Hank III - 2013

An Interview with Hank 3
by Chris Fox
October 2013

Whether he’s working leather, writing a country tune, or screaming into a microphone, HANK III wears many hats. The voice of a dedicated fanbase, HANK III is a self-proclaimed renaissance man that is comfortable singing doom tunes on an acoustic guitar while wearing his Slayer cutoff t-shirt, and he is playing Madison on October 30.

His sound delves into the far-digressing reaches of musical genres, from Virginia back-mountain country to brutal speed metal. “I’ve been able to work in both worlds; whether it’s singing on stage with George Jones or playing drums with Phil Anselmo. I’ve gotten to work with a lot of different musicians - that goes back to being a drummer and being into multiple genres and having an open mind,” HANK III explains. He claims that his music is like Jekyll and Hyde. “It’s like two different worlds. It’s definitely not the best, not the worst, but it is unique.”

HANK III credits his involvement in all parts of the writing and recording process to his unique brand. “I’m involved, being the engineer, mixing it myself, doing the mastering, playing a lot of the instruments - I like being hands-on. Who knows how long I’ll be able to be this intense, but for now I feel like it is a great thing,” he says.

His dichotomic sound draws from a broad range of influences. “Back in the old, old, old days, radio was just one station that would play everything - it wasn’t chopped up into so many categories like it is today,” he says. This is what led HANK III to developing a love for everything from The Misfits and Black Flag to Johnny Cash. “My music is always changing. I’m always working hard to change it up. Who knows what I’ll be doing around the corner. I’m always messing with different sounds and trying different things - that goes back to some of my heroes in the country world.”

Being a drummer has also had a heavy hand in developing HANK III’s sound. “It gave me the rhythm that I have. Even before I was in the country world, I was touring the tri-state area as a drummer in a band, was a bass player in a band, and was a bass player and a screamer in a band. As I got older, the songwriting started to kinda hit me.”

HANK III’s songs vary in content as much as they do sound. “A lot of times I’m singing about the rowdy lifestyle, I’m trying to get people to come out to a show and forget about their problems. That has a lot to do with it,” he explains. “On the flip side of that, I’m a man of sorrow, ‘cause I’m a country singer, I know about all the highs and the lows. I try to sing about all kinds of things, if it’s light or it’s dark, whether it’s raising a little hell or trying to put yourself back together.”

This musician lives for the live show. “The live show has always been important to me. I’ve always tried to tour, just to tour, not necessarily touring around a record.” His mentality has made his live shows raucous events.

HANK III will be bringing his rowdy show to the Barrymore on October 30. His four-hour show might alienate some and convert others, but rest assured, HANK III is sure to bring a rambunctious display.

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