DIARY - 3 MARCH 2008 - ADAM BRAND INTERVIEW
NEW ROAD FOR ADAM
heads outa town in a convoy of Utes/ covered in stickers and dirt/ hats
go on and we're going off/ to party for all we're worth." - Comin'
From - Adam Brand-Sam Hawksley.
troubadour Adam Brand hits the road whenever he needs inspiration
to fuel his muse.
Not so long ago he fled incognito to Van Diemen's Land and the outback
to write for fourth album Get Loud.
But this time around he flew to Nashville to source seventh album
Blame It On Eve for his producer Graham Thompson's indie label
"When I wrote for an album I go and do something different,"
Brand told Nu Country TV.
"I get out of my routine - it drags you down.
For this album I went to Nashville for a whole month and wrote."
The journey was well worth if for a minstrel, born in Perth, and raised
in Wallington and Colac in western Victoria.
Brand wrote eight of the 15 songs on Blame It On Eve including
a batch with Music City writers Travis Meadows, Mark Steven Jones
and Erin Enderlin.
He also wrote
with long time collaborators Michael Carr and Sam Hawksley here in the
unlucky radio country.
I went to Nashville I felt like I had all these under a black cloud type
songs," Brand revealed.
"So in the songs that rounded out Blame It On Eve I found
this peace with the world. I feel like I have some perspective on this
- now that the album is out there I feel like I can start again. I feel
like I have a clean slate. I'm not totally influenced by the events that
Brand, like many peers, finds songwriting is a creative form of release.
"Songwriting to me is therapy - it's tapping into an emotional place,"
"Sometimes it's being brave to tap into there as it's so raw. Do
I want to go there? But you do - you bring your stuff out. But you say
do I just spill it or do I try to make it fluid? Even though it's raw
it's amazing. Is it therapy - yes, I think it is."
PERTH TO SYDNEY
11 Golden Guitars, countless concerts and millions of miles on the clock,
he knows the journey has many rewards.
It started back in Perth in 1997 when the former dental technician, sprint
car driver and sign-writer decided to head east.
"Eleven years ago I was back home in Perth," Brand, 38 and eldest
of four children, said.
"I was still dreaming. I had a sign-writing business and doing gigs
at weekends. I was a weekend warrior, playing at Raffles Hotel. I had
a mid life crisis, got in my Ute and drove to Sydney. I had a garage sale
and sold everything I had - the only possessions I had left in the world
were in the back of my XF Ute. I miss Perth but I have no real regrets."
Brand stayed in Sydney during his career launch, later moved to Nerang
on the Gold Coast but now lives in Hervey Bay, three hours north of Brisbane.
One sister lives in the Queensland capital and his mother and other sisters
live in the Gold Coast and hinterland.
Brand has good reason to spend much of his time on the road.
He won three more Golden Guitars in Tamworth this year for his collaboration
with Lee Kernaghan and Steve Forde on Spirit Of The Bush.
And he is expanding his musical base with TV work and touring the east
coast with Noiseworks singer Jon Stevens.
Brand also plans to counter the mainstream commercial radio apathy on
a winter tour with The Badloves.
"I was writing with Michael Spivey in Tamworth," Brand said.
"We talked about a Badloves reunion a few times - I said why don't
we tour together in June?"
took my uncle's old tray back/ my mind was made and my bags were packed/
and that GPS was set for Tennant Creek." - Get On Down The Road
- Rivers Rutherford-Chuck Wicks-David Lee Murphy.
Brand is a prolific writer he also draws heavily on collaborators
such as David Lee Murphy who has toured here with Lee Kernaghan and
also written with Adam Harvey.
But this time Brand chose Get On Down The Road - a Murphy co-write
with Rivers Rutherford and Chuck Wicks - for his first single, accompanied
by a video clip to be aired on Nu Country TV.
And, like another previous cover, Brand initiated a place name change
to add local flavour.
the Tennant Creek lyrics are mine," Brand confessed.
said Tennessee. I have written with David Lee before. We wrote Kinda
Like It and Party Till The Money's All Gone on my previous
album What A Life. Rivers is a prolific writer - he also produced
Montgomery Gentry. Chuck has just released a solo album. This song is
A similar scenario to the lyric changes on That Changes Everything
on What A Life, penned by Tony Lane and David Lee.
"Yes in that song there was a reference to a cray boat out of Geraldton,"
"Yes, I added that - they had Galveston and cowboy work in Colorado
that I changed to Monto."
Brand credits the title track writer Jeffrey Steele who made his name
with California band Boy Howdy for his musical style.
"We have discussed this before," Brand recalled.
"Boy Howdy was pretty much why I got in to what they call country
today - the new sound, a melding of rock, blues, country & rockabilly.
The first time I heard their CD - from the first song Bring On The Teardrops,
30 seconds in, I was hooked. I thought that's the path I want to go down.
I have kept in touch with Jeffrey Steele."
don't have to worry about it ringing no more/ the alarm clock's scattered
on the bedroom floor/ left a hole in the wall that wasn't there before/
but I still hear it ringin' because my head's still sore." - Wasted
Day - Adam Brand-Mark Stephen Jones-Travis Meadows.
is so enthusiastic with one of his collaborators Travis Meadows
he invited him to Australia for a writing sojourn.
"I have been writing with Travis for a while now," Brand
"He has been signed to Universal over there. The day I cut
Open Ended Heartache for What A Life he got signed. Now there's
a special sort of bond. It was the first thing he ever got cut.
We became great mates. I brought him out to Tamworth this year.
We did a whole lot of songwriting the week after Tamworth for the
So what did that produce?
of the new songs is That's A Man." Brand confided.
"It's about a son talking about his dad - how his dad taught
him the lessons and how he lives his life with those lessons. There
is a rebirth of looking at life again. The trip after Tamworth was
with Travis and Mike Carr. I feel like a big journey in front of
me for the next album.
go back into the past for the next album I don't know. I feel like it's
all going to come in the next 12 months."
go back to the present for the fruits of his labour with Meadows and Jones.
"Travis and Mark are two guys who do a lot of songwriting together.
I got together with them and the three of us wrote Wasted Day and
Better Than This for this album. Mark is a really cool character.
He has written songs for Toby Keith and is signed to Harlan Howard's publishing
So what about the inspiration for Wasted Day?
"It was more of a crappy day," Brand revealed.
"I woke up and everybody that was ringing me was on my case - that
came out in the song. I was in Nashville - I was being hassled in Nashville
"Charlie's got a pool, Charlie's on a trip/ let's got to Charlie's
and skinny dip/ have to throw the dog a bone so we don't get bit"
- Better Than This - Adam Brand-Mark Stephen Jones-Travis Meadows.
into romance roller coasters on another collaboration - Better Than
"This was once again the three of us," Brand confessed.
"It doesn't matter how many times you have done it. It doesn't matter
how old you are when you fall in love with someone you starting off like
a little kid, like teenagers. The song is talking about that."
So what about resurrected romance for twice divorced Brand?
"No, there is not another marriage - get that straight," Brand
"There are a lot of songs on the album about relationships - the
whole philosophy of going out and looking for love - good, bad and indifferent.
It's pretty much where I've been over the last 10 years. I put it into
Meadows and Jones also wrote the new album title track Blame It On
"This is a guy who gets tempted by all these girls and all he can
do is blame it on Eve, right back to the start," Brand said.
be flying on the ocean/ I should be sailing across the sky/ but I'm here
dying on the inside/ still here waiting on sunshine." - Waiting
On Sunshine - Adam Brand-Mike Carr.
wrote two positive love songs for the new album with fellow Australian
singer-songwriter and frequent collaborator Michael Carr.
"Waiting On Sunshine is about looking for happiness -
the next break," Brand says.
"It's about searching for it - needing the weather to break.
It was brought on by our family crisis - what I was feeling about
others - my little sisters and their dad, my stepfather. He left when
they were very young. I met all their boyfriends as they were growing
The other Brand-Carr collaboration takes a different path.
"In Right Here With You finding love is much better than
chasing fame," Brand adds."
comes with age - with wisdom. Working out what's really important - this
song came from a place deep inside. I thought all that other stuff, where
we spend so much of our time spinning our wheels and chasing, it really
isn't that important."
songs are balanced by the ruptured romance of What We Do To Ourselves.
"It's a break-up song," says the singer who has twice been stung
"When you break up you never really know if are you doing the right
thing. It's like when you first get together with someone. This song in
particular says it isn't working but what if we're wrong. In a way it's
sometimes easier to sing about when you don't write it. But it went right
in - I tend to choose songs that I can really identify with. Even though
I didn't write it, I feel like I could have."
when she's crying wipe her tears/ and if she can't find her light/ then
share your shine/ and if she can't seem to fly cause she's got too much
on her mind/ then hold her high/ even angels need angels sometimes"
- Angels - Lianne Rose
the deepest song is possibly the narrative - Angels - penned
by Lianne Rose.
"She lives up on central coast of NSW," Brand enthused.
"She's an amazing girl - a great singer and great songwriter.
We have been doing a little writing together. She has an album out.
But this song Angels I fell in love with.
It's a narrative - extremely deep. I could identify with it. My family
had quite an emotional year last year. There were no solutions - no
way to sit down and work out a strategy to get through something.
All I could do is go up and put your arms around them and tell them
you love them."
Meanwhile Brand plans two more Nashville writing trips this year.
"I want to write again with Erin Enderlin," Brand says.
wrote Monday Morning Church for Alan Jackson. She's only young
- 24 or 25. She wrote that song as a 22 year old - she's very talented."
He also plans
to write again with Neil Coty.
"You remember him - he's a real down south guy, right down to chewing
tobacco in the writing session," Brand quipped.
Coty, the adoptive son of dairy farmers, hails from Maryland and released
two albums Chance And Circumstance in 1997 and Legacy in
He also wants to collaborate more with Quinton Loggins who provided Down
Home for Blame It On Eve.
"We wrote songs together but I used a different song of his,"
that changes in his romantic fortunes will preclude him revisiting that
painful subject of divorce.
He penned his award winning divorce song Good Things In Life for
fourth album Get Loud.
Brand wrote that after the break-up of his marriage to his childhood sweetheart
whom he wed at 18.
He also penned Every Man Likes You about the healing heart of second
wife Anne-Marie who made the trek with him from Perth to Sydney in their
Ute back in 1997.
The couple had known each other 11 years.
"I didn't feel like talking to anyone and discussing it," Brand
revealed after he headed to Tasmania and the outback for a writing sojourn.
"Our marriage was falling apart before I left. I decided to record
songs by other writers about the subject. It was purging through solitude.
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."
But this time Brand is singing from deeper in a happier heart as he tours
to promote Blame It On Eve that soars Australian sales charts despite
mainstream metropolitan radio apathy.
The CD, replete with Spirit Of The Bush bonus track, is accompanied
by a 30 minute DVD documentary on the making of the album and the video
of Get On Down The Road.
CLICK HERE for Adam's tour dates
in Tonkgirl's Gig Guide.
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