Holler Country Music
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The Songs That Changed My Life: Everette

By Madeleine OConnell

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When Brent Rupard and Anthony Olympia decided to make their band official, they had almost everything they needed: songs, beards and denim jackets. The only thing they were missing was a name.

They first met in their hometown of Bullitt County, KY, Rupard and Olympia as two budding artists who bonded over their love for music. Now living in Nashville, their friendship is stronger than ever and they’re stirring up Music City with their latest single ‘Gonna Be A Problem’. Getting to this point was no walk in the park for Everette though. They even separated for a while before realizing that they’d come too far and achieved too much to give up the band they created.

Back in Kentucky, their mutual love for the arts quickly turned into songwriting sessions and eventually, performances. Olympia was in college studying classic guitar and composition - which he describes as “highbrow and turtleneck” - but eventually decided he wanted to explore the contemporary pop. Luckily, Rupard was there to lend a helping hand during the transition, which showed them how good their skills are when combined.

Just like their friendship, their first gig came about by chance, which left them little to no time to prepare. They were residents of Sheperdsville, KY when they were unexpectedly asked to open for one of their friends at a bar one night. The circumstances may have caused them to play covers all night instead of originals, but none-the-less, it was an opportunity they had to snatch up.

“It came out of nowhere, almost like out of necessity,” Olympia remembers.

After this experience, the duo made it a point to buckle down on their music careers. The separation hit when they made the move to Nashville, as they focused tirelessly on making ends meet as small fish in the big pond.

It took some time, but about four years ago, they got the band back together and finally chose a proper name. It came to them one day in the studio; where all the magic happens. During a break, they put on one of their favorite films, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and inspiration struck.

“There was a lot we could relate to between the characters and the journey they went on and the music”, Rupard explained, and George Clooney’s character Ulysses Everett McGill gave the band their name.

Once they locked in the name Everette, they began to see a shift in their careers as they started working with renowned songwriters, releasing fan-favorites, performing at the Grand Ole Opry and attending tours around the country.

Their main goal right now is to get back out on the road in front of as many people as they can in any capacity they can – whether that be as headliners or in the parking lot of a Walmart. Either venue would fuel their fire.

“We want to go where people want to hear some music and that’s probably number one,” they shared. “I feel like that’s when our souls get the most fed and when we’re offering the most of ourselves that we can.”

In preparation for their next stretch of time on the road, Everette dropped ‘Gonna Be A Problem’, a rugged jam with a touch of vulnerability that was written by the duo alongside Ryan Tyndell and Bryan Simpson. The version we hear now sounds a bit different from the original, which had more of a pop flare to it. Although they didn’t intend to record it themselves, it’s morphed into an Everette song and there’s no turning back.

Music has changed Everette’s lives in many ways: it brought them together as young artists; gave them new opportunities and has inspired them for years in ways they hadn’t even fully realized; it even makes washing dishes a fun time for them.

Holler spoke to them about the songs that taken them from Bullitt County to being one of the hottest properties in Music City.

Tom Petty - 'Wildflowers'

Brent: "It was early on in college and me and some friends were going to meet up at a lake to hang, rent a pontoon and party all weekend. I had to take my friends jeep to pick him up from work on the way to the lake and in his jeep he had Tom Petty’s ‘Wild Flowers’. I always liked Tom Petty, but I only knew the hits, I never dug into his records really. So I listened to that whole record top to bottom multiple times on my two-hour drive. I don’t know what it was about that record, it just moved me. I loved the songs on there and I loved how cool it was".

Brent Cobb - 'Shut Up and Sing'

Anthony: "At the beginning of 2020, the year that the world flipped over, it was hard to find moments of joy. You can try to be happy, you can try to be content, you can try to assess the situation or meditate, but joy is those real moments where it’s almost as if the universe goes, “Here’s a smile.”Whether you deserve it or not, it just happens".

"I think all of the songs on Brent Cobb’s record, Keep ‘Em on They Toes are amazing, but ‘Shut up and Sing’ just hits me so deep in my core on so many levels. There’s beauty in the struggle and in the dissonance and that song has so much dissonance in it. I’ve listened to that record and cried washing dishes, washing bottles and being tired of the pandemic. I even played it this morning and I was like, “There it is again.”

Garth Brooks - 'The Dance'

Brent: "I remember at a very early age having this thought, and this was in the ‘90s when Garth Brooks was huge. My family loved Garth Brooks, they had VHS tapes of him live and I remember thinking, “when I get older, I either want to be Alvin and The Chipmunks or Garth Brooks, one of the two.” I guess I didn’t know where Alvin and The Chipmunks live so here I am in Nashville where Garth got his start. That memory is very strong in my mind.

Patsy Cline - 'Walkin' After Midnight'

Anthony: "I remember being a little kid in the kitchen washing dishes and we had a boom box, because back in the day that’s what you would listen on; we didn’t listen to music on phones or computers. I was listening to the Patsy Cline’s set on the boom box and I had listened to it a lot, so I learned the words. It was burned into my brain. I just loved the way her voice sounded and the way my voice sounded with hers. It was the first time I thought, “I like my voice.”

"I’ve always struggled with the voice inside you going, “you're not that good, you can do better.” That was one of those first moments with music. I hadn’t played an instrument yet, but singing along with her and thinking, “that feels good.” I remember that being the first time I was head over heels for music and thinking, “I want to do that, I want to do more of this”.

Silk Sonic - 'Love's Train'

Brent: "Anderson .Paak is a guy that I’ve been listening to recently; I’ll throw his stuff on while I’m washing dishes, crank it up and get that groove going in my spirit again. I love music that feels like it’s coming from some type of dirt or where people grew up and he has that for some reason. I also love groove music as well, that pops me out of the squareness that I can build around myself sometimes".

Vulfpeck -'Bach Vision Test'

Anthony: "Bryan Simpson - who we wrote ‘Gonna be a Problem with - had told us so many times to check out Vulfpeck. That was another one in the pandemic where I felt like listening to their music and the freedom they had to do whatever, just jamming together, it was tight and loose at the same time. It was beautiful and it has inspired me to look for that feeling in whatever I’m doing. They had so much joy in their music and it hit me hard".

Everette's latest single 'Gonna Be A Problem' featuring Jordan Davis is out now on This Is Hit