Colorado-based indie-pop band The BRKN plans to play like they're at, "freaking Wembley Stadium" at New Brookland Tavern on March 24 as part of their upcoming U.S. tour.
The band is made up of singer and guitarist Jacob Cade, drummer Mike Bokenkamp and guitarist MJ Younkers. Cade’s cousin, Tristan Verghese, also tags along on tour to play bass.
Cade began his music career as a solo artist but said he knew he always wanted to be in a band. While performing at a local church, a worship leader introduced Cade to drummer Bokenkamp. Soon after playing a couple of shows together, Cade invited him to go along on tour.
It was during that solo tour with Bokenkamp as a drummer that Cade realized he and Bokenkamp had a connection.
In 2019, Cade, along with Bokenkamp and Younkers, turned the solo project into a real band.
“And so we started, you know, we got a couple shows, started jamming a bunch. Eventually the shows turned into a tour,” Cade said. “And then we put out an EP, which is like super pop-punk.”
Cade described The BRKN’s sound as inspired by icons from the 1980s, from iconic rockers like Van Halen to synth-pop artists like Prince, along with modern bands like Neck Deep. He also added that their sound is also similar to indie bands like The 1975 and The Band Camino.
The band’s passion and inspiration for making music were evidenced on their studio walls. Guitars, acoustic foam and posters of classic rock legends like Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and Michael Jackson coat the walls of their Parker, Colorado-based studio.
For their upcoming U.S. tour, they will be opening for indie band, The Dangerous Summer. What matters to them on tour is putting on a fun show no matter if people are there for them or the headliner.
“We want to play a show that we would go see,” Cade said.
Cade said that during their sets they love to jump around, talk to the audience and just have fun, no matter the actual size of the crowd.
“Lets just bring energy and pretend like we're playing to freaking Wembley Stadium,” Cade said.
Beyond the actual performance, Bokenkamp said he is looking forward to the post-show atmosphere on tour.
"I love the moment where we get everything, like we played a great show, and it's all good and we get everything put away, ... And it's like, we're done, ...We just get to hang for the rest of the night. Like, get to watch the other bands or like, meet new people, like talk to people who caught our set," Bokenkamp said.
During his second tour with the group, Tristan Verghese said he wanted to worry less this time.
"I'm looking forward to, just being a little more in the moment and appreciating the day-to-day events that our tour," Verghese said.
According to the band members, being an opening act isn't always easy. Not everyone in the audience is there to see them, or even knows who they are.
"It's tough being the first, you know, first band on the bill. And the smallest one at that," Cade said.
Cade however, isn't too worried. He's focused on being an opening band that turns audience members into new fans.
“But we're kind of like … 'okay, new city, new night, new venue, new people, we got to — we got to prove ourselves,'” Cade said. “It's tough to think that way a little bit, but it kind of amps you up.”
The BRKN will also get the chance to play some new music to these crowds as well. The band recently announced that a new single, "Not the Same," will be available on March 8, which is also the first day of their tour.
“We're just stoked for the opportunity to play our music in front of people that would never have heard us otherwise,” Cade said.
Cade also said that a big benefit of touring with The Dangerous Summer is that they already know the band from a previous tour, so it feels more like being welcomed home.
Tickets for the show and more information on The BRKN can be found on thebrkn.com.
Correction (March 4, 2022, at 4:44 p.m.): Mike Bokenkamp's last name was incorrectly spelled in a previous version of this story. The mistake has been corrected.