Viva Brother Interview

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You may of have of Viva Brother under a different name, Brother. But since then, an Australian tribal music group claimed the name and Viva Brother was born. However, being forced to change their name didn’t stop them one bit. Britain’s Viva Brother has recently released their debut album, Famous First Words, which will consist of “huge rock’n’roll/pop anthems” says Frank Colucci. When they’re not making music, they’re either “traveling to the next gig or playing table tennis.” But today Viva Brother’s Frank Colucci talks to us on the band’s name change, American shows vs. UK shows, and their album, Famous First Words. Viva Brother is Lee Newell (vocals), Sam Jackson (guitar), Frank Colucci (drums), and Josh Ward (bass).

People were categorizing Viva Brother into the “britpop” music scene but rather then being put into a genre, they invented their own: “gritpop”
A lot of people had said we were ‘trying to revive Britpop’ which is absolutely not what we were trying to do so we thought we’d give our own stamp to what we were doing. And our music quite literally is “gritty” pop music.

Colucci on what happened when the Australian band of the same name complained.
It was more than just complain! We were ON STAGE in San Francisco when a very ugly man pushed his way through the crowd to the front and threw 4 contracts at our guitar tech and told him to tell us “we’d been served!” We were being sued for using the name ‘BROTHER’ that this Australian tribal music group owned the rights too!

Viva Brother

On why they chose to add the word ‘viva’ into their name.
We were forced to choose between changing our name or ceasing to exist (Obviously the latter was not an option) so Viva Bother was born. The word had really come from fans, as the phrase “Viva Brother” had been banded around since word of the lawsuit got out. There’s also a perfect sort of irony to it as ‘viva’ means long live. So in our own weird way we get to keep our name!

Where the inspiration for their song lyrics come from.
A lot of the songs on our album have an underlying theme of escapism. The lyrics are strongly inspired by the want to get out of Slough (the town we’re from) and move onto better things in more exciting places. That, and being hung over and weird.

Viva Brother played at SXSW this year and this garnered them an American fan base. Frank on American shows compared to UK shows.
American shows are a lot of fun. Of course they’re smaller than our shows in the UK because we’re not so far along in the US but they have been getting noticeable bigger and better each time we come over. I think people in the US really enjoy what we’re trying to do, and we’re glad.

Viva Brother

On their album, Famous First Words
Famous First Words is our Debut album. It’s really a culmination of everything we have experienced, loved or hated, together in the last 2 years.

On What the album title means to them.
The album title was a bit of a commentary on how in our earlier days as band, we were almost being talked about more for what we said in the press that our actual music! Now that the album is available we just want to let the music do the talking.

Themes throughout the album.
As mentioned before there is a strong theme of escapism. However, its not a negative theme. It’s more a focus on the joy of escaping rather than feeling miserable stuck where you are.

Plans for more tours.
We have pretty much been touring constantly since January! Plenty more to come, both sides of the pond! All our dates and plenty more available at

Frank’s last message for fans: Our Debut Album ‘Famous First Words’ is out NOW! Available on iTunes and any good record store. BUY IT OR YOU’RE MISSING OUT.


Photo Credit: Adam Weatherely, Pennie Smith, Jack Bowden (top to bottom)

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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (She's basically a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

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