Since moving to Nashville in the 1990’s, producer and Emmy Award winning songwriter Trey Bruce has written multiple hit singles (five of them #1) and has collected more than a dozen ASCAP awards. He’s also written songs with a variety of artists that include bassist Duff McKagan and guitarist Billy Gibbons.
Now, Bruce is stepping out of his “comfort zone” and becoming the artist himself; teaming up with singer/songwriter Loni Rose to form King’s Bullet. The duo’s self-titled debut EP is filled with nothing short of straight from the heart songwriting.
I had the chance to speak with Bruce and discuss the new album, his songwriting prowess as well as his affection for vintage guitars and gear.
Read the rest of my Guitar World interview with Trey Bruce by Clicking Here
“It’s fun to tell the story, because it’s one of those things that just happened”, Loni Rose says when asked about how King’s Bullet (her partnership with hit songwriter and producer, Trey Bruce) came to be.
“Some of the best things in life happen when you least expect it. All of a sudden, you turn a corner, and there’s a gift just waiting for you.”
Loni originally met Trey through a mutual friend to do some songwriting together, but the pair quickly realized that what they had was something extra special. The result is the debut EP of King’s Bullet; eight songs shot straight from the heart. From the opening lines of the eccentrically titled “Watermelon Sun” to the rawness and energy of songs like “One Brick Shy”, “Blood On the Floor” and the title track, the power of their partnership is on full display.
I had the chance to speak with Loni about the new album and her partnership with Trey. We also discuss her musical background as well as the day she had an epiphany, and discovered the real secret of songwriting.
goJimmygo (gJg): Tell me about the genesis of King’s Bullet.
Loni Rose (LR): Trey and I met a few years ago in Nashville by a mutual friend (Eli Ball) just to meet and possibly do some writing together. One of the things Eli had told me before I moved to Nashville and started co-writing was, “You’re going to meet and write with a lot of people. There will be situations where you will really click, and then there will be times when you don’t. But every once in a while, and maybe only once, you’re going to meet someone and there’s going to be magical chemistry.” And that’s what happened with us. I’ve been a solo artist for a long time and Trey’s always been a hit writer and producer. So this is a major thing for both of us. It’s cool!
gJg: What were those early writing sessions like?
LR: Trey had hired me to sing the demo for a song he had written called “King’s Bullet” (which we ended up calling the duo). It was such a great demo and we received really great feedback on it. So we started writing material together that felt like that. The songs we found that were special were the ones that had a disregard for the typical format of a song. I mean, who would write a song called “Watermelon Sun”? [laughs]
gJg: That’s one of my favorite songs from the record!
LR: Thank you! Sometimes we’ll start with just an idea or a title. Sometimes we won’t even have a concept; like with “Watermelon Sun”. I said, “That title (Watermelon Sun) is so cool! I don’t even know what that means, but I like it.” [laughs]
gJg: One Brick Shy
LR: I was going through some things when I showed up at the co-write and that was kind of how that song was born. Trey and I discovered as we got to know each other that we both had gone through a lot of things in love and life that were similar. We both channeled that feeling and got really raw about it; which was new for me. I was always more comfortable with writing music that lifts and lights up a room. I wasn’t used to writing songs that had a darker edge or a tragic, sad quality to them. It wasn’t easy for me to get comfortable about talking and writing about it. That has been a huge evolution for me.
gJg: Blood On The Floor
LR: It was Eli Ball who once said, “When you guys write together, you leave your blood on the floor!” I immediately texted Trey and said, “This is our next song title!” [laughs]. We actually wrote “Blood On The Floor” the day before we went in to the studio to cut the EP.
gJg: Tell me a little about your musical background.
LR: My parents both played guitar and I grew up listening to them play in the house. When I was in third grade, I started taking piano lessons and got really into it. There actually came a point where I really got lost in playing. I would practice my piano in the morning, but then when I came home from school, I’d just play and make things up.
I remember that even before I had actually written a “real” song with lyrics, I had about fifty or so pieces of music that I created and would just play for hours.
When I was 16, my parents gave me my first guitar. By then, my parents both knew that I wanted to be a singer, but my Dad told me something that’s been so powerful to me ever since the day he said it. He challenged me and said:
“Singers are a dime a dozen, you need to write your own songs.”
It wasn’t until I was in a piano room in my high school trying to write a song with words that I finally realized where they come from. Songs come from inside of your heart, inside of you. It was a place to be expressive.
Ever since that clicked in my head and I wrote that first song with lyrics and melody, I was able to write, and I’ve been writing ever since. I’ve been fortunate to have had a lot of my music placed in TV and film. It’s given me nice exposure which helped when I moved to Nashville.
gJg: Now that the album has been released, what’s next for King’s Bullet?
LR: We’re definitely interested in going out on tour and supporting the new record. We’re on this amazing ride and have no idea where it’s going to go. It came from such an authentic place, and we’re having so much fun just throwing it at the world and seeing what’s going to happen next.
For more information on Loni and King’s Bullet, check out their official website by Clicking Here