Kingston

Kingston

Sons of rock ’n’ roll

While playing the bar circuit in his hometown, singer Brett Emmons of The Glorious Sons would routinely hear an older musician diss another Kingston, Ont., native who rose to fame with The Tragically Hip. “This guy would talk about how he was so much better than Gord Downie when he was younger,” recalled Emmons.

While playing the bar circuit in his hometown, singer Brett Emmons of The Glorious Sons would routinely hear an older musician diss another Kingston, Ont., native who rose to fame with The Tragically Hip.

“This guy would talk about how he was so much better than Gord Downie when he was younger,” recalled Emmons.

The disgruntled older performer inadvertently taught 21-year-old Emmons an important lesson: You’re never going to please some people because they aren’t rooting for you in the first place.

To avoid the anxiety that comes with chasing after success, you have to forget about meeting outside expectations and focus on why you started playing music, said Emmons, who performs with The Glorious Sons at a sold-out show on Saturday, Sept. 20, at Wild Bill’s Sports Bar in Red Deer.

“You do it for yourself and not worry about what other people have to say.”

On that note, The Glorious Sons just released the band’s first full-length album The Union. It follows the hugely popular previous EP. Shapeless Art, which spawned two Top-10 singles, White Noise and Mama.

Although the Kingston rockers now have thousands of fans across the country and more riding on the success of The Union, Emmons said band members are determined to stay true to who they are as musicians.

“You can’t fail as long as you are trying harder,” he added, “so as long as we are happy with (the album) and some people are touched by it,” he believes the rest doesn’t matter.

While the last few years have been a thrilling round of cross-Canada tours and regular radio play for the band, Emmons believes he and the other musicians — his brother Jay Emmons, Chris Huot, Adam Paquette and Andrew Young — remain grounded.

“We all have really good families that make sure we stay modest.”

The Union pays tribute to these “blue-collar” families, said Emmons, who noted “me and all the band members worked trades and grew up with parents that did everything to support us, put food on the table and clothes on our backs.”

While the new album doesn’t come right out and sing the praises of working people, it’s implied in every song, he added. “You can feel it. I can’t write lyrics that say exactly what I think completely. I like to make people think.”

For instance, the band’s newest single, Heavy, might bring The Sopranos TV series to mind if you listen carefully. Emmons said the gangster family drama was his all-time favourite show, and he was particularly struck by a line delivered by one of the mobsters: “It was something like, ‘Next time you come, come back heavy,’ ” he recalled — meaning ready to do battle.

Emmons borrowed this sentiment. The song’s lyrics go “Come heavy or don’t come at all,” as a metaphor for fighting off negative forces.

Among the The Union’s other songs “about normal human life, lost love, regrets” is a tune that returns to Emmons’ first point about not trying to please everybody.

The song Gordie was actually inspired by Downie and the jealous older singer who kept trying to boost himself up by trying to pull Downie’s reputation down.

“Anxiety is a funny thing,” said Emmons. “Once you start doing well, it starts to affect you” — until you remember you are making music “because you are doing what you love.”

“We understand we’re not the biggest band in the world,” he added — but then “biggest” was never The Glorious Sons’ goal.

“We’re trying to make great songs.”

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Regional Airport CEO Graham Ingham has ambitious plans for the airport. (Advocate file photo).
Red Deer Regional Airport revenues climb in 2020

Bringing in more business is the 2021 goal, says director

City council will have to wait longer to hear back from administration on possible alternative sites — if the homeless shelter is moved from Red Deer downtown. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Alternative sites for homeless shelter will be explored by the City of Red Deer

Council gave administration more time to return with a report

Quentin Lee Strawberry was found not guilty of second-degree murder in connection with stabbing death of Joseph Gallant in March 2019. (Photo from RCMP)
Updated: O’Chiese man found not guilty of 2019 stabbing death of Red Deer man

Quentin Strawberry found guilty of assaulting murdered man’s common-law partner

(Advocate file photo).
City of Red Deer property tax bills are in the mail

Red Deer 2021 tax notices are on their way. Red Deer property… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks’ Nils Hoglander (36) scores on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Laurent Brossoit (30) during first-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Monday May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Hoglander scores twice as Vancouver Canucks dump slumping Winnipeg Jets 3-1

Edmonton Oilers' Dominik Kahun (21) celebrates with teammate Connor McDavid (97) after scoring the third goal against Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen (34) during second-period NHL hockey action in Montreal, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Canadiens clinch playoff spot with single point, fall to McDavid and Oilers in OT

Rory McIlroy tees off on the fourth hole during the fourth round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament at Quail Hollow on Sunday, May 9, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)
McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

McIlroy ends 18 months without winning at Quail Hollow

Canada , left to right, lead Briane Meilleur, third Val Sweeting, skip Kerri Einarson, and second Shannon Birchard discuss strategy against Sweden in a qualification game at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, May 8, 2021. Both of Canada's teams were shut out of the medals, marking the first time ever that Canada did not reach the podium at either the men's or women's worlds in the same season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Bubble Wrap: Fresh questions for Canada after medal shutout at curling worlds

Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Oilers plan to keep playing McDavid, Draisaitl as NHL regular season winds down

Oilers plan to keep playing McDavid, Draisaitl as NHL regular season winds down

Canada's Tyler Ardron, right, tries to block the kick by Italy's Callum Braley during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match in Fukuoka, western Japan, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kyodo News via AP
Canadian men to face Wales and England in July rugby test matches

Canadian men to face Wales and England in July rugby test matches

John Velazquez, right, rides Medina Spirit ahead of Florent Geroux aboard Mandaloun to win the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in Louisville, Ky. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Darron Cummings
Casse believes colleague Baffert deserves “due process” folowing positive test

Casse believes colleague Baffert deserves “due process” folowing positive test

Canada forward Liam Millar (23) moves the ball past Bermuda defender Eusebio Blankendal (2) during the second half of a World Cup 2022 Group B qualifying soccer match Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-John Raoux
Canadian men to play next two World Cup qualifying matches in the U.S.

Canadian men to play next two World Cup qualifying matches in the U.S.

Most Read