Nashville based Scooter Brown Band last brought their brand of dynamic southern rock from the studio back in 2017 when they released their most recent album “American Son”. At Country Radio Seminar in Nashville back in February 2019, we met lead singer Scott Brown for the first time (which you can read our interview and introduction HERE) who has since appeared on USA Network’s Real Country and the band made their debut at the Grand Ole Opry. Now the band are back with their brand new track “Leave It To A Woman” and we caught up with Scott recently for a chat during these strange times we all find ourselves in.
Talking first about the current COVID situation in Tennessee:
You know, besides not playing shows I’m pretty much normal. Tennessee has started to open up a lot more so we’ve been able to go places, like restaurants, the gyms have opened back up and so right now it’s not too bad, I feel like I’m on vacation and just not getting paid.
Scott Brown on starting out in Texas:
I grew up in Colorado then after I was done in the Marine Corp, I had a bunch of friends from Texas and I kinda found out about the music scene that was going on down there. I really fell in love with a lot of that music because it was just different, I wasn’t used to hearing stuff like that. It was a little bit more rough around the edges and I felt in tune with that kind of music, so I ended up moving to Texas after the Marine Corp and started playing music, then now I’ve been out in Nashville for almost four years.
Then what is different about “Texas Country” compared to how things are in Music City:
The best way I can describe it is both places have extremely talented singers, songwriters, performers and musicians but the difference to me is Texas is a really great scene where Nashville is an industry. Back in the day in Texas there was a handful of really good booking agencies and management companies who really were pushing really hard there for a while. If you go and look at a lot of the major Texas acts, most of them are now being booked and managed out of Nashville, where they record and write out of now. I think with the fan, I don’t think they understand how much the two correlate with each other but Texas has a great scene full of great independent music just not quite the industry aspect you see here.
and the growth of different sounds coming into country music and where their own sound positions:
I definitely feel there is more of a southern rock resurgence mainly because of people like TC3 and Whiskey Myers, they are my brothers, that’s one of my favourite bands and I’ve known those guys for like 10 years. Then Blackberry Smoke too, bands like that are bringing a lot of notice, The Steel Woods too so we’re starting to see it coming out more here in the States. There’s a band that people should have on their radar that actually go over to your side of the pond, I think at least once a year, a band called Them Dirty Roses. You’ve definitely gotta check them out, they were opening for us last year on some runs! Me personally I always say I’m musically confused like 24/7 I love to write and perform everything so the last album “American Son” was a lot more on the Southern Rock side but the stuff we are putting out here and in the future is gonna be more of a throwback on more traditional like Waylon Jennings. Then this one we’ve just put out “Leave It To A Woman” is about as pop as we’ll probably get but I just fell in love with that song and I really am one of those people that doesn’t stick to a genre, it’s just what I like. Especially since I write pretty much everything that we do, I can stand on it being like hey man I wrote this song. If it’s pop it’s pop, it’s rock it’s rock or if it’s country it’s country!
Scott Brown on his own musical influences:
I’m a big fan of the music from like the 70’s, I’m a huge Led Zeppelin fan and the Stones, then on the country side Waylon Jennings and things like that. Back then, they had everything from just rock your face off to ballads with mandolins in it! I like an eclectic gathering of a little bit of everything, I just think it’s cool because when you listen to an album and it feels like the same song over and over again, maybe it’s just me but over here our attention spans don’t last that long?
Then on country music and whether it has always been his intended path:
It was always country music for me! Country and that southern rock, that was what I’ve always been in love with. I like everything, you can listen to my playlist and it will have everything from Sam Cooke to Led Zep to Waylon to Charlie Daniels and Skynyrd then some John Mayer and Dave Matthews, things like that too! So I’m just all over the board but country music is what I’ve always resonated to, especially the music I grew up with like the late 80’s and the 90’s country where the lyrics just said something to you or it told a story! I feel that country music is going back to being lyrically driven after it lost it’s way for a good ten years where it was too much about the algorithm of what makes a hit which was what people were looking to put out! I wanna hear something real man, I want something that will make me happy or tear my heart out. I just wanna hear real, no matter how it sounds. I didn’t write this song because I knew it was gonna make a ton of money or become a number 1 but I wrote this song because I felt it! That’s what I wanna hear more of!
Scott on current single “Leave It To A Woman” and the gap that has occurred between this new music and his previous release “American Son”:
It’s crazy, it wasn’t on purpose I can tell you that. “American Son” came out and then I did that Real Country TV show the fall after that, but between the album and the show we just stayed so busy. It’s been really cool to watch, we don’t have a crazy amount of monthly listeners on like Spotify but even without putting out music for two years, after it levelled off from the first initial push it’s still continued to grow! That album did really well for us and it was one of those things where you go man we need to put out some more music, then all of a sudden it’s the end of the year and tour dates started coming in. With this song, it was kind of a fluke honestly. Besides touring, I’m a signed writer in Nashville, I’ve got a publishing deal with Corlew-Frank Music so when I wrote this song it was initially gonna be for a pitch to another artist. I knew it was a little bit more on the pop side to what I like to do but I just kept going back to it. The first time when I played it for my wife, she was telling me that this is such a good song and I’d hate to see you not put this one out! I’ve actually been sitting on it for about six months and I called my manager Zach at 117 Group saying I’ve got this song already in the can, we were gonna pitch it but tell me what you think about it? Do you think we should put this out, especially during COVID, I mean what else have we got to do right now bar push a single? We hadn’t been able to go to the studio so we already had this one done. He listened and said I didn’t know you were sitting on this, this is awesome and the more I listen to it, the more I love it! So we made a plan to put it out and see what happens. I’m really happy with this song, I think it’s one of the best songs we could have put out that can compete in the large market with mainstream. If that brings us some notoriety to say we are the Scooter Brown Band guys off that, that’s alright!
On the strange reality of releasing new music in the current environment:
This is brand new man! Normally you are touring and you’re getting in front of one, two, three thousand people a night. You can promote it on stage live and you have them in the moment, they have their phones out and they’re downloading it right there but we don’t have that this time. It’s all social media because we don’t get major radio play right now, we get regional market play. We don’t have the kind of money to push to a national deal like that. A lot of people don’t understand in the world outside of music that pushing a radio single, you’re talking about a quarter of a million dollars or more on the national level. So unless you have a label backing you or a rich uncle it’s hard to do, so you have to do it by grass roots and hope it gets picked up!
Talking about the impact of social media and it’s value through the current climate:
One hundred percent, I’ve noticed so many more artists that don’t usually connect as much that way are reaching out to their fans on social media. I think it’s really cool, in today’s day and age it’s almost as if we have to be like a social media personality that happens to do music! The days of the rock stars of the 70’s and 80’s where you never had an opportunity to talk to or touch the lead singer of your favourite band, where in todays world well you could watch them take a dump if that’s what they’re doing and want to share? It’s a completely different world and I think that connection is so important and we’ve always tried to be good with our fans on social media but this has definitely made me interact even more. I remember coming up as a young artist and there were guys I looked up to that I never had the ways to talk to them, ask them questions or get advice from anybody then now people write me messages, I try and write back as much as I possibly can. I just think it’s really cool that a fan can literally message me saying “Hey, what’s the chords to this song?” Then I can go back saying Hey Brother, it’s actually G C D, really easy capo on the second fret! You never were able to do that 10 or 20 or 30 plus years ago. I think it’s cool and the way the fans have been supportive with the online stuff, I haven’t done a ton of online concerts. I did one a few weeks into COVID and did a handful of pop-up ones just right before the single dropped, because the internet’s just like a city that you can overplay the internet too. I’ve enjoyed it and honestly I’ve enjoyed just being home with my family too!
We talked about getting through the current situation and what he has been watching to help. Vikings and Outlander (which are shows I have never seen) are big favourites and despite being very late to the party as he described himself as being in the last one percent to get on board with Game of Thrones, he said how once he got a few episodes in it was 8 seasons in one go! However he hadn’t been fully sucked in to Tiger King (pretty sure this is a less than one percent minority) and hadn’t seen it all the way through. He is also a big hockey fan so now living in Nashville rooting for the Preds which obviously isn’t entertaining him right now, so what else has he been up to whilst having the extended time at home?
I work out a lot, I actually got to start a garden this year. I’ve been wanting to do that for years, I love gardens and gardening but I’ve always been on the road and not had time to do it! I started off simple, I grew a bunch of stuff in containers like buckets, ice chests and stuff like that. I’ve been really kinda almost weird about it, they’re like my little babies! My wife was like how much time are you gonna spend out there with those plants?
The current situation remains highly uncertain, since we spoke it was announced that live music was able to resume in Nashville but with a lot of restrictions and we have more news of some restrictions over here being eased but it is likely a long way from being able to see shows in the same way so future touring plans are still under a cloud. Brown said how he would love to be able to play shows on this side of the Atlantic but we talked about how it is not an easy commitment to make initially due to the financial burden. He liked the idea of trying to jump on a support slot and build in front of someone else’s crowd as the financial outlay of losing money in front of bigger audiences and being able to get their word out to more fans would be beneficial. He also said how it isn’t just doing it for money, it’s obviously great and makes the world go round but they just love to play! They are a full on touring band that love to play live and he said they have visited almost every state in the union along with playing in Canada, Japan and the Bahamas. “That’s what we do it for, the love of music and to see new things and see new places!” said Brown and hopefully they will be able to get out on the road very soon to visit some more places and get back on stage.