If anyone thought touring arenas with Kid Rock would dull Hellbound Glory’s country edge then â€œSmall Township,” a boot-stomper from their upcoming “LV,” will render them mute.
It’s a stark take on the small-town life in hard times. Drugs, violence and desperation puts the trope often trotted out as a shortcut to wholesomeness on it’s ear.
Leroy Virgil of Hellbound Glory took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions.
Twang Nation: Tell me about the new EP â€œLV.â€
Leroy Virgil: I titled the album LV after my initials because most of it was recorded as a one-man band in the town I grew up in. I put a lot of myself onto the tape and I’ve never been more proud of any recording I’ve ever done.Â Call it my brandâ€¦ my stamp of approval. The songs themselves are something like paragraphs in a story.
There is definitely a storyline. A beginning, a middle, and an end. The recording and the sounds that we got on tape are really something special and unique to this release. These songs, sonically, donâ€™t sound like anything that Iâ€™ve released to dateâ€¦ but I wonâ€™t say I wonâ€™t revisit. I enjoyed the stripped down recording and Brian Smith captured something special in the mix.
TN: The record was recorded to analog tape at the Oceanside Recording Studio, but itâ€™s being offered as a digital release only. Why? Are you trying to piss off Neil Young?
LV: The way we look at it, weâ€™re taking advantage of the tools that are out there to get the new music in speakers as quickly as possible. This is the first release of a seriesâ€¦ and I want them all to be special. That said; yeah, itâ€™s a priority for me to release a physical copy, maybe vinyl eventually, but
itâ€™s got to be special. Itâ€™s got to be right. Weâ€™ve got a busy year planned and a digital release right now makes the most sense and use of time. Iâ€™m putting the finishing touches on the second release
TN: How have you changed as a songwriter through the history of Hellbound Glory?
LV: I donâ€™t think I have actually. Not sure that a lot of folks know this but Iâ€™ve got about 3 or 4 albums worth of material ready to go. I just need the studio time! I guess I write what I write; sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, sometimes more serious songs. I just try not to push it and let the ideas develop.
TN: How have things changed for the band since playing arenas (opening for kid Rock)?
A: The work has become harder and weâ€™ve made less money! Itâ€™s funny really, but in a good way. The Kid Rock tour gave me a wider perspective, a tour van, a booking agent and a chance to really focus on getting the Hellbound Glory business together.
TN: Many fans thought that tour would be your big break. Did it feel like it?
LV: Absolutely. Maybe not in the way some fans thought it might, but I never thought weâ€™d do that tour and sell a million records in the first place. But yes, it was a big break and a very eye-opening experience that I learned a lot from. Not sure people understand this, but Kid Rock is a fan of independent country music, a music fan period, and I learned a lot just being out there. That eye-
opening experienceâ€¦ that IS the big break.
TN: What can fans look forward to on your upcoming tour?
LV: The tightest Hellbound Glory line-up Iâ€™ve ever had. Solid, Cohesive, Professional. A lot of new songs and Iâ€™m really focusing on my guitar playing. Call us a power trio. Iâ€™d like to add a steel player
one of these daysâ€¦ and have you ever heard Hellbound Glory with keys?