Artist Spotlight: Marc Broussard - An Exclusive Interview

In this exclusive interview, we talk with roots/southern soul artist Marc Broussard about his just-released self-titled album. We also talk abou the new world order of genre-defying artists and fans and more. Read on to see the whole conversation, a Roughstock exclusive!

Matt Bjorke: How would you describe your sound to somebody who may not have heard of you before this interview?

Marc Broussard: I would compare it to a choir of heavenly angels descending on the super bowl as the Saints score the winning touchdown of the Super Bowl.

Matt: What can you tell me about your upcoming self-titled album?

Marc: It’s the greatest piece of music ever recorded, but you already knew that. (laughs). But seriously, I think it’s my best album today and I’m super fired-up about it as I think the songs are top-notch.  I’m excited about it and think it’s going to be really successful and that people are gonna dig it.

Matt: Who did you work with on the record, production wise.

Marc: The producer on the record is a guy named Jamie Kinney from Nashville. We originally met as co-writers and hit it off in a big way. And after writing, we turned in some demos that the label really liked so Jamie and I ended up co-writing the whole record together.

Matt: How is the album different or similar from your past recordings?

Marc: Well, there are quite a few differences from the past records.  I really didn’t participate in the production nearly as much as I did in the previous records and that’s solely because of my faith in Jamie’s abilities and my understanding of my limitations. In the past I tried to throw my weight around and it really didn’t do much justice to anybody and so for this record, I knew that I had the best in the business and it was now time to let them do what they do and it allow me to focus solely on my job and that was the lyric.

Matt: When I talked with Amos Lee he said a similar story and he said he did the same thing with Mission Bell, he said it brought a different dynamic to the whole thing...

Marc: Absolutely. I didn’t hear the final version of this recourd until we were selling early copies on Tour. In fact, I took my wife to Jamaica when they were mixing the record.  It was a beautiful process to be able to release it and know that it’d get done the way I wanted thanks to my total faith to Jamie’s abilities. 

Matt: Music genres seem to be blurring the lines more and more, why do you think that is?

Marc: I think it’s the fans as much as it is the music that’s blurring the lines. Because of the accessibility of music these days, people can explore different genres whereas in the past, you’d might go into a record store and just see the country sign on top of the racks and that’s where you’d go. With different tools like iTunes has with ‘reccomendations’ and ‘Genius’ function, people are constantly being sold more stuff. In my opinion it has to do with the way with the stuff is monetized these days as well with the music itself.  Especially in country, we see guys like Zac Brown, they’re doing straight up the middle country music which talks about stuff that I love the most about country, those traditional themes like family, talking about your dog and your food. They’re giving us, in my opinion, the best of what country has to offer while others are actively trying to crossover. 

Matt: Right and some of the country audience still rejects that crossover stuff but completely followed Zac Brown Band right away. When “Chicken Fried” came out and once I saw them perform, I saw stars in the making…

Marc: Yeah, I first met Zac Brown in the hallways of a cruise ship called the Rock Boat, where I was a performer and he was a guest, at least I think he was. He was a guy, along with a fellow named Francisco Bedall, they’d play till four or five or six o’clock in the morning.  I saw him in a matter of five years go from being a guest on that cruise ship to selling over two million records and touring all over the place. 

Matt: And now he’s hitting the road touring with Kenny Chesney as a co-headliner…

Marc: yeah and he’s showing everyone a new model of doing business. It’s an interesting time in the music business right now and guys like Zac Brown and his story give us hope that we can hit big at some point.

Matt: What have been some of the highlights of your career so far?

Marc: Oh, I think that touring with Bonnie Raitt tops the list. She’s a classy, classy woman, man. We did nine shows with her up the east coast. I was on stage with her every night, we broke bread every night, we sang “Love’s Sneaking Up On You” every night. She’s a sweet woman and down to earth and as cool as hell. After I got off the stage of the last night on the tour, before her set, her assistant said, “Bonnie wants to see you.” It was December 17th, and I went into her room and Bonnie handed me an envelope said, “Merry Christmas.”  Her assistant came in and said, “Alright Bonnie, you gotta go.” So I’m walking out of this dressing room, thumbing through hundred dollar bills in this envelope and I said to my friend, “There’s gotta be two thousand dollars in this envelope, I’m going into the bathroom and counting it.”  I came out four thousand dollars later. She bonused-me $4,000 and that’s something nobody I’ve ever toured with has done so and I’ve never been able to do it either. It’s a lot of dough and at the end of a tour that may be as much as I’ll ever come home with.  It was one hell of a thing she did that day and she didn’t have to do it but she did and I’ll never forget it.

Matt: That’s a pretty classy thing she did that day. And eventually if you get to the acclaim that she’s had, you’ll be able to do that for somebody else.

Marc: Oh, you better believe that’s sticking with me. I can’t wait for the day that I’m able to do that.

Matt: Back to the new record.  I heard there are a couple of singles. What can you tell me about the singles?

Marc: “Only Everything” was inspired by Keith Urban. There was no song in particular but he has a lot of uptempo, through the roof kind of songs and this song was just that, a song that is inspired to make people get up and have some fun.  “Lucky” is really the way I feel about being married to my wife.

Matt: I think just describing those two songs will make people will wanna check out your music, cause it hits home with the core audience.

Marc: Yeah, and it’s really what my new record is all about, songs more for people in relationships and marriages, perhaps more than past records.