Brandon Maddox is an up-and-coming and talented singer/songwriter from Nashville. He describes his music as “meaningful Country infused with an old school Classic Rock edge.” Maddox opened for Brett Eldredge at CMA Fest and even appeared in the pilot episode of the television hit, “Nashville.”
He said that looking back on it, being featured on “Nashville” was a “really cool honor.” Besides the actors, he got to meet quite a few artists like himself that labels were beginning to work with, and he still keeps in touch with some of them to this day.
Maddox’s song “The Bigger The Wheels” was named 2014 Monster Truck Song of the Year and he was named the 2014 Lucas Oil Monster Truck Artist of the Year. He said, “Having the Monster Truck Song of 2014 was a great opportunity! I went from performing small bars to performing in front of three to five thousand people. It was a lot of work, but worth it.”
Maddox’s first EP, Weightless was produced by Doug Sisemore, who is the Keyboardist/Music Director for Reba McEntire. I talked to Maddox about what it was like making the EP:
“The inspiration behind it evolved out of wanting to put together a 5-song EP that showed my diversity as a songwriter and artist, yet was cohesive enough in the style and sound on it to give people a sense of who I am as an artist. The song ‘Weightless’ made a good title track, and one day back in early 2012 before the project came out, I had the vision to make the letters of the word ‘Weightless’ into different farming tools. Sisemore, offered to be my producer on it, and helped immensely with getting the musicians together for the recording process. In the end I was very happy with the way it turned out.”
Maddox’s current CD is Living On Sunshine. I asked him what inspired it:
“Living on Sunshine, was inspired by my desire to follow up my Monster Truck EP The Bigger The Wheels with a project that more encapsulated my ‘direction’ as an artist musically speaking. The Bigger The Wheels, my second project, had heavy driving, Rock ‘n’ Roll guitars, and my original songs were chosen around the song ‘The Bigger The Wheels’ in order to make each song be stylistically close to that song. I wanted Living on Sunshine to ‘echo’ more what the Weightless EP was about, plus record some songs I had been wanting to record for a long time. It’s more current with events and circumstances that have shaped me as a songwriter.”
When asked what song best described his 2016 so far Maddox said it would be “This Guitar,” a song he co-wrote with Kevin So and Judy Klass, two great songwriters in Nashville. He explained:
“I just was given an amazing guitar from a kind and genuine guy named, Jim. I met Jim when doing a charity show in Fort Myers, Florida. The guitar he gave me was built in 1970 so it almost fits the lyric of ‘This Guitar’ being the timeframe it was made. Since I just got home from powering through 30 shows in 30 days on my guitar down in Florida, I would have to say this song fits 2016 very well.”
Maddox knows over 1,000 songs so I asked him what were some of his favorites to perform live. He replied:
“Some of my favorite originals to perform live are ‘The Bigger The Wheels, the Better the Man,’ which is Monster Truck’s Theme Song and title track of my second EP. ‘Redemption Road’ is another, which is off of my second EP. It’s also fun to play some cover songs from time to time like George Strait’s ‘The Fireman’ or Thomas Rhett’s ‘Die a Happy Man.'”
When asked about his musical influences Maddox stated:
“One of my biggest musical influences is, Brad Paisley, because he not only has great songs (especially the older ones like ‘The Cigar Song’ and ‘I’m Gonna Miss Her’), but he could play the guitar like a rock star. Ironically, The Beatles are another big influence. I learned guitar when I was 12 out of Beatle’s books my dad had and taught myself to play from them. Seeing John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s name on the lyric sheets inspired me to write my first song around age 12.”
Maddox said he knew for sure that he wanted to be a songwriter before he became a singer.
“I was never really encouraged to be a singer when I first picked up the guitar and started singing. Instead I was lectured about the dangers of drugs being prevalent in the music industry and ‘selling your soul to the devil.’ Because of this, I tried to first go after being a songwriter, but the industry got very political to where it was no longer about the great song wins out anymore, but instead it was about money and who is friends with who. By 2011, I had started working hard on becoming an artist full-time.”
So is it harder to be a singer or songwriter? Maddox explained:
“It’s probably equally hard, but in different ways. Being a songwriter full-time means you pretty much have to ‘play the game.’ The ‘good ole boy’s club’ as it’s sometimes referred to, have control of the songs that get cut and the labels own the ‘good ole boys.’ Being an artist is hard because it’s rigorous trying to keep the work coming in and very competitive between artists out there vying for the same bars, which all would be happy if everyone played for free. However, when you do what I do full-time, you can’t do free shows and expect to stay afloat financially. Also, being an artist means being nice to everyone you meet at every show in hopes that they become a new fan and share your music and tell people about you on social media platforms.”
Maddox said he is focused on four goals for 2016.
“My goals are to play bigger and better shows, increase my social media presence, write another hit song or two, and make more fans. It’s always a privilege and one of the most rewarding things in the music business to get to see my fans come out to my shows.”
When asked what makes him unique as an artist Maddox replied:
“I’m not writing or trying to do what artists in mainstream Country are doing right now. I’m performing songs from the heart based upon experiences I have been through and observations about the world around me. My songs also have different tempos and melodies that are being used in today’s Country. ‘If you want meaningful and different, turn on some Brandon Maddox’ is what I would like my new fans and fans in general saying. I want people to walk away with a different attitude from their experience at one of my shows saying, ‘He’s got something different to his style, songs, and sound, and I like it!”
Brandon Maddox is a great artist that you definitely should be paying attention to. You can tell he truly does appreciate and love, not only getting to be an artist, but also his fans. If you get to catch Maddox at a upcoming concert near you, make sure to sign up for his newsletter and receive a complimentary The Bigger The Wheels bumper sticker!
Author: Country Cadre
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