Interview - We 'Praise Armageddonism' With Nikki Brumen Of Blood Command

  • Interview - We 'Praise Armageddonism' With Nikki Brumen Of Blood Command
    POSTED 1 Jul 2022

    blood command feature

    The last time we spoke to Blood Command vocalist Nikki Brumen she was about to jet off to Norway to make her wildest teenage dreams come true. Just over half a year later, those dreams have become a blissful everyday reality and Blood Command have a new album Praise Armageddonism to show for it. The first Blood Command full-length to feature the Mornington Peninsula-born and raised Brumen on vocals, Praise Armaeddonism is an unapologetically bold artistic statement from Blood Command. Its superbly constructed blend of punk, pop and metal solidifies their sonic identity. This is the record that Blood Command have always threatened to make, with the former Pagan vocalist now upfront, they've finally made good on that threat. In the days before Praise Armaeddonism hit the unsuspecting ears of the public, we caught up with Brumen to find out what it feels like to live out your dreams and get the inside scoop on exactly what is going on on Praise Armageddonism. 

    What's the experience of moving to Norway and finally being able to play shows with Blood Command been like for you?

    "It's been incredible. Moving here has been pretty overwhelming. I mean, it's not exactly like I moved down the road, I moved to the other side of the globe, quite literally. So it's been a big adjustment. But I have a lot of support from the band and friends and my boyfriend. I'm very lucky to have a lot of support from people in Melbourne. Playing shows has been just incredible. I played my first ever Norwegian shows, over the past few weeks. We did Oslo and Stavanger. At both shows the crowd was just SO receptive. The shows are incredible. We've got a whole bunch of festivals coming up now, too. It's summer festival season here. That's super exciting. I've never done this level of festivals before in Europe."

    You're a genuine trailblazer and Blood Command will be blazing a new trail with you when you all head down under for Good Things Festival! How stoked are you to be coming home with your new band?

    "It was really hard to keep that a secret! I knew that we were coming for months. I feel really honoured that we got asked to play Good Things, I feel like the festival has been curated really well.  In terms of  it having the right level of  pop punk, the right level of hardcore,  it just feels like the perfect festival for Blood Command.

    I think Australians have a fascination with Norwegian music, obviously, stemming from the Black Metal days, and Blood Command  will fit in really well in Australia. I think crowds are going to love Blood Command. We've got that right amount of euro-synth, mixed with pop-punk and a little bit of hardcore, there's nothing like that in Australia. So I think we're going to stand out from the crowd. "

    It’s going to be an interesting experience for fans new and old alike. As even if they've somehow seen the band before, overseas, no one in Australia has witnessed any of Blood Command's material be it old or new with you performing it. How have audiences in Europe responded to seeing you perform so far?

    "It's been actually really flattering. I was quite nervous before doing it, because obviously I joined the band I had to learn all the songs for the record before we recorded praise Armageddonism. But then on top of that, I had to learn the band's whole back catalogue too.  There's a lot of pressure there, because you want the songs to have the exact same melody and the same vibe, but I'm a different person and my voice is entirely different.  So I found that really challenging, but I like a challenge.So I made sure that each song was perfect before singing them live. As a result, you know, people have just come up to me after the shows and said, "I didn't expect you to play the old songs,  you were the missing piece of the puzzle for the band, you're amazing and it seems like you've been doing this the whole time." 

    So comments like are really flattering. Especially when they're coming from big Blood Command fans who followed the band for years. Knowing that they, they think that I rose up to the challenge and that I'm doing the songs justice, is so flattering.  Because they're such great songs as well, so  I want them to sound really good live. And I think because I do have a unique performance style on stage, I was born to be on stage. I'm not afraid to do the songs either. So it makes them really cool. And I've brought my own flavour to them to bring a bit more punk rock into some of them. And I think it works really well live.."

    From what I've seen, heard and read online, it seems that a lot of people are in agreeance with those fans. A lot of people have remarked that are very much the missing piece from a performance perspective that now enables Blood Command to achieve their potential. That must be lovely feedback to hear?

    "I can't say I've ever seen Blood Command live before I was in the band, but I can say that I have heard the same feedback. It's really nice. I'd never wish to compare myself to the previous singers. But you do feel like it is a bit of a pat on the back, when you put in a lot of hard work and then have the end results recognised.  When I was learning the songs, I watched a lot of live footage on YouTube, just to get a vibe of what they were like live. I thought that there was something missing, that there was a real lack of energy at their live shows,  and some of the vocals just didn't sound that great and I was like,"I want this band to be better, this band deserves to be bigger and better than this." So I made sure that was my homework. And I think I  think I got an A class on the assignment."

    You've got a new album coming our, Praise Armageddonism out very soon. We've heard all the singles, but I'm curious what is your favourite song on your first full-length Blood Command album?

    "I have two favourites. The intro and the outro. I love a good book end, and the intro and outro are both great bookend tracks. They're completely polarizing and different too. Especially in the outro track, there's like a sneaky surprise that people will not expect at all. The first time I heard it I actually cried because I was so blown away, because it was like the weirdest thing I had come up in a song I was just like, "what the fuck is happening right now?"

    For me thematically, the songwriting is very similar to the way I write like metaphorically and themewise. The lyrics are very similar to something I may have written in Pagan. Praise Armageddonism was already written when I joined the band. But I found that the lyrics were very relatable and felt like something I had written, especially so on the intro track. I had a very personal connection to that song, when I first heard it, and then when I recorded and I think that it's the perfect introduction to this album. It's the most Blood Command song that you can imagine.

    I know for a fact that you've always wanted this life. So tell me, is it living up to the teenage dream you had of being in a band, living in Norway, releasing records and playing shows throughout Europe? Does reality surpass fiction?

    "It's better than I imagined. I never though that it could or would work out this perfectly. Especially with my bandmates. Even going on tour, we are just this perfect little clique, we all get along so well and I think that's really special to have that dynamic in a band, let alone a band I've only known for a few months and previously had never met. Being here in Norway, things are slowly falling into place. Moving house is stressful, moving countries is a whole other ballpark. I'm someone who likes to be in command and in control, and there's been aspects of this move that I haven't been able to control until I arreived in Norway. But it's exceeded all of my expectations. Especially the band side of things, it has been incredble. I feel so lucky to get to do it. To have turned over a new leaf and be able to live my best life."

    That's wonderful. Now I'm curious what is the biggest difference between living in Melbourne and living in Bergen?

    "The biggest difference right now is that it stays light outside until like 11:30pm, and then the sun rises again at like 3:30am. That's the biggest difference. So I usually go to bed pretty early, like I'm like an 11pm, go to bed kind of girl. Now I'm like, "fuck that, I just want to like stay up all night because the sun never goes down." It'll get to like 11 o'clock at night and you feel like it's like six o'clock. That's that's one of the biggest differences"

    Have you discovered any new and exciting bands in Norway that you think we should all check out?

    "There's a band from Norway called Combos, who I absolutely love, and another band called Ondt Blod, they're incredible. That's a couple of bands that are little bit on the smaller side, but they've got the potential to grow and become something really, really big. There's a really famous rapper in Norway called OnklP. My boyfriend actually plays drums in his side project, which is a group of pop-punk and punk musicians who play in a backing band for OnklPm they're called OnklP and Slekta, they're incredible. There's so much good Norwegian rap, which is really weird, because I can't understand what they're saying. But rap here is really cool especially in particular Bergen rap because of the accent. Something about the tone and the way that the words come out. It's really smooth and rhythmically it fits really well. So yeah, Bergen rap. Fantastic. I highly recommend it."

    Bringing it back to Good Things, when you look at the lineup who are you most excited to see?

    "When I was on holiday in Japan years ago, I went to a karaoke bar and this band came on that looked like a Japanese Good Charlotte and I loved them. It turned out to be OneOKRock. They are the one for me. I love J-Pop, so them for me are the ones I want to see mainly. I think that they will be the standout personally."

    praise armageddonism
    Praise Armageddonism is out now.
    good things 2022
    Good Things Festival 2022 tickets are on sale now.

     Listen to Blood Command - Praise Armageddonism

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Submitted by wordsbybrenton on Fri, 07/01/2022 - 07:28

blood command feature

The last time we spoke to Blood Command vocalist Nikki Brumen she was about to jet off to Norway to make her wildest teenage dreams come true. Just over half a year later, those dreams have become a blissful everyday reality and Blood Command have a new album Praise Armageddonism to show for it. The first Blood Command full-length to feature the Mornington Peninsula-born and raised Brumen on vocals, Praise Armaeddonism is an unapologetically bold artistic statement from Blood Command. Its superbly constructed blend of punk, pop and metal solidifies their sonic identity. This is the record that Blood Command have always threatened to make, with the former Pagan vocalist now upfront, they've finally made good on that threat. In the days before Praise Armaeddonism hit the unsuspecting ears of the public, we caught up with Brumen to find out what it feels like to live out your dreams and get the inside scoop on exactly what is going on on Praise Armageddonism. 

What's the experience of moving to Norway and finally being able to play shows with Blood Command been like for you?

"It's been incredible. Moving here has been pretty overwhelming. I mean, it's not exactly like I moved down the road, I moved to the other side of the globe, quite literally. So it's been a big adjustment. But I have a lot of support from the band and friends and my boyfriend. I'm very lucky to have a lot of support from people in Melbourne. Playing shows has been just incredible. I played my first ever Norwegian shows, over the past few weeks. We did Oslo and Stavanger. At both shows the crowd was just SO receptive. The shows are incredible. We've got a whole bunch of festivals coming up now, too. It's summer festival season here. That's super exciting. I've never done this level of festivals before in Europe."

You're a genuine trailblazer and Blood Command will be blazing a new trail with you when you all head down under for Good Things Festival! How stoked are you to be coming home with your new band?

"It was really hard to keep that a secret! I knew that we were coming for months. I feel really honoured that we got asked to play Good Things, I feel like the festival has been curated really well.  In terms of  it having the right level of  pop punk, the right level of hardcore,  it just feels like the perfect festival for Blood Command.

I think Australians have a fascination with Norwegian music, obviously, stemming from the Black Metal days, and Blood Command  will fit in really well in Australia. I think crowds are going to love Blood Command. We've got that right amount of euro-synth, mixed with pop-punk and a little bit of hardcore, there's nothing like that in Australia. So I think we're going to stand out from the crowd. "

It’s going to be an interesting experience for fans new and old alike. As even if they've somehow seen the band before, overseas, no one in Australia has witnessed any of Blood Command's material be it old or new with you performing it. How have audiences in Europe responded to seeing you perform so far?

"It's been actually really flattering. I was quite nervous before doing it, because obviously I joined the band I had to learn all the songs for the record before we recorded praise Armageddonism. But then on top of that, I had to learn the band's whole back catalogue too.  There's a lot of pressure there, because you want the songs to have the exact same melody and the same vibe, but I'm a different person and my voice is entirely different.  So I found that really challenging, but I like a challenge.So I made sure that each song was perfect before singing them live. As a result, you know, people have just come up to me after the shows and said, "I didn't expect you to play the old songs,  you were the missing piece of the puzzle for the band, you're amazing and it seems like you've been doing this the whole time." 

So comments like are really flattering. Especially when they're coming from big Blood Command fans who followed the band for years. Knowing that they, they think that I rose up to the challenge and that I'm doing the songs justice, is so flattering.  Because they're such great songs as well, so  I want them to sound really good live. And I think because I do have a unique performance style on stage, I was born to be on stage. I'm not afraid to do the songs either. So it makes them really cool. And I've brought my own flavour to them to bring a bit more punk rock into some of them. And I think it works really well live.."

From what I've seen, heard and read online, it seems that a lot of people are in agreeance with those fans. A lot of people have remarked that are very much the missing piece from a performance perspective that now enables Blood Command to achieve their potential. That must be lovely feedback to hear?

"I can't say I've ever seen Blood Command live before I was in the band, but I can say that I have heard the same feedback. It's really nice. I'd never wish to compare myself to the previous singers. But you do feel like it is a bit of a pat on the back, when you put in a lot of hard work and then have the end results recognised.  When I was learning the songs, I watched a lot of live footage on YouTube, just to get a vibe of what they were like live. I thought that there was something missing, that there was a real lack of energy at their live shows,  and some of the vocals just didn't sound that great and I was like,"I want this band to be better, this band deserves to be bigger and better than this." So I made sure that was my homework. And I think I  think I got an A class on the assignment."

You've got a new album coming our, Praise Armageddonism out very soon. We've heard all the singles, but I'm curious what is your favourite song on your first full-length Blood Command album?

"I have two favourites. The intro and the outro. I love a good book end, and the intro and outro are both great bookend tracks. They're completely polarizing and different too. Especially in the outro track, there's like a sneaky surprise that people will not expect at all. The first time I heard it I actually cried because I was so blown away, because it was like the weirdest thing I had come up in a song I was just like, "what the fuck is happening right now?"

For me thematically, the songwriting is very similar to the way I write like metaphorically and themewise. The lyrics are very similar to something I may have written in Pagan. Praise Armageddonism was already written when I joined the band. But I found that the lyrics were very relatable and felt like something I had written, especially so on the intro track. I had a very personal connection to that song, when I first heard it, and then when I recorded and I think that it's the perfect introduction to this album. It's the most Blood Command song that you can imagine.

I know for a fact that you've always wanted this life. So tell me, is it living up to the teenage dream you had of being in a band, living in Norway, releasing records and playing shows throughout Europe? Does reality surpass fiction?

"It's better than I imagined. I never though that it could or would work out this perfectly. Especially with my bandmates. Even going on tour, we are just this perfect little clique, we all get along so well and I think that's really special to have that dynamic in a band, let alone a band I've only known for a few months and previously had never met. Being here in Norway, things are slowly falling into place. Moving house is stressful, moving countries is a whole other ballpark. I'm someone who likes to be in command and in control, and there's been aspects of this move that I haven't been able to control until I arreived in Norway. But it's exceeded all of my expectations. Especially the band side of things, it has been incredble. I feel so lucky to get to do it. To have turned over a new leaf and be able to live my best life."

That's wonderful. Now I'm curious what is the biggest difference between living in Melbourne and living in Bergen?

"The biggest difference right now is that it stays light outside until like 11:30pm, and then the sun rises again at like 3:30am. That's the biggest difference. So I usually go to bed pretty early, like I'm like an 11pm, go to bed kind of girl. Now I'm like, "fuck that, I just want to like stay up all night because the sun never goes down." It'll get to like 11 o'clock at night and you feel like it's like six o'clock. That's that's one of the biggest differences"

Have you discovered any new and exciting bands in Norway that you think we should all check out?

"There's a band from Norway called Combos, who I absolutely love, and another band called Ondt Blod, they're incredible. That's a couple of bands that are little bit on the smaller side, but they've got the potential to grow and become something really, really big. There's a really famous rapper in Norway called OnklP. My boyfriend actually plays drums in his side project, which is a group of pop-punk and punk musicians who play in a backing band for OnklPm they're called OnklP and Slekta, they're incredible. There's so much good Norwegian rap, which is really weird, because I can't understand what they're saying. But rap here is really cool especially in particular Bergen rap because of the accent. Something about the tone and the way that the words come out. It's really smooth and rhythmically it fits really well. So yeah, Bergen rap. Fantastic. I highly recommend it."

Bringing it back to Good Things, when you look at the lineup who are you most excited to see?

"When I was on holiday in Japan years ago, I went to a karaoke bar and this band came on that looked like a Japanese Good Charlotte and I loved them. It turned out to be OneOKRock. They are the one for me. I love J-Pop, so them for me are the ones I want to see mainly. I think that they will be the standout personally."

praise armageddonism
Praise Armageddonism is out now.
good things 2022
Good Things Festival 2022 tickets are on sale now.

 Listen to Blood Command - Praise Armageddonism

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Interview - We 'Praise Armageddonism' With Nikki Brumen Of Blood Command

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