Whiskey Myers Talk Self-Producing Their New Album: ‘You Can Tell When It’s Real’
Whiskey Myers' aptly self-titled new album is a group effort, from both sides of the studio glass. Drawing on their experiences with producer Dave Cobb at the helm of their previous two albums, the six-member Texas band took a turn this time around, self-producing their fifth studio album, released Friday (Sept. 27).
It was an all-hands-on-deck effort to produce the 14-track Whiskey Myers, guitarist John Jeffers tells The Boot. All six members -- Jeffers, lead singer and guitarist Cody Cannon, guitarist Cody Tate, drummer Jeff Hogg, bassist Jamey Gleaves and keyboard player and percussionist Tony Kent -- had a part to play.
"We just based it around 'no idea is a bad idea,' and we have the time, so let's run every single idea we have and respect everybody's idea," Jeffers shares. "When everybody is involved, you really feel like you're a piece of it. At all times, everybody is really focused and really dialed in, trying to make a good record. It makes a difference."
Whiskey Myers, all native Texans, have been playing together for so long that, even with so many voices involved in their decision-making process, they don't particularly have to worry about conflict. In fact, sharing the load worked well, especially coming off of two records with Cobb.
"Not having an amazing person like that to kind of back you up or come up with ideas, it was all on us," Cannon reflects. "You couldn't just do your part and sit back and relax. You had to be involved in every moment."
In addition to co-producing Whiskey Myers, Cannon and Jeffers wrote or co-wrote all of its songs, drawing on inspiration from across the genre spectrum. Those varied influences are reflected in the wide swath of sounds on the record.
“We just bring our songs to the table and make it sound like us,” Cannon -- who co-wrote the album's first track, "Die Rockin'," with Ray Wylie Hubbard, and others with Brent Cobb, Adam Hood and more -- says simply. “You can tell when somebody is faking it, and you can tell when it’s real.
"We never think about it. We just try to go in and write a good song, whether it’s country or rock 'n' roll or blues," adds Cannon. From Nirvana to Alan Jackson, Whiskey Myers channel a bit of it all -- including the Rolling Stones, for whom the Texas band recently opened a show in Chicago, Ill.
"It's kind of a surreal moment. You don't get to do things like that, usually," Cannon admits, noting that the Stones are one of his all-time favorite bands. "You could go back yourself and sell out Soldier Field, and it still wouldn't be the same."
Adds Jeffers, "It was the most hectic, s--tty, coolest day ever. You get all wrapped up in opening up for one of your idols ... If any little thing goes wrong during the day, during soundcheck, you just get worked up." But once the lights go up onstage, he says, everything is fine.
The Rolling Stones aren't the only big name tapping Whiskey Myers for the spotlight. The band's music was featured on Kevin Costner's TV series Yellowstone in 2018, and you can also hear them on the Netflix series What/If, starring Renee Zellweger.
In addition to their gig opening for rock legends and creating an album that's an organic, natural outlet of where they are now as artists, Whiskey Myers are also wrapping up nearly two solid years of a jam-packed tour schedule, including a trek across Europe. After some down time, which both Cannon and Jeffers agree is well-earned and overdue, they'll be hitting the road again to promote the new album.
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