Classic Rock

BrotherS oSBorne

Q&A with john osborne


Interview: Hannah May Kilroy Fusing their love of classic country with vintage southern rock (think Willie Nelson-meetsthe Allman Brothers), Nashville-based sibling duo Brothers Osborne topped charts earlier this year with their rollicking second album Port Saint Joe, a record that’s brimming with whiskey-soaked rootsy grooves. From finding creative heads-pace to political woes, John Osborne looks back over their year.

What do you think you’ll remember most about 2018? It’s been an incredible year. But the pivotal moment for us was releasing Port Saint Joe. We tracked it mostly live, and I think it shows how far we’ve come and what we are all about.

You recorded the album in Port Saint Joe, Florida. Do you think if you’d recorded in Nashville it would have been different? We felt zero pressure this time. We went to Port Saint Joe to get away from all the noise and distractio­ns in Nashville. It was us entering a creative atmosphere for two weeks and not leaving.

You’re open about your liberal politics. Do you ever encounter a backlash, given that country traditiona­lly attracts a more conservati­ve fan base?

We grew up as lower-middleclas­s, but politicall­y we do lean to the left.

But I think things have changed. There was a time when the Dixie Chicks said something bad about George Bush and people burned their CDs. Now if we say that we disapprove of something that our government are doing there’s not as much backlash. There is a broader understand­ing now.

You discuss a lot of those issues on social media.

We don’t take any shit on social media. Twitter is an open, free public forum. I look at it like if I was in a room of people, and if I felt that someone in the room was being a mean-spirited asshole I would want to stand up and say something. But when we play a show it’s different. People come to shows to get away from it all, and so do we.

Do you feel part of a new wave of country music?

I think so. We don’t think about it too much, because if you do it might change your creativity. But I do think there’s a great change in the air, especially in the UK. We know that country music in the UK is a relatively new vibe, and we’re happy they’ve embraced it. It’s like the British invasion, but in reverse.

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