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The Britanys are a Brooklyn-based band that send hips shaking and heads banging. They are so ridiculously hip it makes you want to cry. Between their stylish ensembles, supermodel girlfriends, and ability to drive crowds wild, you’ll wonder why you even bothered to leave the house today.
But don’t think you’re not cool enough to like The Britanys, because they are the friendliest, most down-to-earth group of boys that welcome everybody into the scene.
The band consist of Lucas Long on vocals, Steele Kratt on drums, Gabe Schulman on bass, and Jake Williams on guitar. The chemistry between these four members on stage is explosive enough to consider that the planets must have been aligned when they first came together.
“We met on band tinder,” jokes Kratt. “No, we were all dorming together.”
The musicians met while studying at The New School in Manhattan. Kratt shared a dorm with Schulman, and Long was eventually introduced through mutual friends. They jammed just once—which proved enough to realize there was something truly there worth further exploring.
The band originally consisted of only three members, Long, Kratt, and Schulman, however, they felt like something was missing. Before adding a fourth member, Williams, they still had not quite yet defined their sound.
“Most bands kind of figure out what their sound’s going to be before they really start playing shows and doing that sort of thing,” Long tells BTR. “And we kind of just did it backwards.”
Playing lots of shows with no real direction and experimenting on stage is what helped to define the sound of what is now The Britanys.
The band has been together for around three years now. Listening to their earlier releases, you can definitely hear the difference. Their EP “It’s Alright,” which dropped just last year, has a totally different feel to what you hear now.
Songs from the EP like “Reckless” and “Blow” have a less refined sound than what the band is concocting now. Their more recent songs like “City Boys” and “It’s What It Is” show a marked growth in craftsmanship.
Their sound can be related to that of The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, or The Clash, and like those three rock bands, their material transitioned from messy garage to more refined sonic territories that can only be defined as pure rock and roll.
“It’s kind of cliché, but I read “Please Kill Me” and I was like, ‘aw man, I got to move to New York,’” Long tells BTR when asked about what inspires The Britanys. “So that whole era has always been a real kind of inspiration.”
The book is a classic introduction to punk rock written by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. It is an uncensored oral history of the punk scene that grew in New York City from its inception to its lull in music history. It includes wild stories about Iggy Pop, David Bowie, The New York Dolls, and Patti Smith. Basically, it makes you want to be a punk rocker.
Kratt and Schulman are originally from New York, however Long is from San Francisco and Williams grew up in both Seattle and Boston. So even though NYC is one of the band’s heavy influences, it’s also influenced by city life in general. Their newer song “City Boys” shows just that.
Watching the recently released video for “City Boys,” you’d think it was shot in the early ’90s. The band used an old camera that Long’s father used to watch old family videos.
“We kind of adapted it and just sort of took it on the road with us and then we were like, ‘let’s make a little, kind of, home video thing,’” Long tells BTR.
“Yeah, it was O.G.,” Steele adds.
Courtesy of Rachel Cabbit.
The Britanys all live in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It’s a neighborhood bustling with DIY venues, dive bars, and large spaces used for shows. Most of the band’s friends all live in the area and are musicians, which creates a scene of belonging and community to foster the music.
Long and Kratt both expressed a shared disappointment in the Manhattan scene. “A lot of Manhattan places you get a lot of after hours, 5 o’clock, business casual guys,” Long says.
They both agree, however, that Berlin and Niagara, bars located in the Lower East Side, are cool spots.
“Steele’s the captain of the stage and then I just come up with really bad banter, and Jake just breaks off his strings all the time,” Long tells BTR about their stage presence, with Kratt laughing and agreeing in the background. “And Gabe just stands there and shreds the bass, but doesn’t move much.”
Long tells BTR that the band intends to create future shows entailing not only multiple rock bands, but also getting their girlfriends to DJ for the after-hour crowd.
Their next show is at Alphaville, a punk venue in Brooklyn, on February 12th. They will be playing along with The Prettiots, an all-girl rock band celebrating the release of their new album.
Currently, The Britanys are working on recording more songs to release on an EP. Long maintains that everything should be fully tracked in the next couple of weeks, with the album release slated for sometime in March.
The band linked up with Gordon Raphael, a music producer best known for his work with The Strokes, through an interview they did with an Argentinian blog.
Long says he didn’t think anything would really come into fruition from it, but Raphael had a hasty and positive response to the band’s sound. They record most of their music in their Bushwick basement.
With the freedom and support to write their own music and express themselves in any way they want, their future EP is definitely going to rock the music world.
To hear the rest of the interview, tune into this week’s episode of The Discovery Corner.