If anyone thought touring arenas with Kid Rock would dull Hellbound Glory’s country edge then “Small 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 “LV.”
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. Call it my brand… 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, don’t sound like anything that I’ve released to date… but I won’t say I won’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 it’s being offered as a digital release only. Why? Are you trying to piss off Neil Young?
LV: The way we look at it, we’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 series… and I want them all to be special. That said; yeah, it’s a priority for me to release a physical copy, maybe vinyl eventually, but
it’s got to be special. It’s got to be right. We’ve got a busy year planned and a digital release right now makes the most sense and use of time. I’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 don’t think I have actually. Not sure that a lot of folks know this but I’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 we’ve made less money! It’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 we’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 experience… that IS the big break.
TN: What can fans look forward to on your upcoming tour?
LV: The tightest Hellbound Glory line-up I’ve ever had. Solid, Cohesive, Professional. A lot of new songs and I’m really focusing on my guitar playing. Call us a power trio. I’d like to add a steel player
one of these days… and have you ever heard Hellbound Glory with keys?