So, in an attempt to prepare for this interview, I combed the web for some background information on you but it seems that you remain a mystery without even a bio in sight… which means you are going to have to start from the beginning for us. Who is Brett Every ?
Well, that might best be summed up by a lovely Japanese review I got for my first album back in 2008. When the Japanese text was (badly) translated by some internet program, one line really said it all: “While the rhythm of the air languid jazz and blues, making the feeling knock down which soars moderately coolly, the body is made to entrust happy impression of the thing which loves to itself, comfortably. It is such a music.” A beautiful sentiment, terribly translated!
If that doesn’t make it crystal clear, then I
guess all I can say is that I’m a singer/songwriter,
originally from Sydney Australia,
whose 4 self-produced albums have focused
lyrically,among other things, on love of the
same-sex variety. Intimacy, or closeness and
distance between two people, is a recurring theme
forme. I would also want to point out that one of
the things I’m happiest with is how collaborative
these recordings have been – my songs have
been blessed by the wonderful players and the
many special guest vocalists who’ve brought
them to life.
Have you always been openly OUT as a gay artist?
Certainly on these 4 albums since 2008! Before then, I played in a couple of great bands where sexuality wasn’t so much the focus – although we did have fun with gender every now and then. For a while there, I had a habit of writing songs from the perspective of older ladies - I’m not quite sure why.
Were you influenced by Australian artists growing up like Jimmy Barnes or John Farnham or did the American artists strike more of a chord with you?
Ha! Well, it was certainly difficult to escape those guys! There are some really great Aussie female artists too – Chrissie Amphlett, Renee Geyer and Wendy Matthews are totally worth seeking out. When I was growing up, Australian radio was a mix of Aussie artists and UK artists, but was probably dominated mostly by American artists. Same with my inner radio since then - it has long been dominated by Americans like Stevie Nicks, Emmylou Harris and kd lang (Canadian, I know!).
Tell us about your most recent album, Tales of Ten Men…first…who are these ten men that inspired you?
‘Tales of Ten Men’ is a collection of songs I’ve written with male names in the title (as well as one I did not write – Concrete Blonde’s amazing song ‘Joey’). So there’s a couple of break-up songs (Henry, Sidney, Jack), a best-friend-done-wrong song (Ollie)… there’s one about a priest (Brother Taylor), a doctor (Dr Joe), and reworkings of previous ones (Mr Smith and William). Oh, there’s also a I-can’t-remember-your-name song (Gentleman).
You are a wonderful storyteller and your animated video, “What a Beautiful Day” is a perfect set of images in support of marriage equality. How do you feel the movement for marriage equality going in Australia?
Thank you. I was so happy with how that video turned out – thanks to Jo Knox! Marriage equality in Australia will definitely happen sometime, and hopefully sooner than later. And it should, because poll after poll shows that the majority of Australians support marriage equality – but for some crazy reason, neither leader of our two main parties is prepared to stand up and represent that majority. It’s weird. But surely, with momentum in New Zealand, the UK, and hopefully here in the U.S. right now, Australia will eventually get there. I just don’t know why the politicians are making us drag our feet on the issue.
Your videos for “Prince Charming” and “Man Walks into a Bar” are also extremely creative. Do you have some visions brewing for upcoming videos?
Oh thank you – it’s been a great experience for me to see how a video can add a whole new dimension to a song. I’m hoping to get some videos out there for Henry and for Ollie, but the ideas are rather unformed at the moment, so stay tuned.
So back to finding out about you…tell us what makes you truly happy?
Writing a great song is a big source of happy for me. Some songs just tumble out, almost fully formed, and somehow they really crystallize a feeling or approach a concept in a new or interesting way – and when that happens, however rarely, it is such an exhilarating experience.
How far will you go with a project or idea that isn’t quite clicking until you give it up?
Oh, good question! I’m not sure – I’ve got a bunch of verses and unmatched choruses sitting around, and who knows if they might reassemble one day into something that matches up. But I guess for me, the litmus test I use to check if an idea or a line is worth pursuing, is – do I believe it? And also, am I saying what I mean to say? Sometimes I hear songs on the radio where it feels like certain lines are phoned in or haven’t been thought through twice. But don’t make me name the culprits!
What do you feel is the secret to a long and happy relationship?
Hmmm... tough question! I think the secret is both very complicated and also very simple. I think you've got to want your partner to be happy, and you've got to remember what it is that lights up their eyes. And your partner's got to do the same for you. And then, you've just got to hope that these happinesses match up and can work together. See - it's a walk in the park!
What do you hope you are doing 5 years from now?
Hopefully I'll still be writing songs but not becoming one of the culprits!