By Larry Widen Special to OnMilwaukee Published Sep 19, 2023 at 3:01 PM

In 2011, Canadian roots rockers Jay Emmons, Chris Koster, Adam Paquette, Chris Huot and Brett Emmons formed The Glorious Sons. Their first album, "The Union," was released in 2014 to critical acclaim. "Young Beauties & Fools" and “A War on Everything” followed in 2017 and 2019, respectively. Their current album, “Glory," is keeping the band on an upward trajectory as they roll into Milwaukee to appear at The Rave on Saturday, Sept. 23.  

"We play hard rock on one song, and tender, fingerpicking intimacy on another. We’re a hard band to pigeonhole," he said. "Sometimes the marketing people don’t really know what category to put us into. I don’t mind that because the light switch goes on in their minds and they get it."

Emmons said the current album’s music reflects the time he spent alone during the pandemic and being forced to confront his inner thoughts.

"It’s acknowledgment of the pain and what it means to be human,” he said.

Emmons talked more about The Glorious Sons in an interview prior to this weekend's Rave show, chatting about life on the road and opening for rock 'n' roll legends. 

OnMilwaukee: Milwaukee is in the middle of a major tour. Does the band get tired by then?

Brett Emmons: Sure, we get all tired on a tour, but it doesn’t affect the shows. The adrenaline kicks in and gives you the power to pull off a great 90-minute performance. 

When did you acquire a manager who was looking out for you, and not himself?

About two years into our career, I’d say. A good manager looks out for themselves and you at the same time. They’re betting on you, and they must believe in the band to do that. 

How does it feel to move from smaller venues to rock arenas?

It’s overwhelming at first. I remember the first time we switched to in-ear monitors. Little stuff like that is part of the learning curve on the way up. During the first shows in arenas, I would rip my ear monitors out almost every night. I didn’t want to hear myself so clearly. I just wanted to connect with people and have fun. Another thing that drove me crazy was seeing them put up chairs in our first arena show. I was like “What the hell is going on here?”  Like everything else, you get used to it and learn to find energy in new ways. 

What’s it like opening for the Rolling Stones?

My neighbor said it best. We became part of the 0.00000001 percent of people that played for one of the most influential and greatest rock and roll bands in the history of the world. It’s unbelievable if you think of it like that.

Has your musical path been determined for now, or is there a continuous quality improvement attitude toward the future?

It’s always about improving for us. We want to be a band for as long as we can and keep challenging ourselves. We always want to expand our fan base because they tend to stay with us.