CB: It comes from a lot of things. Everyday life: conversations, things that happen to you, current and past emotions. There are so many different avenues it’s tough to put your finger on just one place. As a song writer you need to paint a picture of what people live in their lives and it’s finding those moments that can really speak to people when they hear the song.
I think a majority of songwriters would say that some of their best ideas come when they least expect it.
tV: Can you tell us a little about your creative process of putting an album together?
CB: It kind of makes itself. As soon as you finish one album, it’s almost like you’re starting to collect the songs for your next album. You’re just constantly writing and building on this library of songs. When it comes time to release, you have to pick you the best ones. Sometimes there are some great songs that don’t make it on the album. If you try to fit your album to a mold then you’re setting parameters, and that’s not the best thing to do when you’re doing something creative.
As you write more songs, it kind of takes shape on its own.
tV: What was the most difficult or challenging song from this album?
CB: That’s kind of a tough question to answer. Each song has its struggles and rewards throughout the writing process. It’s never easy sitting down to write a song but what makes it rewarding is when you sit there and think and throw all these ideas back and forth, and finally get something you’re proud of.
The tiny little struggles within a song writing session leads to those big rewards.
tV: Who’s been one of your biggest influences as a musician?
CB: There have been quite a few: Johnny Reid, Dean Brody, Doc Walker. These guys have been around a lot longer than I have. I really like to learn from what they do. I see myself as a bit of a rookie and I have lots to learn. I used to look to the guys I see most often and see what they do and what makes them successful.
Back when I was a kid Garth Brooks was the one who inspired me to get into Country Music in the first place.
tV: What would you personally like to see happen to the music industry over the next little while, perhaps some improvements that might help up and coming musicians get their music heard?
CB: The music industry is changing every day and it’s staying on that wave and the direction it’s going. Music is being listened to more than it ever has been. So it’s feeling the direction it’s going and not fighting that wave. Understanding how people are listening to it, and for new artists, tapping into that: you need to be an entrepreneur.
As an artist or a band, I think the biggest thing you need to do is understand the landscape and have a good team around you.
tV: What is your personal favorite on this album?
CB: The one that stands out for me is the one that’s probably the most different from all the other songs that I’ve released: it’s called Gimme the Love. It’s a little more edgy and has more rock to it. I guess me being a guy, I kind of like it a little more (laughs): the testosterone in the song. It’s a lot of fun for me to sing and perform. I’m definitely the most excited about that one.
tV: What’s next for you after the tour?
CB: We’re doing the tour with Dierks (Bentley) and then going to Nashville shortly after that, then some meetings and getting some more writing done. We’re piecing together our schedule for the spring and summer and a lot of the dates are starting to come in so look for another full cross-Canada tour.
Brownlee is right about Gimme the Love, but truthfully, the entire album is insanely good. His sound is fresh, the songs well orchestrated, and his voice has that rich, relatable tone that draws you in to the core of the songs and wraps its arms around you in a warm embrace.
Chad Brownlee is not only one of Canada’s most brilliant singer-songwriters, he’s one of the most brilliant sing-songwriters to hit country music, full stop.
Chad Brownlee will be coming to the Centre For Performing Arts Feb 15, 2012 and his new album “Love Me or Leave Me” will hit the shelves on Valentines Day (Feb 14) 2012.