the Chameleon', The Killers, & EP 'Alton Bridge'
By: Ezzah Rafique | February 13, 2021
Brookside (from left to right): Bennett Woolsey, Harrison Hubregs, John Michael Sadler, & Diego Letayf
Alternative-Indie band Brookside talk about their hit single 'Jimmy the Chameleon', The Killers, and EP 'Alton Bridge'.
Check out the interview below...
How did y’all meet and know that you wanted to form as a band?
B: We all met through school and the funny thing about that [is] we became friends before any of us knew we played instruments. We were all very into music but we just decided to start a band when Diego & I were probably in like 4th grade and he said he played guitar and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. So I decided I wanted to take lessons and then we met Harri. Harri also played guitar and piano and we just went from there.
When deciding on the name, did y’all know you wanted to stick with Brookside or did you have any other names in consideration?
D: I found a song on Spotify called “Brookside” by Captiva which I kinda liked and I told [the other guys] it sounded cool. And Bennet said yes but we still needed a meaning ‘cause we can’t just name it because it sounds cool and after a while, we were driving around and we decided to stop and look up where Brookside was, like where it was located… and it said Brookside was like right in front of us. A road called “Brookside”. Which we usually passed but I guess we never saw it.
B: It was meant to be
You guys released your first album, Alton Bridge, in 2019, did you guys have an inspiration behind it? [Did you know y’all] wanted to release that specific album? Was there a message you were trying to portray with it?
B: The inspiration for that album came from a lot of different places. We didn’t really have like any hidden meaning with it but… there was a lot going on with everybody’s lives. I was in Austin… there was talk about me moving away. Diego was going to Mexico. So it was a crazy time in all of our lives so the music kinda talks about us going through those big changes in our lives. We wanted to release something, we didn’t really have a plan for it, out of the 25 songs we wrote, we picked 11 [of the] best ones and released that.
Do you guys have a favorite song off of it or one that resonates the most and stands out to each of you?
B: My favorite is ‘Marz’, I think Diego’s ‘Marz’ as well, Harri’s I’m not sure
H: Nah, ‘Beyond Flowers’ is mine
D: ‘Marz’ I think resonates pretty good with Bennett and I because we both had that stage where we had to move and leave basically everything we know so honestly when I wrote it, that had not happened to me yet, Bennett was about to go through that, but it was kinda crazy how right after that it happened to me so that’s why it’s so close to my heart. But also, I really like earthy/galaxy type stuff so all the metaphors in there are cool and something I like.
Are there artists or bands you guys listen to that inspire your creative process when you’re making music in general?
B: So The Killers are a big one, but the coolest thing about that is, you know we love the band The Killers like ‘Mr. Brightside’ and all those songs… but [the inspiration for] ‘Beyond Flowers’ came from The Killers. The lead singer’s name in the band is Brandon Flowers, and he’s kind of the only one who gets all the glory and the recognition for the[ir] success. But, we decided to name the song ‘Beyond Flowers’ because it’s about The Killers and about them inspiring us to do our music so we decided to name it [that specifically] because there’s more than just Brandon Flowers in the whole band [since] all of them work together. There a lot of… like “Marz” is kind of like a John Mayer vibe, almost. There [are] a lot of different artists we like and listen to [who inspire us].
In September of last year, y’all dropped [a single called] ‘Jimmy the Chameleon’. When you guys sat down to write it, did you know what you wanted the song to be about or how it was going to sound like? How was the process of making that?
B: So ‘Jimmy the Chameleon’ was an interesting one. Basically, I started my TikTok and started this songwriting challenge where I’d [write a song based on] what the top comment says. And one day I got a comment, kinda like a joke, just saying ‘write a song about a Chameleon who gets lost in the woods and he’s 6-years-old, and so… I didn’t expect anything from it and I just thought it would be funny to actually write about that and release it. So I sat down for 20 minutes, wrote a song about a chameleon named Jimmy, and we released it and it kinda blew up. [Now it has almost] a million plays on Spotify and so we are very happy about that.
What was y’alls initial reaction to seeing the rapid growth of that song?
B: I was really shocked, of course really excited. But honestly, ‘Jimmy the Chameleon’ was a song that we worked the least for, so the music that we were really passionate about and worked really hard [for] didn’t do as well as Jimmy did. So it was funny because it was the one we least expected to blow up. But, when Jimmy came along we noticed that our plays for ‘Alton Bridge’ also went up so all around we were super excited about it.
If you guys were to describe your music as a setting, you know how people curate oddly specific playlists, how would you describe your music if you were to create a playlist like that?
H: I would describe it as Alternative-Indie, [with] the stuff we have out now. But I think that we’re going to be working towards opening it up to a huge variety of music like [into] different categories.
What do you guys have planned for releasing music, do you have any on releasing music later this year?
H: I don’t know, are we Diego?
D: I’m the one who’s inviting y’all to a record label place where The Strokes recorded. Y’all just gotta come down.
B: It’s hard because Diego is in Mexico, and he’s the biggest producer out of all of us like he kinda produced Alton Bridge on the computer but we do have projects planned, and we’re sending each other projects back and forth. There’s no specific song that we have a release date for, but we definitely [are planning] in the next couple of month to release a new single
I know you guys are all together and in high school, but do you have any long-term plans compared to short-term?
H: We have a pact. I think it’s kind of different for everyone because we all have stuff going on. But for me personally, music is something that we’d like to pursue. It’s just difficult with everyone being in different places. But maybe later in the future, when we’re a little older maybe we’ll get more serious about it and sit down [and do something].