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The Blender

After 4-year absence, St. Louis band Brookroyal is 'stoked' for rockin' Pointfest return

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Brookroyal

Brookroyal

The last show for Brookroyal was in 2018 at Pointfest, an especially high note. The St. Louis rock band was on the main stage — before Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and Shinedown — rather than on a secondary stage, where it usually performs.

“I think our initial reaction when we were told was, ‘Why are we here and Candlebox is over there?’” says Brookroyal lead singer Jack Wiese. “It was a good feeling.”

Brookroyal makes its return to the stage May 21, at that same annual homegrown festival at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.

Papa Roach, Highly Suspect, Halestorm, Mammoth WVH, Palaye Royale, Shaman’s Harvest, Jelly Roll and the Ricters are also on the bill.

Brookroyal avoided performing during the pandemic, not wanting to risk COVID-19 exposure. The band also had no desire to perform socially distanced, sparsely attended shows.

“We’ve done that when there wasn’t a pandemic, and it wasn’t fun,” Wiese says.

The band also includes guitarists Matt Benne and Bon Lohman, bassist and vocalist Al Carretta, and drummer David Brown.

“We decided to wait until everything had chilled out to play,” Wiese says. “The opportunity came for us to do Pointfest, and everything was clear and good to go, so we said, ‘Let’s get on board.’ And it worked out well.”

The band has a new song and video to promote, “Reaching Out.”

He says Brookroyal has performed at Pointfest seven times already. “As a local rock band, that was always the show to get on to really showcase what you can do. It was always a staple of the summer.”

By now, he says, the band members have befriended the 105.7 the Point personalities and employees; the rock radio station presents the festival. “You get to see your friends and a lot of bands we toured with,” Wiese says. “It’s a good family gathering.”

For its return, Brookroyal will deliver its usual high-energy set.

“There are not a lot of slow songs at Pointfest,” Wiese says. “People want to have fun and sing and party. We have 30 minutes, and we’re going to go nuts. If you can’t go crazy for 30 minutes, you shouldn’t be up there. It’s going to be pretty much full-force.”

He’s excited to see the bands Mammoth WVH and Palaye Royale for the first time, and to reunite on a bill with Papa Roach, Halestorm and Shaman’s Harvest.

Brookroyal is back on a secondary stage this time, which is fine. That puts the band closer to its fans.

“Everybody is stoked for that, and we’re definitely ready for a fun set,” he says.

That set will also include “Closer,” performed in memory of producer Matt Amelung (Story of the Year, Greek Fire, Inimical Drive, Discrepancies) and popular guitar tech Pat Whitwam (El Monstero, Cavo).

Amelung died in 2019; Whitwam died in 2017.

Other songs the band plans to perform are “Breathe In” and “We Wait,” along with “Break the Pattern,” which hasn’t yet been released.

Brookroyal looks forward to the live debut of “Reaching Out,” produced by Dan Marsala of Story of the Year. It’s his first time producing for Brookroyal, though he has guested on tracks with the band.

“We were trying to record on our own, but it wasn’t working out,” Wiese says. “We needed a producer. ... He’s one of our best friends, so it made sense to go in and record with him. I don’t think I laughed so hard in the recording process ever.”

Sonically, he says, “Reaching Out” is different from past Brookroyal songs, something he attributes to group members Benne and Carretta. Later additions to the band, they bring complexity and maturity to its sound, he says.

The song came about from many people’s feelings during the pandemic, coping with being isolated and trying to connect.

Brookroyal recently released a video for “Reaching Out,” directed by Jordan Phoenix, who has worked with Story of the Year and Inimical Drive.

“The video looks incredible,” Wiese says. “It’s so far beyond the expectations of what a local band could put out. It blows my mind.”

He isn’t sure whether the singles will lead to an album or EP, or if the band will just keep pumping out singles.

“I’m old-school,” he says. “I’d rather just do an album. But we’re uncertain about what we will do.”

The band hopes to follow its Pointfest appearance with a show in the fall or winter.

What Pointfest • When Noon May 21 • Where Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, 14141 Riverport Drive, Maryland Heights • How much $22-$129 • More info livenation.com

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The Blender by Kevin C. Johnson

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