Hank Williams III took time from the road to talk to KNAC.COM about his new CD, “Damn Right and Rebel Proud” (Curb – early 2008 release) his early inspirations, his country royalty legacyand the sorry state of Nashville.
KNAC.COM: Don’t you think there are still plenty of people out there who don’t have the two-story house and the car payment and botoxed wife? I mean, there are still people who live on the edge, don’t you think? Day to day with a lot of obstacles who just do what they do to get by?
HANK III: Yep. Right. The lawyers outsmarted all the musicians in Nashville, and that’s when it totally changed. We just do what we do. I’m going through the same fuckin’ bullshit on the new record that I just turned in. “There’s no country song for radio on here.” Well, it’s not my fuckin’ fault that I’m too country for radio or that my topics aren’t pristine or picture perfect. I just stick to my guns. “This is my record. These are my songs. If it’s not good enough for radio, that’s your problem—not mine. Our fans will still be here and we’ll still be doin’ what we’re doin’ with or without you, man.
KNAC.COM: This will be your fourth record though. At this point why would they expect that you had changed at all? I mean, you aren’t Rascal Flatts.
HANK III: I guess it’s just like the same reason Creative Artist Agency let me go eight months ago. They were like, “Are you gonna take the next step and go to the next level?” I’m like, “I’m gonna keep playing the bars—they’ve been supporting me since day one. If you have a couple of big shows, I’ll open for a band if the situation is right, but I’m not gonna say “Fuck y’all, see ya later!” to the bars that have kept us alive.” They fired me. I guess it’s the same mentality at the record label that I have to deal with now. Maybe they figure, “Hank’s getting older now—maybe he’s got this rebellious bullshit out of his system and do it our way.” Thank God that I’ve got a good manager and a good lawyer who believes in what I do.
Hank Williams III – Dick In Dixie