Probably my single favorite thing in country music right now is seeing Sarah Shook succeed. When we spoke last year, after the re-release of her debut album (she’d self-released Sidelong before it was given a major boost on Bloodshot), she described asking her young son if it was OK to launch a massive tour. “Mom, the bigger you get, the more platform you have to affect change,” he said. “Go for it.” I mean god DAMNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!
Shook and her band The Disarmers’s 2018 follow-up, Years, has been widely ranked among the best albums of the year. I’ve been yelping the chorus’s “I need this shit like I need another hole in my head” since I first heard “New Ways to Fail,” and today we’re bringing you the premiere of its video, directed by Hannah Welever. Like Sarah told me over email, “Far as I know a skateboarding themed country music video hasn't been done before lol.”
Give it a watch, stick around for the gag reel at the end, and read our chat before she heads off to another show.
What’s the story behind the clip?
It's all new territory for us, this director in Chicago hit us up with this rad idea for a music vid and we told her to go for it. A huge undertaking and a cast of super cool humans, I'm feelin' super grateful. Far as I know a skateboarding themed country music video hasn't been done before lol.
How would you rate your tour so far? The list of dates is massive.
I give tour a 9 outta 10. Love the chaos and the unknown quantities of tour life. The crowds have been amazing, it's an insanely good feeling to be selling out shows in major cities and drawing hundreds of folks in smaller towns, too. The power of the live show is like a whole different animal. That said, I think we're all ready for some down time. We gotta make another record and we need some space and peace to rehearse and get our shit together. We're all stoked for that, too.
Speaking of which, how was the Europe leg? Had you toured there before?
First Europe tour for us and it was sick! Those cats take care of their bands like crazy, would love to see American promoters take a page outta their book for real. Goin' back for a short run in November and I'm already so stoked on it. Also if you're in Norway and someone offers you Polish speed just say hell no and fuckin' dip.
I coincidentally have two friends moving from New York to North Carolina — any tips for them?
If someone says, "Bless your heart" they're um not being nice haha. Be open to a generally much slower paced lifestyle. A lot of folks really like to take their time and that ain't a bad thing necessarily.
Any new music from other artists you're most excited about right now?
Nest Egg's Nothingness Is Not A Curse, Erika Wennerstrom's solo album Sweet Unknown, Boy Harsher just released an extended version of Lesser Man, and I'm always trying to keep up with the Muslims from Durham, NC. Facebook and YouTube censor their shit relentlessly it's total bullshit, but this band is fire in every way. Also Garrett T. Capps just put out a killer album called In The Shadows (Again). It's unique, the instrumentation and melodies are stellar. I'm not big on contemporary country, even the so called "traditional country revival" we got here. I see a shit ton of folks wearing "the clothes", talkin the talk, but really not having fuckin' shit for substance to offer and to me that's just as bad as pop country. Every goddamn bit as bad. A poser is a poser. But ya know. Where there's a bandwagon there's a crowd. I'm just out here doin' my own thing.