As previously reported, Brother are no more. They’re still around, they’re just called Viva Brother now. We spoke to the band about the situation.
Why did you have to change your name?
Lee: “It’s been going on for ages, even when we were in New York for the first time. When we started our band we Googled the name ‘Brother’ and this Australian band came up – there’s this fucking Celtic band called Brother too. So we knew about it but, honestly, we thought nothing of it because they’re so small. We were just like, ‘That will never be a problem’. But alas, it is.”
Brother video interview: why we had to change our name:
NME: So what happened?
“It was actually in San Francisco that it happened – we were on stage and this bloke fought his way to the front while we were playing. We got served, basically.”
Josh: “Yeah. This guy travelled across America to come to our San Francisco show, fought his way to the front and chucked this 30-page document on my feet while we were playing. I said, ‘What the fuck’s that? and he went ‘You’ve been served’. I was like, ‘Is that even a thing? Does that actually happen?!'”.
Lee: “It was so Jerry Springer it was amazing.”
Only in America…
Lee: “Yep! So, they were threatening to sue us, they asked for some money – no, actually we offered them some money but they said no. So we were like right, go fuck yourself then, we’ll change our name. And so, ironically, we’ve added a ‘Viva’ at the beginning of our name. It means ‘long live Brother’, which was a big fuck you to them basically.”
So you had no option but to change the name?
Lee: “Yeah, because otherwise they had the power to basically take our songs off the internet and not let us release an album, and basically make our band no more. Which is a fucking scary thought as our album comes out in a month’s time. But for a band of our level to change our name this late on seems… well, to be honest, I’ve never heard anything like it.”
NME: Worried about the name change?
Lee: “If people like us, they like us for our music, not our name. And our name is still Brother. It is virtually the same. I think it will all be cool because the fans we have already will still refer to us as ‘Brother’, and all the new ones we make will refer to us as ‘Viva Brother’. I still like it that we have this little cult-y group of people who are gonna have the old t-shirts and have seen us in these small venues, and now we’ve got the new one.
NME: Where did ‘Brother’ actually come from?
Lee: “It was fairly throwaway. It was just something we all liked when it came up. We wanted one word. All our favourite bands are one word like Suede or Blur. Or [said double-fast] Stoneroses. And then as we went on it gained more relevance, and it made sense.”