“If you start a band with me, I’ll get us signed and on the road within a year”…… Not only did the determined, confident and tenacious 22-year-old Brandi Carlile come through with her promise to twin brothers and initially reluctant band members Phil and Tim Hanseroth, but she also exceeded their expectations. Carlile landed the prophesied record deal with Columbia Records one year later and with the guidance of producer Rick Rubin, they recorded and released their eponymous debut album in early 2005. “The Twins were local heroes to me, I used to go and watch them play live when they were in The Fighting Machinists, I thought they were cool but more importantly great singers and songwriters.” Carlile, in a vain attempt to impress her newfound comrades, ordered in some dry ice to lure them to their first band rehearsal. “I didn’t know how dangerous overexposure to carbon dioxide could be, so I ended up nearly killing us all from asphyxiation!” Near-death experiences aside, this was the beginning of a unique collaboration. It was a partnership that would see Brandi Carlile and Tim and Phil Hanseroth sharing everything from the stage, songwriting and production credits and all creative business decisions, to bunk beds, road pranks, swine flu, confined spaces and dirty t-shirts too.
On the eve of Carlile’s 5th major label album release BEAR CREEK and after almost a decade of extensive touring, the trio and self-confessed “road dogs” and “dirty pioneers” are back with a bang. But it’s not record sales, industry accolades or commercial success that make Brandi Carlile a uniquely compelling artist; in fact some would say she has purposely gone out of her way to avoid it, “I would never write commercially or dress commercially or behave in any way that would inspire mainstream success”. It’s tales from the road, where she and the twins have spent the best part of their careers building Carlile’s fan base and audience, whilst remaining under the industry radar, that tells you the story of who she really is.