At age 12, Justin Benlolo scored a gig playing with his uncle in West Palm Beach, Fl., in front of 2,000 people. Ten years later, Benlolo is the lead singer and guitarist for the band BRKN LOVE, which recently released their 10-track self-titled album on Feb. 14.
According to Benlolo, their album was recorded in a way that captures the emotion and honesty of their lyrics.
“What’s different about what we’re doing is, contrary to what most rock fans believe, most of the rock that people listen to nowadays is just as produced,” says Benlolo.
He also adds that, by recording as little takes as possible, their album is able to convey a certain authenticity that they try to achieve with their music.
“There’s only a couple of takes for each song and everything is done in mostly a full take,” said Benlolo, who is originally from Toronto. “So, what you hear is exactly what you’re getting.”
Benlolo, who started writing the album at the age of 17, notes the inspiration behind the band name came from his personal experiences as well as a combination of his favourite bands and songs.
“I just started connecting like the first word of this song and the back half of this song [and] eventually it came out to be broken love,” says Benlolo. “And then we dropped the vowels and you felt that gave it more of like an old alternative edge.”
According to Benlolo, their style and music are not typical of the rock genre. He also adds that they don’t want to appear as the typical rock band with ripped tank tops and leather jackets but rather tone to an alternative style that stands out.
“I’d rather dress like the alternative bands that sound like the rock bands because I feel like that just gives us a little bit of a different spin.”
Their inspiration also comes from observing other bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age. While these bands have inspired Benlolo and his bandmates, BRKN LOVE’s self-titled album offers fans a unique experience.
“We definitely have a lot of melodies mixed in with some abrasive stuff and there’s a power ballad on the record too,” says Benlolo. “I think it’s a little heavy, it’s a little sweet, but not too sweet.”
BRKN LOVE kicked off their tour on Feb. 9 in Red Deer, Alta. and recently performed here in the nation’s capital on Feb. 28 at The 27 Club.
In the meantime, fans can check out their latest single and music video “Flies in The Honey.”