Picture Me Broken is the brainchild of Brooklyn Allman and has recently released a fine example of rock n’ roll music entitled Mannequins. In a recent interview with Allman we discussed their new EP, what the band is currently up to, and what we can expect in the future from PMB.
In reference to the EP, there are a lot of elements in this record that are different from their previous releases. The biggest of these is that this EP takes a more hard rock feel than perhaps their previous heavier releases. When asked about the change this is what Allman had to say, “The Mannequins EP was meant to foreshadow PMB’s new sonic direction… I think it’s primarily a definitive departure from the “screamo” and “metalcore” scene, that’s not to say I’m done with scream vocals, we’re simply ready to define ourselves as a rock band and take any sort of trendy stamp or stigmas off our foreheads.”
On the stigma note, for those who may not now, Allman is in fact related to the immensely famous Allman Brothers Band. With renowned hits like Ramblin Man, the Allman Brothers Band helped reinvent the rock genre in the 70’s. With that much legacy already attached to the name, you’d think it would put PMB in a rut of what people may expect the band to sound like. Just by listening to the EP, however, you can tell the band really does do its own thing, but Allman does say there are a few things that she drew as influences from her grandparents. These include her “heritage has certainly made me a guitar elitist,” and that “I’m also turned off by any guitar that isn’t a Gibson, that may have something to do with the Allman Brothers.”
Another “stigma” if you will, that the band has been labeled with is due to the fact that the band is “female-fronted” or has a female front woman. It’s no secret that there are some bands in the business that maybe hide behind the fact that their lead vocalist is a woman, but what PMB does is embrace it as just another factor that makes their sound. The subject seemed to hit a cord in Allman. “Most people look at PMB and the first thing they notice is that we’re ‘female-fronted’ and that I scream,” explains Allman. “There is so much more to PMB than that and I think when people come see us live they realize that. We are not a ‘female-fronted’ band, we are a rock band, why define a band by a lead singer’s x and y chromosomes? I have three top notch musicians behind me and we’re not here to be the next Evanescence, Paramore, Flyleaf or Halestorm. We simply want to do PMB and having a ‘chick screamer’ is not some sort of gimmick that we hand selected as our definitive niche to stand out in the industry, I scream to emphasize certain emotions in my lyrics to better convey their meaning here and there. I think I look up to the band Heart so much because no one refers to them as a ‘female-fronted’ band, they’re just one of the great rock bands in history because they can hang with the men. I should also point out that we’re not another cliché female-fronted scenario where the guys in my band are hired guns poised around me, we’re a real band.”
Needless to say, Picture Me Broken is not your generic rock band, female fronted or not. The band brings about a whole new category of rock music to a wholly generic scene, and it’s not just in their recorded music. The band, though young, has toured and is touring with some spectacular bands. They currently are touring with two of rock and metal’s legendary artists Marilyn Manson and Alice Cooper on the Master of Madness Tour. Allman stated that, “…to stand there knowing I get to be a part of something with these timeless icons every night is a feeling I can’t even describe,” when asked what it’s like to tour with these legends. She also stated that, “2013 is going to be a good year to see us live. We definitely won’t be done with the road after this tour, though we may take a break late summer to get working on that full length.”
Like every band, Picture Me Broken has their favorites. Sticking to touring, Allman said that they would love to tour with “some of our favorite modern bands… Avenged Sevenfold, AFI and 30 Seconds to Mars are at the top of that list.” To add to that she also graced the question of favorite song off the new album. For any artist it’s challenging to pick out your favorite baby, but Allman did her best. “I think Mannequins is a live favorite of ours, it always gets the crowd going and features my lead guitar player, Dante Phoenix’s instrumental work and he really likes to rock. I also slipped a Phantom of the Opera section in there that many fellow theatre nerds frequently comment on at shows. I’d tie that one with my ballad, Beautiful Disguise. I always wanted this band to be one that isn’t afraid to do plentiful piano ballads and I wrote, performed and co-produced that one.”
To harp on the album for one last moment though, Allman said that “we play rock music, good authentic rock n’ roll,” there is a lot more to this new record than that. It’s this culmination of so many different styles that has made this band so unique. The Mannequins EP is out now, and is well worth purchasing. You can also catch the band on the Master of Madness tour currently trekking across the U.S. Picture Me Broken is well worth your while if you enjoy bands such as The Letter Black, Otep, and 30 Seconds to Mars, but be warned, this band isn’t your everyday rock group, so if you pick up their material and are expecting something generic or “female fronted” then you are looking at the wrong band. That said, if you are opened minded and want some good old rock n’ roll to jam out to, then look no further.
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