Arts·Q with Tom Power

What Brett Emmons of The Glorious Sons thinks about Blame Brett — the hit breakup anthem named after him

For the first time, Brett Emmons shares what it’s like to be the subject of the massive breakup hit Blame Brett by his ex-girlfriend’s band, The Beaches.

For the first time, Emmons shares what it’s like to be the subject of the song by his ex’s band The Beaches

Composite of brothers Brett and Jay Emmons.
Composite of Brett Emmons, left, and Jay Emmons of The Glorious Sons in the Q studio in Toronto. (Vivian Rashotte/CBC)

When brothers and bandmates Brett and Jay Emmons of The Glorious Sons dropped by the Q studio to talk about their new album, Glory, there was one question host Tom Power was hesitant to ask — and that's because it's a bit personal.

Brett is the subject of the massive breakup hit Blame Brett by the Toronto rock band The Beaches. He and The Beaches' lead singer, Jordan Miller, were in a relationship for three years, having met while their bands toured together. And as you've probably already guessed, they've since split up.

Luckily, Brett was happy to talk about the song and his ex, whom he's still on good terms with. This is the first time he's spoken publicly about the song.

"I actually hated the thought of not talking about it," he told Power. "You know, we're not going to go on social media and start a Tupac/Biggie war. Me and Jordan are still friends. It doesn't really bother me at this point."

Brett also wrote a song about Jordan, titled Dream, for his band's new album. "There's no real getting around it when you're breaking up off an album cycle," he said with a laugh.

"When we broke up, it was extremely hard, I think for her too. I just was trying to reaffirm, I guess, a position of being in the now because you could always go back to the nostalgia — and it's poison," he said about Dream. "The actual song lies in the meat of the lyrics and the verse, where it's like, 'Your face on the pixelated screen in the square, look at you up there.' That's me telling her, like, look at what your world consists of and how powerful that is."

WATCH | Official video for Dream by The Glorious Sons:

When Power interviewed Jordan and her sister/bandmate Kylie Miller in September, Jordan explained that Brett isn't the villain of Blame Brett, as many people have assumed. Rather, the song is about her not being over him, and having difficulty dating new people because of that.

"I came in with this sort of idea to write a song apologizing to all the future people that I was going to see, being like, 'I'm sorry in advance. I'm probably going to break your heart because my heart has been broken lol — don't blame me though, blame my ex-boyfriend,'" said Jordan.

But what's it like for Brett to have a hit song named after him? He told Power there were three distinct phases.

I still would have preferred, to be honest, not to have a song with my name in it.- Brett Emmons

"The first phase [Jordan and I] were just kind of laughing about it," he said. "Then when it came out, I was getting these comments and whatnot on social media about how much of a piece of crap I was. And then I kind of got upset.

"The third phase I just had to do the work of, OK, listen, I've been with this girl for years now. I've seen how hard she works. I've seen her make melodies for entire songs in a matter of like eight minutes sitting beside me in a car while we're driving around … she deserves all the success that she can get in that way. I still would have preferred, to be honest, not to have a song with my name in it, and just that's the nature of who I am, I think. I don't really run toward the light when it comes to this kind of stuff."

WATCH | Official video for Blame Brett by The Beaches:

While Brett did face some backlash from The Beaches' protective fans, he said it didn't take long for him to get over it.

"There's also this very small part of me which kind of laughs about the fact that I can kind of be like Margaret Trudeau or somebody like that," he said lightheartedly. "You know, you also kind of start laughing about it once it passes and once you're done getting messages from 13-year-old girls talking about how much of a piece of shit you are."

The full interview with The Glorious Sons is available on our podcast, Q with Tom Power. Brett and Jay Emmons talked more about their new album, how the band came to be, and how they proved the music industry wrong. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.


Interview with The Glorious Sons produced by Mitch Pollock.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vivian Rashotte is a digital producer, writer and photographer for Q with Tom Power. She's also a visual artist. You can reach her at vivian.rashotte@cbc.ca.

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