Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook
WHO are they?
The Briefing was formed in 2002 by four Latvian musicians, now based in London: Kristina Dobele (vocal, keyboards and song-writing), Raimonds Dobelis (bass and programming), Juris Peterlevics (guitar, cello and programming) and Sandis Volkovs (drums and band’s design artist). But how did it all start? “It’s a long journey through different musical genres. We started as a Christian band but soon enough we realised that we wanted to create music that didn’t necessary serve any particular message/idea like Christianity in our case.”
“We went through a lot of changes in the band. Two guitar players left, then keyboard players changed. Yet the core of the band has always been the same people: Kristina, Raimonds and Sandis. When we moved to London, Juris, one of the former guitarists, joined the band once again and we have been together since.”
WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
“Musically we have always been opened to experimenting and mixing different genres and musical elements. In the beginning we were inspired a lot by jazz music, more like Norah Jones type of mood. As we progressed, we started to mix our live instruments with synth sounds creating a much more contemporary sound. At some point our songs became more funky and even rocky. In 2008 we released our debut album Funny Thoughts and the sound was pretty much acid jazz.”
“Following the album, we did a lot of concerts in Baltic countries and in 2010 we moved to London seeking a new experience as individuals and as a band. We kept experimenting until we found what we believed was our sound that probably is best described as indie pop. We have replaced live drums with electric drums, piano with lots of synths and what you’ll hear in our new album Favourite Place is pretty much what The Briefing is today. Kristina writes all the lyrics and the main subject seems to be relationships and existential questions of life.”
WHERE did they grow up?
“We were born and raised on the west coast of Latvia, in the city of Liepāja which is also called the rock capital of Latvia. We were very rebellious about what we chose to play and the music we were listening to compared to the local bands and actually the whole Latvian music scene. Always sort of outsiders, too complicated for mainstream audiences, too poppy for underground. However, we ended up performing in loads of mainstream and even more underground festivals and venues across all three Baltic countries.” And what do they think of their adoptive city? “In London the music scene is massive, you can hear all possible music genres, but still we try to be/sound different.”
WHY are they called The Briefing?
“We performed our first concert in Raimonds parents’ garden, for family and friends, but funny enough we still hadn’t come up with the name of the band. So after the concert our guitar player said that we should make a briefing and talk what we want to do next. We thought it was kind of a cool word, so we just named ourselves The Briefing!”
WHEN can I see them live?
“For now we have decided to focus on creating and recording new songs, therefore we haven’t planned any gigs yet.” They have been working on new album Favourite Place which is out now via Latvian label Microphone Records (iTunes).
“All created, recorded and produced in our London flat – home studio. I love the idea of sharing our music, and it is great to know that Favourite Place is now available to everyone.” tells Kristina. “My lyrics of the songs included in this album reflect the feelings and sensations that I have experienced myself or observed in the lives of people around me. Our priority has always been music first and lyrics after, however, I believe that with this album we have managed to merge both elements together so that they intensify the overall vibe of the record.”