Ugly Gets Intimate with :: Breakers
The local rockers known as Breakers consists of Brooks Hall (guitar and vocals), Andrew Milne (bass and vocals), and Aaron Wilkinson (drums).
Save for occasional side effects of getting a little too wild, Breakers are breaking nothing but SLC’s sweet, little heart. With their harsh surfer-rock tunes and bubbly personalities, these babes were seemingly handcrafted to take the innocence out of our local music scene.
Their live performances have distilled the perfect balance between getting weird and actually being talented. I’ve seen too many shows go badly because the band puts too much effort into getting wild and not enough effort into their playing, leaving the crowd uncomfortable and confused. Breakers, though, shows up to get wild AND they have some serious musical chops to back it up.
Last week, they invited me to sit in on one of their practices. Afterwards we found ourselves chilling in a corner of their jam space, drinking beers, and cracking jokes.
Ugly Mag// How'd "Breakers" come together as a band?
AARON// Well, we’ve all been close for years now.
BROOKS// Aaron and I were in a band called the Sunset Sisters. One day we were just jamming over at the Groovies’ house and talked about starting something else up. We got Andy involved and wrote like four songs on the first practice.
I remember that we were jamming so hard, I looked over at Andy while he was singing and he started throwing up all over his microphone. (Laughing) He had to play with a beanie over the microphone for the rest of the practice.
ANDREW// It smelled so bad. (Laughing) Brooks, Aaron, and I were having so much fun jamming, after that we just started having practice every week. Breakers has been together for about a year and a half now.
UM// What did you guys want to do as "Breakers" that you haven't done with other bands?
BROOKS// Have fun. That’s our main goal.
ANDREW// I have an eighteen-month old baby boy named Wylder. When I’m not with the band, I’m with my family. When the band gets together, we just want to have a good time.
AARON// Most of band works two jobs. We are busy guys and we don’t have a lot of time to jam. When we play shows, we just want to get on stage and get wild.
UM// How does your music come together? What's your process?
ANDREW// Usually, Brooks can write a guitar riff, and I already know what the base part will sound like. We can go from there.
AARON// Usually, we start adding onto what each of us comes up with and the lyrics come later.
BROOKS// We’ve all written music for different bands. We come up with different ideas and we can piece them all together. It’s worked really well.
UM// Breakers is a new band. Have you done any touring?
BROOKS// Not really. We’ve stayed in Salt Lake City since we started the band.
ANDREW// With my family, it’s been easier just to stay in Salt Lake and play shows here. We’ve also made a deal, as a band, that we won’t use any of our own money to pay for anything. We’ve saved up the money playing shows around Salt Lake to go towards our album.
BROOKS// It’s the future and it’s the way bands should do it. It’s teaching us how to run a business and to sustain the band. Those bar shows, where we walk away with $150, they mean something.
AARON// It’s a pretty cool way to make some cash. We get to go out, play shows, and get wild, knowing that the money is actually headed towards something
UM// What's the wildest thing that's happened at a show?
BROOKS// I don’t even know. Every show gets pretty wild. (Laughing)
ANDREW// I remember one show that I was standing on the base drum, and it just smashed down into an oval shape. (Laughing) We try to dance around, get in all different positions, like one knee down, like this. (Starts dancing)
AARON// I usually just watch these crazy dudes run around and mess shit up. I’m here in the back trying to keep something going. (Laughing)
BROOKS// We get really wild. I remember one time Andrew and I were rubbing strings together, like they were fucking or something, (laughing) and he broke his E string. I’ve never seen that happen before.
AARON// I remember one time at the Jackalope where at the end of the set, there was beer everywhere and all of our gear was spread across the stage.
BROOKS// I think that was the show that I walked away with a shitty chipped tooth because they kept smacking the microphone into my face when I tried to sing. It wasn’t a big deal. It was actually pretty funny. (Laughing)
UM// What music influences you the most right now?
BROOKS// Honestly, driving around in the van listening to Halen.
UM// Who's your favorite local band a) to play with and b) musically?
BROOKS// That’s a really hard one. We’ve had a lot of fun playing with everyone.
ANDREW// Next week, we are headlining a show in Ogden and Koala Temple is coming up with us. That should be pretty cool.
BROOKS// Of course, The North Valley, Max Pain and The Groovies, and everyone else. Our sound is pretty versatile and we enjoy playing with all sorts of bands.
AARON// We try to open for anyone that we can. Every show has been a really good time.
UM// What does the future hold for "Breakers"?
ANDREW// We are mainly focused on having a good time. After saving up the money, we just recorded our album, “No Brakes,” which should be released sometime this fall. We recorded the album with our friend Wes Johnson over at Archive Records.
AARON// Whiskey honeys!
BROOKS// That was so much fun. We had so many whiskey honeys. (Laughing) We’d microwave a shot of whiskey and honey. It’d lube up our throats, help our vocals, and get us loosened up. Man, that shit ruled.
ANDREW// We will probably do some touring once our album is released, but until then, we will probably just stick to more local shows. We love Salt Lake City.
UM// Alright guys, Ugly people want to know what a typical Friday night loo
ANDREW// (Laughing) If I’m not playing a show or jamming with these dudes, I’m definitely at home with my family.
BROOKS AND AARON// Beer and more beer!
I don’t about you guys, but I’m pretty excited for the release of their album later this year. No matter what kind of music you’re into, Breakers' shows aren’t something to miss out on. They are friendly, wild, and hilarious. It’s impossible not to have a good time.
Breakers, keep on doin' what you're doin' and Salt Lake City will keep on swooning over it.
Words and photos by Elaine Sayer (@laneysayer)
Photo edits by Spencer Sayer (@thenorthvalley)