New Zealand rockers Like A Storm go acoustic

Like A Storm
Like A Storm will play its first acoustic show in Reno on Saturday.

Growing up to be a rock star is an improbable goal for most, but it’s exceedingly unlikely for kids in New Zealand, where reggae is the preferred sound.

“Laid-back music is really popular in New Zealand,” said Like A Storm guitarist Matt Brooks. “It goes hand-in-hand with a surf culture.”

Brooks and his older brothers Chris (lead vocals, guitar, didgeridoo) and Kent (bass and keyboards) shared the same goal when they were children in Auckland, New Zealand.

“We are just unbelievably grateful at how things have worked out,” Brooks said. “We left New Zealand with this crazy idea that we wanted to play rock and roll and tour the world and that’s actually what happened.”

Brooks called Tahoe Onstage on a day that began at 6 a.m. drinking beers in a Madison, Wisconsin, radio station. Like A Storm is on a tour that started in the Northeastern United States and will finish in the Southwest, a distance that would circle New Zealand about a zillion times. The band is on an acoustic tour so it doesn’t require much gear. Instead of a tour bus, the guys are using a van.

“It feels like a summer vacation,” said Brooks, whose band is opening for Hinder on Saturday, June 25, at the Cargo Concert Hall. It will be its third appearance in Reno.

The Brooks brothers grew up in a musical household. Both their parents are music fans and musicians.

“They wanted us to learn the piano and I guess they wanted to make us well-rounded individuals, which really kind of backfired,” Brooks said. “My brothers and I were all on the same journey but were in our own bands. What really clicked for us is that we would jam at home unrehearsed. There was a total chemistry there.”

Their decision to form their own band, which includes drummer Zach Wood, was astute. Like A Storm’s 2009 debut, “The End of the Beginning,” was a success and the follow-up, full-length studio album, “Awaken the Fire,” produced four hit singles.

Like A Storm has been more popular in the United States than New Zealand. However, that is changing.

“Even though we haven’t been home, radio stations have been blasting our music out and now we have a lot more people back home who are familiar with what we’re doing,” Brooks said. “So now we are gearing up start doing some tours and festivals the next time we get home. There have been a lot of great New Zealand bands, but within the genre that we play, the heavier rock, bordering on metal, they really haven’t been in the mainstream.”

The rock band had dabbled with acoustic arrangements before. It released an acoustic EP in 2011. Brooks said the band had made tentative plans to go on an acoustic tour when it was invited to join Hinder to do just that.

Brooks said he’s a Hinder fan.

“It’s cool to hear this catalog of songs they play acoustically every night,” he said. “In a lot of ways, the unplugged set showcases how talented these guys are.

“It’s cool to be touring America, Europe and the U.K. with these bands we’ve looked up to, and now we will be coming home to New Zealand doing that same kind of thing. It’s pretty surreal.”

Related story: Hinder unplugged in Reno. LINK

  • Hinder, Summer Acoustic Tour with Like A Storm
    When: 9 p.m. Saturday, June 25
    Where: Cargo Concert Hall
    Tickets: $22.50 to $25
    Openers: Like A Storm, Brad Ray
    For: All ages

 

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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