Wheeler Walker Jr. Is Bringing the Party Back to Country Music
Country music star Wheeler Walker Jr. desires you to avoid Nashville. The Kentucky-born singer has no disdain for outsiders, however fairly laments the town for accepting what he likes to name “posers” into its limits. “This city is turning into fucking Disney Land. Everyday you go down there it’s like Halloween. New Yorkers and LA fucks dressed up in cowboy costumes.”
When Walker connects with AskMen by telephone, he’s simply returning from being downtown together with his spouse the place they frolicked testing reveals that left him feeling extra depressed than ever. Fortunately for Walker, his new album Sex, Drugs & Country Music affords a reprieve from the “bad” music he’s fed up with, and offers him and his listeners a possibility to get again into the stream of listening to enjoyable music.
Over the course of our dialog, Walker reveals his method for a profitable music profession, how he attracts the traces between work and private life, and the way being authentically distinctive is the one strategy to differentiate your self.
AskMen: Was turning into a music sensation at all times a part of your plan or did you ever produce other aspirations?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: I’m from Kentucky and as a child I beloved nation music and I beloved rock and roll and I at all times needed to play music. I believed, “What if I could just play music and not have a regular job?” That was the purpose.
My purpose was simply to pay the piggly-wiggly payments and eat meals. Not to promote out reveals or play theaters. I’ll take it, however my goals and aspirations weren’t that large. I simply love taking part in music.
You play a gig and also you get twenty 5 bucks and also you surprise, “Man, I wonder if I can get twenty-five bucks a night? That would be great.” And now, as you in all probability know, I’m getting twenty-five mil an evening. So it’s significantly better.
AskMen: The economics have actually modified.
Wheeler Walker Jr.: Yeah, completely. But that’s again when twenty-five mil meant one thing.
AskMen: If you’re not doing thirty mil, what are you doing?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: The home costs in Nashville…what’s that going to get you? A condominium?
AskMen: Well that’s due to all of the New Yorkers and LA-ers coming in and scooping up the actual property.
Wheeler Walker Jr.: These fucking assholes.
AskMen: With your burgeoning profession and growing recognition, how do you stability your work and your private life efficiently?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: You type of simply draw a line, you realize? This is my time, don’t fucking hassle me. And that is work. Wife, child—don’t hassle me. You simply have to attract that line. I hate to be so blunt about it.
Once you begin making a residing on this enterprise, you do understand it’s a fucking job. It’s a nice job, but it surely’s nonetheless a job. Like, my household wouldn’t cease by. I imply, I assume they’d cease by my job, because it’s separate from my dwelling life. It’s a superb job, but it surely’s only a job, so that you draw that line.
AskMen: Are there occasions when that line is crossed and if that’s the case, what occurs?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: I’m the one who crosses it once I say one thing loopy in an interview or on an album, and my household goes, “Hey, um, that ain’t cool.”
I had a tune on my first report the place I talked about my uncle Andy. And I modified it to ‘Andy’ so my uncle Randy wouldn’t be offended. But he listened to it and I assume I mumbled once I sang or no matter—I don’t keep in mind. In the tune, I I stated “Then I’ll grab uncle Andy, reach around give him a handy.” My uncle Randy referred to as me up like, “The fuck you giving me a handy for on a fucking record?” I’m like, “Oh, it’s ‘Andy,’ it’s made up. I’m trying to add some artistic license to it.” But he nonetheless thought it was him. You gotta watch it, you realize?
AskMen: Well that additionally sounds extra like a Randy downside than a Wheeler downside.
Wheeler Walker Jr.: I didn’t give my uncle a helpful so I ain’t sweatin’ it, however I don’t need my uncle pondering I used to be saying that. I wish to clear it up.
AskMen: That touches on the significance of communication in relationships.
Wheeler Walker Jr.: If you’re going to say a reputation, ensure you enunciate. I like to offer classes to the youthful people arising.
Oh, and also you may wish to change it slightly extra from ‘Randy’ to ‘Andy.’ Richard may need been slightly higher.
AskMen: Right, as a result of then there’s much less room for confusion.
Wheeler Walker Jr.: Yeah, I ain’t bought an uncle Richard, so I ain’t gotta fear about him. I don’t assume I do, however you by no means know. You do all these reveals, impulsively you bought cousins and uncles you ain’t ever heard of.
AskMen: Let’s pivot to your new album—Sex, Drugs & Country Music. Creatively for this one, what was the inspiration and thought behind it?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: I feel I noticed every album had a theme to it. With this [new] one, I took a while off, the pandemic hit, and once I bought again within the studio, I used to be like, “Man, this one we gotta have fun and we gotta fucking rock out and kick some ass.” I do know that’s not likely a theme but it surely was type of what the album was going to do.
I knew that through the pandemic that everybody was going to have their lame, unhappy, “what the pandemic was like for them” album. I didn’t wish to fucking do this. I needed the alternative, like “Let’s just fucking party. Let’s have some fucking fun.”
AskMen: Cooped-up individuals want enjoyable.
Wheeler Walker Jr.: Exactly. Obviously I really like my nation music a fucking lot, but it surely’s all genres which are shitty proper now. Can we simply have some good music that’s fucking enjoyable like once I was a child? Who’s having fucking enjoyable now after they’re taking part in music? They all seem like they’re fucking depressing.
AskMen: Is that why the title of the album—Sex, Drugs & Country Music—is called such? Wheeler Walker Jr.: I grew up on the concept of intercourse, medicine, and rock and roll. I beloved Guns N’ Roses, I beloved Lynyrd Skynyrd, I beloved Tool, I beloved Soundgarden—I beloved all that shit. Then intercourse, medicine, and rock and roll simply appeared to vanish—simply changed into a bunch of pussies. I felt there have been some extra badass individuals in nation music.
I feel the good nation—which may be very few and much between—sounded extra like rock to me than the rock shit. You assume Nickelback’s having intercourse, medicine, and rock and roll? I don’t assume so.
There was music for the viewers, like “Man, I want people to hear this.” Now, it’s someone’s fucking diary or their inventive assertion. Who provides a fuck about what it’s important to say about your fucking inventive assertion? Go write poetry. Go to a fucking poetry slam for someone else. All I hear is boring inventive bullshit. I’m simply tired of all this fucking shit out right here, you realize?
Like, you don’t take heed to ACDC like, “Man, I wonder what they’re trying to say?”
AskMen: Is it truthful then to say Sex, Drugs & Country Music and the music you’re creating isn’t a lot revealing your self in a diary, however fairly offering tunes to let individuals rock out?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: I’m nonetheless telling tales about myself or placing myself within the first individual of loopy tales my pals inform me.
There’s a tune referred to as “God Told Me To Fuck You,” which clearly I sing about me, but it surely’s really a narrative a buddy informed me. He was attempting to have intercourse with a extremely Christian woman and he or she clearly was a virgin and needed to attend till marriage. They stated they have been going to hope on it, so he stated he prayed, and God informed him that they need to fuck. So I used to be like, “Here’s a fucking song.”
AskMen: What ended up taking place?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: Can I inform you slightly secret? They had intercourse they usually’re married to at the present time. Looking again, I wouldn’t say he was tricking her, however I feel he was attempting to be sly like several teenager can be, they usually’ve lasted the lengthy haul so it’s good.
AskMen: Could it even be that God really spoke to him and informed him that he wanted to have intercourse along with her?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: Well, I’ve no proof that it’s not true. And I’m positive when he stated it to her that he believed it greater than I even do.
AskMen: Are a lot of the tales you inform then centered solely on family and friends?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: I really like Guns N’ Roses, however I keep in mind listening to “Welcome to the Jungle” and seeing the video and I simply didn’t know that life. I’m singing about me and my pals and my redneck cousins and my redneck household. I’m simply attempting to sing the shit I do know. If I sing a tune I dig from my standpoint, and Snoop Dogg digs it, there’s some honesty there I’d hope.
AskMen: Didn’t Snoop repost one thing of yours?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: I feel that’s a superb comparability as a result of Snoop Dogg’s rapping about shit I don’t fucking learn about, however I can inform he means it and I fucking love Snoop Dogg. So, simply being trustworthy in what you realize—I don’t assume Snoop Dogg would dig what I used to be doing if I used to be singing nation songs about Compton. I dig what he’s doing as a result of—to begin with—he’s fucking superior, and second of all, it’s trustworthy and it’s actual shit. And I’m singing my actual shit and he doesn’t know my life however he digs my trustworthy, actual shit. And I dig his trustworthy, actual shit to be so blunt about it.
AskMen: There’s a relatability round honesty by means of music.
Wheeler Walker Jr.: Yeah, and that’s type of the place I feel nation bought misplaced the previous few years. The honesty, the stuff I beloved in nation—the Waylons, the Willies, and the Billy Joe Shavers—that type of actual, trustworthy fact simply disappeared and changed into fucking songs about vehicles and beers and bullshit that nobody can fucking relate to.
AskMen: On the relatability tip, do you’ve gotten any collaborations on the brand new album that you just’re tremendous stoked about?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: There’s some stuff arising down the street that I can’t speak about, however there’s lots of people who’ve reached out.
One of the bands that reached out—Nickelback, who I used to be speaking about earlier than—they needed to do a tune with me. And I used to be like, “Fuck Nickelback.” So I wrote a tune referred to as “Fuck Nickelback,” and thought it might be cool to have a tune referred to as “Fuck Nickelback” that includes Nickelback, which was a tune about how a lot they suck. I despatched it to them to sing it with me and I assume they didn’t get the joke as a result of they informed me they handed on it.
I stated, “Don’t come to me—don’t come to Wheeler Walker Jr. looking for a duet and expect me to kiss your fucking ass. It just ain’t happening.” That’s why collaborations with me are exhausting as a result of I don’t have time for any fucking bullshit. I’m not going to fake I like Nickelback to get a tune with them.
AskMen: Even although they have been the preliminary outreach, at the least they gave you the decency to go. Sometimes you don’t hear something from these people.
Wheeler Walker Jr.: I agree with that. If they’d simply saved quiet, it might have been annoying. The tune will need to have been good in the event that they heard it and instantly stated “no.”
AskMen: What’s one of many driving forces behind your success up till this level?
Wheeler Walker Jr.: I feel the success of any artist is being your self. If you wish to take heed to Wheeler Walker Jr, there ain’t every other Wheeler Walker Jr. You wish to take heed to Snoop Dogg, there ain’t no different Snoop Dogg. You wish to take heed to Waylon, there ain’t no different Waylon. There ain’t no different Willie. I’m not evaluating myself to those individuals, however there ain’t no different Bob Dylan. You need Bob Dylan, you don’t go “Well, there’s something kind of close.”
You don’t go, “I want to listen to Guns N’ Roses, so what’s kind of like Guns N’ Roses?” If you’re simply true to your self, you’re not going to sound like anyone else, you realize?
Even for a fucking shitty band. My subject with a Greta Van Fleet is, simply take heed to Zeppelin. There’s one other Greta Van Fleet that was higher. You simply must be distinctive, and the way in which to be distinctive is to only be your self. No one desires a watered-down model of a basic rock band. I don’t know hip-hop that nicely, however I’m positive there’s a number of watered-down artists attempting to be Snoop Doggs that folks don’t take heed to. It doesn’t work as a result of they’re simply doing an imitation.
Like I stated, if you wish to see or take heed to Wheeler, there ain’t no person else. I feel I’ve bought my very own lane and the artists I really like have their very own lanes, too.
Follow @wheelerwalkerjr and take a look at https://www.wheelerwalkerjr.com for tickets and tour dates
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