You have my attention, Koe.
He recently sat down on Steve Rinella’s (outdoorsmen, author, conservationist) MeatEater podcast during a trip to snowy Bozeman, Montana, for some duck hunting.
And it looks like they had a pretty successful trip:
But they also had a great conversation on his aforementioned podcast, where they got into some of Koe’s upbringing, how he grew up hunting, how he met his various band members, grinding it out in Texas and how his career has exploded in the last several years.
They also talked about Koe’s recording process for his fifth studio album Hell Paso at the famous Sonic Ranch outside of El Paso, Texas, and Koe mentioned that he’s actually heading back for a solo trip in January for about two months.
And yes, it’s to reset some and also start work on that full-blown country record:
“I’m starting that country project, but I just wanna get out there and write, man, get away from everything. Dry up, and just kinda get reset.
We’ve been on tour for damn near all year, so the guys will get two or three months off, and I’ll get some time just to be alone, get out there and write and record again.”
He clearly knows that most people outside of the genre label him as a “country” artist, though if you’ve ever listened to his music, you know it’s much more rock and alternative-leaning, and he’s never claimed to make country music in the first place.
But now, he’s ready to bring in all the fiddle and steel, and switch out that electric guitar for an acoustic one:
“I’ve always wanted… people consider me a country artist, but our music’s more rock, I feel like. We get thrown in that genre, but it’s rock music, man, alternative.
I’m gonna put out my first actual country record, you know? Like some fiddle, some steel guitar, going back to acoustic guitars.”
Say LESS, Koe.
And actually, he said he’s planning to write two different records while he’s out there:
“That’s the deal, that’s like the plan, that’s why I’m spending so much time out there is’ cuz my goal is to write two records.
I wanna write a country record… I might get out there and can’t write a country record, and then go back on the music that we had been creating for the last, you know, 10 years.”
And when Steve pressed him on the subject matter of the country songs and if Koe will be sticking to that brash, honest and real writing style we’ve all grown to love, he assured him that part won’t change:
“It’s gonna be raw and real and like ‘What the fuck did he just say?’ I like talking about feelings and real-world shit.
Not dissing people that talk about going down a backroad drinking a cold beer, shotgun rack and all this… no it’s not gonna be that kind of country.
It’s gonna be old school, raw, real. Just honest true shit. Not your everyday, ‘Man, lets put on some camo and drink some cold whiskey.’ You know what I mean?”
That is, quite literally, music to my ears. I don’t think I’ve been this intrigued by a project in a long time.
And when asked if he thinks it will be a hard transition, Koe said he grew up around country music and loves it, so he’s excited to see what he can come up with:
“I don’t think so, honestly, man. I grew up around it, I’ve always been around it. I still love country music. So I don’t think so.
I think more or less, just because we have been making this sound for so long of kind of country, rock, I think that will be kinda the harder part of getting back into the melody part of it.”
Though, like he mentioned on the Whiskey Riff Raff podcast a little while back, Koe’s not going to put out something he’s not comfortable with.
So if he gets out to the Sonic Ranch and can’t quite produce the album he had in mind, it’s gonna get shelved for the time being:
“That’s it, like I said, I might get out there and it might not happen. And if that does, man, I apologize to everyone that’s been waiting on a country record.”
Let’s all say a prayer that the songs just flow out of him, because I’m already so excited for this and think it would be beyond cool to get the Texas rockstars take on an old school country album.
Like he said, he grew up on old school country music, and once when describing his ideal dive bar, name dropped some of the absolute best that have ever done it, so if we do wind up actually getting to hear this record, I have a feeling it will be well-worth the wait.
As the old saying goes, country music is just three chords and the truth, and he’s had the latter part down since day one.
But of course, whatever he puts out will still be uniquely Koe, regardless of the genre… “Kountry” music, if you will (sorry, I had to…).
For me, “Three Weeks” was easily the most “country” song on Hell Paso, and of course, is also one of my favorite’s:
For the last song on the tracklist, he teased what’s to come on the raw and stripped-back sample of a song called “To Be Continued,” which piqued my interest from the first listen: