Mixing theatrics and crowd interaction with a quirky pop-rock catalogue, Brother Octopus creates a consistently surreal performance style far beyond the traditional indie standard.
The Edmonton five-piece, all of which perform under character aliases on stage, have built their reputation around creating one-of-a-kind shows that add to the lore of the group.
Front man and founder Nathaniel Sutton, better known on stage as Brother Octopus, says the group’s efforts beyond the music is one of creating a larger experience for the band and crowd alike.
“You already know the music, you’ve got the songs that you want down, why not make it more interesting and add stuff to it?” Explains Sutton of the bands approach. “Make it fun for not only the band members but also the crowd themselves — have that fun ‘wow factor’ and just give it your all.”
Brother Octopus will be bringing their action-packed performance style to Grizzly Plaza Monday, August 20 for Revelstoke Summer Street Fest 2018.
Since founding the band in 2011 as a two piece, Sutton has grown Brother Octopus into a full five-piece group.
Joined by members sporting stage names of Little Guppy, Golden Boy, New Guy and Dogfish, the band has built on the original story that sits beneath Brother Octopus’s history.
“We’re always developing. As we progress with music, we progress with our style,” says Sutton.
On a personal level, Sutton explains the appeal of dawning an on-stage persona as a way to step away from reality, creating a freedom for the duration of a show.
“It’s unique I guess. It’s a way to step out of your own body and be somebody else for a whole evening,” says Sutton. “It’s a cool experience I’d have to say.”
One of the latest developments, Sutton explains, is a fresh wardrobe policy which saw the front man trading out a longtime performing staple in his red top-hat for a new lid.
“I’ve been wearing my same red hat that I’ve been performing with for years, and I just recently changed my hat, which is a big deal,” says Sutton of the switch-up. “I just recently changed it to a black hat that has a lighthouse on it to symbolize the ocean.”
Moving parts that include costume changes and prop-work come standard with Brother Octopus’s high-octane performance style, with the energy from the crowd often acting as fuel for antics to go off properly on stage.
Sutton says central to any successful performance is the energy the band receives back from the audience, regardless of the attendance number.
“It could be three people there, but if they’re giving that energy to you that you need as a performer and you’re taking that in, you’re just going to project that energy back out to the people,” says Sutton. “That feeling that you get is amazing – you’re full of energy. The only thing that sucks about it is when you’re done, you want to keep going.”
As they make their way west towards the Pacific ocean that the sea-based characters call home, Brother Octopus says Revelstokians can expect a high-energy evening for the whole family when they stop into the city.
“They can expect a fun time. They can bring their kids, the kids will be in awe – they’ll probably not be able to take their eyes off of the craziness that’s happening on stage,” says Sutton. “We’ll have dinosaurs playing on stage, we tend to throw tentacle fingers out and we’ll just have a fun time dancing.”
Brother Octopus will be taking the stage at Grizzly Plaza on Monday, August 20 at 6:30 p.m.