“Texas Hippie Coalition” Interview by Christina Thompson
If ever there was a band to party with? THC is it! But don’t take my word for it. Read on to find out who Big Dad Ritch would pick for his dodgeball team, where Red Dirt Metal comes from, why you should join the ‘PARTY POSSE’, who always steals the Jim Beam, why you don’t have your cat declawed and neutered then dare to name it “Pookie”, not to mention some very colorful phrases to add to your vocabulary (you’re welcome), and more..Enjoy!
THC released your fifth and latest album Dark Side of Black in 2016. The first thing that jumps out is that is, by far, a grittier, heavier album than your previous ones. A lot of bands always speak to an evolution of their sound/brand when they release an album that has a newer sound to the fans. But would you say this is more of an exploration of THC’s ‘darker side’ rather than an evolution? Which to me, is what makes the title of the album so poignant…
That’s exactly what we were going for: staying true to THC while letting the listener experience a darker interior.
You got to handpick the producer this time around and you chose Sterling Winfield. A partnership you will continue, musically speaking, in the future?
You know us, we jump around, we like to mix it up. We have made four albums with Carved Records, and have used four producers. Sterling is a great dude and talented as fuck. We had a great experience with Mr. Winfield, and would never turn down the opportunity to revisit the hellish ways of Boot Hill Studios.
Kind of a follow-up question: You once said in another interview that if you had to pick a dodgeball team, you would put Winfield on it. I am curious as to who else would make it on Big Dad Ritch’s team? And who would be on the other side getting their butts whooped?
I have a lot of admiration for what I like to call “ONE MAN EMPIRES,” men like Vinnie Paul, Zak Wylde & Rob Zombie to name a few. Real men, that have not only made a name for themselves, but men that have made a BRAND of themselves. With these guys on my team we could stop a mud hole in anyone’s ass. On the other side I’d like to ball beam all the quitters and haters.
You introduced your brand of metal brew to the world in 2004. THC has been frontiersmen for the genre of ‘Red Dirt Metal’, since. Just what is this sound anyway, for people who don’t already know?
Red Dirt Country is a style of music that is centered smack dab in the middle of where we come from. This music is laden with some of the best storytellin’ songs you’ll ever come to hear. Great storytellers like Cody Canada, Pat Green, Johnny Cooper, Charlie Robinson, and one of my favorites Kevin Fowler (he’s half hippie, a little redneck, and always a suspect). One of these guys said, “Them boys is Red Dirt Metal…” It stuck like Red River Red Dirt on a white t-shirt.
There are band fans, and then there are your fans. You guys seem to have a special connection with the Party Posse that seems to take it to the next level. What’s your secret?
Family… I go out, sign, and take pictures every night after our shows. We do eat and greets, annual events like the 4/20 celebration, and the patch inauguration for new family members. We have a saying: our fans/family may not outnumber your followers, but our family can whoop your fans’ asses… We treat people different than most. Loved by many, hated by many more!
You appear to never quit working. Either you are touring or recording and then there are the side projects. Is there ever any down time? And if so what do you do to kick back?
Hell, we don’t work for a living. We just PLAY. When you are in the studio or on stage, it’s like a never ending recess. Picture writing songs with Cord Pool and Timmy Braun, while Cord makes fun and picks on everyone, and Timmy steals my Jim Beam. It’s a 24/7 romper room.
Braun lends a sick beat to the album that this time around it was both figuratively and literally. I understand he was overcoming an animal bite while recording? It sounds like it was quite an ordeal for him.
Hilariously awful… His cat freakin’ hates him. Everytime I see that cat, it is attacking Timmy ferociously. I told Timmy, “That cat’s mad you named him Pookie.” I mean, come on. If someone de-clawed and de-balled you, wouldn’t you bite their ass?
Hahahahaha! I guess so! Moving along to something more heart rendering…The Hippie Hollow cause is a fantastic organization. Can you tell our MHF Community all about it?
Hippies Helping Hippies. This was actually set up by some of our amazing fans/family. Everyone just pitches in to support whomever might be in need. Other than donating items for auction to help support the cause, I really play no part. It’s just wonderful to see the love for a band grow into a movement. That creates not just fans but a family. The COALITION is a growing community, and if they ever develop a village, I want to live in it. Just damn good people.
Radio!!! Play what the listeners request, not what you have to shove down their ear hole. Give programmers the freedom to pay special attention to their local market. The global format is killing the airwaves.
There seems to be no lack of festivals for THC on your schedule, both past, present and even as I write this, in the future. Are they just as important to you as your regular concert gigs?
Man, for us they’re huge. It’s our chance to get in front of the masses. DWP, AEG, CC – they’re introducing us to the world. We love the festivals, and they seem to love us. The fans know when we hit the stage the party is ‘bout to go next level…
The internet has opened up a world of doors for getting music heard across the planet. What is one of the craziest places where you have heard they are listening to your music?
Tuff question. There is a video that’s only been viewed about 67 times of two gorgeous Russian girls dancing and singing to one of our songs. Speaking Russian and drinking vodka using our Outlaw slang. I love it. Craziest place would be Ice-T’s tour bus while we were on the Mayhem Tour alongside BodyCount. Crank that shit! Turn it up little T!
Last question: Which version of “Deep in the Heart of Texas” would you choose? By: George Strait, Ray Charles, or (your choice).
The King… Nuff said..
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. If you guys have anything else you would like the MHF Community members to know, go ahead and let ‘er rip here. And cheers!
Come see us … Join the Family… You’ll be glad you did. You can tell your friends & family: I SURVIVED A DOGDAMN ROCKSHOW
Christina Thompson/MHF Magazine