Published Aug 31, 2011You can call September 6 Hank 3's Independence Day, as it will see the release of four full albums' worth of new material from the country/metal outlaw and mark the first music he's made since the expiration of his contract with Nashville's Curb Records at the start of 2011.
For Hank, heir to country music legends Hank Williams and Hank Jr., his 15-year deal with Curb -- inked when he was 23 -- resulted in never-ending battles to make records that reflected his vision to combine all of his country, punk and metal influences.
Now having established his own Hank 3 Records label, the artist born Shelton Hank Williams is back with both guns blazing, simultaneously releasing the 41-track country double set Ghost to a Ghost/Guttertown, the doom rock collection Attention Deficit Domination and a mash-up of auctioneers and speed metal entitled Cattle Callin', on the first Tuesday in September.
"Name me one person who's ever released that much on the first day, and on top of that, tackled three different genres in the process," Hank recently told Exclaim! "Every day for five months, from the time I woke up to the time I fell asleep, I was writing, laying down tracks and mixing."
Although Hank recorded nearly all of the tracks himself at his home studio -- he was known as a drummer in various Nashville punk bands prior to embracing his country roots and has also collaborated with Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo in the bands Superjoint Ritual and Arson Anthem -- he received a bit of help on his new albums from the likes of Tom Waits and Primus bassist Les Claypool.
The Canadian connection with all of this is Winnipeg-based auctioneer Tim Dowler, featured prominently throughout Cattle Callin', along with several other champion auctioneers.
"I've worked with cattle and been going to auctions my whole life, and I've always been fascinated by the speed of these [auctioneers]," Hank explains. "I approached a lot of the old-timers for this project, and some of them I just couldn't convince to work with me after they heard that I cuss. But Tim was into the idea right from the start and encouraged me to just go for it. My hat's off to him."
Hank 3 kicks off a month-long U.S. tour on September 5 in Atlanta. For full dates, head here.
To read Exclaim!'s newly published magazine feature on Hank 3, click here.