Texan powerhouse Randall King was one of the break-out stars of this year’s C2C festival in London last March. It was great to see him sing his songs in acoustic format then but what was even better was the sight of him returning to Europe this month with his full band, bringing the full Texan honky tonk experience across the Atlantic. Returning on the back of a terrific cover of Alan Jackson’s ‘The One You’re Waiting On’ and new song, ‘Burns Like Her’ which was released the week of the UK shows, King sat with us for a while and talked all about it and the new music to come.
It was great seeing you earlier in the year, Randall, at the C2C festival. How did you find that trip and what memories did we leave you with?
Oh man, to be honest with you, I loved coming over here and seeing a whole different part of the world and a whole different side to life. I loved seeing some different culture and everywhere we went, people were so great. I expected Europe to be a little bit like what you hear about the negative side of places like New York, you know? People being rude, being bumped into, right, but not over here, people are so kind and very much like we are back in Texas.
Does it still surprise you that there is a demand and desire for Texan Country over in Europe?
No, man, not at all. Music is a world-wide thing. Look at me, I’m from Texas but I love all sorts of music from different countries so why wouldn’t it work the other way around? My brand of Country and traditional Country music is making waves all over the world, it’s so great to see.
How have the shows been going on this leg of the tour?
They’ve been great, man. I wasn’t sure just quite what to expect. We started up in Scotland, in Glasgow, first. People told me that they were going to be my rowdiest crowd and sure enough, man, they threw down and were very rowdy. For Manchester we were told it would be a little more ‘hipster’, kinda like East Nashville, right? A bit more urban but cool. It was the same thing though, they were rowdy, attentive and there were a lot of cowboy hats in that audience! We want people right at the front of the stage because that’s where we thrive, off the energy that the crowd gives us back.
We had a guy up in Scotland come up to the guys and say, ‘This isn’t Randall King.’ And the guys in the band were a little bit confused. He went on to say that he expected a little bit more of a laid back show with ballads and stuff and I was like, ‘Then you don’t know who I am because we are a high-energy band, we’re gonna rock, dude!’ (laughing)
Tell me about Switzerland. The videos of the mountains, the food and the shows on your social media looked cool.
Oh man. That was probably the most beautiful countryside I’ve seen in my entire life. No offence to the UK or anywhere else but, wow, man, Switzerland was pretty incredible. You can drink water straight from the faucet it is so pure out there. There’s fresh water springs everywhere that you can drink from. It’s a whole different world, incredible. The people were really kind although there’s lots of money around out there too, I’m pretty sure we were the poorest people around, if you know what I mean! (laughing)
Since we saw you at C2C you’ve been releasing individual songs here and there. Is that your new preferred method of getting new music out or are you just in a holding pattern till a new album arrives?
No, no. I don’t like releasing new music in that format a great deal but I will play the game, right? My team likes me to do it that way and I trust them. If I had my way we would drop 18 songs right now and surprise people! (laughing) I’ve got a great team behind me who have a great strategy worked out for us to keep the momentum going but I prefer albums and big releases!
‘The One You’re Waiting On’ is a terrific cover. It must be hard covering Alan Jackson and getting it right.
I’ve loved that song since the day I first heard it and I’ve sung it a lot over the years. I feel like it suits my voice really well. When you cut a song like that it can be a little stressful. My producer was shaking in his boots a little with the whole ‘covering an Alan Jackson song’ thing. It either has to be better or at least meet people’s expectations, right? I honestly think we went better, I truly do.
When can we expect more new songs and maybe the album?
We’ve got ‘Burns Like Her’ coming out this week and then, I think, one more song before the record which will then come out in January 2024. The album is done and ready to go. I’ll be listening to the mixes of it tomorrow on the train as we travel to Germany.
Is it another concept, like ‘Shot Glass’ was or is it just songs that you love?
I don’t know if I can talk about that yet but the album is called ‘Into the Neon’ and it will show a different side to me, a slightly edgier side that hasn’t been captured yet. I wanted to go with a different angle on this record. I loved my previous producers, Bart Butler and Ryan Gore but I wanted to try something a little bit different this time around so we’ve been working with Jared Conrad who I’ve been so happy to work with and I feel like we’ve knocked it out the park.
I mean, c’mon, ‘Green Eyes Blue,’ ‘When My Baby’s in Boots,’ man, those are some good songs. We want to capture that slightly edgier, Gary Allan meets early Dierks Bentley kind of sound and I feel like we are doing a good job right now.
Every Christmas for the last four years you’ve released a Christmas song. Can we expect another this year or will the new album process preclude that a little this year if it is coming out in January?
Ha! I can’t give you guarantee on that because we are so focused on the new record but I think that there might be one sitting in the tank somewhere that needs to be finished. Maybe we do that, I’d love to get it out as I love that time of year and the music. I’d love to put out a full Christmas album one day but not this year as we need to focus on the new album.
When we last spoke in March you mentioned that you’d like to do an updated, rerecorded version of ‘Another Bullet’. Any closer to realising that ambition yet?
We could have done it on this record I guess but my biggest desire is to get some new songs out into the world. Eventually I’m going to do an EP called something like ‘The Recuts’ or something like that and do new versions of some of my biggest or oldest songs, I like the idea of that. Songs like ‘Another Bullet’ and ‘Mirror Mirror’ and some songs that I love that I feel like just need a new light shining on them. We’ll do that but the new album comes first!