26 Feb
Interview with BREAKKER


We had a conversation with Clare (Vocals). Enjoy!

Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.

Tell us a few things about BREAKKER (Members, Starting Year etc).
We’re BREAKKER from Philly, PA and we play Traditional Heavy Metal! What I think makes our band stand out is our variety in backgrounds– Our drummer Ben and Bassist Steve have been involved in the Philly metal/punk/DIY scene for decades, coming from bands such as Mondo Topless, Adam West, 440s, Wastoid, The Scream Clan, Juliet’s Vice... the list is endless with those guys. Our guitarist Teagan Edsell is from Scranton, PA; a prodigy of the guitar who can play just about anything from grunge to powermetal. I’m a recent college graduate who just moved back to Philly- I’ve been singing metal for years in my bedroom, and this is my first time singing for a band! We formed almost exactly a year ago– I auditioned in response to a Craigslist ad haha. We started by playing predominantly deep-cut covers by our favorite bands, and from there began writing original material. We’ve gone through a few changes– we are currently a 4 piece- but we’ll soon be a two-guitar, 5 piece outfit!

You have recently released your single ''Time's Not Gonna Wait''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
We’re lucky to have cultivated our little fanbase of friends/family over the past few months through our live performances. We started out in the “cover band” scene where original music isn’t necessarily “what the people want”- but we’re hoping we can turn a few heads with our own original stuff as we branch out. This song in particular is probably the best single to introduce our band- an anthem of self determination, and flipping off the nay-sayers.

Congratulations for your official music video. Tell us about this experience of making a video clip.
Thank you! We wanted the video to have old-school 1980s MTV vibes. Like, just got home from school and turned on the headbangers ball. We’re so lucky to know Kyle Cognetti- he has a degree in Film, and he's one of the best videographers nobody’s ever heard of! He filmed the whole video in our tiny practice space- we ran through the song several times letting him get all up in our faces with both modern and VHS cameras. I’m personally very camera shy– but it helped that we were performing the way we would for a live show– and then I got to slam a door at the end!

Label or DIY and why?
We’re currently completely DIY. We’re recording our demo EP inside of our practice space, and our drummer Ben is doing all the mixing. We enjoy the organic, run-n-gun mentality and approaches to problem solving that DIY fosters. It's a community effort, and it's cool to demonstrate to other up-and-coming artists that yes, you can do this too! Down the road, It might be nice to have a label to help out with distro and maybe a real recording budget, but we’d all like to ultimately be the ones calling the shots with production and creative direction overall.

Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings or from your live shows that you would like to share with us?:
We’ve only done a handful of shows thus far, but the last show we did was unusual(in the best way possible). We played this big restaurant in Jersey; some people were there for the music, others were just trying to eat their dinner and go. We had a 90 minute set, and halfway through, the promoter of the gig came onstage with us to sing Devil's Child by Judas Priest. I was initially kinda worried about how it was gonna go; but we sang together, and it went so well people thought we actually rehearsed it. It was completely improvised in the moment! I later learned the Promoter, Ski, was the lead vocalist of a Jersey metal band called Deadly Blessing in the 80s, and they kick ass! I love the song Cry of Medusa- the vocals are insane. I’m constantly in awe of the people we’re meeting with each show we play- theres some crazy musicianship happening in lowkey areas.

Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
Its cool that all of us existed in different phases of music distribution. Ben and Steve remember having to re-buy cassettes on CD because they had such an unstable format, and in the 90s buying metal vinyl for dirt cheap because CD was becoming king. Nowadays, I love going to record stores and collecting all the cheap obscure cassettes. Teagan and I grew up just as I-Tunes and modern streaming were emerging. My intro to music format was CDs, collecting them at shopping malls/emo shows, burning those songs onto my IPod shuffle and going on Limewire to grab the songs I didn’t already have (oops). I think all formats have value- streaming is a great way to try music before you buy– times are hard, let music be accessible to the masses. But if you want to materially support the artists you listen to, buying the physical media is the way to go.

Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
All of us have our own influences in our playing. Teagan’s being Buckethead / Ghost / Iron Maiden, Stevie’s being Judas Priest / Riot / Ratt, Ben’s being Blacklace / Krokus / Dokken, and mine being a cluster-fuck of anything NWOBHM, Emo, Thrash mixed with some Queen / KISS / Thin Lizzy. We all have unique likes, but there's enough common ground between us to make it work in this traditional metal framework.

Which things do you think a band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your band?
I graduated college last year with a degree in musical theatre. I was doing the broadway-audition type thing for a while, but the more I worked with BREAKKER, the less I wanted to participate in the theatre industry. Too much rejection, so outdated, serving the wealthy few above all else. In this band, I can finally create the music I want to hear and be my authentic self without fearing rejection from old guys in suits. Staged performance will always be important to me, and I still aspire to do theatre, but for now– I think I’m where I’m meant to be. Everybody owes it to themselves to drop things in their lives that make them feel any less than a rockstar. If you want your band to succeed, you gotta drop the shit that's weighing you down mentally.

Describe your ideal live show as a performance band. Have you already experienced that?
Our favorite shows to play are ones where the band is playing confidently, we’re all feeling the same energy and any crowd, big or small, is getting into what we’re delivering. Leaving people feeling like they saw a real show by a band that cares about their music and wasn’t phoning anything in. In a SUPER-ideal world, we would open for KISS– but I don’t even wanna know what the hell those AI avatars are about.. So, too late for that haha. A real stage in a theatre would be cool- I like having more freedom to run around.

What attributes do you think that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
Above all, there's gotta be passion. You gotta make the music you want to hear, not what you think other’s wanna hear. In this day in age, we all know metal is not dominating the charts- but that's no reason to stop investing in it if you believe in it. You can tell the difference between bands that love what they’re doing, and those that are trying to be “cool” or whatever. Take pride in your influences, promote your songs & play every show like your rent is on the line!

Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
They definitely do. It's a bit costly being DIY and finding ways to get our music onto more digital platforms– but we intend to have our new EP on most major streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, Etc). People are constantly on the hunt for new bands to feed their need for metal, and the internet makes it so easy. I currently run our Instagram handle, and I fall in love with new bands everyday through reels and hashtags. As far as promotion, I love when bands have exciting merch and visuals! We’re currently working through a few concepts for our EP cover- and I am so ready to plaster that artwork everywhere! Working with other artists- photographers, painters, videographers, etc- and promoting their work in conjunction with ours is one of the coolest things ever.

Do you see any differences between the US Metal Market & the EU Metal Market (Labels, Bands, Fans etc)?
Oh man. We have obviously yet to get overseas, but I have plenty of mutuals on social media from Europe and you’d think the 80s never died! The festivals and shows going on over there are massive- and while there certainly is a flourishing metal community over here in the states- I'm not sure if it compares. A Lot of US trad-metal bands seem to be getting bigger stages in Europe.

Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Philadelphia, PA. (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
Philly’s got plenty of stuff going on- you just gotta know where to find it. A Lot of the “underground scene” is dominated by house shows right now, due in part to the city’s influx of college students from Temple, UArts, Drexel, Etc. These places host a lot of great punk/hardcore stuff, and there's new talent moving in constantly as the city continues to gentrify (to which, I guess, there's some good in the bad?). As for metal, bars like Kung Fu Necktie and Century will pull together metal bills pretty frequently– anything from thrash/speed, black/death, grindcore and beyond. Going to metal shows in Philly throughout my teens and into my adult years introduced me to an awesome network of metalheads of all ages in the area- shoutout to the Philly Mosh Crew!

Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
My first thought is Greece being home to No Remorse Records- which is a bucketlist record shop we hope to visit one day! I’m not all too familiar with the current Hellenic Metal Scene, but now I’ve gotta get on it haha.

The last 4 years, worldwide in the world, we have faced many dark, strange & new situations in our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?:
Positively. I think everybody enjoyed, at least for a bit, a break from the mundanity of what life was before covid. For DIY artists, it was finally a time to create- we didn’t have to be at our crappy survival jobs. I liked having all hours in the day to dedicate to listening to music, writing, learning- rather than on my feet serving tables all day- working like crazy to get paid so little. Covid reminded me that life is too short– and while the world is back to normal and I have to work to pay these bills– I'm a wee bit more content with being broke and happy post 2020 haha.

What are your future plans?
As for Breakker, we will be releasing our EP in the spring and plugging it wherever we can. We want to network with other bands, and play kick ass
metal shows/festivals! I personally would love to hop on bills with other female fronted bands (I do kinda hate that term– we don’t call others male fronted!), because I think they’re doing some of the most badass music of the decade- Tower, Bloodstar, Shadowland, etc. There is a resurgence of this classic heavy sound, and women are fucking killing it.

Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thank you, Filthy Dogs of Metal! Long Live Rock N Roll. Long Live Heavy Metal.

By Steve the Filthy Dog.





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