Herald’s Q&A: Dean Brody

Canadian country music star Dean Brody returns to St. John’s on September 22nd as part of the inaugural Iceberg Alley Performance Tent in Quidi Vidi

You’re no stranger to Newfoundland and Labrador. I believe you even performed a packed stadium show here during a blizzard.

I think we started one of our tours at Mile One and it was a huge snowstorm that came in that night, you’re right. I’ve heard if you’re going to visit Newfoundland do it in August. I’ve been told that by people who live in Newfoundland, make sure you come in August. 

Well hopefully the weather is a bit more cooperative when you’re here on September 22nd. Excited to get back?

Man, I love Newfoundland. The couple times I’ve been there it’s been awesome. The people there are great and are very passionate about music. I just love it. Geographically it’s so unique and that landscape, I’m not used to seeing that. It’s beautiful, stunning.

 You’re touring in support of your 2016 album Beautiful Freakshow, which by all accounts is your most diverse, genre-bending album to date. Kind of take me through that creative process and where some of the differences in this album lie. 

For me when I sat down to write this record I was mostly just wanting to let myself go in whichever particular direction I felt like writing on that particular day. I grew up with a lot of different influences. We had an AM station that played everything. I didn’t even actually know about genres until about 14. My fans over the years have given me a little bit of freedom when it comes to that but I also don’t want to take advantage of that either.

On this album you collaborate with a guy we all know quite well in Alan Doyle on the track Soggy Bottom Summer. Talk us through that combination. 

I love Alan man, he’s a cool guy. Pretty much since I’ve met Alan he’s been so approachable and for me that’s huge. I look up to Alan personally and musically.

He’s been really fun to me through the years. He’s always been a good sport when I send him a song or whatever … with this one he knocked it out of the park again. I love collaborating. I write a lot alone so when I get the chance to collaborate it’s definitely welcome.

Between numerous award wins and high profile showcases you’ve really seemed to hit your stride in recent years. Have you reached a place where you’re particularly comfortable with yourself as an artist and where you stand?

I probably should feel more comfortable than I do but I’m always pretty hard on myself. I’m always trying to challenge myself, whether it’s writing or production-wise, guitar playing or whatever. 

I think it’s probably a good thing to not get too comfortable, because it’s an evolving genre and an exciting time to be in music. I wish I could relax a bit but I’m still just going as fast as I can and trying to make music that resonates with people and especially my fans.

It’s quite hard to believe you’ve really only been on the scene for less than 10 years. You’ve accomplished so much in the span of eight years really.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve stuffed eight albums into six years. It’s a pretty frantic rate of recording but I love it. I feel like I’m ready for another record right now. I’m just going to keep going until people decide that they want to tune out. I’m just going to keep working.

Of course you founded The Dean Brody Foundation. Take our readers through the mandate of the foundation and what kick-started this venture for you.

It happened kind of organically. I was reading a book one time about child trafficking in Brazil and it was written by a guy who spent seven years documenting the rural challenge of girls being exploited. He was a British journalist and I read his book and was really moved. I called the guy and asked if there was anything we could do and he asked if I really wanted to be involved he knew lots of people on the ground who were legit, Brazilian nationalists who care about these girls. We made our first trip down there in 2011 and it was a challenge for sure and I’ve seen a lot of progress and things to be excited about.

You have such a large fan base here in St. John’s. What can they expect from you here on September 22nd?

It’s a lot of energy. We can’t wait  to get out there and I know Newfoundland’s audiences are awesome and passionate. I know we’re going to have a great time and it being Friday night is awesome Hopefully we’re going to have a special guest or two out that night. It’s going to be great.

For more information on Dean Brody or for tickets to the Iceberg Alley Performance Tent visit icebergalleyconcerts.com and deanbrody.com

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