Very happy we got the chance to sit down with the crazy talented Marc Broussard this week. While he was still getting over his jet lag, he took the time to answer a few questions. The next day he played a great show at Schüür in Lucerne. You’ll find a few pictures from that night further down in this post. But keep reading if you want to know why he thinks there are many pros and no cons when being an indie artist or if you want to know what his next project is about!
Those of you who might have not followed our blog from the beginning, we have been Marc Broussard fans for a while now! Our very first blog post was even about him: Marc Broussard – Bayou Soul! We couldn’t be happier to have him back in Switzerland again!
Interview with Marc Broussard
Welcome back! It’s been a while…
Yes, it’s a pleasure to be back, it’s been way too long! Almost 3 years since the SEAT Music Session.
Talking about that, you’ll be back for the anniversary Tour of SEAT Music Session this year!
Yes, I cannot believe I’m coming back for that, I’m so jazzed and I think Alain Clark is on this year too. He is fantastic; I’m a big fan of him. He’s great; he’s like a gorgeous man, 6 ½ ft tall beautiful man. (we both start laughing, while I get even more excited to go to the SEAT Music Session this year ;-))
During these SMS shows, you always get to perform with other artists, is there someone you would love to perform with?
Yeah, I think Stevie Wonder would be somebody I would love to perform with. There’s a gal in the States called Emily King that I’m a huge fan of, I would love to sing with her. Grace Potter is another fantastic singer I’d love to work with.
So you do enjoy working and singing with other people? What’s the main difference when working with other people compared to doing it all by yourself?
There’s certainly less of a load when working with others, I can kick back and relax for a moment. There’s not as much pressure on me. There are also lots of considerations for the implications on this side of the business, meaning this side of the genre spectrum and the independent side of the industry. Collaborations are an exceptionally powerful tool. I think that Hip Hop for example has dominated as a genre so much that it has moved into a cultural identity, a movement status, because of the collaborations. When you’ve got two artist that have been on a record together that then go and do a show together, the forces that work there cannot be ignored. Yet for the large majority of my career and before that, this side of the genre spectrum has ignored the collaborative effects.
There was a time in the industry to hear multiple versions of the same hit song at the same time on the radio. You might hear an Otis Redding song a few years ahead of the Rolling Stones version of that very song and for whatever reason, the modern day industry doesn’t view that as a viable route. I think that’s bad advice.
To answer your question, do I like to collaborate: YES! Is there a collaboration in the future: YES
Oooooh, now we’re talking. Is there anything you can tell us about that already?
Well, there’s a project that I’m putting together right now that has been in the works for a year or two. It’s a duo project with me and another singer and we may actually bring in some other singers as well. But it’s gonna be a big super soul project. I don’t know what to call it yet, but we’re gonna have a lot of songs on that record!
Nice, will there be original songs or maybe also a few covers (hinting at the S.O.S. albums)?
All originals! It’s super soul, so like the stuff my early fans fell in love with, things like “Real Good Thing”, most of the “Keep Coming Back” Album really hard soul. We’re taking that stuff and going even further into soul territory. It’ll be almost like a psychedelic D’Angelo.
On your latest album “Easy To Love” we can hear a lot of different music styles. Be it a little funk, country/Americana or of course soul. Was it planned to have such a diverse record?
I never really plan on the records being so schizophrenic, that’s kind of what a lot of them are, there’s quite a spectrum of styles expressed on all the records. It’s never necessary intentional, we just go in to write songs that feel right. I definitely have intentionally moved away from some of the super soul stuff. A lot of the shows we’re doing these days don’t play very well in that vein. A lot of the shows we’re doing are at performing art centers where there’s a lot season ticket holders making up about a third of the room and these people sometimes are 60, 70 80 years old, we just kinda had to tame the set down a little bit. We can still turn it up and we are planning on turning it up while we’re here in Switzerland.
Your songs are always quite personal, but a while ago you published a couple of blog posts where you pretty much strip down naked and gave everyone a good look at who you are, or more about who you were… How did that feel compared to writing a song?
I’ve always been a very forward person, I don’t hold back and that has gotten me into quite some trouble over the years. Writing those posts was really easy for me because not only am I a very honest person, but I’m also ashamed of my past in a lot of ways, how unengaged I was with music, how poorly I treated the mother of my children early on. Writing those ‘wrongs’ was easy for me to do. Writing a song can be even harder, taking a very personal story and placing it into lyric form means that you uncover the nuance and keep it in certain cases gender neutral and just not give away all the details, that it stays fairly universal. In the editorial I’m trying to convey a particular set of ideas that are very specific where as in songwriting I’m doing exactly the opposite, I’m trying to convey a fairly broad story without specifics so that all the people that hear that song can interpret their own thing in that lyric.
You’ve been an independent artist for a while now, I’m sure there a lots of pro’s but also con’s when not signed to a major label…
There’s not much that I miss from being signed honestly. When you sign a record deal in a modern era, you are generally signing on with a company that is staffed by predominantly uncreative people that were attracted to the music business, for whatever reason. They very quickly find cause to give me advice about my creative projects – that’s a very difficult pill to swallow. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that. Many people out there who can identify with this. Having some jerk who doesn’t know a thing about their job, but telling them how to do it. Imagine if you can keep your job and make more money in the process, by eliminating those people from your life. That’s what going indie did for me. There are only pro’s for me…
Of course money is an issue. But even if I had some multi billionaire come and tell me he’d pay for all my records, I would purposely choke myself financially. I’ve recorded records for half a million dollars, 5, 6 figures in the past. They don’t sound any different than records I made for 15’000 bucks. In certain instances even a hell of a lot less creative, less engaging. If you have money and you encounter issues, you throw that money at those issues. If you don’t have that financial backing, you get creative. You have to employ your creativity.
Is there something you rarely get asked in interviews or something you’d like the world (or at least our readers) to know about you or your music?
Hmmm… Not necessarily. My fans they know who I am, I’m not a mystery. I’m not Sia, I’m not standing up there with a wig on. I dress like this on and off stage. I am who I am. There are no prevailing assumptions about me, there’s no records that need to be corrected or rumors going around.
Sabrina: Is there something in life that you haven’t accomplished yet but is on the top of your list – not necessarily music related…
I have a desire to help other artists. I think this industry chews up and spits out so many young, exceptionally talented people. In the end, there’s this other department that comes in and take a look at the numbers and projections and send out the signal that this record is not going to pay us back the money we laid out for it. No more money goes out on this records behalf. That’s the cycle. Then the stock of the artist drops, everybody at the label keeps their job. But the artist has to walk away with less value than they came in the door first. I feel a very strong urge of urgency to find or build a place for all of those artists to land after they go through that process. It’s a very informational process, it’s informative, you learn how easily you can be manipulated by people blowing smoke up your ass, by people flattering you and telling you how amazing you are while at the same time, most of these people don’t really care about the artist or their development as people. I do, I care about sustainable careers, I care about artistry, specifically because of the power artistry has to shape culture. Again, going back to Hip Hop, look at how powerful this movement is, it’s an entire cultural identity, it’s very clear evidence that artists have immense power in shaping culture.
Jennifer: What song of yours would you like someone else to cover?
There’s a song of mine called “Another Night Alone” that I would love Stevie Wonder to record. That would be incredible. Beyond bucketlist! I don’t think about that stuff much when I write a song. I never assume that there’s another artist out there that would be better suited for that song…
Ooooh, wait! Kelly Clarkson! I want her to record “Home”. She’s sang it live a bunch and I’ve re-recorded Home just recently and I hit Kelly up on Twitter asking if she wanted to jump on the track. I’d donate the proceeds to a charity of her choice. I haven’t heard from her though. We’ll see.
Quick Fire Round:
The first thing I thought about when waking up this morning is… going back to sleep – jet lag…
My favorite place to be is… home!
Pizza should never be… Uuhm shoved up an ass? I don’t know… Or let’s go with shouldn’t have pinapple on it haha
I write my best songs when I… hmmm when I’m writing songs with other people, not when I’m writing by myself.
Dolphins make me think about… how smart animals are sometimes.
Cool, thanks you so much for taking the time to sit down with us.
As mentioned, Marc played an amazing set at Schüür on Friday 08.06.2018. Even though it was hot as hell, people were totally getting into it and had a great time. We were there too and enjoyed every minute. Daaaamn, that man can saaaang!
Here are a few pictures…