When you think of Aussie country musicians, what names come to mind? Keith Urban, Troy Cassar-Daley, Kasey Chambers? What about Brad Cox? He’s making waves on the country music scene, with a chart-topping album and three ARIA nominations under his belt.
Kate Conway caught up with the true-blue larrikin to hear about his third studio album Acres, his sell out tour of the same name, and why the Territory holds a special place in his heart.
Congratulations on the ARIA noms for Acres – the album and the tour. Can you tell us about the inspiration for the album?
I’ve been writing that album for years, so the fact that you’re asking me where the inspiration came from, I’ve got no idea to be honest! But a better answer, the name of the title track, Acres, comes from when my partner Sammy and I moved to Central Queensland. We bought a few acres of dirt and absolutely fell in love with it. It set the tone for a very nice time in our lives that we’re very much enjoying.
I took a sneak peek at your YouTube channel, and it looks like fans have been having a great time at your shows. What can audiences expect at your Darwin gig?
We don’t usually play at venues that have seats in them. But you see, it’s November – I grew up in the snow and I’m fat, so the blueprint was who has the best aircon?
It's lucky Darwin Entertainment Centre has seats that flip up so there's plenty of room to dance! I get the sense that your shows can get a bit rowdy?
Yeah, in the most respectful and nicest way. Everyone has a great time and carries on ... but they also look after each other, which is important, I think!
You’ve been making music from a young age. What drew you to country?
I grew up in [a bigger] town, and my parents weren’t massive fans of country music, but when I was a teenager, I started to spend a lot of time with friends who had farms and grew up on properties riding dirt bikes, stealing booze, and carrying-on like you do when you’re a teenager. I just fell in love with it. The music came from there ... I felt like I was living that music, so it was just a natural progression to fall into country music.
You worked on a Territory cattle station when you finished school, how does it feel to be heading back to the NT?
Some of my fondest memories are in the Territory, I’ve got some very dear friends that live up there. We've been trying to get back there for a very long time to play some shows, so I’m very excited to get up there.
Is it true that your employer at the time was one of the people that encouraged you to pursue a career in music?
Yeah it was! They pretty much said, “hey, we appreciate you being here but go and do something about this!”. I thought to myself, if they – who have no idea about the music industry, nor did I at the time – were that insistent on me giving it a crack, well maybe I owe it to myself to go “right, let’s see what happens and have a proper go”.
Apart from getting everyone up from their seats at Darwin Entertainment Centre, is there anything else you’re looking forward to while you’re here?
Sammy and I are coming up three or four days early to go and do a little bit of fishing and catch up with friends. Just hanging out in Darwin and doing all the Territory things. Hopefully go and high-five a crocodile somewhere, that’s always fun to do in the Territory.