Six Questions With Bret Busch
We recently launched a new series here on Indie Minded called “Six Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay intact. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.
Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.
We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.
Next in the hot seat is Atlanta-based indie singer-songwriter Bret Busch. We’re new to his music, just like you probably will be, but this is what is so good about this series! Sit back and enjoy!
For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?
I grew up in Valdosta, Georgia and really started getting into playing music in 6th grade. I played trombone from then throughout junior high and high school. In college, I did some musical theater and suddenly realized that I could actually sing. So when I graduated, I started an acoustic lounge act, Ramada, with Pam Howe, a girl I met on the dance floor at the classic midtown disco, Weekends. After getting my feet wet playing around Atlanta, I assembled my first rock ‘n’ roll band, Parlour, and we basically created the new “scene” at Dottie’s with classic rock covers and originals. I segued into country with Pardner, did some all-original indie rock with The Hots, and have lately been singing lead for the Smiths tribute band Smithsonian. My style on this new solo record has definitely evolved with the collaborators, William Joiner and Rafael Pereira, who took my interests in pop, rock, and country and added some top-notch professional studio musicians and a distinctly South American influence.
As an artist, how do you define success?
Success for me as an artist really relies on the audience. With live shows, entertaining a large crowd is just the most gratifying experience there is. I love singing live on stage. But with the recording aspect, success becomes about getting the music heard – getting it out there and listened to by as many people as possible.
What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?
The music business is difficult because everything starts with a “no.” I paid my dues for many years starting out at open mics and playing for free until I could finally start booking the better venues around town and establish a name for myself. Even now, with the solo career, there are parts that are like starting all over – getting people to write about you, guaranteeing that you will be able to fill a venue, etc. And I guess the toughest thing of all is that, unless you are very fortunate, it’s almost impossible to make a living at it. I have to maintain a “real” job to pay the bills.
If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?
That’s a tough one because this is my first solo album and I haven’t had a chance to perform the songs live yet (August 11 will be my first show with the new band). My favorite song on the record though is probably “Going Long.”
Who do you consider your greatest influences?
I love so many disparate things in music that I could go on and on, but I grew up on pop Top 40 on the radio and classic country on the stereo. Some of my first loves were Elton John, Loretta Lynn, and the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. As I got older and more musically aware, I kept my love of pop but delved deep into the alternative music world, with a particular focus on the 4AD discography – probably my favorite band is Cocteau Twins, but I bought everything on the label. I also loved Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, and Madonna and had every Prince 12″ and b-side. As I became more focused on singing, I looked back and found male inspiration first with Frank Sinatra’s classic recordings and then with a major obsession with Tim Buckley – I bought every album he had ever done. And when Jeff Buckley popped onto the scene later I could not believe my eyes and ears…
Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?
I love to take photographs and have even had a couple of public exhibitions in the past. I am also a huge film and pop culture aficionado and definitely take inspiration there. I am currently (re-)obsessed with all things Twin Peaks!
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