'Nothin' But Trouble: Bree's Story'
Nashville rocker Bree will release her self-titled debut album on June 18th. The 11 track album was recorded in Nashville and produced by Justin Cortelyou Ė longtime engineer for iconic producer Bob Ezrin.
The album will be released through the Nashville based independent label Werewolf Tunes and you can listen to the first track, 'All American Girl' RIGHT HERE!
A ravishing red head who rocks a Gibson Flying V guitar, breeís story is like her - anything but ordinary. Growing up in a religious cultówhich her father actually ledóthe Nashville-based femme fatale faced oppression like few of us could ever comprehend. Later she was cast out on the streets at 17-years-old for having a boyfriend. She was even homeless at times.
Bree finally settled in Nashville in 2011 and after a year of tireless gigging and hard work, she was recognized with the prestigious honor of RAW Nashville "Musician of the Year," solidifying her status as the city's rock 'n' roll bombshell.
Chatting recently with the lovely lady herself Bree, I first wondered, first and foremost, as she had been described as a "ravishing red head who rocks a Gibson Flying V guitar," was that truly an apt description in her own eyes of herself? "Well, I consider that description a compliment. How could I not? Iíve also been called the bastard child of Peter Townsend and Ann-Margret. Thatís my favorite and it really cracked me up the first time I heard it. Regardless, the most important thing to me are my songs, not my looks. If people get off on my songs as much as I do I would consider that the ultimate compliment."
You grew up in a religious cult, which your father actually led. So what were your musical influences within that compound? "Ironically, my father was the lead singer of a band in Long Beach, California. When I was nine months old he relocated us to a small town outside of Eugene, Oregon called Harrisburg. In retrospect, I see his cult as an extension of his failed attempt to be a rock star. He was the one who first exposed me to The Who, The Beatles and Humble Pie and those are the memories of him I prefer to remember. Strangely, he wouldnít allow me to listen to Aerosmith. Today, I have great respect for Steven Tyler as a writer and performer."
Sadly, you endured a lot of physical and mental abuse from your family growing up and was soon cast out onto the streets at 17 years-old ...simply for having a boyfriend! Your world must have been spinning at that time, so how did you manage to stay focused? "My Mother. She died when I was six and I still miss her terribly. Even when I was homeless I always felt like she was watching over me and I never wanted to disappoint her. Iíve always had this feeling deep down that everything was going to be OK and to just hang in there."
Throughout your dark, sometimes homeless days it's said you always had music as your constant comfort. Without money and a home, how and where did you find it? "I was sporadically homeless and living in my car. Hoping no one would see me. I worked at Safeway. I worked at Chilis. My last job was waitressing at a BBQ restaurant in Valdosta, Georgia. I did a lot of drugs to forget."
Looking back at your youth and those dark days as a teenager, are you amazed at where you stand now; on the verge of your first album release? "Iíve had nightmares where Iíll wake up and all of this will only be a dream. That Iím really back sleeping in my car. I canít think of anything more terrifying."
And talking about that debut album, it's rare that an artist releases their debut album and self-titles it! "I was originally going to name it after one of my songs like Iím The Boss or All American Girl, but in the end I simply decided to use my name. My name is bree and the name of the band is Bree. A lot of my favorite bands just used their name on their first album."
Releasing in June, you recorded it in Nashville and had it produced by Justin Cortelyou, a longtime engineer for iconic producer Bob Ezrin. So, what did he bring to the final recording that perhaps wasn't there (to your ears) before he laid his magical hands on it? "Justin would often suggest subtle changes that would raise the recordings to another level. Heís seen us live many times and Justin gets what weíre about. He also respects the fact that I wanted the recordings to be only me, Mayrk and David. Capturing the raw power of our live performances in the studio means everything to me and our recordings are the three of us rocking out like we do in a club. No autotunes or anything like that. The CD was recorded from January 2012 to January 2013 whenever Justin could get away for a few days from recording with Bob Ezrin. The last song we recorded was You Canít Take The Heart Out Of Me in January and I was very sad when it was over. Those twelve months recording with Justin taught me volumes about myself."
Taking a few of the songs on your debut album, please choose three (3) to introduce us to - and explain what their lyrics mean to you personally? "Itís hard for me to choose because every song tells a personal story or I wouldnít have written it, but here it goes ...":
"'All American Girl' was written one night when I was talking to David over drinks about my past. I was depressed and really coming down hard on myself until David stopped me and said, ďLook, youíre not a freak. In many ways youíre just an all American girl.Ē I was in quite an emotional state when I wrote 'All American Girl' and thatís why the beginning is just me and my guitar. Those words define the whole song."
"'Iím The Boss' is a tongue and cheek story about me taking control of my life via a sexual situation. LOL I love boys. I love girls. I love everyone and I used to be very withdrawn and shy. Not anymore."
"'I Hope Youíre Smiling' is all about my Mother and how she died. The first time I rehearsed it with David I got so emotional I couldnít finish it. I do an extra shot before I perform that one live."
In 2011 your constant and tireless gigging paid off when you received the prestigious honor of RAW Nashville "Musician of the Year" award. Wow, congratulations, but where does this actual award sit in your house today? Somewhere special that you can look at it and smile upon it each day, perhaps? "Actually, I framed it last week and itís hanging on the wall right above my kitchen table. No matter where this journey takes me Iíll always appreciate that award. It thrilled me that so many people in Nashville got what I was doing."
You've said that you don't think people today really know what 21st century rock-n-roll is about. Can you expand on that statement ... and where do you fit into today's music? "Thereís a lot of rock, but not much of it rolls. For me, rock and roll comes straight at you. For some that might sound a little too simple, but for me thereís an honesty I deeply relate to. I really donít know where I fit into todayís music. I was born in 1989, but my influences run from the 1950ís until today and everything in between. My favorite singer is Patsy Cline, my favorite songwriter is Buddy Holly and watching videos of Mick Ronson playing guitar with Bowie during the Spiders From Mars last concert at the Hammersmith in 1973 humbles me. I write music that means something deeply personal and that really gets me off. If enough people end up relating to what weíre doing weíre all going to have a great time together. And to me, thatís what this is all about."
Finally, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, we here at Exclusive Magazine love Penguins (the birds) ... so, we're wondering if you have any fondness for them or, perhaps even a story of your own? "Yes, I love penguins and I made a point to see them recently at the Central Park Zoo. Iím also a big fan of the comedian Joe Rogan. Most people know him from hosting Fear Factor or Ultimate Fighting, but I think heís one of the funniest and most insightful comedians Iíve ever heard. On road trips I listen to his CD Shiny Happy Jihad and his hysterical take on 'The March Of The Penguins' cracks me up every time!"
Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED Bree self-titled CD, just answer this question about the someone she worked with on this debut album: Bree's debut was produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin, whoc has also produced work for Alice Cooper, KISS, and which high profile mega band that had one of their songs featured in a 1972 concert movie?!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win an AUTOGRAPHED Bree CD! Just send us an e:mail here before September 1st with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: SIGNED BREE CD to: firstname.lastname@example.org