Music has always been a family affair for the Bros. Landreth. Before siblings Joey and David started to dream of a career together, they would tag along with their parents to their gigs.
"My mom used to do lights for some of my dad's bands, so when David was born, there were definitely some occasions where he got brought in with earplugs in," Joey recalls. "We were immersed in music from a young age. From what I remember, it was pretty cool to experience music in that way."
The brothers are still experiencing music, though on a much larger scale. The duo will be releasing their new album, Let It Lie, in January 2015. Joey tells Billboard that their style is a little bit hard to narrow down to two or three words.
"In Canada, we don't really have Americana," he says. "I think it's becoming more of a genre, but back home we are referred to more as 'roots' or 'alt-country.' Due to the guitar work in our music, it makes people a little reminiscent of the Allman Brothers and southern rock. That's the general label we've been getting. From our perspective, we just try to keep the music as honest as we can. We heard a quote not too long ago about not worrying about genres, you either play music that is honest or dishonest. So that's what we try to do, and let the listeners decide what it is."
The Manitoba-based duo perfected their sound through learning to write with each other. "I started writing in my late teens and early 20s and always struggled with writing songs," said Joey. "'Our Love,' which is the opening track on our record, is something I started writing in 2006 and didn't finish until 2011. When David and I started writing for the album, that's when things came together. We realized that we had a bit of a mojo going with our writing. That was sort of the birth of the band when we realized, 'We write some pretty good songs. We should probably write some more.'"
Earlier this year, the duo signed a contract with Slate Creek Records. "I played with a lot of commercial country artists from Canada," Joey says. "That was how I made my career. I would always see the artists go to Nashville, so when we had enough momentum, we started talking about going to Nashville and seeing what it's all about from an artist's perspective. I had been there before as a guitar player. We came down in March and played some showcases and met Jim Burnett and Garth Fundis -- the masterminds behind Slate Creek. They offered us a contract. When we sat down with Garth, he said, 'We love your record as it is. We want this album to be the first one.' We realized from there that we could trust them. They have been very encouraging and supportive so that we could continue what it is that we do."
Each of the songs on the disc stems from a real-life experience, and Joey says that many come straight from his. "I am very much a heart-on-my-sleeve kind of guy, and many of those songs were a form of catharsis for me -- dealing with some heartbreak, both on the receiving and delivering end of it. It helped provide some closure to some things that I didn't have before."
One of the tracks on the disc that is very meaningful to the duo is "Runaway Train," which features a vocal cameo from their father, Wally. "That was the coolest because we got our start playing with our dad. My first time playing in a bar was when I was 16 years old, and Dad snuck us in. Getting to turn it around and have him work on our project was amazing. He was so excited about the idea." The elder Landreth also penned "I Am the Fool," which Joey says is very symbolic to have on the record. "It's very fitting to have Dad be a part of what we're doing because he and our mom were the first musical influences for the both of us."