Streaming, musical heroes and one huge surprise: We chat to Nate Toussaint of The Brave

The fourth instalment of Unify Gathering is upon us, and if you’re at all interested in Australia’s biggest gathering of heavy music bands and fans, then you’d definitely be aware of Australia’s latest and greatest hardcore outfit, The Brave.

Having recently completed a national run of shows with Falling In Reverse, frontman Nate Toussaint tells us how it feels to be on the same bill as some of his childhood heroes, gives us a little bit of a vibe of what we can expect from their upcoming debut festival set and we inadvertently give them some good news about their streaming success!

the brave

Brisbane-based quintet The Brave are probably the most laid back bunch of dudes you’ll ever meet, but their music and live show packs a grilling punch.

HAPPY: Congratulations on Unify! That’s gotta be a bucket list item ticked off yeah?

NATE: Yeah, for sure. As soon as Unify came about we always wanted to get on it. There was always Soundwave and obviously that came to an end, then Unify came up and we were like “we need to get on this!” When we were in the talks of signing with UNFD they had the 2016 lineup sorted already, so we missed out on that year but that’s when we were told we’d most likely be on 2017, so we’ve just been waiting and waiting for that confirmation to come through.

HAPPY: How did you find out you’d be playing Unify? How did it all go down?

NATE: I guess we got told back around January that we would most likely be on the 2017 run, but you just never know until you get that confirmation. Then we got an email sent through with the offer, we were so stoked! There wasn’t any word of the lineup at that point but we knew it would be epic. It was cool because we were speculating who was gonna headline and everything, and then when we found out the lineup… wow. Me and Dan especially froth Alexisonfire, letlive and Every Time I Die, so we were blown away, as were the rest of the boys. I remember listening to Alexisonfore back in the day and always thinking “man, it’d be so sick to play with those dudes” but you never think you actually will. And then to find yourself on a poster with them… it’s pretty surreal.

HAPPY: I guess that answers my next question… who would you lose your shit over if you get to meet at Unify 2017?

NATE: Well, yeah… probably Dallas Green or the whole Alexisonfire band in general. I love Alexisonfire, but my girlfriend and I both really love City and Colour and we’ve been to pretty much every City and Colour concert he’s ever done in Brissie, so to meet Dallas would be pretty rad. Uhhh, probably also any of the Every Time I Die boys, or Jason Aalon Butler from letlive I’d be pretty stoked about too.

Don’t get me wrong I’d be happy to meet anyone from any of the bands on the bill, but I guess we know a few of the other bands on the lineup, or at least some of the members, but bands like Alexisonfire is the type of band you never think you’ll get to meet. I’ll probably fangirl a little bit haha.

HAPPY: Yeah I definitely agree with you on that one! A lot of people ask what influences an artists writing process, but I wanna know if you have any live influences or perhaps live bands you look up to?

NATE: I guess when I really started to get into the whole vocalist thing years and years and years ago, Corey Taylor was someone I’ve always absolutely loved because I’m a huge fan of Slipknot. Then progressing from that I got into bands like Architects and Parkway Drive. Sam Carter from Architects is another person that when I watch them live he is amazing! From start to finish of their set he just puts out huge amounts of energy and belts it out the whole way through never letting that energy drop. Winston McCall from Parkway is another one who I enjoy watching. He has amazing command over his audience, which is super important. Obviously you watch a band as a whole, but for me personally I tend to focus on the vocalist. I guess in a way they seem to be the centre of attention and if the whole band is energetic but the vocalist isn’t, I just feel like that vibe isn’t there.

They’re the ones who communicate to the crowd, they’re the ones who are there to get the crowd involved and everything, so if they’re not putting out that energy I feel like I’m not connecting enough with it. So that’s what I guess I try to do and that’s the type of vocalist I try to be. That energetic vocalist who is putting out 110% the whole show, I don’t know if I do it but I definitely try to.

HAPPY: You definitely do and I think that’s what sets you guys aside aside from a lot of other local bands. I’ve seen you guys a few times now and there’s never a barrier between you guys and the crowd. It’ll be cool to see how you do that on a bigger stage at Unify.

NATE: I mean it’s something that, as time goes on, you get more comfortable doing and you get better at it. I feel like on the FIR tour actually when I look back I’m actually really happy with how the whole band and myself performed at all the shows. Other tours before have been great, but for some reason every night I was just so happy with how we all performed. I dunno, I just felt like we kind of were actually at a point where we’re putting on a good show and working with the crowd and it just felt really natural.

HAPPY: That’s awesome! So I wanna touch on streaming really quick because your top five songs alone on Spotify have amassed over a quarter of a million streams, which is huge!

NATE: Really?

HAPPY: Yeah did you not know that?

NATE: No dude, I didn’t even know that. I thought you were about to say 10,000 or something!

HAPPY: No dude, you’ve got 255,000 streams on your top five songs on Spotify… congrats!

NATE: *laughs*, holy shit, I’m stoked! I honestly remember back before we got signed and before the album was out I think we used to have like 150 monthly listeners or something. Wow, this is insane!

HAPPY: It’s awesome to see not just an Australian band getting these results but a Brissie band with such a huge result. I guess there’s a lot of talk about Spotify and local bands holding their music back, and with the results that you guys have had, do you have any thoughts on bands holding their music back from streaming?

NATE: Streaming services are really important. I mean, for us I would rather have an opportunity to have a reach like that and people hearing our music on a greater scale. Spotify provides all those playlists, and being on those playlists then increases your streams and exposes your band. Like if your song comes on ‘Australia’s Best Heavy Music’ playlist for example and people hear your stuff and think “that’s sick, who’s that?”, they then look at your profile and other songs and you’re potentially gaining a new fan or fans. I think it’s so good, and I think it’s just the way the music world is going now.

I think it’s a great opportunity to get your band out there because you’ve gotta go where the masses of people are, and if the majority of people are using a streaming network then you’re crazy to not go there because you’re limiting yourself to all this exposure. Our main priority is getting our name out there.

HAPPY: Yeah, exactly. So what’s in store for next year? Any little secrets you can share?

NATE: Uuuhhhh *laughs*. There are a few little secrets, none that I can really share right now. A few little things that we will be announcing early next year, a few little potential overseas conversations. I guess you’ll have to stay tuned!

HAPPY: Well congrats man. You’re a great band, you write great music, you’re playing Unify and you really deserve all of the success!

NATE: Thanks!