Photo credit: Rob Blackham

”It’s good and it’s bad. It’s hard when you are best friends with someone and you start a business together. That’s a lot to add to a relationship,” says Brett Emmons of Juno Award-winning Kingston, Ontario-based rock outfit The Glorious Sons of being in a band with his brother, guitarist Jay Emmons. “That has the ability to really put a line between two people, but I’ve got someone in the band who is always going to watch my back. My brother’s got someone in the band who is always going to watch his back. We’re best friends. When it all comes down to it, It’s pretty simple. It’s just a different dynamic. It’s not very polite, that’s for sure,” he laughs. “There’s definitely a little more violence involved than in other projects, but I mean, it’s pure.”

The band released their sophomore record, Young Beauties & Fools, in October 2017; the album showcases the songcrafting skills of frontman Brett Emmons as he details his personal adventures with raw, bare-chested, autobiographical honesty. “I don’t want to call them all struggles because it’s supposed to be humorous as well,” he says of the subject matter, which includes fights, lovers, benders, and alcoholism. “I’d written those songs over the course of a three-year period. A lot of them came the first year at this house on Division Street, this big lonely house I rented from a friend in Kingston pretty cheap. I was just living there alone. I was going through a breakup. I would get up in the morning, boil a pot of coffee, play some acoustic guitar on the porch, watch people walk by, and sing. Then I’d go out to dinner and stay out until three or four in the morning, come home, get a Subway sandwich, and repeat my day,” he recalls. “During that time. I keyed into a lot of self-reflective writing; I didn’t even really know because two years went by and nothing really came of the songs. I wrote more and more, and finally, when we went to actually do the album, we came across a few songs from that period, and those are the ones that the producers thought had the most effect. They had the most effect on me as well,” he continues. “So I went home and started to learn my craft a little bit more and figure out how to write like that a little bit more.”

This summer, the band posted a video for album track “S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun),” that featured Brett’s voice reading an open letter addressing the concerns of some about the song. “They are scared that you will not understand ‘Sawed Off Shotgun,’” he begins. “So they want me to explain it to you. They are scared, because of Columbine. Because of Paris. Because of Las Vegas. Because of white kids with guns. Because of fools who misinterpret the meaning of freedom. Because of fools alike who misinterpret the word of God. Because of the NRA. Because of Ted Nugent. Because of Isis. Because of Trump. Because of Slavery. Because of misogyny. Because of Ike Turner. Because everyone is scared. Because everyone is pointing fingers and drawing lines in the sand. I don’t blame them. I am scared too. But I will not explain my song to you.” “The whole video was about bringing people together more than anything in a time where everybody’s highlighting differences,” Brett explains. “A few people have put in the token ‘just shut up and sing,’ which is part of the gig I guess. But the feedback’s been overwhelmingly positive.”

The Glorious Sons are currently on tour with Cleveland-based rockers Welshly Arms, which brings them to Nashville’s Exit/In stage on October 10th. “We love Nashville,” says Brett. “Last time we played there, we had a friend that got married, had a shotgun wedding there. We went out after and I had one of the best nights of my life. We were in Nashville drinking for almost 12 hours straight, smoking in bars, and singing karaoke,” he laughs. “I’m a little bit different than I was a year ago,” he says. “This time, we’ll probably just go try to find some good barbecue.”

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