Hi Brian, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Better than I deserve.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Lonesome On’ry And Mean”?
Sure. It’s a tribute to the late Waylon Jennings, written by an incredible songwriter, Steve Young (“Seven Bridges Road”). I was sitting in a ’83 CJ-7 Jeep when I was 19 yrs old when I first heard Waylon’s version. It changed the world for me, musically, and is arguably the song that started the “Outlaw Movement” in the 70s. Ironically, Steve was also born in my same small town of Newnan, Georgia.
When we cut this song, the band was having so much fun they actually played a whole 2 minutes extra in the studio. The music was so good, I couldn’t edit it out. So, with the permission of Steve Young, I wrote another verse, the last one on here.
Can you tell us more about the upcoming video?
We’re preparing another video for the next single release, an original on the album, “Down In Dixie.” It will be partially shot at the oldest bar in Tennessee, The Springwater Supper Club, during my album release party on March 31st.
The single comes off your new album Honkytonkitis – what’s the story behind the title?
After my second child was born, I wasn’t getting out much. My idea of getting out is listening to live music and drinking a lot of cold beer. That’s what you do in honky tonks. One night I was really wanting to “get out” and told my wife, “Man, I’ve got Honkytonkitis.” As a songwriter, I thought, “This needs to be a song. But, there’s no way to rhyme anything with Honkytonkitis.” The challenge was on. For the next two hours, I laid in bed and wrote the first few verses. Then finished it the next morning. I still can’t believe it.
How was the recording and writing process?
I write everything myself. I never force it. When I’m inspired, I pick up a guitar (or sometimes I use nothing but my mind) and let it out. It’s all real life experiences. Whatever moves me, happy sad, mad, good times or bad.
When we record, it is live. The band sits pretty much in a circle. Everyone is in the same room, facing each other. There’s not too much emphasis on rehearsal. It really is all emotion, energy and what’s working at the moment. It’s total freedom. We have no rules. We don’t try to sound like anybody or follow any of the normal rules in the music business to guarantee we fit in with radio. My goal is to create great music, that’s it. I use A-List musicians in Nashville, that happen to be really good friends, in one of the nicest studios in town with a Grammy Winning producer and I just let them do what they do best… kick ass.
What life struggles and events inspire the songs off your album?
Because I write from real life experiences, there’s songs about everything, good and bad on this album. For example, my friend, Wade Belak (retired NHL player) passed a few years ago. He was an incredible guy who died, tragically. It was a very sad time. Wade was not a sad person, so I wrote a tribute to him, “Strong” on this album. Wade kicked ass, so does “Strong.”
Why taking the traditional route on Country music?
Traditional country music is real songs about real life. There are a lot of story songs in country music. You hear people say, “You can feel the hurt in his voice.” You know why, because it’s the damn truth. It’s real, no made up bullshit. You feel it every time you sing it when it’s real, though it does get easier. That’s why people like real country music. Because they can relate to it.
Any plans to hit the road?
We’re planning a “Honkytonkitis” Tour. We want to hit the real beer joints, though. I love smokey bars.
What else is happening next in Big City Brian Wright’s world?
I want to grow this brand of traditional country music. I hear it from fans all the time over the last 15 years. There is a void that needs to be filled. My friend George Jones sang, “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.” That’s my job for the rest of my life.