SHOWMEN: The Pierce Brothers Jack and Patrick have successfully taken their street performance shtick to the world’s stages.THE Pierce Brothers are used to turning heads and stopping people in their tracks. They’ve made a career out it.
Thetwins from Melbourne cut their teeth in Bourke Street Mall wherethey became famous for their energetic and charismatic busking sets, which lured in hundreds of shoppers and office workers.
These showsincluded Jack Pierce banging drum sticks on the pavement or his brother Patrick’s guitar, playing the didgeridoo and even doing back flips. Their upbeat folk and warm harmoniesbecame so popular the pair sold 50,000 EPs independently before they signed with major label, Warner Music.
The lessons they learnt and honed in street performance haveproven invaluable.
“We had to stop people as nobody’s there to come and see a busker,” Jack Pierce says, as enthusiastic during an interview as he is on stage.
Jack Pierce LAUGHING: The twins have a busy year ahead touring with Tash Sultana.
“We had a lot of really good things happen on the European tour. A lot of things very luckily fell into place for us.
“I feel like it was just the luck of the festival slot and everyone was drunk and were like ‘we’re going to watch this band now.’
“I have no reason to believe anyone knew who we werethere. We were stoked. We sold lots of CDs there, so it was a good start in lots of different markets like the Czech Republic where we’ll be heading back to do a headline show.”
In fact, the Pierce Brothers have plenty of touring commitments for the foreseeable future.
Throughout September they’re touring the EP The Records Were Ours, their first on Warner. That will be followed by a tour of the US with fellow multi-instrumentalist Tash Sultana.
They’ve also previously supported The Cat Empire and Ben Harper locally and abroad.
The Records Were Ours, featuring the upbeat blues and rootssingle Take Me Out, isthe first of a trilogy. Part two is scheduled for release in November, while the third EP will feature a series of live performances.
There’s so many songs in the brothers’ arsenal that they plan to hit the studio in November between tours to start recording a debut album.
These opportunities have all become a reality since making the leap to a major label.
“We did it because we wanted to extend what we were doing at a grassroots level and they could help us at the bigger picture,” Jack says of the decision to join Warner.
Pierce Brothers – Take Me Out“The good thing is the A&R that comes with a major label really did help us with our songwriting and our recording capabilities and propelled us forward, which is why we did it in the first place.”
Of course the history of popular music is littered with tales of successful independent acts that lost their creative edge once they crossed the corporate line.
However, Jack says its been the opposite in the Pierce Brothers’ experience. Theirlabel has even allowed them to pursueself-confessed “terrible ideas” like launching their own app.
“They never asked us to change anything, which is what we were worriedabout with a major label and creative control,” he says.
“It’s never been an issue, they’ve just given us more ideas, rather than less and told us to push boundaries further and not pull it in.”
The Pierce Brothers perform at the Cambridge Hotel’s warehouse bar on Friday, September 22.