AU ABROAD

the AU interview: Adam Brand (Perth) on Snowy Mountains Country Music Festival, fans and plans for 2015!

Adam Brand is one of Australia's most loved and recognizable country music artists. The 12-time Golden Guitar winner is heading to Thredbo to headline the Snowy Mountains Country Music Festival this month. I spoke to Adam about set lists, fan moments and what more we can expect in 2015.

What can people expect from your show at Snowy Mountains Country Music Festival?

It's my very first time playing at Thredbo at the Snowy Mountains. They've had a lot of festivals down there before but for some reason or another, I was always away or on tour or something when those festivals were happening; so I'm really excited about going there. My show is obviously, I've got the new album My Side Of The Street so there's a few of those new songs in there but I definitely play songs ranging from my very first album, which came out in 98, and songs off every each album through the years. So what can they can expect is a pretty broad cross section of songs spanning my ten albums.

How do you choose what songs to play?

Yeah, that's the kicker! There's songs that people want to hear that I always play like "The Anzac", "Hell Of A Ride", "Good Friends", "Dirt Track Cowboys". But then there's a few new ones and a few others that I do scatter between. I do get a bit of artistic license, so what I usually do is have a bit of a list of songs that me and the band are playing at the time and I [then] just read the crowd. If it's a lovey-dovey crowd, I'll sing a few more romantic songs or if it's a party crowd with people absolutely going off then we'll keep slamming the fast pace path.

Do you think Thredbo will be a bit more of a party?

Yeah. I'm thinking so. And that's cool, I'll go down the path, no problem. Me and the boys, want a party! I'm expecting a pretty big night and people being pretty rowdy. My shows are always high energy. When we walk off the stage, there's nothing left in the gas tank put it that way. We're going to give it our everything.

Do you have time to see any of Thredbo when you're there?

I'm not sure. Before these shows they send you a run down sheet so you know what time you gotta to be there for sound check and that kind of stuff. Depending on what time I get in, me and the boys like to have a scout around the area and find a nice cafe somewhere and speak the locals and see what kind local goss we can get.

You've had a pretty long career. Has there ever been any crazy fan moments?

I wouldn't say there's been any awful ones or anything that kind of makes freak out or anything. People are genuinely really nice. Sometimes people go to a whole lot of effort to show you their appreciation of what you do. Sometimes it's actually very humbling rather than sort of freakish. People who will keep lots of scrapbooks and they'll make you handmade gifts and things that reflects something that you've said on Facebook or that you've done in your career. Sometimes I look at it and go, 'wow' these people actually listened to what I've said at that point a year and a half ago and went home and made this thing and waited til I came back again. That's pretty special stuff and I know some people maybe don't give that much thought but when you think of the thought and the time and effort that goes behind it it's actually pretty lovely.

Do you have any career highlights?

Yes. A lot of the time it's probably not what you'd think they'd be. People always go, it must have been a highlight to get that award or play that gig in front of all those people and stuff. And all those things are good but I think the highlights are probably a little more humble. The things that sort of stick in your mind, like before a show or after a show, a family comes up to you and they got a little five or six year old with them. The five or six year old just runs up to you, wraps their arms around your neck and gives you this huge squeeze and then show you this crayon drawing that they've drawn for you. All those kinds of things are really rewarding, because it just shows that they're really listening to what you do and appreciate what you do.

Do you do many meet and greets?

I try to do them every gig. Sometimes it's not as possible as others, sometimes its organized or sometimes, if its a festival and nothings organized, I'll just go pop around the side or around the front and start signing stuff over the fence or whatever. But usually we try to make sure I have time to sign things, get photos taken with people and that sort of stuff. I can count on one hand the amount of times I haven't been able to sign over the years. And I've probably done 70-80 gigs a year for 15 years, so definitely a part of what we do is to make sure I spend some time meeting and greeting people. Sometimes you can't do it for as long as you'd like to, especially at some festivals. With 40,000 people at a festival you can't stand there the whole time, but you gotta make the effort.

Do you prefer large festival gigs or a small intimate gigs?

I don't really have a preference because they're all special in their own way. Standing in front of a big crowd, the energy of that's amazing! But even an intimate show or even a small acoustic show with 100 people can be fantastic - you have this interaction and connection, actually eye ball people. Every show is different, every show is kind of what you make it, what people bring to it and whether they're bringing their energy and what kind of show it's going to be. Some shows people are sitting down and intently listening and some of them they just want to stand on the table, get their gear off and just go crazy!

Whose album are you loving at the moment?

You know what, I'm doing the Spotify thing at the moment. I'm just browsing all these different categories. Just yesterday, I was in Hawaiian Reggie. I'm kind of doing that thing at the moment - I need to get back to albums soon.

Your latest album "My Side Of The Street" just came out, but are you working on a new album at the moment?

Yep, I am actually. I'm working on a bit of a concept and few bits and pieces. I reckon it'll be out early next year, like January or something, but I reckon there might be a single or something coming out later this year. I haven't nailed it all down yet but it might not be just a straight Adam Brand album. Every album I want to grow and evolve and change up a bit. Music's an art form. It's creating stuff so I wouldn't want to just go along creating the same sounding album just because the last one sold, the last one did well so we better make another one that sounds very similar so that we'll sound the same again - that's just not something that I can do. I'm always wanting to push myself in different areas and try and create things that have a bit of a freshness and a newness about it.

What else can we expect to see from you in 2015?

Well apart from the music kind of things and shows, I'm also working on a new TV show idea as well, looking at maybe starting filming that in a few months. They'll be a bit of traveling involved and unearthing some cool people and cool stories around the country.

---------------

Don't miss Adam Brand when he performs at the Snowy Mountains Country Music Festival in Thredbo on March 21st. For tickets and more details head to: http://www.thredbo.com.au/countryfestival/. Adam's new single "My Side of the Street" is now available, taken from his ARIA nominated record of the same name. Watch it on his official website: http://www.adambrand.com.au/