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INTERVIEW: Countryside Ride

Portland, Oregon-based country quintet Countryside Ride have put their hearts and honky-tonk sound into their sophomore album, I Hope He Breaks Your Heart (Deer Lodge Records), a fourteen track collection of tunes – originals and covers – that find the band doing what they do best: playing good, ole’ fashioned country, honky-tonk, hillbilly, and western swing. Check out our interview with the band and their new latest single, “All You’ll Ever Be”

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’re doing great, excited to have a new record and to get out and play as much aw possible.

Can you talk to us more about your song “All You’ll Ever Be”?

I guess it’s a song written from the jaded perspective of someone after a relationship has fallen apart: me in this case!

Did any event inspire you to write this song?

Yeah, I was in a serious relationship that ended abruptly, on Valentine’s Day even.  I wrote this tune when I was really angry.  It was how I felt at the time, but “time changes everything” I guess, because I definitely don’t feel that way anymore and I’m good friends with person I was aiming the song at the time.  I do like the song though, because it is such a raw explanation of the emotion I was feeling at the time, and when I sing it, I remember how I felt when I wrote it.

Any plans to release a video for the track? 

Yes, we recorded a little video. Our first “music video” ever, so we’re really excited about it!

The single comes off your new album I Hope He Breaks Your Heart? – What’s the story behind the title?

Yes. It’s just a straight forward country song that I think a lot of people can relate to: I know I can.  I didn’t have any one thing in mind when I wrote it, but I think anyone who has been in a relationship that hasn’t worked out has probably felt that way as well.  You want to wish them well, or at least should wish them well, but maybe there’s a little voice inside your head that may feel differently. I think its primal thing.  The song itself was one of those tunes that came out of nowhere and took about 10 minutes to write.  Needless to say, I was really happy I got it down and it seems like people really enjoy it.

How was the recording and writing process? 

Well as far as the writing goes, Jessica, Johnny, and myself all contributed tunes to this.  We weren’t necessarily writing for a record, but just writing to write.  As far as recording goes, we met Ezra (Ezra Meredith or Deer Lodge Records) a few years back when Deer Lodge was working on their George Jones project and we instantly clicked.  The time in the studio was extremely relaxed and he “gets it.”  Having Ezra produce, for us, was the only way to go. On this record, we really took the time to make sure we had things the way we wanted, or as close as we can ever get to that, and we’re extremely happy with the finished product.  We really couldn’t have asked for a better recording situation and are looking forward to the next time already.

What role does Portland play in your music?

When we first started playing traditional county, roots-country, classic honkytonk, or whatever you want to call it, there were only a few groups doing the same thing, but Portland has a big musical history.  I’m amazed at how much talent there is in this little city, and as far as the west coast goes, I don’t know if I could ask for a better situation. I don’t know anywhere that has this much country talent: there are so many great musicians and bands and more people who want to see our kind of music every day.  Of course I know there is great music from just about every genre here, but I think we really have an exceptional roots-music scene in Portland, and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

What emotions did you get to explore on this record? 

All of them really.   All of our original tunes were written from the heart, and all the songs we recorded are tunes that really mean something to us.  If the song sounds sad, it’s because it is sad.  I can’t speak for other people, but the songs that I connect with are songs that hit me emotionally.  Not only are the songs emotional, but having taken a while to record we were experiencing all sorts of emotions personally during that process.  As far as writing or performing songs, unless I have some kind of connection to the tune, I can’t sing it.  I wear my emotions on my sleeve, and if I don’t believe in what I’m doing, people see that and it doesn’t work.

Any plans to hit the road? 

As of now, we’ll be traveling around the northwest as much as we can, but we certainly would like to get outside of Washington and Oregon if we can put something together.  We’re always looking to go farther and get in front of as many people as we can.  Whether we can pull it off remains to be seen, but I know that it’s definitely the goal.

What else is happening next in Countryside Ride´s world? 

Well, we’re just going to keep doing what we do: play as much music as we can and hope that people will respond positively to that.  It’s been a long slow process, but our trajectory just keeps us moving forward and we love making music so I don’t see us stopping anytime soon.  We’re really excited about this record and we hope people will enjoy it.  We’re already thinking about the next one.

-Bret Ervin Lien, Countryside Ride

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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