If you’re a fan of country music and you just so happen to live in Canada you know the name Dean Brody. And if you don’t you must have been living under a rock for the last 12 years. Dean has been crossing Canada bringing his twang from the small watering hole to the big arena shows for the last 12+ years. We had the chance to chat with Dean and discuss his new album Gypsy Road along with his upcoming Road Trip with fellow Canadian Paul Brandt. Enjoy the read.
Corey: So you have a new album out and I have to say the group of us at Sound Check all think it’s solid. Maybe tell us a bit about putting this one together and how it was different maybe than the first 4 releases. I had read in another article that you were kinda dealt the deadline from the label and it had to happen a bit quicker than usual for you?
Dean: Thanks man. Ya it’s always a little bit of panic when it comes time to submitting the record and coming out with new material. But ya, I feel good about it. Both my producer and I feel really good about it. And ya that’s kinda how it went down. I thought we had another single on Crop Circles still but the record label was wanting to get another record out. So I said ya, and then the panic sets in. And the pressure built up and away ya go. I think I do ok under pressure. When I am not under pressure I can go two weeks without writing a song. So it’s good to have some pressure. And as for how it’s different, I think with this one I just really tried to have fun. I didn’t get to deep on this record. I really just tried to keep it fun. I even brought in some different instruments and fiddled around with some of those instruments to kinda keep that creative vibe just a bit more upbeat and more up tempo maybe even more aggressive then the past records. I wrote two songs on Ukulele and one on Banjo and the rest on guitar. I just think that new instruments can help you in times when you’re trying to be creative it just opens up doors.
Corey: So the Ukulele if I am not mistaken is an influence from your daughter?
Dean: Ya she plays Ukulele a little bit. She goes for lessons every week. She has a little yellow Ukulele with a dolphin on it. It looked like a lot of fun, so one day I asked her if she would teach me a couple chords. So she did, and I wrote both Upside Down and Monterey on the Ukulele.
Corey: So you have a new tour with your buddy Paul Brandt that’s going coast to coast maybe let everyone in on how this tour came together.
Dean: Paul and I had meet a few times before backstage at different award shows at one time someone said in passing that it would be cool if you two went on tour together. So we got talking about it and how exciting it would be to pull something like that off. So that was the beginning of a lot of planning that has been done to bring this all together. I think it’s going to be a blast man. Out there with Paul, he is such an amazing artist and has an amazing live show teamed up with our guys and the kind of show that we bring. It’s going to be a great night every night.
Corey: On this tour you have a few ladies opening up different shows in different geographical areas. I am a big fan of the ladies you have added. Did you guys have a hand in selecting the opening acts or was that kind of decided by management?
Dean: We definitely had a say in it. When we looked at the artists we had presented to us we just thought that this line up with Lindsey, Jess, Whitney and Madeline was just the perfect combination for coming across the country.
Corey: Let’s go back a bit to writing Gypsy Rose. Maybe tell us because it was rather unique on rush maybe tell us how you approached this one differently.
Dean: Well, when I write a song it usually starts by me picking up a ukulele, guitar or banjo. I would maybe noodle around for about 10 min or so. If I come up with something fun. Great. If not I put it down go about my day. I have a really odd process when it comes to writing. On my IPhone I got a memo where if there’s a tune that I think is cool I will just hum it into it while were driving and then come back to it later with the perspective of distance and go is that good or does that suck. I think I edit heavily as I go. I hope I don’t write a crappy song anymore. I am usually good enough editorial wise to recognize a crappy song (chuckles). Or, sometimes I will take parts from songs sometimes there’s a great verse that I love and a chorus I don’t. So then that puts me into another song where I am like “This is a really hooky chorus and then try and another line from another song. It’s almost like I am taking used cars that don’t work and taking them and putting them together into one that does. My process is I am pretty sure it’s odd. I love writing my own stuff and people have asked why I don’t do more outside songs and I am just more comfortable singing stuff I have written. And even the outside songs that have put on my records I love them, they are great but I always feel just a little bit uncomfortable performing them. It just doesn’t feel like it’s me.
Corey: The new album has a song Bring Down The House, likely my favorite song on the record. I love the banjo and the beat. Where did the inspiration come from on that track?
Dean: The guys and I had just done a show in Calgary on the Crop Circles tour. After the show we went out to Cowboys a club there in Calgary. We were up in the balcony area and it was just wild to see how the venue had kind of changed as far as the music that was being played. But the people showing up were still the same. Country boys and country girls and country folk out at Cowboys having a good time but 60% of the music was dance, EDM with really heavy back beats. They were loving it and eating it up but yet it was a country bar that was playing country music to. So that was the inspiration behind doing this song. Just writing a song about country kids having fun in a more urban environment.
Corey: Summer plans?
Dean: Ya we have some festivals and it will be a lot of planning out the tour. We are going to try and do some interesting things stage wise. I always love doing the broke down setting when I can. When you’re on the bigger stages it’s harder to have that intimate connection you get with theatres and smaller venues. So we have got this stage set up that we are going to do so there is a lot of planning going into that to bring that to life for the tour.
Corey: I was a huge fan of what CMT did with Dallas Smith and Tom Cochrane last summer called the CMT Hit Exchange. If you could collaborate with any of the Canadian artist who would you be eager to work with?
Dean: Ah, Man… Tom’s a great one so that would have been a good one for sure. Maybe Leonard Cohen but that’s a stretch. He just has a real cool vibe and a great voice. It’s almost timeless the way he presents a song. Almost haunting. So ya I would have to go with Leonard.
Corey: Ok, last question. Favorite Paul Brandt song?
Dean: Small Town, Big Dreams. That’s just a cool song and how they captured it live is just really cool. It has some real heart to it, lots of soul and it says a lot to. I just love what that song says.
Corey: Dean, Thanks so much for taking the time to chat today. It’s been a pleasure. We can’t wait to see you and Paul on tour later this year.
Dean: No Man, I appreciate it. It was fun.
Catch Dean Brody and Paul Brandt on tour this fall with some of Canada’s hottest female artists on the Road Trip Tour.
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76