Texas Hippie Coalition Talk ‘Ride On’ Album, Mayhem Festival + More
The 2014 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is under way and one of the buzz-generating bands this summer is Texas Hippie Coalition. The group’s no-hold-barred performances have been wowing fans for years and the Mayhem Festival is giving them a chance to expand their fan base this summer.
Loudwire had a chance to chat with Texas Hippie Coalition frontman Big Dad Ritch and guitarist John Exall at opening day of this year’s festival and they gave us some info on their upcoming album, ‘Ride On.’ They also shared their thoughts on the Mayhem festival, discussed their influences and more.
I know you’re working on a new album. Did I see that the title is ‘Ride On’?
Big Dad Ritch: Ride On, r-i-d-e. Ride on, ride on. And it’s done, it’s in the box, release date 9-9-14.
Right on. Can you tell me a little bit about the album? Is it similar to ‘Peacemaker’ or a little variance on what you’ve done?
BDR: You know, we wanted to stay true to the first album, ‘Pride of Texas,’ but we also wanted to show everybody how we can grow. We’ve been around for about a decade now, and this album’s mostly just our way of letting everybody know that rock ‘n’ roll ain’t dead, and it’s just been in rehab. And like Nikki Sixx, rock ‘n’ roll will rise again, and this album is just about letting everybody know we’ve been here for a decade now, and you got your great ones, and you got your champions, but with the band of outlaws, you’re about to get one more.
Anything off the new album that we should be looking forward to soon in terms of a single?
BDR: Man, every song on there is damn good, from beginning to end, it’s thick. You know what I’m saying. I know that right now the radio people have had it for two weeks and they told me in one week we’ll have your single picked, and they’re all arguing, fighting over it so bad that it hasn’t been picked, so hopefully somebody makes a decision quick enough. It’s just, it’s that good, it’s that deep.
Okay, we’ll narrow it down then. For both of you, name a favorite song off the album and discuss why that song stands out to you.
JE: Off the new album? i couldn’t name just one, that would be too tough. I like them all.
BDR: Yeah, I mean, I really like them all as well, but this one song, ‘El Diablo Rojo.’ I wouldn’t say it’s a single off the album or anything like that, but it’s just about how we are perceived, and how people see the band.And how we go over, you know? Like, when we’re down in Texas, and we get down to, I know most people call it El Paso, but we call it Hell Paso, and they always call me El Diablo, down there. ‘El Diablo Rojo,’ which means the red devil, so, I just want to pay homage you know, to everybody down there, let them know I appreciate the hell out of them, that we dumped them dead bodies down in Juarez.
You’ve labeled your brand of music as Red Dirt Metal. Tell me a little bit about how that differs from what else we’re getting here at Mayhem this year.
BDR: You know, first of all we’re the first Red Dirt Metal band, we’re the only Red Dirt Metal band in the world and uh, there’s a lot of metal here on this show, this being the largest touring metal festival in North America. We’re just here to give everybody a little bit of different flavor. You know there seems to be a lot of cookies and cream, but we’re more like something with pecans in it, because we’re f—ing nuts.
[Laughs] Tell me a little bit about your set today. What was opening day like for you at Mayhem?
JE: Oh man, it was just tremendous, man. I had a great time. People as f—ing as far as I could see, dude, it was tremendous. Loved it, loved every bit of it. We’re just glad to be here.
What is it like being up onstage for you? What’s the feeling you get from seeing the people react to your music?
BDR: You know, I’m just here to whoop everybody’s ass. And I know when I was out there kicking everybody in the neck today, weren’t nobody there afraid to take an ass whooping. So, I always tell everybody, you go see a band, it’s kind of like watching a hockey game at home. When you come see us, it’s like being in a hockey game, and getting slammed up against the glass. So, we’re here to dish out ass-whoopins, and that goes for everybody here. We ain’t taking no mercy on nobody.
Speaking of dishing out ass whoopings, anybody that inspired you, growing up, in terms of what you do live onstage, and how you present yourself?
BDR: Oh man, you know, it starts back with you know Johnny Cash, Waylon and Willie, and it stems forward to Lynyrd Skynyrd, and ZZ Top, Molly Hatchet, and then you bring it in to Van Halen and Motley Crue, and then even some of the bands today. Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity, Clutch, Down, you know? We don’t try to be genre specific, and when we try to express ourselves musically we don’t try to be genre specific, I mean we’ve opened for David Allan Coe, Gary Allan. We’ve opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd, then we’ve gone out and toured with Nazareth, also done shows with Black Label Society and Korn, so, it don’t make a damn difference to us. If you like music, hopefully you’ll like us.
What’s on the horizon for the band at this point? Obviously you’ve got Mayhem, and a new album coming out, what are you guys looking at down the road in the fall?
BDR: You know, really just getting out there and supporting the single, supporting the new album, we’ll be touring like crazy, nonstop. We got dates all around the world coming up this winter. So the thing for us is just, you know, we’re road dogs. We put more miles on tires than any emcee club in the united states, guaran-f—ing-teed, I don’t care what colors they’re wearing, we’re putting on more miles on the tires. So you know, for us, it’s just to get back to work, you know? Time to make the f—ing donuts.
Our thanks to Texas Hippie Coalition’s Big Dad Ritch and John Exall for the interview. You can see the band playing all summer long on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival at these locations. Be on the lookout for the band’s ‘Ride On’ album, coming this September.