24 Minutes with Simpson Brothers Band
Simpson Brothers Band. (Supplied Photo)
With soaring YouTube views of both their folk-pop covers and originals, Simpson Brothers Band turns its attention to the release of its new single, Country Radio.
Joe Leary spent 24 Minutes with band members – and twin brothers - Rob and Rich Simpson.
Tell me about Country Radio.
Rob: It’s been a long time coming. It was written last summer and is kind of one of those songs that starts with a living room catchy hook. When I was playing live at a bar, it was only about half written and I just tried it. Now it’s monumentally different from where it started. I brought this kind of catchy thing to Rich and thought it could be a good hook. Country Radio is probably specifically the least country song on the album, but it flowed naturally and it opened up a segue for us to do a country album. As soon as we did that, we felt it was the kind of stuff we probably should have been writing all along. Since switching into that genre it’s almost kind of written itself.
Being identical twins, do you share a similar psyche and do you have similar ideas when it comes to writing?
Rich: We do write similar. We do have similar themes in mind and we think similarly when we’re putting songs together structurally. What we find is that when we start doing the track order and deciding which singles we want to push, the singles that Rob is wanting to push are the ones that I’ve written, and the ones that he’s written are the ones that I’m trying to push. We write so similarly but find the appreciation for the way the other person is putting it together. I think when we do our best are when we take our slightly different styles. Albeit however similar they are and just bounce back and forth with each other and use those differences. Rob’s got a real knack for coming up with strong imagery and phrases it really well.
Given the ever-growing roster of Canadian country music artists, is it hard to gain attention, especially on country radio stations?
Rob: The market is really saturated right now and knowing when to put your single and album out is a very difficult thing to do right now. Any of the radio trackers will tell you it’s kind of a toss-up. The other albums we’ve put out were just sort of for the music. This one here is about making a proper push and talking to the right people and making sure you do the right promotion.
How did country enter your life? You grew up in Tsawwassen…not exactly a veritable hot bed of country music.
Rich: What I tell people is that this sound has been with us the whole time but we hadn’t really tapped into it. We always felt there was a space for country in our music. I think we’ve always had an appreciation for country music but I wasn’t so inclined to develop our sound with that modern country sound that you hear on the radio right now. It was about 2012 when we really started committing to rehearsing those songs for fun and then incorporating that into our writing. That sound has been with us the whole time because of the harmony. It’s incredible songwriting, common themes and harmony. Harmony is our biggest thing because that’s what drives our group and us as a duo. We just really embraced it in the last four or five years.
Who in the country genre would you go crazy if you met?
Rob: Chris Stapleton.
Rich: Zac Brown Band – absolutely!