An Interview with Brent Cobb
What was the experience like for you to work with your cousin, Grammy award winning producer Dave Cobb, on this album Shine On Rainy Day?
It was like being back home, like coming back home. Dave and I have a real natural chemistry, we like to pick on one another the whole time we record, and it was great, it was natural.
Shine on Rainy Day was one of the first albums we really got behind and pushed here at The Creek, and you were one of the first artists we had here on the station. How do you feel The Creek has helped you grow your audience and expand the reach of your fanbase?
I guess we’ll find out in a couple weeks [laughing]. If I’m the guinea pig, I guess we’ll know for sure when we play, I guess I should know the exact date, but I don’t even know. Isn’t that terrible? [laughing] It’s the 24th actually. I’ve had a lot of people, not even from Macon, but just driving through have The Creek tuned in and hear one of my songs so I know you’re playing it a lot, and I just appreciate it. I can’t wait to see what the turnout will be.
The sound on Rainy Day is much different from your first EP and No Place Left to Leave. It’s really evident in the two versions of “Digging Holes” that you have released, one on the EP and the more stripped down version on Rainy Day. What brought about the change in tone in your music? Was there other artists you worked with led you to take on this different sound?
Mainly it was the lack of money [laughing]. I didn’t have enough money to pay too many people to play. And we just wanted to make sure we stayed out of the way of the songs and the lyrics of the songs. We just wanted to make sure that nothing more was trying to sell the song other than the song itself.
You’ve written songs for Kenny Chesney, Kellie Pickler, Luke Bryan and Miranda Lambert, among others. What’s the process you go through when you’re working on a piece for another artist; do you try to relate your experiences into your writing or try to draw from their experiences and past writing?
You know, I always write for myself, I never consciously write for another artist. I may get through with the song, and I’ll go ‘Man, I could hear so-and-so do this song,’ and maybe try and get it to them that way afterwards. I never go in one way or the other, it’s always for what needs to be written that day it’s in the room.
Different publications have classified your music as either “Country” or “Americana”. Where do you think your music falls on that spectrum?
That record, specific, is Georgia music, I would say, because there’s so much to do with Georgia on that album. But, I tend to call it Rural music, Country Soul. I don’t know if it’s Americana or Country, I think Americana is Country, and I think Country is Americana. I always hate labels, so it’s hard to say.
The last couple of months have seen you playing some real bucket list gigs: You got to do a little mini tour in Manchester and London (at what was a very tumultuous time) and you got to play on Conan last week. What were those experiences like for you; was it anything you ever dreamed you would get to accomplish?
London was great, man, and we sold out a show that was maybe a 300 person capacity room, which is pretty amazing. The first time we played there we sold it out but it was a much smaller room, and the record had not even been released over there, which was amazing. Now the Manchester show was under much different circumstances, after what had happened there. But still, it was like playing here, it was like being back home with the amount of support and the amount of people that wanted to just come out anyway, in spite of what had happened, you know, in celebration.
Conan, I was running on fumes, we had had a 32 hour day from Amsterdam, and the guitar player and I got in about midnight, and we had to be at Conan at 8 AM the next morning, and we were there all day. We got to the hotel about 2:30 or 3:00, I think, so we slept a few hours. I really don’t remember Conan [laughing], I was glad to have done it but I wish I could get a do-over. If we could do it today, that would be sweet.
You’re headlining the Cox Capitol Theatre on June 24 with Bonnie Bishop. You got to play there in November with Anderson East. What makes Macon a special place to play for you?
Well, there’s a few things. One, I’m from 45 minutes down the road from Macon, so it sort of feels like a hometown place, so all my family, and my friends, and everybody will be there. And then, just the history of Macon itself, and that particular place, the Cox, it’s just a really special, surreal, mystical place, that’s what it is.