The king of hellbilly, Mr. HANK3 himself, is pleased to announce a triple-threat of new releases, hitting stores October 1, 2013. HANK3 will release a brand new DOUBLE country album, entitled Brothers of the 4×4, and a single punk album, entitled A Fiendish Threat, with his new project “3”. Brothers of the 4×4 will also be available as a single LP vinyl version, and A Fiendish Threat will be available as a double LP vinyl version.
Recording in his own home and releasing music on his own label, the Megaforce distributed HANK3 Records, allowed Williams complete creative control during the four month period it took to make both records.
Besides living the songs subject matter first, HANK3 sang and played both guitar and drums on the records. As if pulling triple duty wasn’t enough, he engineered, produced, mixed and mastered all the tunes as well. Not bad for someone who in his own words is dyslexic and has ADD, according to HANK3 “my mind is all over the place”. But even a man talented and driven enough to do (count ’em) seven jobs at once has his limits, so HANK3 has once again assembled a top-notch ensemble of pickers and pluckers for Brothers Of The 4×4 and A Fiendish Threat.
The required stand-up bass holds the low end down at the deft hands of Zach Shedd, with David McElfresh and Billy Contreras whipping razor sharp bows across the fiddle. Daniel Mason handles banjo, with a special guest appearance on “Possum In A Tree” by former National Old-Time Banjo Champion Leroy Troy working his banjo in the old school clawhammer style, while Andy Gibson wrings the sweetest of notes out his stand up steel guitar. Finally, long-time collaborator and fellow multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Johnny Hiland rips his chicken pickin’ guitar to feathers and shreds.
HANK3’s latest country record is just that- country, and the realness of it shines throughout the record like moonlight hitting a mason jar of corn liquor- it ain’t always the smoothest, and it doesn’t come wrapped in a fancy package, but it’s 100% pure whoop-ass in a bottle that gets the job done quicker and better and reminds you of where you originally came from once you figure out what just hit you. On “Outdoor Plan” he sings of fishing and hunting as a way of life, and it’s a fact that more than one deer and turkey has met its maker at the end of HANK3’s gun’s barrel. The title track, “Brothers of the 4×4” celebrates the wide open full throttle love of off roadin’ and rootin’ in a four wheel drive- the cover of the record shows Williams mud bogging in a custom 4×4, and it’s not some redneck rental- that’s his ride. And because life ain’t always happy, when the heartbreak and hard times cracks through the sonic celebration on songs like “Loners 4 Life” and “Ain’t Broken Down”, it’s because HANK3 is well acquainted with the darker side of life, and not as some tourist. The album is a rich and gritty sounding mixture of sadness, pride, hope- in other words, it’s a great country record.
As mentioned above, HANK3 will head out on a headline tour of select major markets on August 24th. The tour will kick off in Austin, TX at The Austin Bat Fest, and will tour several cities, coming to a close on September 8th in Atlanta, GA at The Masquerade.
With Brothers of the 4×4 and A Fiendish Threat set for release October 1st, Williams is ready to hit the road, and when he hits the road, he hits it much harder than most. Hank 3 shows are legendary for their length and intensity, averaging three hours a night, starting with a country set and ending with whatever his latest musical experiment happens to be. For this touring cycle, fans will get to taste the hardcore punk horror rock of A Fiendish Threat, a rippingly fast blast of sounds reminiscent of The Misfits, Minor Threat, 7 Seconds, The Ramones and other punk rock greats that are as much a part of Hank 3’s musical identity as his country roots. But A Fiendish Threat, like all of the man’s musical output, is anything but a formulaic, by-the-numbers rehash of what has been previously done by others. Stand up bass, fiddle, and banjo are not exactly standard instruments in punk rock, but they are on this record, riding beneath 3’s howling distorted vocals. Perhaps this is the birth of rebelcore punk? Whatever you want to call it, Williams has left his own touch on the genre, even utilizing a bizarrely beautiful Hula-music-on-acid sounding Hawaiian guitar at times. Some of the songs can make the listener feel like someone dropped LSD in their cheap draft beer at a CBGB matinee show headlined by a ghoulish Hawaiian punk band. A Fiendish Threat is yet another of Williams already numerous signature sounds, and he’s excited to put it in front of the audience for the first time. “You know when you do a new record, you just want to play it for all your friends. That’s what I’m excited for with this punk record, I get use a voice that doesn’t get used that often, and pay respects to some of my influences at the same time. Doing this record made feel like I was growing stronger- it took some of the years off me, to tell you the truth. Playing it makes me feel young again,” he laughs, “How long I will be able to pull it off all depends on the voice, man.”
With these dual releases, Brothers Of The 4×4 and A Fiendish Threat added to his already huge and varied arsenal of music, HANK3 will be raising all sorts of hell on stage while the fans raise their glasses in the audience once again, and you can bet your last dollar a damn good time will be had by all. The man goes full throttle all the time, every time, as anyone who has ever been to one of his innumerable shows will attest.
Listen to Brothers of the 4×4 and A Fiendish Threat, go to a show, and find out for yourself. Just remember the next day, after a few aspirins, a dinner at your own table, and a sleep in your own bed, that HANK3 will be down the road doing his thing again, and for that rebel, “doing the best I can” means something a little different than it does for the average man.
HANK3 Tour Dates:
8/24 Austin, TX @ The Austin Bat Fest
8/25 Ft. Worth, TX @ Rail Club
8/26 Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom
8/27 Lawrence (KC), MO @ Granada
8/29 Sauget, IL @ Pops
8/30 Ft. Wayne, IN @ Pierre’s
8/31 Flint, MI @ Machine Shop
9/1 Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
9/2 Pittsburgh, PA @ Alter
9/4 Lancaster, PA @ The Chameleon
9/5 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
9/6 Richmond, VA @ National
9/7 Charlotte, NC @ Amos Southend
9/8 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade