Brett Kissel drops a brand new album this Friday, “We Were That Song.” Of which your might have heard the title track on SiriusXM’s The Highway or on Spotify’s ever popular New Boots playlist. Recently named, the Canadian Country Music Awards Artist of the year, and having toured with Garth Brooks, you might say Brett is on the country music ride of his life right now.
We caught up with this husband and father of two to talk about the new album, life growing up in Canada and what his favorite foods are.
You have a new album coming out. December 8th. That’s exciting. Tell us a a little about it.
This record is extremely diverse, of all the projects that I have been a part of before I have never had more fun than I did recording this record. My live band got to play on it, we did a considerable amount of recording in Nashville. It is so diverse, it’s got a lot of everything.
“It’s extremely chaotic, very random, but a lot of fun.”
You’ve had a big year, 16 dates with Garth Brooks and CCMA’s Artist of the year. Would you say this year has been your biggest year in music yet?
Without question, you top it all off our wife had our second daughter this year. It’s a year we will never forget. I don’t know if 2018 will be able to compare. We are very, very lucky
We’ve heard you on The Highway and on a few of the big Spotify Playlists with a ton of those new artists out there. Do you think being an artist from Canada you are at a disadvantage breaking in to US music scene, or have industry and the fans here been pretty welcoming?
I feel very welcomed in Music City. I moved here just after 2011, in 2012. My wife and I, we really got integrated, in the the market that is here on music row, We love the city, we love the friends that we have made. I’m very proud of my roots, a very proud Canadian. But I think everyone knows how special the country music market is here. I feel lucky that I get to be a part of it. I don’t think it is a disadvantage in any way.
You have a couple unique artists featured on this new record. Tell us about those collaborations? More specifically, since we talk about music and food, the song Burgers an Fries with Charlie Pride
What can you say about Charlie Pride, truly one of the greatest legends our business has ever seen… Charlie and I had formed a friendship when we performed on the country cruise together, we’ve have preformed at the Opry together. I wanted to record with him desperately and what song were we going to play.I love his track “Burgers and Fries” from the 70s.
Brett went on to explain the nature of the song talks about a simpler time, as oppose to now when people are often running a hundred miles a minute. The second song featuring a unique collaboration is Dave Mustaine, the front man and founder of Megadeath. After forming a friendship with their families over a Thai dinner.
We always talked about collaborating and we finally pulled the trigger on a track that I wrote that is probably the most rocking track I’ve ever written
It looks like you are headlining a Tour, that’s a pretty big deal. And you have a ton of shows after the first of the year, are you prepared for that schedule?
“It’s going to be crazy, I feel very lucky my wife and daughters get to come along. We’ve got a family bus that is rigged up with two cribs suspended. We are doing all the prep work we can to keep the family happy and healthy on the road”.
Having traveling with the band in the past as a family, Brett explained that he thinks the guys will be relieved to have their own space. In regards to how busy the tour will be, it has been his busiest yet, with 60 shows in 90 days, is a grueling pace, but he is really looking forward to it.
We understand you grew up on a Cattle Farm? What was that like? And when did music come in to the picture?
Growing up on the farm was the best, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel so lucky that, that was my background. My parents and grandparents still ranch. It lents itself very well to country music. It was about hard work, and wearing blue jeans and driving our trucks.
Brett got his first guitar from his Memaw at age 7. He played all the family gatherings and he and his brother sold tickets for their “show.” They pretended they were Brooks and Dunn and wanted to be headliners before they even know what meant.
It looks like you were a part of the rodeo scene too, was that on a bull or performing at them?
Having rid a steer one time in rodeo that was all it took for him to agree he didn’t need to be in the rodeo, but play for the rodeo instead.
“There wasn’t a rodeo dance I didn’t play”
We have a soft spot for Brett’s, with Brett Eldredge, and Brett Young… Do you find any similarities in their musical style vs yours.
I’m just going to try to be myself, I love to entertain. If you ever come to watch me perform, I hope you would enjoy it and take away my passion and my love and maybe even my addiction to perform.
Is there an artist out there on your bucket list you would like to collaborate with?
I’ve been very lucky to tour alongside Garth Brooks, one of the things we haven’t been able to do is record record together, that is something I’d like to put out to the Universe. And George Strait, if I ever got to do anything with George Straight. I would go out to Vegas and sell shirts, just to say I was on his tour. He is one of my all time favorites.
How many cowboy hats do you own?
50, but it’s weird I only wear one.
Now, About the food!
Like the United States different areas of the country are known for different types of food. If we were to visit Canada, what one signature dish would you insist we have?
We are famous for our poutine, and from my home town, Alberta Beef. It is some of the best steak and I am very proud of that being a cattle rancher myself.
As a musician, you travel a lot. Can you tell us your top 3 restaurants to eat at while you are on the road? They can be chain restaurants or local ones.
Nobu in NYC, In Nashville, Mas Tacos we go at least once a week, and Rolf and Daughters in Nashville.
What 3 things are always in your grocery cart?
New spices (for meat), coconut oil, alcohol – new wines, beers or whisky
What is your after show go to food?
Lately, great salads. But every now and then, I crave a hell of a good pizza.
Growing up on a cattle farm, I’m sure you have eaten a lot of beef. What is your favorite cut?
Ribeye steak, medium rare please
What is your one unhealthy, guilty food pleasure?
Everything. It’s baked goods, My wife is an amazing baker, Oreo cookies, potato chips, there isn’t a guilty pleasure I don’t indulge in.
You’re at a restaurant and your waiter asks for your drink, what is it?
Usually whisky and I try to find a local whisky and I like to drink it neat.
If you could only take one food and drink item on a deserted island, what would those two items be?
Bee (so it can be cooked multiple ways), and screw water, It I am on a deserted island I might has well be drunk so I am going to take a bottle of Canadian whisky with me.
If you could have dinner with any one person dead or alive, who would that be?
The man in black, Johnny Cash, I’d like for June Carter to be there too, so my wife and I can have a double date.
Make sure you pick up “We Were That Song” this Friday, December 8!
More from Brett Kissel on Spotify