1. Hi Brett & Taryn, can you two tell me a little about yourselves before you became country music duo?
Brett Stafford Smith is a lifelong songwriter from Alabama who played drums and guitar in 5 bands growing up and through college in Auburn. Brett moved to Nashville and played the bar scene on Broadway for a few years but longed to be a part of something musically bigger than himself: a band. It was at a gig in Music City that he met Taryn Stevens. Taryn, a traveling nurse living in Nashville by way of Michigan, was raised playing the piano, but had never practiced percussion before meeting Brett. The two began to spend time together, forming an unbreakable bond through their mutual love of good times, music, and each other.
2. How did you guys come up with your group name “Stafford Stevens” and was there any other choices you were going to choose instead?
Stafford is Brett’s mothers maiden name and Stevens is Taryn’s last name. We actually never even had another option because we just liked the way our names sounded side by side.
3. How do you guys feel to finally have your debut EP “The Demo” out? Taryn-I’m a bit taken a back it’s on Spotify and iTunes because I moved here with the intention of only being here 3 months. I never thought I would be playing music and much less start a band and release original music. But we are both thrilled to share the work we put in over the last 6 months. Brett- We did all the tracking, mixing, and mastering from home so this is truly our work. I hope we can make it on Spotify playlists and be a part of people’s summer soundtrack. ‘B.Y.O.B Weekend Party’ is that good time groove that friends have compared to Little Big Town’s ‘Pontoon.’ “We can’t walk on water but we all learned to ski!!”
4. Can you guys choose one song from your new EP and just give a little background about the song? Brett- I wrote “League of Your Own” with Jordan Fletcher after I had seen Taryn tackle so many thing all at once. She works as a nurse, in nurse practitioner school, sells exogenous ketons, writes personal workout programs and diets, and then decides to learn drums. She’s just unlike most people in the way she takes on new challenges.
5. Is there anything else coming up with your music for 2018? Taryn- We plan to shoot a music video for ‘League of Your Own’ in the coming months and will be playing around Nashville for showcases and songwriter events. We hope to venture out and feel like we are equipped to be a solid opening act. Brett- We’ve started working on new original songs that aren’t on ‘The Demo’ and there’s a tune that stands out and states “It don’t matter what you drinking, it’s who you drinking with.” It’s a seize the moment type song with soul and a pulse.
6. Where do you guys see your music careers in the next 5 to 10 years? Brett-I just hope it’s alive and kicking. We would like to incorporate other instruments to help grow the sound. I would love to be co-writing for other artists and have a great catalog of songs by then. Taryn- I would like to be doing some keyboard work on stage and help do some background vocals.
7. Who are some of your guys musical icons? Taryn- I would have to say Brett. He’s the first person to show me behind the scenes of this “musicians world.” It’s a mysterious community in Nashville that I knew nothing about. Now I’ve learned about song writing and constructing a song for live performances. There’s another Brett I like alot too; Brett Eldridge and I also enjoy Jana Krammer. Brett- I spent high school collecting everything Dave Matthews touched. I feel in love with Ray Lamontagne’s voice in college and the rawness of The Avett Brothers. At a young age I was listening to country then got away from it until I heard ‘Springsteen” by Eric Church in a bar in Alabama. It had a Kings of Leon vibe to it and really thought the sound was beautiful. It honestly re-opened the door to country music for me.
8. What are your guys favorite quotes? Taryn-“Better ingredients, better pizza, Papa Johns” Brett- “You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion” Timothy Pina
9. Anything else to share? Our six song EP “The Demo” was released on 2/22 and can be found everywhere. We hope everyone can find a song on there that speaks to them. Find on Instagram at Staffordstevensband to keep up with the latest happenings, shows, and 1 minute covers.