[Interview Exclusive] MOONSHINE BANDITS on shooting up Billboard Country Charts!
The Moonshine Bandits new album “Blacked Out” debuts at an incredible #13 on the Billboard Top Country Album chart.
It is safe to say Moonshine Bandits share rarefied legendary air with Colt Ford, Big Smo, Bubba Sparxxx, and just a few others who have wedged a spot for themselves in what some would consider a genre-less (hick hop) album into the Country album charts.
We have heard the album, and can attest to why we love it. It deserves to be played, and deserves to chart. That said, getting a fairly unconventional country album with twanging, banging, and a rap flow, to chart on Billboard Top country Albums is not your typical feat in the industry. This is especially incredible when you find out it’s a few guys hustling with an extremely tight budget, from a tiny town in Agri-fornia (The farming part of California). Needless to say, we had some questions on how the hell they pulled it off, so here is an exclusive interview with the Moonshine Bandits (Bird and Big Tex), on how they did it.
RR- Tex, what is the ‘real’ reality of trying to shoot for a chart position, for Moonshine Bandits?
Tex- If you look at the Billboard Charts, you will see every Artist on there receives airplay on FM mainstream Radio or has some type of National TV Exposure so they have platforms to reach millions of people which in return brings in bigger sales. Its no knock on them, maybe someday we will have that type of exposure platform, then all hell will break loose! Everybody on that Chart has big dollar marketing budgets as well, but not us, so ya we are damn proud to chart and pretty fired up! As an Indie Artist, its extremely difficult to even chart Billboard so when we see ourselves among those other mainstream artists and we have the 13th Best Selling Country album in the World for that week, nobody can ever take that away from us or our shiner family. To top it all off, CD sales are trending downward by 30% (in the music industry) but our sales have gone up since our last album release. We attribute our success to hard work and the most loyal group of family followers we call our Shiners! Shiner Pride is something that cant be broken.
RR- Bird, is there a sense of redemption now that you are seeing Moonshine Bandits accepted commercially?
Bird – I’m not sure if we are accepted commercially yet, Haha. That’s fine by us, but it is nice to have an opportunity, for instance, to do a live 2 song performance on a major CBS television station in Sacramento California on a Sunday morning and Then to receive such a huge overwhelming positive response to our performance and interview. I am so proud of how our shiner family has backed the new ‘Blacked Out’ album and it does leave me with a strong feeling of accomplishment to receive such great response for the entire record. Looking back now on how we approached this album, I Feel that we definitely tapped into a new entire way of creation and recording process!
RR- Tex, we would not call ‘Blacked Out’ a traditional country album, what does the album deliver to traditional country fans that makes it so popular?
Tex- Our Album is far from Traditional Country, however our concepts and content can be related to by anyone because its “real and raw”. Its not cookie cutter, we don’t follow trends, we write songs from our surroundings, people we’ve met on the road and their stories that inspire us. Combining a hiphop delivery with southern rock and country content in our own style may be frowned upon by some, but most music lovers can respect our originality and its undeniable that we have a fan base which means there is a market for our sound as well. We will never conform to what critics “think” our style of music should be to fit a format. Maybe 10 years down the road, newcomers doing music similar to us will benefit from the doors we kick open and that’s OK with us!
RR- Bird, why are the Moonshine Bandits so resilient during a time when the music industry seems so tough?
Bird- I really believe that we have had a never give up approach to our entire career because we have been turned down by suits and ties in our career and that has made us stronger. those moments have fueled our hunger to push harder. we have always been able to make the music how we want to make it!
RR- To the both of you, we noticed this album seems to be a tiny bit different in one regard. There are a couple of tracks that lean a little bit more towards being air-play friendly. Is this the year we finally start hearing the Moonshine Bandits style of music on commercial radio?
Tex- We never sit in the studio and discuss writing a song specifically for Radio. We write what feels natural to us or what our shiners can relate to, we’ve always been all over the map when it comes to style and genres, so if something sounds like it could be on radio, then hopefully they play some of our shit cuz’ hell we feel like all our damn songs could be radio hits. If our music ever fits a radio format and you hear us in constant rotation, then there will be millions more shiners and the World wont know how to handle us.
Bird- See Big Tex response! Haha. He nailed it!! I feel the same way.
Thank you guys for your time, we know you are hustling on the road right now! We definitely have a little more clarity into the type of character it takes to get it done. We look forward to the tour when it comes our way.
If you want to hear more from the Moonshine Bandits, follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Visit www.MoonshineBandits.com for tour info, merch and news. Cheers.