For years, Brett Wiscons has made a career playing rousing cover versions of pop songs throughout Indianapolis.
He was a member of the duo the Michaels, performing acoustically in intimate pubs and cafes. Over the past decade, he rocked clubs such as the Vogue performing as part of Great Scott!
But now, Wiscons is ready to move forward in his career.
His upcoming release, “33,” comes out on March 3 and represents an artistic leap forward for Wiscons. Produced by former Hootie and the Blowfish guitarist Mark Bryan, the work spins short stories into soulful songs.
Wiscons will start his record release tour on Wednesday, performing at 7 p.m. at Plat 99, 333 S. Delaware St., Indianapolis. He also will perform at 7 p.m. March 1 at Cobblestone Grill, 160 S. Main St., Zionsville.
What was the focus of this record?
I was trying to shift my career to be more of an artist rather than a guy who plays music in a bar. I’ve been playing in bands forever. This has been my only career for the last five years. A lot of times, you’re overlooked, you’re just there, and people don’t appreciate you. I wanted to find a way to put myself on the map somehow.
How did you go about doing that?
I reached out to my producer, Mark (Bryan). I knew working with him would advance my standing in the music industry, and that was the main thing I wanted to do, be taken more seriously by the music industry.
How did you know Mark?
I’ve known Mark since November 2000, just from going to Hootie and the Blowfish shows over the years. I happened to befriend him after one of their gigs here in Indy, after the show, chatting by their tour bus after the show. We stayed in touch after that. In January 2013, I asked him point blank if he’d work with me.
Does “33” have any kind of a theme?
There’s not a theme per se. It’s not like a concept album, not just one long train of thought. But Mark had me write short stories and turn them into songs. When you hear the songs, there’s definitely stories within each song, you can see how it was a short story to begin with.
Did you have experience writing in the past?
I wrote my first novel in late 2012 and just finished my second novel. I have some experience that way. Being a novelist first, I could just kind of create characters and dialogue, and thanks to Mark, we could turn them into songs.
Where does the name “33” come from?
I’m 33 right now for another couple of months, so it was a look at where I am now in my life. And I’m releasing it on 3-3. I thought it would be cool to tie it all together.
What are your thoughts now that the record is about to be released?
It’s crazy because these songs have been done since July. I’ve already written another handful of songs. In some ways I’ve already moved on, but I want to give these songs a proper life. I think these are the best songs I’ve been part of.