Interview With Brett Emmons of The Glorious Sons
The album Young Beauties and Fools by The Glorious Sons hit my radar last year and has been on repeat ever since. It’s a full album – meaning it has all kinds of songs but still sounds like it’s from one band. These guys play in Denver next week – and I was lucky enough to get on the phone with frontman Brett Emmons today to talk about their music, their live show, their influences and the things they do for fun. (Other than getting smashed in the face with tomatoes.)
Tell me about The Glorious Sons.
Well. (chuckles) We’re a rock and roll band from Ontario, Canada. Been together for six years now and we’re total road warriors. We pride ourselves on our live show. We like to think we’re helping rock music move into the 21st century.
Your brother Jay is also in the band. How is that? Have you always played together?
Yeah, we have always jammed together. When I was younger, he was my true north. He is seven years older and when he was making music, I was always kicking around. It was just a known fact we’d end up in a band together at some point. But sure, being in a band with your brother is just like you can imagine. There’s way more fights. But we’re also able to wake up in the morning and forgive each other and move on. Close enough to know when we can go that extra step of pushing each other. So, of course, there are upsides and downsides. But overall it’s great.
You’ve had a lot of success in Canada. What’s it like touring around other places compared to there?
In the U.S., it’s been a slow build, but we’re finally turning a corner. We never thought it would happen as fast as it did in Canada – that was a surprise. We just keep knocking on the door of other markets and hope to break through. We’re patient and have perspective that we’re incredibly lucky to play music as our full-time jobs. In fact, we just went to Europe for the first time, and it reminded us of the first Canadian tour. Everyone was really enthusiastic there.
Have you ever been to Denver?
Yes, three or four times now. We love it. Beautiful city. And you have some nice liberal laws there.
You are playing with Denver band One Flew West at Globe Hall. They are good friends of mine.
Yeah! I love the name of their band, One Flew West.
You are out with The Struts later this year. Are there any other bands you would like to play with?
Cage The Elephant. They are so good live. And I think we are a good match for them. I would give an arm and leg to tour with Jason Isbell – he is pretty much my favorite musician and songwriter. And Bruce Springsteen has been a huge inspiration for us – if we could play a festival where he was the headliner someday…
I read that Young Beauties and Fools is very autobiographical for you. Was that easy to pour out into songs?
Well, first I will say it was semi-autobiographical. All the songs were stories derived from personal experiences, but I definitely embellished a lot, changed names, etc. But the actual writing wasn’t that hard – the songs flowed out. What was hard was trying to figure out which ones would go on the album. How do you want to represent yourself? I had all kinds of songs. Political, personal, ballards, everything. When we got to L.A. and started working with the producers, they helped shape the storyteller quality of the album. I went back to my voice notes and the decisions got easier.
Do you have a favorite song?
Probably “Sawed Off Shotgun.” I guess it’s a song I feel like the world could benefit from. That’s my baby right now. But it will change. I also fell in love with “My Blood” right at the end of recording.
What do you guys do for fun?
Fun? Like hobbies? You mean besides live and breath music? Our bass player loves to fly drones. You mean like that? (chuckles) Chris Koster likes Family Feud. My brother is a foodie – he is serious about cooking … and drinking. As for myself, I play video games. I get on streaks with it – but only really when the Buffalo Bills lose in real life so I have to win for them online.
Do you have any crazy fan stories?
Not really. Our fans are great. We do have some with tattoos of lyrics. And one person – they actually got the lyrics wrong in their tattoo. That was pretty funny and memorable.
Many thanks to Brett Emmons for taking the time to chat and I look forward to The Glorious Sons at Globe Hall next week. There are still some $9.33 tickets left!
The Glorious Sons
with One Flew West & Birch Street
March 22, 2018
Globe Hall Denver