The Glorious Sons

An interview with The Glorious Son's singer Brett Emmons
by Tommy Rage
February 2019

The Glorious Sons - photo by Rob Blackham

The Glorious Sons
photo by Rob Blackham

Hockey, maple syrup, absurdly polite people and Mounties. Canada is known for many things, but music isn’t one of them. There have been previous notables such as Rush, Bryan Adams and Neil Young, however, a young band from Ontario has crossed the border and dominated the music charts. Sneaking into the US in 2016 with their first full length album: The Union, The Glorious Sons toured relentlessly; making several stops in here in Madison before heading home to record their second and very successful album Young Beauties and Fools. The young five piece band: Brett Emmons (vocals, guitar, harmonica), brother Jay Emmons (guitar), Chris Koster (guitar), Adam Paquette (drums), Chris Huot (bass) received critical acclaim from day one. With their debut album in 2014 receiving countless accolades, it wasn’t long before the young group was selling out concerts throughout Canada. 2017 saw The Glorious Sons skyrocket to success with their second release Young Beauties and Fools and head out on a headlining tour, stopping back in Madison on February 25th, at the High Noon Saloon.

The tight-fit workings of all five musicians is heard throughout their 2017 release. Guitarist and lead singer Brett Emmons shares what the band was thinking when they went into the studio to record Young Beauties and Fools, “For us, we didn’t want to make the same album twice. We did the full rock’n roll album and we got a lot of comparisons to bands from the 70’s and we wanted to switch up the game. A big thought in my head leading up to the album was that rock’n roll really wouldn’t be relevant if it had to be compared to the 1970’s constantly. It had to change and become more modern, and that is what we tried to do. So, I think we did a good job of that and is part of the reason why the album is connecting with people.” 

That connection with their fans and the success of the album is no surprise. From the very beginning of the album songs ‘My Poor Heart’, ‘Josie’, and ‘Everything Is Alright’ grab your attention, mixing a Top 40 feel with piano and upbeat guitars. Brett explains how guitarist and brother Jay Emmons have had to overcome early difficulties to reach the point now of putting on a great show coupled with a successful album. “We’ve all been playing together forever, we don’t have any hard times together anymore [laughter]. It was a different experience at first, figuring out how to run a business together as brothers. It’s a lot better. There were times that were bad, but that’s over now [laughter].” 

The success of Young Beauties and Fools with two Top 50 US hits ‘Everything Is Alright’ #46 and ‘S.O.S (Sawed Off Shotgun)’ #6, along with winning Canada’s 2018 Juno Award for Rock Album of the Year, didn’t really surprise Brett. “We aren’t really surprised about the success. That’s what we were shooting for when we made the record. We believe in ourselves and the journey we are taking, we thought we would turn heads, I’m definitely thankful for that, but not necessarily surprised. It’s momentum. When you have momentum, you know it and it’s one of the best feeling in the world. There are times in this business when that doesn’t happen and that’s one of the worst feelings you can have. But we have momentum, and we are riding it and we have more opportunities. Everyone is playing at the top of their game and everyone is having fun.” 

‘Come Down’, ‘So Much Love To Give’, along with the soulful song, ‘Hide My Love’, are poetic stories of life and love. Brett’s open and sincere tales keep the smooth flow of the album from start to finish. This self-reflective nature of the bands front man is where Young Beauties and Fools got its name from explains Brett, “The title? [laughter], I don’t actually know. I had that line in my head for about a year. It was maybe going to be a song on the album, but we decided not to put it on the album, as it didn’t stand up to the other songs on the album. I was thinking about Kingston and my group of friends. The reciprocal nature of the city and us going to the bar and meeting at the bar every weekend and seeing the same faces. I just thought to myself that we are all just young beauties and fools. It painted a picture, to me at least, of what the album was about and that period in my life, and the city.”

The highlight song of Young Beauties and Fools is guaranteed to be stuck in your head. With its catchy chorus and up beat tempo, ‘S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun)’ has a unique origin. “It was a different song before it was S.O.S.”, shares Brett, “it was called Bret and Sam. Samantha, before I was born, was going to be my name if I was a girl. My mom thought I was going to be a girl [laughter]. I wrote a song about two people that were in a hard relationship and Brett bought a shotgun and was going to rob a corner store in order to get some money and break free from their terrible lives.” 

Having made several stops in Madison previously, Brett is eager to get back to Madison and to play the High Noon Saloon on February 25th. Having two full albums under their belt along with the moments and success of   Young Beauties and Fools, Brett shares his thoughts about Madison. “I actually love Madison. We have played there two or three times on our own, and have played Madison a bunch of times. Madison, believe it or not, is one of my favorite cities in America. It was one of the first cities we played in the states which it makes it close to the heart, and it’s the hometown of Chris Farley [laughter]. He is one of my heroes. I grew up watching his movies back-to-back. I’ve probably seen ‘Tommy Boy’ and ‘Beverly Hills Ninja’ over 300 times. It’s such a beautiful town and the people seem really friendly. I have a lot of fun when we are there.”

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CD: Young Beauties And Fools Record Label: BMG Rights Management
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