Marc Broussard Talks New Album, Being a Dad, Books, and More
Mon, 20 Jun 2011 06:55:04
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Sometimes the simplest things make for the best songs.
On his latest self-titled album, Marc Broussard took a look at his life and turned it into music. Whether it was moments around the house, being a father, or his love for his wife, everything served as inspiration for notes and lyrics. That's precisely why Marc Broussard feels so real and why these songs stand out in Broussard's already illustrious catalog.
Marc Broussard spoke to ARTISTdirect.com editor and Dolor author Rick Florino in this exclusive interview about his latest self-titled album, how being a dad inspires, his current reading list, and so much more.
How do you feel like you've evolved on the new album?
It's definitely my best foot forward. We worked really hard for a long time on this material. I stayed off the road long enough to drain my savings account and put out the best record I've ever released.
Did you approach the record with one complete vision?
The reason that there's so much cohesion is the fact that Jami Kenney was a part of every song on the record. There's not a song that he and I both didn't work on. The cohesion you're hearing is a result of a writing team that was really prolific on this record. Working with Jami allowed me to focus in on what I was doing with the lyrics. There was never a time that he gave me any indication he wouldn't be able to produce what he said he could. The demos we turned in were really fleshed-out demos. Everybody had a very good idea of exactly what we were going for. He's also a really talented communicator when it comes to communicating with the musicians in the room. Those are some of the clues that can give it away as well. With the confidence and trust in Jamie as a producer, I was able to focus solely on my job which is to write and sing those lyrics. More importantly, I'm a little older than I was yesterday and on past albums, and I feel like I'm more self-aware. I've got my fourth child on the way, and I'm very happily married. All of these things came together to provide tons of fodder to write for this album. I think it shows in this writing. Lyrically, this is definitely some of the strongest material I've ever put out.
What's the story behind "Let Me Do It Over"?
It's really an anthem to the way men operate in relationships. Basically, our women tend to hold things back and keep to themselves. We notice it when it's going on. I can see when my wife is contemplating something. Something is bothering her, but she's not going to say it. Rather than try to coax it out of her, I go ahead and launch into the apology. I say, "Please forgive me. I'm so sorry about what I did. Let me do it over. I promise I'll get it right this time just please continue to put up with my sorry ass, and I'll make you happy at some point in your life. I'll try my damndest." It speaks to the everyday nature of the man's role in a relationship.
Did you always know it would close out the album?
It wasn't until I heard it in this final version that I was really excited about it rounding out the album. I thought the background vocals in that bridge tended to be fairly epic and glorious-sounding. So it was a great way to end the record.
Was it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
I've only had success in the storyteller scenario on a few occasions. A song like "The Wanderer" paints a nice image. You always need to give those context clues as to what's really going on. For example, "Yes Man" started out as a disagreement between my wife and I as we were working in the flowerbed in the front yard. Right out of the gate the song says, "The other day we were in the yard. We had a fight and you put up your guard." Whenever I'm drawing from real life events, you use as much information as you can and elaborate where you need to.
Do you tend to read a lot or watch a lot of movies while you're writing?
I never really read a whole lot until the past few years. I feel like absorbing books is a great tool for a writer. Reading constantly should be mandatory for songwriters because it's the only way to expand your vocabulary. It's the best way to bring a visual together for the listener. For this record, I was doing a lot of reading and trying my damndest to capitalize on all of the tools that were available to me.
What were you reading?
I started reading this old story called The Well at the World's End that I really dug. It's an interesting story about this king's son who goes traveling around the countryside. Then there was another book I was reading called Only in America: The Life and Crimes of Don King because I'm into boxing. There's a book called Liberty and Tyranny that I've also been digging on.
Is being a father a source of musical inspiration?
Always, man! These kids are everything. They give me enough entertainment to keep it very interesting around the house all the time [Laughs]. They're the whole reason I have the motivation to get out of bed every day and get to work. The kids give me tons of inspiration.
Have you heard Marc Broussard yet?
Watch this exclusive performance by Marc Broussard here!