L-R, Ben Dumas (Drums), Ricky Young & Taylor Burns (Guitar/vocals), Joel King (Bass/vocals)
Wild Feathers Photo by Frank Maddocks
Elmore: What are your immediate plans?
Ricky Young: We fly out Monday to do some promo stuff in LA and then go hit SXSW, and then never end until this time next year. We’re excited.
Elmore: You tour nonstop. What’s that like for you?
Ricky Young: Things started heating up for us right before the album came out in 2015, which seems like a lifetime ago. We were touring nonstop, with like 40 other bands, and when the album finally came out we started getting super busy. That first year we did 240-250 dates, and in 2014, we did 150 plus, so we’ve had pretty much this last year off, after we made the new record early last year. Now we’re chomping at the bit to get back on the road again. I’m married, and Joel, our bass player is married, and I think the wives are excited for us to get out of the house. It’s our full-time job, so when we’re not playing music, there’s not a whole lot going on.
To be honest, I haven’t event even looked at our SXSW schedule; I’m a go with the flow kind of guy. People tell me where to be, that’s kind of my style. I’m definitely excited to get back to Austin, especially with the wintery weather we’ve been having in Nashville, and SXSW is always kind of a spring break for musicians.
I love festivals. You see a lot of your friends out there who are also on tour, and you don’t usually get to see them. Plus you get to see a lot of bands play, so the festival environment is one of my favorite things.
Elmore: What’s it like going out with superstars?
Ricky Young: We toured with Paul Simon for a couple weeks a few years ago. He’s really awesome. It’s super cool playing onstage before Bob Dylan. We didn’t meet him, no one really does. Gary Clark, Jr. is extremely friendly person, and it’s always incredible to watch him play. Willie Nelson and his team are insanely gracious and kind, and we learned a lot touring with him. It never gets old hearing him sing. Aside from him being Willie Nelson, the way they run their whole outfit, they’re just the friendliest people, and they’ve been together some 30-plus years, and they treat everyone with respect. They’re a lot of fun to be around.
Elmore: What does touring do for you as a band?
Ricky Young: We look forward to getting out there and playing for our fans again—it’s been a long, long time. And growing as a band on the road. It’s something you can’t rehearse for. You get so tight, you can read each other’s minds onstage after a long period of time touring, and we’re looking forward to getting back to that realm of being unstoppable live.
Elmore: Can you pick a favorite song from the new record?
Ricky Young: “Goodbye song” is the collective favorite right now, because of the way it was created. The album is so new and fresh to us, we’re excited about all of them. On tour, you start leaning toward certain songs you’d like to play better, so we’ll just have to see, but right now I’m in love with the whole record.