Hank Williams III - Rockabilly Central
1st off The real name on My Birth certificate is Shelton Hank Williams III, Since I have nothing to gain or loose, All that money is for Hank Jr and Jett Williams. He calls the country outlaw Hank Williams, Jr. his father (even though their relationship is strained) and has a son himself - who Hank 3. Unfortunately, the pressures of touring kept Hank Jr. away from his wife and child Hank Jr.'s second wife -- Hank3 was named Shelton Hank Williams III after This relationship did not last long and Hank decided to leave.
They are sued him, raking his name through the coals in a big lawsuit. That says it all. Come on, are you really going to be that greedy? Mike Curb was a better politician than he ever was a musician. Do you think you were initially signed to Curb because they thought they were getting a hybrid of your dad and grandfather? Here is the main reason I went to Curb. I had a manager at the time named Jack McFadden.
Jack had Johnny Paycheck for 20 years, Buck Owens for almost This woman had waited three years to tell me I had a son. On stage, I was served paternity papers and they took me to court. Talk about putting a loaded gun to your head.
I had no choice but to sign with Curb Records. So yes, I got into bed with Curb for the money aspect of it. I figured I could later on do rock and mix it up again. The first two to four years of my career, I was strictly doing family shows, fairs, casinos, all these safe shows, until I got the majority of the back child support paid off.
I will show you what kind of a real job it can be. I wanted to rock out at first, then do my country and grow old with my country fans. But I had that reversed on me, and it actually worked out for the best. It helped me forge a unique career, helped me carve my hillbilly sound and it made it a little more special. Getting back to the point however, the reason I signed with Curb was to take care of my son, and get the monies straightened out with the mother.
How has that worked out over the years with your son? We have a great relationship. Congratulations on doing what you had to do. Then I started being a rebel. The thing is, those kinds of issues are always there. Your family history — have you ever felt it was an albatross around your neck?
Obviously I never met my grandfather. I only know him like any other Hank Williams fan knows him, through his music. As for Hank Jr. I just was never that close to him. I was raised more by my mama and her father up in Missouri. I am proud of where I come from. You seemed to have handled the burden of the family name quite well. There is a guy named Don Kelly who has been playing lower Broadway for over 28 years here in Nashville. He told me recently that I was the same guy he met when I was 15 years old playing around town.
Little things like that give you the confidence to keep going. I have had my heroes jerk me around, snub me, and I never wanted to be like that to my fans, or my friends.
I feel fortunate to still be in a line of work I truly love doing. I am sure that scenario is a double whammy when you carry the weight of two historic names on your shoulders.
You met with the hard rock label Megaforce Records and explained your vision to them. Can you tell me what it is you said to them that they fully understood? I do all kinds of work and I am going to make quite a few different records. If I wanted to make sci-fi records then let me.
If I went country with one, then respect me enough to allow that to happen. I want to work with people that are proud to work with me. I liked Megaforce because they were small and it felt more grassroots to me. I play music because I love it.
Hank 3 interview
I march to my own beat and they identified with that. It is one thing to be different Hank, but you can take the vision too far. They ended up suing him and fans stayed away from Neil in droves because he had taken his vision to the extreme.
There are no rules with what I do. At the end of the day, I make music for myself. People know I am a fan of way too many styles of music to ever worry about that — especially in this day and time.
There are too many types of extreme music out there, and to be honest, my fans are pretty extreme. On this last record I put out, there are about five country songs on it. The rest are different, outside of the box tunes than a majority of my fans are used to.
I have always played for the outsiders, the rebels. I am not playing for the masses. What is real country? Real country is being pure with the sound and keeping the words simple. They lyrics are raw, deep and emotional.
It is music you can actually eat, sleep and breathe. Are you ahead of the curve with your brand of country music? Most of my fans are rock oriented. Exclusive interview January 16, Hank 3 has a shitload of pedigree.
He's a near carbon copy, both physically and vocally, to his brilliant, but troubled, grandfather - first legend of country Hank Williams. He calls the country outlaw Hank Williams, Jr. Being born into county music royalty also means that your career path has been preordained. Hank 3 started his musical journey banging the drums in various punk and hardcore bands. His first record was an ill-advised album Three Hanks: Men with Broken Hearts which spliced the voices of all three Williams generations together into songs that probably should have been abandoned when it was still just a bad idea.
This was the beginning of a stormy relationship with newly signed label Curb records. Curb refused to release his record This Ain't Country and wouldn't allow Hank 3 to sell it on his own. The issues were settled shortly thereafter in court in Hank 3's favor and after Hank 3 sported and sold t-shirts with the words "Fuck Curb" pasted boldly on the front.
Hank 3 chooses to walk the dirty gravel back roads rather than take the seat at the front of the bus. His idea of rebellion is one of compassionate anarchy. His live shows include diverse musical sets featuring amazing old-school country, spirited honky tonk, hellbilly, punk and jackhammer thrash metal. Hank 3 recently chatted with Livewire's Phil Bonyata on county music, Nashville, his heritage and warning us to never let a drunken stripper on your tour bus.
Hi Hank, Phil from Livewire here. No, Phil from Livewire. Well, you know I'm always a scatter brain this time of year. Do you prefer Hank 3 or Hank? Hank 3 is what it should be. That was always the plan way back in the beginning. So, Hank 3 is good with me man. Well, I do something a little different really. I'd say that Hank Sr. If I were just a country singer I don't think that I would have the respect with my fans and people in the industry over the years. I think they would have been like "He's just riding Hank Williams coattails and taking the easy way out, you know and be a one hit wonder.
My heroes were The Melvins, Black Flag and all of these people with these different work ethics that were a lot more independent.
I guess that's the best way to say it. How about your father? Well, he was pushed out on stage when he was eight years old. They told him to go out there and sound like your dad and it took him a long time to find his sound. I mean he basically had to fall off a mountain and kill himself before he found his sound. But, he brought a lot of different elements to his fans. He used to go by the name Rockin' Randall Hank back in high school.
My Lynyrd Skynyrd was just by chance Black Flag, Pantera and all these more heavier kinds of music for me. By your audacious release of four records at the same time last Fall, featuring country, Doom-rock and speed metal - you were able to package your varied musical styles into one brand at a singular moment.
What was your motivation for this? Well, I've been held back for so long really. All these writers would say that "he does country, he does hillbilly, he does metal and no one really has been able to grasp how diverse I can be in the music world. That was a lot of inspiration for me and while I got the energy I've been playing the longest shows of my life.
Delivering four different sounds in over three hours a night. And I wanted to give my fans a chance to buy a Hank 3 CD. The stoner rock CD - here's this part of the show, and if you wanted the speed metal set you could buy Attention Deficit Domination. I've never been able to sell my own music at my own shows. I saw you live about 10 years ago in Milwaukee and I've never seen a more diverse cross section of people country boys, hillbillies, punkers, metal heads, goths and 8 to 80 year olds at any concert in my entire life and I've been to hundreds and hundreds of concerts.
Where does your universal appeal lie? We fought hard to have the open minds coming together for that. I'm trying to give the consumer the longest show for the cheapest ticket price available.
And you know off the bat I'm going to pay respect to my roots, so that's going to give me the older folks, the average everyday guys and then you have a lot of the hardcore kids that are starting to get into the old Johnny Cash and all that stuff.
I put on a diverse show that gets the diverse audience. I mean it took me a long time to get accepted into the rock "club. It's all over the place. When we were at Wacken Festival a large open air music festival held in Germany Dave Lombardo Slayer's drummer came knocking' at my door and said "dude it was awesome to see some country during this big metal festival.
Give ma a challenge in your life that you haven't had the heart to take on yet? Well, there's all kinds. One is understanding music theory. I wish I understood it, but I don't. Well, do you apply yourself hard enough or just don't take the time to learn?