Mock Records has been given us all gold from The Spyrals, and Jesus Sons, and today we bring you an in-depth interview and exclusive stream of The Longshots' self-titled. The five horsemen from Fort Worth, TX ride from saloon to gulch, comprised of Joey Gorman, Alex Zobe, Kris Luther, Parker Donaldson, and Brady Hamilton to close out the honky-tonks with true grit and guts. Preparing to release their self-titled album February 25, these shin and shit kickers further establish Mock as an imprint that remains true to the ethic of real, rowdy, rock and roll.
Coming face to face with the modern and age and life in the modern world, “Too High For 7th Street” grinds with the paranoia and sets the stage tearing tone of the album. Keeping the attitude class A bonafide, “Snakefoot” swaps city streets for the rural feeling of freedom The Longshots enjoyed while recording the album in Justin, Texas. Quandaries combined with begging and pleading presents a new tug-o-war sping on the “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” decisions with the 'my way or the highway' choices on “Me Or California”. Rebellious instincts and outlaws outline and embody the thrill of “The Chase”, as the fuzz breaks down the door to lead into the fast paced confrontation, of “Bite The Bullet”.
Throughout the entire album, the Southwestern sounds of Texas seep through about every bar, chord, and enthusiastic delivery. Maintaining a harmony even in the gravel throated sections of shared shouts, The Longshots illustrate an appeal of every one horse town with through numbers like the love drunk “My Sweet Lime”, to the rough trails of Texas histories on “Back to the Rio Grande”. Trouble is everywhere, where the fearsome five bring their company to every lonesome town like a touring pack of bandits on the run from a rounded up posse. Moments get tense on the art of ill timing on, “At A Time Like This”, to Joey, Alex, and Parker imparting some universal wisdom on, “Don't Sweat It” with, “if it's one thing that I've learned, whether it's stolen or it's earned, if you play with flame you're going to get burned.” Through the run through of nine songs, The Longshots unite outsiders and outlaws alike with galloping quick firing licks, lyrical kicks, keeping the amplifier tubes hot as a barbecue skillet.
It is our pleasure to present our lively conversation with The Longshots' Joey, Alex, Kris, Parker, and Brady about all things rock and roll, with all the Texas histories in between.
The Longshots sound is all fired up, and amped, and I was wondering what is it about Fort Worth, Texas that gets you all in this rock and roll, rage?
Joey: Recording this first record was like an explosion from nowhere and everywhere at the same time. We went into the studio with our producer Jordan Richardson with a few songs selected for an EP. The studio, the Swamp in Justin, Texas; about 20 minutes North of Fort Worth is a big barn on a bigger farm beneath that huge Texas sky. Barry Eaton who owns the studio actually remodeled/constructed the barn's interior layout to mock that of Abbey Road Studios. Aka BIG ass live room…with the isolation/capabilities to catch the sonics/over all vibe of every live performance. It just felt great ripping through these songs…we just kept going till we were in full length territory (record was recorded in four to five 12 hour sessions over the span of five days), almost like we were re-creating the feeling of playing/writing/working through each song for the first time. And during every break we got to step outside, not to the curb, but to the pasture. It was really special. And as always I thank/blame Texas.
We have always kept a very special place on our rock n roll alter/shrine for the song, the writing process, lyrics, M.O., Direction…everything. That's why there is no 'lead' singer or writer. We find a balance within three main singers, and three main writers. But it takes the sweat and sometimes blood of all 5 of us to say, 'its done' when it comes to each song.
The combination of young American angst, unsteady Texas weather with a common denominator of HOT, the over all feeling that rock n roll is actually coming back…it makes us fucking hungry/thirsty, it makes us want IT… whatever that is. Even though Fort Worth is one of the largest growing cities in the U.S. it has still taken time and every soul in it to build the scene up to where it is now. And there are a lot of us here raging. I think that is the fire we bring to cities when touring. we don't really dress any differently than we probably did in middle school when we were pretending to kick flip. We don't need flat brim stetsons or boots (though we aren't opposed to them), to bring you no-limits-Texas rock n roll. or to share that with you.
Other than our band growing and writing together in this fair city. I would say the great people, the big ass sky, our influences, Texan or otherwise, put us into that 'rock n roll rage.' And Fort Worth is home. That shit is bound to bleed through. We also fucking love true country/western music.
Is there more to the story of choosing you or California, like on “Me or California”? I feel like there is more to the drama of this dichotomy.
Alex: I was in love with a girl who went to LA to look for work. The song is about an ultimatum. Pretty simple.
Texas is known for their outlaws, bad ass rock and rollers, but there is something almost indicative of the Lone Star State that you embed in much of your music where the guitars have this wild west saloon twang to it. Is this accidental? On purpose? Or just a learned by osmosis trait?
Parker: Some of us are coming from Nashville, Pittsburgh and other big cities where being apart of society and scene is more or less a must to just be comfortable and socially relevant. In short Fort Worth and Texas in general is a great place to be poor, really poor ha ha. having nothing to lose makes anyone an outlaw, makes them hungry with a fine taste for tap water and canned tuna. When all you have are your surroundings and friends, It's going to sound pretty native to the square miles you walk around in. Brady the drummer has a pretty thick Texas accent, he'd look like an idiot playing any other style probably ha ha.
To answer the question, it happens accidental, on purpose and osmosis, we fly blind and follow what feels right.
We also have a bunch of telecasters, and with Townes Van Zandt playing in every bar, c'mon.
I feel like songs like “Sweet Lime” and “Back to the Rio Grande” are cuts that could have only been made in Texas. Can you give us some esoteric Texas History gold some of us outsiders might not know about? I understand the Texas History component in your education system is a big deal.
Kris: Texas history is taken pretty seriously round these parts I reckon. Oddly enough, “Back to the Rio Grande” was written by Zobel, and he's from Albuquerque, NM. I think the 'Texas sound' is more of something that's engrained in you rather than something you strive to sound like. At least in our sake.
It's all rock and roll. ZZ Top came out of Texas and Ozzy pissed on the Alamo.
Favorite Fort Worth venues?
Brady: Lola's is one of my favorite FW venues to play at, but the best and wildest nights have always happened at The WhereHouse. That place is a house party, where anything goes…great nights I will never remember.
Best Forth Worth pubs?
All: Lola's. The Grotto. The Wherehouse. The Chat Room. The Boiled Owl. Shipping and Receiving. Finn MacCool's
Joey mainly prefers ganja.
Best places to get in trouble in Fort Worth?
All: The Poop Deck. Just go and find out.
Best places to NOT get in trouble in Fort Worth?
Alex: Probably a neighborhood called Como. You can find any drug you want at any time of night for super cheap. I saw a lady poop in her front yard.
Favorite tapes/discs or tracks to play in The Longshot van/bus/car these days?
Parker: I always am listening to a mix of really current and really classical, James Blake's new record and Beethoven's 7th Symphony have been on the record player the last couple weeks.
Joey: Dancin With Wolves the new Natural Child LP is incredible. I have it ordered…finally got to stream it today via Paste [laughs], also A Tribe Called Quest's Anthology is always gold.
Kris: I'm a sucker for 90's r n' b and pop. Been on a bit of a TLC kick the last week or so. But then there's also ZZ Top, Radiohead, and George Strait. Depends on the amount of whiskey circulating.
Alex: Donovan's Sunshine Superman has been in my record player lately. I've been listening to a lot of the LP Be Brave by Strange Boys…. Beck, Sea Change. FIDLAR. Yeah.
Brady: For the long rides I prefer a mix of Tom Waits, Puscifer, My Morning Jacket, Band of Horses.. It might put everyone else asleep but it'll keep me driving straight.
What are the long and short terms prospects for The Longshots?
All: Keep touring and recording till we die.
The Longshots' self-titled album will be available February 25 from Mock Records.