Hank III is Coming to Town. He Suggests You Wear Close-Toed Shoes.
Courtesy of Adrenaline PR
No other family of music artists like the forebears of this legendary name - Hank Williams - have captured the heart of what it means to be a country outlaw, a Southern rebel, a despicable bastard in the eyes of our more uppity brothers and sisters. Three generations of this inglorious family have dominated the Southern consciousness since the early 1930s when the name's original bearer - (Hiram) Hank Williams, Sr. - picked up his Silvertone guitar and stepped in front of the microphone in Montgomery, Alabama, transcending into American mythology.
"Hank Williams was playing rock-n-roll before rock-n-roll was," explains his grandson (Shelton) Hank Williams III in a recent phone interview about his upcoming triple-threat release - Brothers of the 4x4, a double vinyl, and A Fiendish Threat - and concert at the Rail Club on Sunday, August 25, at 11:00 p.m. "[Bocephus] Hank Jr. always leaned towards southern rock. I think it's kind of natural for me to go to a little more extremer music."
"Extremer" is an understatement. Songs like "Dick in Dixie," "Cunt of a Bitch" and "PFF" - the punch, fight, fuck song - indicate the life of a man who breathes torment and exhales aggression. "Man, I live out 90 percent of my songs," says Hank III, "and the other 10 percent... once in a while, I'll put myself in someone else's shoes and try to go down that road."
"Straight to Hell," one of his 90 percent songs, for example, encompasses Hank III's philosophy and provides insight into his desire to push his music to the next level of extreme:
Well, my worn out boots are takin' me down town An' I'm lookin' for trouble an' I wanna get loud. Serve me up a drink an' I'll shoot it right down, An' I'll jump up on the bar an' holler: 'One more round!'
"I'm goin' straight to hell.
Ain't nothin' slowin' me down.
An I'm goin' straight to hell.
So you just better get me one more round.
Hank III hasn't always been goin' straight to hell. When he was a child, his mother would play some of country's greatest legends, including Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck and David Allen Coe. It was music heaven for a grandson of Hank Williams. "My mom was always playing Elvis around the house or ZZ Top, so there was always rock-n-roll and country being played," says Hank III, whose own legendary status is rising every time he plays another three-hour show filled with country, punk and metal. "My first record was a Kiss record. Then I started getting into Queen, some Heart, older Ted Nuget, a lot of classic rock-n-roll."
These influences eventually led Hank III to the dark side of rock: Punk. "That kind of set me on my way as far as a different kind of music I really identified with," he says. The Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys and 7 Seconds are just some of the bands who found a home in his record collection.
From the age of 7, Hank III had a drum kit, and at age 10, he went on stage at the Fox Theater in Atlanta and backed up his father on "Family Tradition." "Energy wise, playing the drums was a lot of fun; I just felt like it was a natural fit for me." But eventually he followed in his father's and grandfather's footsteps and picked up a guitar. "My first electric guitar was a SG, but one of my babysitters stole it; I never did get to rock out on that guitar as much."