DIARY - 26 AUGUST 2004 - ADAM BRAND
a rumour goin' around that it's lookin' like splitsville between us/ but
all that talk's just talk/ so don't you believe it." - We're Makin'
Up - Jeffrey Steele-Al Anderson.
born country star Adam Brand took a punt when he took a year off
from touring to deal with the storms of life that have destroyed
And when he woke one mild winter morning in the tranquil beauty
of his latter day home in southern Queensland his luck had changed.
Brand's belated fourth album Get Loud had debuted at #16 on the
ARIA rock charts in a swirling sea of rap, dance, pop pap, reality
TV driven fads and hits and memories.
Even on its second week on the charts it remained Top 30 - despite
only receiving airplay on ABC and community radio.
But it was the surrogate radio medium of TV that ensured a high
profile for the singer raised in Geelong and Colac.
that was a nice surprise," Brand told Nu Country TV on the
eve of a national tour to promote a disc firmly aimed at the rural
heartland that differentiates little between rock country.
was hardly any TV advertising because of the Olympics. There was TV tour
ads in the regional areas. Our main advertising starts later. But I did
a lot of TV shows such as Bert Newton. It had been a long time since my
previous album came out. It could go two ways - either the audience had
forgotten who I was or they were waiting for it. It worked well. Country
has a long shelf life. Maybe the tide is turning."
Brand kicks off his national tour in Victoria and Tasmania - the island
state was one of his retreats when his second marriage fell apart between
So don't ask Adam to sing his award winning divorce song Good Things
Brand wrote the song as therapy after break-up of his first marriage to
his childhood sweetheart in Perth.
You can also pass on Every Man Likes You - a song he wrote about
the healing heart of second wife Anne-Marie who made the trek from Perth
to Sydney in their ute when he launched his career in 1997.
pack a bag with some simple things/ cause you won't need much/ just a
pair of faded jeans.' - Just Drive - Adam Brand-Michael Carr
Brand shaved his head, donned a beanie and headed into the wilds of Tasmania
and the outback for three months when his second marriage fell apart.
"I haven't been able to perform it," Brand says of Good Things
"I need to let time go past, it's too painful. It's something that
I don't want to dig up. I guess it's because of where I was when wrote
that song, it's just not right now."
The singer, now 35, used his three-month plus solo outback sojourn as
post marital therapy.
"I didn't feel like talking to anyone and discussing it," says
Brand who had known Anne Marie for 11 years.
"I wanted to go away, do my own thing and do my grieving about it
on my own. I was completely on my own. It was the cheapest three months
I've had in my life, and yes, the cheapest therapy. I had spent a lot
of time touring over five or six years so it was also a time for winding
down to prevent burn out. It was quite a life transition from my career
as a dental technician, It was time to step off the stage, every stage."
Although Brand took his guitar in his Falcon XR8 ute he wasn't able to
harvest hay from his heartbreak.
"I think it was more for me the liberation and clearing my mind sort
of trip," says Brand.
"It was a purging through solitude. The marriage was falling apart
just before I left. I think it prepared me to work on the new album. I
decided to record songs by other writers about the subject."
They included We're Making Up, This Time Of Year, Impossible To Do
and Come On Home.
Brand, unlike many peers, didn't inflict his personal pain on listeners
- instead he wrote a brace of up-tempo songs such as Get Loud, Just
Drive, Senoritas and She's Country with fellow Compass Brothers
artist Michael Carr
DIEMEN'S LAND IN AN UTE
experienced the majestic beauty of the west coast of Tasmania and
the sparse solitude of the outback on a winter journey with the Gold
Coast as his springboard.
"I went right down to Tasmania and then straight up the guts
to Cooper Pedy, Alice Springs and Darwin. I did a circuit around Tasmania,
down to Strahan, Zeehan and Queenstown then up the east coast. The
west coast towns have got this nice old time feel.
Not so much
a ghost town as in the past, that vibe, but more like a tourist area now.
They're almost trendy in an old style. I camped in camping grounds. Down
in Strahan I got a cray from a local fisherman and cooked it on the open
fire. I then went up the east coast, places like Bicheno and St Helens.
It was magnificent. It was pretty cold. I had my head shaved and was wearing
a beanie most of the time. I was incognito - just a fellow driving a XR8
The singer, one time stock-car driver and dental technician, was also
able to emulate the characters in his automobile songs in the heartland.
"Out in the outback where there was no speed limit I put cruise control
on 180 and went up Stuart Highway," says Brand.
"At night I drove off down tracks, maybe 5 or 10 kilometres and camped.
I didn't see any dingoes but I heard a couple. I didn't force any writing.
I set up the campfire and got the guitar out a few times. But for me it
was more the liberation and clearing my mind sort of trip. I think it
prepared me to work on the new album."
his own CD collection ahead of radio for his driving soundscape.
"I was completely on my own," Brand recalled, "it was the
cheapest three months I've had in my life and also the cheapest therapy.
Each night I would fire up the camp oven and have a couple of chops and
vegetables. Some times I drove in silence and others I listened to music
from early Sun sessions of Elvis to real pumping stuff like AC-DC. I also
played older country like Kristofferson and a bit of George Jones with
newer stuff by Montgomery Gentry and Tim McGraw."
Brand started Just Drive - one of four new tunes penned with Carr
- before his outback journey.
"I started that song earlier in the year before the trip," Brand
revealed. "I finished it off after I came back, about three weeks
Brand and Carr also wrote the upbeat title track, the Tex Mex laced Senoritas
and bush belle eulogy She's Country to add dynamics to the
"I have met so many country girls in my travels who don't receive
the recognition of their males," says Brand.
"They work on the family farms, perform the same duties as the blokes
and stand toe to toe at the bar when they party after they finish work
for the day."
Some of those bush belles also adorn Cowboy Tequila penned with
his frequent Nashville co-writer Bob Regan.
And that risque rural craze was inspired by the Woody Harrelson movie
Cowboy Way - not urban-fuelled Coyote Ugly.
"After concerts we go to the pub where young women drink Tequila,"
says Brand, "they lick salt off their necks, put lemons on their
lips and shot glasses down their cleavage. This happens a lot out in the
country. I thought I would write a song about that. I think it started
in the Cowboy Way movie and seems to have caught on here."
YOUNG - RURAL ROUTES
Farmer Thompson really knows how to grow 'em/ if you know what I mean/
he's been sittin' on the porch with his shot gun/ and he don't miss a
thing." - Eighteen - Gary Young-Adam Brand.
previously recorded the Wayne Burt penned Jo Jo Zep & The Falcons
hit Beating Around The Bush.
But this time he chose another tune he heard on a live tape by Joe
Long time 3RRR-FM and popular Nu Country FM DJ Gary Young wrote Eighteen
about rural belles who rang for him in his previous life with The
Rondells and Daddy Cool.
But Brand edited the raunchy coming of age song immortalised by The
"I toned the story line down a little," confessed Brand
who named the farmer after his producer Graham Thompson in the new
a song about young girl being protected by her farmer dad until she's
18. Gary's early version was risque. I thought it was timely to tone it
down because of the current teenage sex in advertising debate. It's almost
untimely to talk about it. The guy was sneaking out at night to see his
girl friend who wasn't quite 18."
Brand also found Lifetime Friends on a visit to one time outback denizen
Neil Murray's farm at Lake Bolac, north of Mortlake in the Western Victorian
wheat and sheep belt.
"We worked on another song together but I chose this instead because
it was a true song about the value of true friends," Brand said.
"You can not meet for a year and then pick up the phone and the threads."
Brand added Warrnambool reared stock car champ Max Dumsney's name to the
Byron Hill penned tune Number 34.
And he included Food, Water, Shelter, Love - a tune featuring the writing
talents of Rick Price, Melinda Schneider and Tamara Stewart.
title track Get Loud was inspired by the Grand Hotel at Winton in Queensland
and features a cameo role by Perth publican Billy Rigg - publican of the
Cottesloe Hotel in Perth.
Bur Brand filmed the video clip at Caragabal near Young, Grenfell, Harden
and the Mean Fiddler Hotel at Windsor, west of Sydney.
He also plans a video for This Time Of Year - penned by Craig Wiseman
with whom he wrote Every Man Loves You.
"There's no story board for that yet," says Brand whose touring
band features acclaimed fiddler Mick Albeck - former spouse of Beccy Cole.
Theatre, Shepparton, on September 3
Churchill Saloon - September 4,
Bairnsdale Secondary College Hall - September 5.
Horsham Town Hall - September 7
Bendigo Performing Arts Centre - September 8
Ballarat Regent Multiplex Cinemas - September 9
Colac RSL - September 10
Warrnambool Performing Arts Centre - September 11
Hamilton Performing Arts Centre - September 12.
Centre - September 15.
Wrest Point Casino - September 16.
Launceston Country Club Resort - September 17 and 18.
Devonport Entertainment Centre - September 19
HERE for a previous feature on Adam from the Diary on December 2.
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