Twelve time Golden Guitar winner Adam Brand is joined by country music stars Drew McAlister, Travis Collins, Matt Cornell and Mike Carr; together, they make up Country’s newest Supergroup Adam Brand & the Outlaws, releasing an album and kicking off on a National tour, FOCUS caught up with frontman Adam Brand …
Hi Adam. Take us back to your first memories of having an interest in music; what was it that first captivated you?
My dad and my uncles had a band; my dad was the singer, my uncle was a drummer, and one of my other uncles was a bass player. My other uncle couldn’t sing or play to save himself, so he was the dodgy manager! My first time on stage was when I was three years old with that band singing How Much is That Doggy in the Window? So if you want to go back to the beginning, that’s where it all started. All through my life … I was playing drums, I loved music; it was just always something I wanted to be a part of.
What is is about country music that you love, and why did you choose to write and play that genre of music?
I grew up listening to Springsteen and Mellencamp and Chisel, Fleetwood Mac, all that sort of stuff. Country music is just so easy to connect with – it’s easy to listen to a lyric and go, “Yeah, I get it. I’ve been through that; I’m going through that”. I suppose it really does cover everything from having a big night out with your mates at the pub dancin’ on the bar, doing nudey runs down the street, right through to standing up in honour of people who have served and make the ultimate sacrifice for our country … and it’s just very, very real stories and things that we can all relate to.
I didn’t grow up listening to music about living on the outback sheep station or cattle station or those types of things, but I grew up smaller country towns, so I sing about things I can relate to. For me, it’s being able to find something that connects me with my audience.
Being such a musically inspired man, how do you keep your creative side alive?
You hear this a lot – maybe it’s a cliche, but its absolutely true: when you do something you love, it doesn’t feel like work! It’s something that you love doing, something you’re passionate about, and you don’t have to force yourself to do it. It’s you, you want to do it – you get up in the morning and you want to listen to music. Most people just have conversations, but when I’m talking and someone says something that’s interesting, I go: “Oh, that’s an idea for a song!” So I write down a line, and it could be a seed that starts a song. I think when it’s something that’s just engrained into your heart and your soul, keeping that motivation going is pretty easy.
Introduce us to your latest venture, Adam Brand and The Outlaws. How did you come together, and who makes up the group?
The unique thing about this group is it’s made up of five individual artists, all coming together to form one band. They’re all accomplished, they all have amazing careers and in those amazing careers they’ve all had albums, all had number ones and top tens, made videos and toured for years …
So there’s such a wealth of knowledge and exprience in the band. It’s made up of Travis Collins, who’s nominated this year for his last album for male vocalist; highest selling Drew McAlister, who’s half of McAlister Kemp, a huge duo and band; Matt Cornell, who’s played in everyone’s band over the years from Baby Animals to Richard Clapton; Mike Carr, who’s won ARIA awards for Buddy Goode – the comedy artist – as well as written hit songs over the years, including ones for me! There’s just so much diversity in the band.
This is an idea I’ve had for over 10 years … and what’s the foundation of this? It’s that these guys are all great mates of mine and we’ve all worked together in some capacity over the years, so it’s great to be able to put that together and say, “Fellas, let’s take a break from our normal careers and go out and do this thing”.
The idea behind the songs that we’re doing is that they’re party songs – let’s get together in a room and jam on all of our favourite songs, the kind of songs we would want playing if we were at a party or a BBQ at our house that we all love to sing along to – great anthems. So that’s the idea for the album and the shows: five artists, all on stage singing their favourite songs that everyone else knows … And a party!
Catch Adam Brand and The Outlaws at Moonee Beach Tavern.
When Saturday 27th Feb 2016.