Brotherfather Proves Itself An Indie Rock Powerhouse With Debut Album


  • Erika Hutson

In this weekly column, RFT Music gets to know local creatives, musicians and their missions. Get a slice of the local scene, complete with a snippet of sound and info about upcoming releases and shows. Stick around to see what St. Louis artists have to say whenever they Fill in in the Blank.

Typically, one doesn't expect clean singing after a gust of guitar feedback. Screaming, yelling or the absence of vocals altogether would be the road more often traveled. Brotherfather takes a different path though, and manages to etch a few weird vibes into its rock-solid indie-pop.

See also: Fill In The Blank Interview Series

With its debut record, walk it off, Brotherfather constantly explores, but that doesn't distract the band from delivering songs that feel succinct and complete. This Friday, November 8, Brotherfather celebrates the release of its new record with a show at the Heavy Anchor (5226 Gravois Avenue; 314-352-5226).

Founding members John Krane (guitar, vocals) and Nicholas Horn (guitar) have been playing music together for the better part of six years. When Brotherfather formed in 2011, the duo brought in drummer Dustin Sholtes and bassist Chris Turnbaugh. "Chris, Dustin and I enjoy interpreting other people's songs, and John had a lot of really good songs, so that made it easy to get started. These days we're all pretty involved in the songwriting, but the lyrics are all John," Horn says.

Friday night's release show is a gathering of friends, both locally and from afar. Of special note is The Old Souls Revivial, a folk-rock band from Edwardsville, Illinois who just finished recording a full length album. Secondary Modern from Carbondale and Minor Characters from Chicago round out a fully fledged bill of folk, pop and rock. Brotherfather provided a sample of what you'll hear this weekend, so click the embed below to try before you buy.

Guitarist Nicholas Horn and Vocalist/Guitarist John Krane met with us to discuss post-show grub, the benefits of being a musician in south city and more. Click through to get to know Brotherfather ahead of their release show this Friday.

  • Jeanette Felt Turnbaugh

I make music because...

Nick: it's like, really, really fun. Also, sometimes because I need money and it's one of the precious few sellable skills I possess. If I'm being totally honest, I'd probably also have to say that narcissism's part of it too. Sometimes the attention's nice.

John: otherwise I'd just be standing on stage with an instrument in my hands looking like an idiot.

I'm most inspired by...

Nick: new perspectives. It's always a cool and sort of invigorating feeling when you gain a new and more nuanced understanding of something you thought you had pretty much figured out. Seeing people working their assess off doing what they love always makes me want to do something cool myself, too.

The most difficult lesson I've learned while playing music is...

Nick: that sometimes you're gonna make an ass of yourself. If you spend enough time in front of people, it's just inevitable. You'll play wrong notes. You'll trip over cables. You'll misspeak when you're making an announcement. And the worst possible thing to do is to let it shake your focus and ruin the rest of the performance.

What I like most about St. Louis is...

Nick: the sense of community that I feel living in south city. I love knowing my neighbors and being involved in their lives, and there are a lot of cool people doing a lot of pretty cool things here. It's also way cheap to live here, which I, as a freelancer, appreciate greatly.

John: lots of bars have personalized matchbooks. We're trying to get some of those.

The St. Louis music scene could use...

Nick: more fans. I don't really know how to make that happen, though. It seems like the bottom line is that St. Louis is a place that's largely dominated by mass culture, and the majority of people aren't interested in hearing much of anything other than what Clear Channel's offering. Luckily, there is a small community of people in town who are very much interested in fostering creative activity, supporting artists in all kinds of different media, and generally making St. Louis a more vibrant, interesting place.

John: more listening rooms like the Focal Point. It'd be nice if music was more of an event that people focus on rather than something that happens in the background while everyone watches TVs. Also, touring bands need to invest in car alarms.

The best post-show food in St. Louis is...

Nick: toasted raviolis at Mangia, listening to the Dave Stone Trio if it's Friday. If not, then probably the bahn mi dac biet from Phuc Loi that I bought before the show, specifically to eat after I got home.

John: anything that gives you sinner's ass the next morning. Probably gonna go with the Kingshighway Courtesy Diner. The other one's too clean, and nobody wants clean food from a diner.

Brotherfather Friday, November 8, 9 p.m. W/ Secondary Modern, Minor Characters, The Old Souls Revival @ The Heavy Anchor $5

Follow Brotherfather through Facebook or its website.

Do you know a project or band that should be considered for this series? Drop a line to

Previously from our Fill in the Blank series: - The Bad Dates - Beauty Pageant - Pillow Talk - The Tennis Lesson - The Funs - Brothers Lazaroff - Quaere Verum - Mastermind Einstein - Sarah Bollinger - Little Big Bangs - Everything Went Black - Lions Eat Grass - Kevin Harris - Laika - Heavy Horse - Barely Free Partial Prisoners - The Defeated County - Lizzie Weber - Kenshiro's - B.E.L.L.A. - Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship - Humdrum - The Blind Eyes

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