Meet the Band - Brushville

Kicking off this new year we're excited to welcome Brushville into our TalentPlus family! This rocking country band from Illinois are bringing their sound to the Show-Me-State and we can't wait for you to hear them! On the eve of their newest single release "Somewhere in Love" we got together with the band to learn a little more about the group. Read on to be introduced to Brushville and be sure to check out their new album Taking You Higher this February.

How did the band come together?

The band started in Normal (IL.) with a bunch of friends wanting to put together a country band and have a good time. We were a group of like-minded individuals wanting to pursue music farther than any project we had been in previously.

How would you describe your sound?
Our sound would be more of an edgy pop/rock country sound with big guitar sounds.

When did you start playing music?
Kirk (lead guitarist): I started playing the violin at the age of 6, trumpet at the age of 10, choir at the age of 8 and guitar at the age of 14.

Darin (drummer): I fell in love with drums at the age of 5 at a Ventures concert. But school and my parents wanted me to start with piano. So I started piano at 7 and officially started my percussion education in 5th grade and went on to get a music degree.

Dustin ( lead vocals): I grew up surrounded by country music my whole life. My father sang at home constantly, and my uncle was in a band that my parents would take me to his shows. I joined the school band in 5th grade starting on saxophone and then transferring to drums through high school.  I started teaching myself guitar my senior year of high school and sang around the house and in my car. It wasn't until college that I started playing acoustic shows and singing out.

Marc (Bass): I played classical piano from ages 7-14. I taught myself guitar at 16 and took up the bass in college.

What is your favorite moment of performing for a live audience?
We really enjoyed performing at Rock to the Rescue where we were the only band that wasn’t a national/signed act raising money for the Tornado Relief for Washington, IL.  On that bill were Brushville, Head East, Survivor, Richard Marx, Styx, Ted Nugent, and REO Speedwagon. We performed in front of over 8,500 people in the now Grossinger Motors Arena.

What influences your music the most?
Darin: Most of us grew up listening to classic country, 90’s/ 2000’s country, pop, & classic rock music. Some of us have had in-depth music education and performance experience. So we are really able to draw on a lot of that diverse musical experience, with roots in classic country and rock, and a constant ear to current music styles so we can create a sound all our own and continue to evolve.

Kirk: I studied classical guitar in college so that is a big part, I grew up listening to big guitar bands as a teenager such as Van Halen, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Led Zeppelin and the Scorpions to name a few.  I would spend hours at the public pool from the time I was 3 til High School listening to all the 70’s and 80’s music on WLS AM Chicago. My dad played country music in the car so I was exposed to a wide range of music.

Marc: It can be anything. My favorite bands/artists are Queen, The Beatles, Prince, Radiohead, Supergrass. I really love music with great vocal harmonies but I can listen to and be influenced/inspired by anything. Our rehearsals are like brainstorming sessions where we bounce ideas off each other and we will experiment with anything and everything.

Dustin: I listen to all kinds of music it all depends on what kind of mood I'm in. I am always listening for those unique moments that catch my ear or give me chills. I listen deeply to lyrics and find those that relate to me. That is what influences my own music.  Writing or recording songs I feel like people can relate to whether they are serious songs or just fun songs.

Where did the name originate from?
One of the members' aunts threw out the name Brushfire and we went with that for several years. To release our first album and have it played on the radio, we had to change our name to Brushville because Jack Johnson owns a record called Brushfire Fairytales and he, therefore, owns all of the copyrights.  We also went with Brushville after that because we wanted it to be close to Brushfire so when our fans heard the name advertised, they knew it was us.

Do you have any words to live by or life motto for the band?
Life is short, have fun and never give up on something you can't go a day without thinking about.

How has the band changed over the years?
When the band was first put together, we were going to have 7 members, including 2 drummers with full kits. Now we are a 4 piece.

Who would be your dream collaboration?
Kirk: I would love to write with Jimmy Page and Stevie Nicks and Don Henley.
Darin: I have always thoroughly enjoyed Lady Antebellum and they're writing style. Would be cool to do something with them.
Marc: Probably Paul McCartney. And I came very close to working with him on a recording project about 15 years ago but another bass player got picked at the last minute for the job.
Dustin: my idol has always been Garth Brooks, I think it would be an incredible experience to work with him.

If you had to describe the band in one word it would be….
Entertaining, Unique

How has your music changed from your first album to your most current?
The first album was more of a classic country production and the most recent album, Taking You Higher, is still country but a little more rock/pop edge to it.

Do you have a favorite performance that you’ve done in the past or been a part of?
Kirk: Last year opening up for Easton Corbin was a lot of fun at the Logan County Fair in Lincoln, IL. It is always fun getting back to your home town and performing in front of friends and family.
Darin: probably the sold-out Rock to The Rescue show.
Marc: The Iowa State Fair is always a show I look forward to.
Dustin: We played a venue in Macomb, IL. that was an old theater. It has been converted into a large bar that students of Western Illinois University frequent. We packed the house and the energy in the room was amazing. The venue itself just had a nostalgia to it. I love old buildings that give you that warm feeling like you were meant to play there and the history of those who have stood on that same stage.  

If they made a documentary about the band, who would be on the soundtrack?
Kirk: Probably Garth Brooks
Darin: any classic country or classic rock… maybe zz top.
Marc: I would hope that we would mostly be on the soundtrack … but anything with killer guitar riffs - Rage, Guns n Roses, Led Zeppelin etc
Dustin: I think with our wide music interests in the band there would be a variety of genre and artists.

Why do you play music?   
Kirk: I love playing music for many reasons, my biggest reason playing live would be interacting with the fans and seeing them have a great time.
Darin: If I'm being honest, I play music for me. I love it. If people dig what we do musically, then great. If not, that's fine too. I enjoy seeing others like what we do. But we have to like what we do so that the passion and excitement is conveyed to the audience.
Marc: It’s addictive, whether it’s playing live to a crowd, in a studio, a rehearsal room, or by yourself.
Dustin: Music has always made me feel good. I love to sit at home and just play acoustic guitar and sing. Then there is the energy from screaming fans at a sold-out show that you can’t get or recreate any other way.

If you could play on any stage, where would it be?
Kirk: Red Rock Amphitheater, Colorado, The acoustics are supposed to be the best
Marc: Probably one of the classic British venues - Royal Albert Hall, Wembley. I’d get a big kick out of playing at Old Trafford, Manchester United’s stadium.
Darin: Grand Ol’ Opry stage
Dustin: I agree with Darin. I think being in country music and being asked to perform at the Opry would be a huge point in my music career

When you’re not playing music you…
Kirk: I love hanging out with my little dog Charlie Brown, and love watching the newest movies.  
Darin: I love being with my family and fishing.
Marc: I love to cook and watch or play soccer.
Dustin: I love being out on our family farm, building things, and being on the lake fishing.

Does anyone in the band have an unusual talent?
Marc is a great cook.
Dustin is a pretty skilled carpenter and tournament fisherman for Crappie.
Darin is a great percussion instructor.
Kirk can nap anywhere, anytime.

If you could perform a concert in any country which would you choose and why?

Kirk: I have always wanted to visit Hawaii and I think that would be a blast to perform over there.
Darin: Australia would be really cool. Also pretty much anywhere in Europe. But if I had to be specific about Europe, I'd say Britain as well as anywhere for our troops. Also, someone should mention to Kirk that Hawaii is one of the states...😄
Marc: Japan or South Korea would be great.
Dustin: I would love to go to the UK. Marc is actually from Britain so it would be awesome for him to get to go home and perform for friends and family. Then he could show the rest of us around.

Fun Facts:
  • Our first two singles 'Dangerous' and 'Baby’s Got Her Boots On' have broken the Music Row top 100. 
  • Our first album was recorded by legendary producer Kyle Lehning. He has recorded almost everything Randy Travis has done.
  • Brushville has been featured in Billboard Magazine. 
  • Brushville won the Battle of the Bands in Busch Stadium in 2018
  • Brushville won a Battle of the Bands in Nashville at the Wildhorse Saloon
  • Marc is British but, depending on the show, might be from Kentucky 
  • We have a very intense Mario Kart rivalry and will gladly take on anyone, anywhere, anytime. 
  • Darin sold his soul for pizza a few years ago.

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