Hank3 Talks About Releasing Four Records on the Same Day, Leaving His Old Label
Hank Williams III is a major label survivor. For almost two decades, the singer-songwriter released five studio albums with Curb Records, but the company never really figured out how to properly support his sound and vision. He is the grandson of country music legend Hank Williams and the son of Hank Williams Jr., and his left-of-center approach never meshed well with the more conservative-leaning Nashville power brokers.
Finally free of his long-standing recording contract with Curb, the singer is going under the name Hank3 and has taken on the musical project of his career. Next month he'll be releasing four records – yes, four records! 'Ghost to a Ghost/Guttertown,' a double-album set, is a straight-shooting country collection, flavored with Hank3's trademark hellbilly sound. On the other side of the spectrum, you have 'Attention Deficit Domination' and '3 Bar Ranch Cattle Callin,' which are intensely metal-driven records on which Hank3 plays all instruments
Noisecreep spoke with Hank about the upcoming releases and his new found creative freedom.
"I started writing all of the material on January 2nd of this year and then the recording started on February 1st. So it was all basically done at the same time. During the day I would work on the country stuff and when I had my fill of that, I would jump on the 'Cattle Callin' songs or some of the doom-rock material. That's basically how my days were for three and a half months of my life from the moment I woke up till I went to bed. It wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered the four albums myself, so it was a nerve-racking experience towards the end. I just wanted to do something different and I think I've accomplished that with these records," says a proud Hank3.
Now that he's on an indie label, Hank3 is enjoying the freedom that brings him. "It was really frustrating for me to not be able to sell my own CDs at my merch tables on tour. I dealt with that for almost 14 years. I've been held back my old record label for so long that I wanted to show people how creative I could truly be. I'm not just a country artist. I've got so any sides to me and the music I write. That was a huge inspiration behind this four album project. I'm also going to be out on the road for two years, so I wanted to make sure I had all of these different songs out for people to check out before they saw our show."
Noisecreep asked the singer how he hooked up with Megaforce Records, a label known for introducing metal acts like Testament and Metallica to the world. "The people from Megaforce came out to see me when I was still signed to Curb Records. What I instantly liked about them was that they weren't some huge corporate office. It's still a very grassroots type of operation. So I explained my vision to them and respected it. They understood what I was trying to get across out there. It's a great feeling being with a label that respects what I do. The folks at Curb Records didn't have respect for me and I was there for 15 years. So this is a nice change. It feel natural."
Noisecreep then asked Williams specifically about 'Attention Deficit Disorder,' one of the metal records in the bunch. "There's a song on that disc called 'I Feel Sacrificed' that I wrote about the creative process. With all of the creative flow, the destruction comes right behind it. You can only be creative so long and then you're just down and out and completely destroyed. Half way through recording these albums, I was feeling mentally and physically beat down. I was playing drums on the records and that alone was hard on me physically. That's what that song is about. It was me realizing that I might have bitten a bit more than I could chew," says Williams.
All four new Hank3 albums will be out on September 6th via Megaforce Records.
Dates for the first leg of Hank3's North American tour are as follows:
05 The Masquerade, Atlanta, GA
07 House of Blues, New Orleans, LA
08 Scout Bar, Houston, TX
09 10The Rail Club, Ft. Worth, TX
12 House of Rock, Corpus Christi, TX
13 Emo's, Austin, TX
15 Backstage Live, San Antonio, TX
16 Trees, Dallas, TX
17 Sunshine Theatre, Albuquerque, NM
19 Marquee Theatre, Tempe, AZ
20 The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA
21 House of Blues, San Diego, CA
23 The Roxy, Los Angeles, CA
24 Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA
25 Knitting Factory, Reno, NV
29 The Domino Room at Midtown, Bend, OR
30 Roseland Theatre, Portland, OR
01 Knitting Factory, Spokane, WA
03 Showbox At The Market, Seattle, WA
04 Wilma Theatre, Missoula, MT
06 Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO