An Interview with Brett Boyett: Modern Country from Megatrax

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Brett Boyett

Composer/Producer/Songwriter Brett Boyett has a list of credits spanning television, film, trailers and a formidable body of collaborations and solo efforts. He is one of the primary contributors to our recent “Modern Country” release, (MX285), and after juxtaposing his authentic country songs against the music he’s been making with his group Totsy lately, we wanted to put him in the spotlight.

Megatrax: Brett, your name is on 13 of the tracks on “Modern Country.” Do you consider yourself a country musician?

Brett Boyett: I consider myself a musician that loves country music. I started my career as a writer in Nashville immediately after college. I was fortunate to learn from some of the best in the business including writers such as Steve Dorff (I Cross My Heart, Heartland- George Strait) and Vernon Rust (Walking In the Country – Keith Urban). I’ve written several genres of music in my career but always have a special place in my heart for country.

MX: The music you make with your group Totsy is definitely not country– it has a very burlesque feel. What other genres have you created a body of work in?

BB: Yes, Totsy has a more quirky, pop vibe to it. The goal of this band was to be a bit nondescript. My co-writer Beth Curry and I tried to make this a very unique sound and band visually and musically.

I’ve written music in genres such as rock, pop, retro, dance, blues, jazz, industrial, country and orchestral. I’m really a fan of all types of music, and I feel like I’m always trying to expand my palette.

MX: You compose a lot for television and film. Does your process differ when you’re working on a specific TV or film project from how you approach writing for production music or Totsy?

BB: Yes, when writing for film and TV, I am trying to make the client happy. A lot of what goes into writing for film and television is trying to write something you and the client are happy with. Film and TV are fun, because you really get to help bring a scene to life.  When you write the appropriate piece of music, when I’ve really done my job right, everything in the scene just works together.

When I’m writing for Totsy, there really are no boundaries. I do feel like there is a certain sound that the band has established that has to be achieved in every song to keep the sound consistent. With Totsy I really get to try anything I want, which is always fun.

MX: Looking at Modern Country, are there any tracks on the album that you’re especially excited about?

BB: My favorite tracks on the album are “Backwoods” and “I’m Coming Home,” for their kick ass outlaw country sound. I love “Everything But You,” for that contemporary country ballad thing. I also love “Honky Tonk Rodeo” that I co-wrote with John Dwyer (recently placed on the TV show Nashville, along with “In The Backwoods”) for that honky tonk, rowdy barroom sound that I grew up with. Always fun to write.

MX: Where did you look for inspiration for “Modern Country”?

BB: I get a lot of my inspiration from growing up in my hometown Evergreen, Colorado.  Rodeo and country music were really big parts of our community. Some of the terminology comes a little easier if you’ve lived it. I also try to stay current on what is happening on the charts. It’s always part of our job as writers to make sure we know what the current sound is.

MX: What’s coming up next for you?

BB: I just finished a blues album for Megatrax. I’m really looking forward to the release of this album. Other projects include some film and TV projects as well as a few commercials and record releases.

Check out Modern Country on Megatrax.com today, and look for our interview with Whirly Girl Music for more information about the music of “Nashville”!

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