Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley on Up, Down & Sideways, COVID and family life on tour

  • Anna Blaby
  • July 12, 2023
  • Comments Off on Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley on Up, Down & Sideways, COVID and family life on tour
Credit: Brooke McClymont & Adam Eckersley

The country power couple Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley released their second album Up, Down & Sideways last week (read our 5-star review HERE!). The usual suspects on the Golden Guitars podium, Brooke & Adam took home three wins at the 2023 Country Music Awards of Australia this January being crowned Country Music Capital News Group or Duo of the Year. Brooke (one-third of sister trio, The McClymonts) and Adam (The Adam Eckersley Band) were also awarded APRA AMCOS Song of the Year for “Star Of The Show”. They proved that a family effort pays off when their 10-year-old daughter, Tiggy Eckersley, who co-written the song became the youngest Golden Guitar winner in history. The track “Memory Lane” was also acknowledged as Apple Music Single of the Year.

The duo have been touring Australia since as well as taken on a new project, Hang At The Wang. Brooke and Adam opened their property to their fans hosting them for a glamping experience including an intimate concert and they plan to keep doing this in years to come.

We caught up with Brooke & Adam to get their take on the new album, family life, COVID and more!

Congratulations on the release of your second album. I absolutely loved it! How are you celebrating?

Brooke: Hang At The Wang is kicking off tomorrow with 40 guests planned to arrive at our house. We have it all set up and ready to go so we’re just hanging out here celebrating while the kids are at school.

That’s the way! What a great achievement for you guys. One thing that really stands out to me with your music is the exceptional songwriting – it’s heartfelt and personal. Tell me a bit about your songwriting process? How do you go about it?

Adam: You know what, after all these years of doing it we still don’t have a process! And less so probably these days with the kids and all. It’s basically when we’ve got time, and we’ve got to make time, we sort of go righto we’re writing and we just hook in. Probably the most productive thing about writing together is that we don’t have to be polite to each other after being married for as long as we have. If someone comes up with a bad idea we just call it and move on. So we just talk until something comes up and then try to nut it out.

That’s actually one of the things I was wondering about. You have 14 years of successful marriage under your belt and you also work and tour together full time. What is your secret?

Brooke [laughs]: Yes that’s a lot!

Adam: One thing that really helps is that we have 100 acres and I have an awesome tractor. So when we come off the road from touring I’ll quite often say to Brooke, alright honey I’ll see you in 8 hours I’m going to ride the tractor! So we get a bit of space between each other.

A man gotta have his man cave haha

Brooke: We do find that we’re very good at enjoying each other’s company. We do work really great together but we also do know that we need to spend some time apart and we know how to do it without offending each other.

Another thing I heard you say and that’s a quote, “we want to keep on touring until we die!” You have two kids: one in primary school and one a toddler. How do you manage parenting and rock star life?

Brooke: We are incredibly lucky to have a massive support network and our tribe that looks after our kids for us. We couldn’t have done it without our parents and friends.

Adam: Planning for next year we are thinking to try and take the kids with us for a month or so. Our older daughter came with us on the road a few times but generally speaking we’re trying to keep a bit of stability in their lives and have people look after them in our house so they don’t miss school and all that.

Brooke: The main thing I think, as we’re getting older and we don’t want to stop doing it so we just have to be more organised. With plenty of planning it works pretty well for us.

That is so inspiring! Takes me an hour to pack the kid to go to the city. Can’t imagine taking two kids on tour.

Brooke: I get it!

Adam: Every time we say let’s take the kids to this gig or this festival about an hour in we go, oh man! Why do we have the kids here… It’s always sounds like a lovely idea though.

You are known for receiving multiple awards for your work over the years with now 20 Golden Guitar wins combined. Do you need to get an extra display shelf for the lounge?

Brooke: Oh thank you! I know we are pretty stoked that this album already have two songs that won awards. It’s pretty bloody amazing! So it’s already exceeded our expectations and we’re so blown away and we’re celebrating. We’re so happy that now everyone gets to have the album at their homes or can listen to it in the car and we can finally share what we’ve been working on the last few years.

Well you now have lots of material to nominate for next year’s awards so you might need to get that trip to IKEA sorted.

Back to the album, I hear it was a bit of a COVID baby. what can you tell me about your pandemic experience?

Brooke: The positive thing for us was that we did have that extra time to write the songs and the album is now a true reflection on what we’ve been through over a period of 3 years. Adam and I write really honestly and I guess because it is a duo project and we’re married it’s kind of… we just write about what we’ve been going through and it is connecting with a lot of people and couples. There was no one else we could hang out with but each other so we got to writing a lot!

Adam: It was just a really bizarre time! We both realised how much we sort of hang our whole identity on what we do because we both done it for so long. It wasn’t really something conscious but once it was taken away and we couldn’t go and perform and satisfy this need… it really made us conscious of how much we do love doing what were doing and we never want to stop. When COVID first hit we were sort of how good is this! We’re just hanging loose at home, not travelling, but that soon wore thin and we were like: wow! We need to go back out there. So it was a real journey. Kind of put a lot of things in perspective and re-energised that love and the reason why we picked up instruments in the first place and chose to make it our career.

Brooke: We are glass half full people and we found a way to get through it as full time musicians. We put on concerts for 40 people at our property and it is continuing on it is what we call Hang At The Wang.

Hang At the Wang is another project you took on together, as if your hands are not already full! Tell me a little bit more about it.

Brooke: So our waiting list was about nine years long!

Adam: We’re doing about 15 of these this year.

Brooke: So we had to expand it from 11 tents to now 20 huts and it is an incredible experience. We get to know our fans and they get to know us, we get to play a show for them and we’re creating great memories and making friends along the way.

That is such a unique idea!

Brooke: I mean you gotta be mad to do it!

Adam [laughs]: We figured out we’re probably going to be sitting around having a beer around the fire anyway so we may as well invite some people to join us.

So what’s coming next for you guys?

Adam: We will be back on the road touring the album from January next year and have a bunch of festivals to look forward to until then.

Brooke: We gonna keep going till we die! Hopefully this album just goes gangbusters for us.

Credit: Brooke McClymont and Adam Eckersley

We loved chatting to this inspiring, down to earth couple. Their positive take on life and great chemistry shine through their music. Make sure you get your copy of Up, Down & Sideways and keep up to date with Brooke & Adam’s tour dates and updates through their website HERE

Check out our recent review of Up, Down & Sideways HERE.

If you are interested to hear more details or reserve a spot to spend a weekend by the campfire with Brooke & Adam at their NSW property, you can contact them via email.

Anna Blaby

Anna is a Melbourne based mum, writer and storyteller.