Whiskey Myers Frontman Cody Cannon On Having Success As An Independent Band: “There’s No Secret Sauce… No Substitute For Work Ethic”

Whiskey Myers country music
Khris Poage

I love me some Whiskey Myers.

As the band gears up to release their highly-anticipated sixth studio album, Tornillo, that’s set for release on July 29th, I got a chance to talk to frontman Cody Cannon a little bit about the new record (more to come there), as well as what it’s like to be out there crushing it as a completely independent band.

Whiskey Myers just had three songs be certified Platinum, including “Stone,” “Ballad of a Southern Man,” and “Broken Window Serenade,” and “Virginia” certified Gold by RIAA at their Red Rocks debut, which is completely incredible for a band that’s never been on a major label or had any radio play whatsoever (outside of Texas, which is a different story).

They’ve also had their songs featured on the hit series Yellowstone multiple times, even appearing as a bar band on an episode, and they recently received a shoutout from Joe Rogan on his podcast telling his millions and millions of listeners to checkout their tune “Frogman.”

I mean, they’re clearly doin’ something right…

In all honesty, they’re a shining example of what any band, signed to a major label or not, could hope for in terms of a long and successful career with dedicated fans, but they’ve put in a hell of a lot of work to get to where they are now.

Cody says he never had any aspirations to sign a major label deal or make it on mainstream radio when he started out, and he’s been able to stay true to himself in that important aspect of his career:

“I would say in a perfect world, I can’t speak for everybody else, but that’s at least what I imagined.

I really do, because I had no aspirations to ever sign a record deal or be like, you know, sort of on maybe pop radio or mainstream radio and stuff like that.

It wasn’t my vibe, you know what I mean? Obviously that would be great if you could keep your music and not change your style, and if that works out for the people, that’s great.

That’s pretty rare.”

Rare is probably an understatement…

He added that being able to do it his way and make the music he wanted is something that he’s most proud of out of all the Gold and Platinum records, hundreds of thousands of tickets sold, and #1 albums:

“So I think maybe the great accomplishment when you look back, and probably maybe something to be the most proud of with what this band has done, is being able to accomplish all those things amazingly, you know, with being independent and doing it our own way.

I think that’s what I’m most proud about.”

An extremely impressive and worthwhile feat, to say the very least. What they’ve done thus far is no easy task by any stretch of the imagination.

Doing it completely on your own without the massive marketing dollars of a major label can often feel damn near impossible for a lot of independent acts who flirt with the idea of signing with one, because, simply put, it’s just easier to sign a deal and let other people handle all your shit.

And that’s not to say it isn’t the right decision for some, but there’s something special to be said about rolling up your sleeves, digging in, and refusing to settle and give up the unique parts of your music for a dollar.

You just have to do it because you love it, and nothing else:

“And especially truly independent bands, you know what I mean? Like we have always been that way and stuff.

Not like we were independent, and then we signed a record deal or something like that. Yeah, I think there’s something to be said for that. Maybe it will inspire more people to do that, you know?

Stick to your guns and just make your own music and just kinda let everything else take care of itself. We’re just hard-headed. We didn’t want a boss.”

I sincerely wish there were more people like Cody Cannon and Whiskey Myers in the music business.

Though you can’t define their sound as purely country, southern rock, blues or anything else specifically, that blend of genres, coupled with their insane talent and fantastic songwriting, has proven them one of the best acts (and one of my personal favorite’s) in all of the music industry at the moment.

And if you ever see them live in concert, they’ll melt your damn face off.

But Cody also adds that, even though we all wanna believe there’s a shortcut somewhere or a faster route to success, there really is no secret sauce:

“I don’t think there’s any secret sauce.

For us it was just, I mean, we stuck to our guns and we played a lot of shows. I mean, of course we had some breaks here and there and stuff, but then you gotta have the right songs.”

At the end of the day, like anything in life, it really comes down to one thing… hard work:

“There’s no substitute for work ethic. You gotta put in the work, nobody wants to put in the work.”

Amen to that…

And you won’t find harder working people anywhere in the music business, which really says it all.

Whiskey Myers has released four singles from the forthcoming new record that’s out everywhere July 29th, including “John Wayne,” “Antioch,” and “Whole World Gone Crazy,” and “The Wolf.”

And since they still have quite a few dates left on their Tornillo tour, make sure you check out the remaining stops and get your ass to a show… seeing them live isn’t something you wanna miss, and that’s a promise.

Remaining Tornillo Tour Dates:

July 9 Raleigh, N.C. | Red Hat Amphitheater
July 10 Portsmouth, Va. | Atlantic Union Bank Pavilion
July 12 Manteo, N.C. | Roanoke Island Festival Park
July 14 Dothan, Ala. | National Peanut Festival
July 15 Cocoa, Fla. | Cocoa Riverfront Park
July 16 Pompano Beach, Fla. | Pompano Beach Amphitheater
July 17 St. Augustine, Fla. | The St. Augustine Amphitheatre
July 29 + Corpus Christi, Texas | Concrete Street Amphitheater
August 4 Missoula, Mont. | Big Sky Amphitheater
August 5 Billings, Mont. | Magic City Blues Festival
August 7 Boise, Idaho | Outlaw Fields at Idaho Botanical Gardens
August 11 Grand Junction, Colo. | Amphitheater at Las Colonias Park
August 12 Sandy, Utah | Sandy Amphitheater
August 13 Cheyenne, Wyo. | The Chinook at Terry Bison Ranch

“The Wolf”

“Whole World Gone Crazy”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock