She is talented, beautiful, is related to rock royalty in name, yet she stands on her own and never really had that influence to begin with. She is good with all of that and good with not having grown up around a legend. She is Layla ‘Brooklyn’ Allman, daughter of legendary musician Greg Allman, and her band is yet another in a new generation of rockers that seem hell-bent on raising the level of rock music once and for all (and finally)! They have a lot happening for a group that is too young to drink even having to leave the building at certain venues after their show. (Come on club owners, really?)
She is the front-woman for Picture Me Broken and the group is really now hitting their stride. She started this band when she was just 12-years old and kept working, playing, and replacing the pieces along the way. The lone original member aside from herself is bassist Austin Dunn. The results are showing indeed as the bands newest EP Mannequins shows off the individual talents of the new line-up across the board. The bands debut was in 2010 called Wide Awake and featured the song ‘Dearest, I’m so Sorry” that has amassed over a million views on Youtube and is a cult favorite on its own. The bands newest video just debuted on May 27th (my birthday, so of course its cool) for the song Tortured and shows that she has indeed grown up and is fronting one hell of a rock band. Take a moment to get to know Brooklyn and the band below and be sure to go check out their music!
The band is coming off a tour with OTEP and will be in Buffalo (a show originally scheduled for Syracuse….nice) June 14th in support of Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson on the Shock Therapy 2013 Tour.
The band is young, full of energy, and also full of great musicianship; as a unit they rock but each personality shines through. They are:
Dante Phoenix (Guitar)
Jimmy Strimpel (Guitar)
Shaun Foist (Drums)
Interview with Brooklyn
Let’s start with some past things first and get this one out of the way as I am sure you get this all the time; what’s it like growing up the daughter of one of the biggest legends in music?
I was not necessarily growing up with my father. I kind of, just recently, we started talking so a lot of people automatically assume that that played a large role with my involvement in music but honestly that didn’t so much play a role as much as I stumbled onto bands that inspired me at a young age. I get that a lot ‘What’s it like’ but I can’t really say that because I didn’t really grow up with my father per se.
*We share a laugh as I assure her that I completely understand just what she is saying
You actually started this band when you were 12 and now it seems you have it all together; can you talk about the start and the journey a little bit?
Sure! Honestly as a child I was involved with performing arts and played classical piano and at some point I saw a few shows that ignited that passion for rock, music that changed my life like Green Day and others. A couple of albums changed my perception and ignited that spark for performing art and rock music and decided to pursue a rock band. I had a couple of talented kids in my class and approached them about starting a band. I guess we started playing church festivals and were covering everything from Nirvana to Green Day to Guns N’ Roses. At some point I got more serious about it and now we have Picture Me Broken today over the course of many years.
I liked when I saw you say “PMB is not just a female-fronted band, PMB is a rock n’ roll band” See, I hate people trying to make the distinction myself.
Absolutely! I say that because I think a lot of women in rock faced it; if you’re a rock band you’re Halestorm, Paramore, you’re Flyleaf or Evanescence. You’re influences can be so different from that but people put you in the same box because you’re a female singer. I think partially that’s to blame for a lot of female singers in bands that do see that gimmick is working and do play it that way. But there are other women out there that believe that they can just be in a rock band the way that a frontman would that have been inspired by the dynamic rock frontmen in history. So I believe that it really depends on how you do it and that stereotype can be shuttered.
The new EP truly is a great rock album, great songs, guitars; can you talk about the new album?
It was supposed to be a full-length but it was broken up into a digital EP to show the new line-up and what’s in store ahead and going to be recorded in August. We’ve grown so much as a band and evolved that we just wanted to start from scratch and really deliver the best thing possible. I guess the mission and mission statement kind of changed and we as a band have changed quite a bit; especially from when Wide Awake was released, I was just a teen then. I have all basically all new band members as I found the right band members for my vision.
The new video debuted on May 27th, my birthday actually.
It’s very cool video and has a theme to it, can you talk about it?
Yeah! We have a new song Torture and we thought it would make a good video track and we thought the chords worked really well and it has a strong message. I think it has to have a message to make a strong video. The director found us actually. He just had the best energy and wanted to make something larger than life happen on a less than larger than life budget. I guess in talking to him we pulled together this really cinematic James Bond video. I had this cool location from a fashion designer friend of mine Peter Neigard (sp) and it is so futuristic looking that we wanted to shoot the whole thing there and be really fast moving and action-like.
I see you toured with OTEP, I love her! Just a cool person and she was an awesome interview last fall; we talked for almost an hour actually! How was it touring with her?
It was absolutely a blast, we had a great time with OTEP she a wonderful artist and person!
And now you hit the road with Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson; quite a show and from all I see you will more than hold the audience; can you talk about this tour?
It starts today (May 29th) and runs until July 24th when we go from this tour to just a tour with Manson. We had no idea that we were contenders for this tour and had no idea that we would be selected. I mean it’s one of the biggest notches that you can get if you’re in a rock band. We’re excited to get out there and play before more people than we ever have before I mean, we are used to playing in small clubs and touring in a van (Laughs) it’s definitely a step up!
What advice would you give to another aspiring female musician or vocalist?
If you truly want to make this a career then you have to give up everything for it. I always tell people that if you want a surefire career that’s easier than music then go to medical school and become a brain surgeon (laughs) It take that many years, it takes that much dedication! So those that truly want it will do it, you just have to sacrifice.
Thanks again for doing this today and is there anything that you would like to say to the fans out there?
Thank you so much! Come check us out on Shock Therapy Tour, we’ll be playing nationwide you can get the dates on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/picturemebrokenband and check out the new Torture video on Youtube! (embedded below)
The band has evolved and Layla has grown up into quite a smart, visionary woman who just so happens to front a rock band. Be sure to check out Picture Me Broken and their new EP Mannequins today!
What: Mannequins by Picture Me Broken
- Beautiful Disguise
- Nothing Further from the Truth
A great all around rock EP that will leave you waiting for the bands full-length album, this band can rock with anyone and belong on those stages with those two legends this summer.
The new EP, Mannequins, available on iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/picture-me-broken/id331796821
Get some cool merch here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/picturemebroken