They were the biggest band in the world, selling ten million copies of debut album Push, but barely able to enjoy a moment before it was all snatched away.
They endured snide mockery at the height of their fame and then smug satisfaction at their fall but never had the chance to tell their personal story – twin brothers who loved their mum, lost their sister and then the band before their own relationship was torn apart by their own demons.
After The Screaming Stops follows Matt and Luke as they prepared for 2017’s reunion concerts after barely speaking for two decades. No wonder the movie started with a shocking and upsetting fight.
It is an extraordinary and eye-opening experience as the screaming barely stops and nor do the tears, tantrums, heartbreaking revealtions and heartwarming reaffirmations of a bond that has been sorely stretched but never broken.
When I meet the boys in their swanky PR’s office, they are as slick and smooth as ever, but also refreshingly candid, clearly keen to be understood. Best of all, they bring it in for big hugs after the cameras are switched off. Having watched them on Top of the Pops in the 80’s, it feels surreal.
Having watched the genuinely eye-opening movie and then met them in person, I am charmed and also feel genuinely invested to hope their upcoming comeback plans give them a real moment of success and satisfaction together.
Mind you, I start by teasing them about how emotional much of the film is to watch.
Matt said: “It’s great to hear you were traumatised and heartbroken!” and his brother added: “That’s what we were going for.”
The movie confirms just how unhappy the boys (Luke in particular) were, even at the height of their fame. Director Joe Pearlman reveals his fascination with twins who blew his ideas of brotherhood “into a million pieces” and weren’t even fully reconciled after their beloved mother Carol died in 2014.
Bros After the Screaming Stops opens with this fight
Bros After the Screaming Stops interview
So, why allow such brutal, unforgiving access?
Matt: “We just wanted to create something truthful. As musicians, as an industry it is tumultuous and you really have to swim with sharks and there’s a lot of blood in the water. It really does take its toll. The audience deserves to hear the truth. For me to watch thiss film was very difficult and it brings up emotions, personal subjects, for the first time. None of this was staged. some of the emotions were so raw and new but had festered to decades. Quitting was never, will never be an option. We have been very close to breaking. We’ve bent a few times but we do not break.”
Luke: “The last thing we wanted to do was a glorified promo fluff. That comes with an understanding you have to burn the ego, take all the censorship away.”
Bros After the Screaming Stops: Matt and Luke
Luke adds: “It was a healing process, it was like therapy with a wooden bat. It wasnt delicate. Not that we knew we would get so much out of the filming… It levelled the playing field so we could operate from a place of beauty and love. I’ve never felt closer to Matt.”
The film reveals it was Luke who called time on the band and charts their struggle to reconnect, to trust each other, to listen to each other.
In the film, the interview and, I suspect, everywhere, Matt is the talker, seemingly the more confident, but he admits it hides a deeper need.
Matt says: “I’ve needed him way before this movie. I’ve needed to see more of him. I’m more dependent on him as a friend, that’s just the dynamic of us two. I’m sillier, more goofy. You have no idea the lengths I go to just to make him laugh. Absurd and oscene things just to get a giggle out of him.”
Bros After the Screaming Stops ends on this high point
The moment they step foot in London’s O2 Arena is powerfully moving. After watching them fight and refuse to find a middle ground for most of the film, suddenly the years fall away and they are just young boys, wide-eyed and excited – and their affection and bond is finally joyously unleashed.
So, is this the start of something new?
Matt: ” We’ve already spoken to Fulwell (the film’s production company). We had a meeting. We worked so well together. There is absolutely things in the works… We want to tour the show that is on the movie.”
Luke: “One thing we’ve decided to do… Being musicians, we want to spend a year playing music. So there will be a lot of live stuff. Globally, whether it be our own shows, festivals, we really enjoy jamming, plugging in and playing all around the world and then take that beautiful fresh, vibrant energ into a recording sessioan nd make what I think will be the best Bros album ever.”
Bros: After The Screaming Stops is in cinemas November 9 through our screen and available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital on November 12.
For more information, please visit BrosTheFilm.com