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Brent – Tradie Tune-maker

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This is Brent. Like Jesus, he grew up with a single mum, then grew a beard and became a carpenter. He loved using his power drill and hammering things hard for many years, but then had an epiphany by the beach which resulted in him becoming The King of Things.

You decided to ditch the drill for a mic in Byron, so – were you high?
Nope! The construction company I was working for went bust, so the next day I took a $20k loan out (before the bank realised I was jobless), grabbed my best mate and we spent three months on the east coast in a panel van. It was in Bryon, having a beer with a random dude, that it just dawned on me that I needed to stop being a tradie, and focus on music.  

So you started a band, or went busking…? 
I had never really played for anyone before. So decided I would audition for a Bachelor of Songwriting. I walked in at the end of a work-day wearing my high-vis gear, covered in dirt and dust. I plated a couple of my songs, did an aural chord test which I passed 100%, and they accepted me without asking me to do the theory test. Which was lucky ‘cause I had no idea how to read music.  

When did you start writing these secret songs? 
I picked up a guitar the night my dad passed away. I sat in my bedroom and sung out what had happened and how I was feeling. During those years, writing really helped me to understand what I was going through. I still write in my bedroom or, sometimes in the dunny at work on my iPhone.  

Bae, The Voice would die for you. And now you dropped your first album which NBD was recorded by McCartney’s producer?
Crazy right!? I met producer/arranger Jonathan Dreyfus (Greta Ray, Vance Joy) at a house party in Brunswick a couple of years ago and played him some songs in the backyard. He later moved to the UK and did some work with McCartney’s sound-engineer and gave him some of my demos. He really like them and wanted to record me – so I flew to the UK with my newly formed band to make my first record with them both in the same studio that Queen recorded Bohemian Rhapsody as well as heaps of others like Oasis, Coldplay and Arctic Monkeys. Nuts.  

OMG pls take my underpants meow and sign my boobs. 
Mmmkay  

Your first single ‘The Horrors’ is literally in my head 24/7 and I’m not just saying that because I’m in the film clip.
The director – and fellow maddawg – Callum Padgham and I wrote and produced the clip together. We filmed it on my current worksite and I hand built the stage the day before. My boss had three noise complaints from different neighbours, because we had 30 people there until midnight with an angle grinder going for the fireworks effects. Right now, I am on the way to drop off bottles of wine and flowers to apologise to them and hopefully keep my job.

Listen to Brent’s mad first track on tripleJ Unearthed or watch it on BEAT Mag’s FB right hurr

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