DK: What inspired you to want to live in Nashville instead of New York, Los Angeles or even Austin?
Bradley: That was a decision made really by my manager. I had cut an album in Siberia, as I've mentioned. Through a mutual friend I got the chance to meet the lady who would end up managing me. I flew to NYC to meet her, told her my story and left her with the album while she made some enquiries with her peers and colleagues. She didn't know if Nashville would be ‘too country’ for a British oil guy, but that’s the sound I grew up with. My dad worked out in the Arabian Gulf while I was a kid and brought back cassettes of Kenny Rogers and Merle Haggard. I guess my dad and my manager paved the road to Nashville, It's an incredible city and I'm very happy to call it home.
DK: How do you generally compose a song? Do you write lyrics and then the music is it the other way around?
Bradley: Nashville is really known for its co-writing culture. Most signed writers are coupled up in writing sessions. So it all depends really. You try to go into these sessions with something, either a hook, a lyric, maybe a chord progression. I find myself in songwriting rounds dissecting chord composition in songs I hear. When two or three chords just sit right together I'll start playing around and building on that. Someone may also say something in conversation, something that could be a cool title. You instantly see all the songwriters glaze over as the possibilities of songs sink in then we all pull out our phones and type the title in. You're always looking for that "cool hook". So to answer your question, it's a bit of both.
DK: With 2010 almost over, what do you have planned for the rest of the year?
Bradley: Well I've been on tour from February to August so it's been quite a year already. I'm catching up on my writing, I still have shows in Fort Knox for the troops, then out in Kansas and we close the year in Las Vegas at the Mirage Hotel where we play the National Finals Rodeo, which I'm REAAALLLYY looking forward to. That's going to be a lot of fun. So no rest for the wicked.
DK: What was it like recording with classically trained jazz musicians in Siberia?
Bradley: It was an experience. They were a great bunch of guys. I met them when I went into a local music store in Tyumen, Siberia to buy a cheap acoustic guitar so I could sit and write songs at night. I asked the guy behind the counter if there were any bands out there and he said, "we have a jazz funk band". Not really my scene, but he convinced me to visit their studio that night, which I did, and met this mixed bag of talented guys. The keyboard player was a professor in the music university - a classical player, the guitarist was a jazz nut and they played SO well together. We started playing pub rock covers in town after work for fun. I guess I was an instant hit because I was singing all these songs in my native language. When that job was coming to an end, the oil company was about to send me off somewhere else in the world but there was a voice inside me saying, ‘take a look around you, you've got a great bunch of talented musicians, a recording studio,’ the only down side was the location. But, I don't know, a light went off. I finally had the opportunity to do something I guess I'd always wanted to do, and just never really knew. I flew back to the UK and brought back my guitars, rented an apartment, told the oil company I was off the market for work, and we just had a blast working up all the songs I'd been writing. That was the album that started this crazy journey and I'll never forget my Russian buddies. None of them spoke a word of English, and although I did learn Russian, there is a worldwide language in music.
DK: Having mixed your initial tracks at Abbey Road must have been incredible. How did you book time there and can you share what it was like to work in the world's most famous studio?
Bradley: Well, I'd like to tell your readers an amazing story about how I made it to Abbey Road, but the simple fact was I walked through the front door with an open checkbook! Anyone who's been in a modern studio over here will know there's a computer at the core of all big fancy mixing desks which runs ProTools along with an engineer who clicks a mouse, moving files around. We didn't have that in Russia. We set up all the microphones we had around the instrument we were playing and hit record. If anyone messed up they just did it again and again until it was right. So, after all that effort, I didn't really want to go and throw it all into a computer. There is a warmth that comes from a truly analog recording. I knew Abbey Road would be able to handle that and it really was an amazing experience working there. There is magic in the walls... you can feel it. It's a memory I'll keep with me forever, long after the pain of writing that check has faded.
DK: As a Sunderland native, do you have any interest in the football club there? If so, what are your predictions for the upcoming EPL season?
Bradley: Rugby has always been my game, but growing up in the Northeast England following your local football team is a MUST.... even if they're crap! haha. Sunderland AFC bounce in and out of the Premiership regularly, and I don't get to see any of the games over here in the States. I think out of 3 games this season they've won one, lost one and drawn one. It's never been the same since Ian Porterfield left.With a different interpretation of what country music should look and sound, don’t be surprised to be hearing from David Bradley in the near future