As a teenager Ron ‘Brew’ Brouwer discovered his love for melodic rock music and the musical theatre – and he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his heroes. At 16, he co-founded a band called ‘Oxygen’, in which he was the singer and played some keyboards. The band never really emerged or even ever performed before an audience. When he became a teacher training student, Ron took the band name with him when he joined a cover band that performed a pub show just once. Bent on being a singer and performer, Ron then auditioned for two big musicals that were to establish the genre in the Netherlands, namely Cats and Les Misérables, the lyrics to the latter of which he had also translated into Dutch. Instead of accepting a part, Ron decided to focus on the less uncertain career of a secondary school teacher.
However, kind may creep…
In 1989 one of Ron’s former band mates asked him to record lead vocals for two songs with his band Kooz Killz Applemooz, for a compilation CD release later that year. Ron accepted – and co–wrote one of the songs in the studio. The release and the half hour show that coincided with it led to an invitation from Dutch thrashers Mystrez, with whom Ron wrote and rehearsed intensively – and performed once in early 1992.
And then there was silence.
Until in 2018 Ron re-emerged as a radio DJ, hosting his monthly three-hour show ‘Ron’s Brew’ that focused on heavy rock, metal and progressive rock, a favourite genre of Ron’s. Each show ended with an hour’s introduction to a band or artist, who would be present in the studio. Sacrosanct was the latest in 2018. When their singer was on the verge of departing in 2019, Ron was invited to step in. Soon after, he contributed his lyrics, interpretations and voice to the band’s fifth album, that was to be released in 2022. Due to circumstances, however, the album was shelved.
Tom de Wit, with whom Ron had recorded several times previously, knew that it was a bucket list wish of Ron’s to record a solo album at some point and he proposed to produce such a project. Armed with just a handful of ideas Ron accepted the challenge.
Fast forward to the present.
The project appears under the moniker of ‘Exi(s)t’: after his self-elected departure from Sacrosanct, Ron was determined to prove that he still exists as a musician, vocalist and lyricist. As the majority of the tracks on the album are rooted in the past, the title ‘Collateral Damage’ seemed to be quite fitting.
Exi(s)t – ‘Collateral Damage’ is now available from the new independent BroSoundhouse label as a CD digipack (limited to 300 copies), digital download and through all major streaming services. Its first lyric video single ‘Peril Accelerator’ premiered on YouTube on June 19th 2023, followed by the full album stream video.