It’s an exciting time for Texan native and Big Machine Label Group artist Danielle Bradbery, who opened up about her anxiety issues on her latest single “Monster” and who has just performed a string of dates Stateside on her first headline tour.
We were fortunate enough to grab 15 minutes with her for a chat over Zoom while she was back in her Nashville home and she was genuinely such a pleasure to interview!
1. LH Hi Danielle and thanks for your time today during a crazy busy period for you.
Let’s kick things off by asking about the reaction to “Monster ” since its release a few weeks back? Such a powerful and vulnerable song.
DB It’s been really great! May is Mental Health Month here and it was just a perfect time to release it. It’s been really cool to hear stories of everyone dealing with their own situation and mental health . That’s kind of the reason I put it out, so people could relate and realise they’re not alone. When I wrote it, it was something I needed and I feel like it’s something a lot of people can relate to so there was no question that I wanted to release it.
2. LH I guess you’d already got some reaction to the song as can I assume you’d been playing it live on your headline tour before the studio version was available?
DB Yeah, I started playing it on my tour, and previous to that I posted a little clip of it on my Instagram. And I started to notice when I played it in different cities people already knew the chorus of the song. It was really cool that they loved the song so much that they repeatedly listened to my post to learn it , to hear them sing along to a song that wasn’t even out yet was a super cool feeling! So now that it’s out I’ve done some acoustic shows and a lot of people are already singing the whole song. That’s definitely a really good feeling!
3. LH It’s such a personal song, was it very emotionally hard to perform it live in front of a crowd especially the first few times?
DB No it really wasn’t that hard. I was really excited to put it out more than anything, a lot of people have asked me the same sort of thing and whether I was nervous releasing it but this is what I preach about all the time…. vulnerability, realness, honesty ….it’s something that’s so true to me and I wanted my fans to hear it and relate as much as possible. I was more excited than anything, and singing it in front of people wasn’t all that hard which is good!
4. LH So you’ve said it was good for you to unburden about your anxiety issues, can your attacks happen anytime and anywhere?
DB You know sometimes it does just hit you out of the blue, sometimes it’s even a week long feeling . For me personally my body is very sensitive and I feel it throughout my entire body which is what I mean when I say a week of symptoms because I will get a lot of headaches, or my stomach will be upset for a while. I just feel super anxious in my body, sometimes the symptoms hit me all at once and that isn’t fun!
LH Oh wow that must be tough if you’re about to go on stage or do an interview or something…..
DB Right! I’ve gotten to a point where I can kind of shove it down for a certain amount of time, it’s not the best to do that, but doing what I do there’s moments I’m feeling the edge a little bit and I just have to try to bring myself back down.
5. LH The song’s arrangement is so beautiful and really haunting, which of course suits the subject matter perfectly. Was that something you had in mind from the get go as you were writing it?
DB Yeah I did. Writing it and going into the studio, creating it with players and the producers, that was one thing I repeatedly tried to remind them. I said I want to keep it as haunting as possible because of what it’s talking about and the feel of it which kind of makes the whole song. I want it to make you feel the heaviness of what it’s talking about. That was definitely something I made sure stayed in there and we kept on that path.
6. LH We touched on the fact earlier that you’ve just played a string of dates on your first ever headline tour…. I see you played Antone’s in your home state of Texas, was that a venue you’d been to yourself to watch artists, and is performing in Texas alway extra special for you?
DB I had never actually been there before, I’d heard of it and my family has, but I actually played throughout Texas all last week which was really cool. My whole family was there at almost every single one of them and a lot of friends were there which made it really special. It was almost a full circle moment, going home and have my first headline tour sold out and have my family there.
7. LH What other stand out moments have there been on the tour so far?
DB Oh man, I think that while I’ve played on other shows and festivals and heard fans sing along I think the thing that really stuck out to me was being on MY tour they were there to see ME , something I had to take a moment to realise . They started singing every single one of my songs, from top to bottom one after another. I was “Ok, I’ve had fans singing back to me but not like this” …..it was so really cool.
8. LH And of course the tour takes its name from your previous single “ A Special Place” which has really blown up everywhere ….. and was even covered by Kelly Clarkson on her TV show!
DB Yes! That song did really well, I keep hearing good news after good news about it! It’s been so fun to perform, I feel like it’s another a lot of people can relate to in a sassy way. And yeah I was in the airport actually and was sent Kelly Clarkson’s performance and I was like “ are you kidding me? “. I talked to my management, my team and said “ Are you sure you had nothing to do with this?” But no, she picks the songs she wants to sing herself. So her picking that one is a really good sign!
9. LH And it’s an outside cut I see, amazing writers, was it pitched to you and what made you want to record it and put your own stamp on it?
DB Yeah, so it was pitched to me, the singer on the song and main writer was Maren Morris. It was a contender for her last record but didn’t make it. When I first heard it of course I heard Maren and she has a real cool, spunky attitude in her music, I love that and relate to that! Another reason I loved it and wanted to keep it for myself is that I have all these emotional, relationship songs but I don’t have one that taps into your fierceness and sassy side, putting your foot down, and I needed a song like this. All around was a green light for me to go and record it and Maren was super supportive on it. I am continually thankful for it, the song kind of set the tone for all of my pictures, content, photoshoot. We really tapped into that fierceness. It was a really fun creative project for me and my whole team.
10. LH So, the year ahead looks super busy for you including a headline Nashville show soon, CMA Fest and then going out on the road with Jordan Davis. What do you miss most when you’re away from home?
DB I feel like over all like most people I miss my bed! There’s nothing like being in your own home but we try to make it as homely as possible out on the road. In the bus we all have to live with each other, I’m a very homebody. My band have family and children, I tap into the “Mom” role on the road making things as homely, relaxing and peaceful as possible. I light candles (I love candles!) and try to make being on the road a warm, big hug for all of us. I have a dog and if we have the bus I get to bring him out, which is a priority ….I’m like “Hey everybody, Leo’s coming out with us” and they’re like “Yep, we already know he’s coming”!!
11. LH And just very quickly, as I’m out of time, all your UK fans want to know if there’s a chance you’ll be bringing your tour to this side of the pond anytime soon?
DB Oh, my whole team already knows I’m all for it! So as soon as they give me the green light I’ll be there!
LH That’s fantastic to hear! I’ll be there for sure!
Lovely to chat, thanks again for your time.
DB Thank you so much.
More Artist information at daniellebradbery.com