Tyler Farr & Jelly Roll Channel Their Inner Hank Williams Jr. On New Collaboration, “Country As Shit”
“We wanted to write something, add a little bit of Hank Junior attitude… it’s my personal ‘All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight,'” Farr said of the tune.
Tyler Farr, Jelly Roll; Photo Provided
Raw, unfiltered, and authentic is what you get when Tyler Farr and Jelly Roll join forces for their single “Country As Shit.”
Written by Tyler Farr, Jason DeFord (Jelly Roll), Vicky McGehee, Josh Mirenda and Andy Sheridan, the gritty, energy-filled track was produced by Jason Aldean, Kurt Allison and Tully Kennedy. The tune finds the pair of hitmakers channeling their inner Hank Williams Jr.
“‘Round here our trucks stay muddy / Out here our cooler’s loaded down / Ain’t scared to knuckle up buddy / You better think twice ‘fore you run that mouth / What you see is what you get and / What you get is what it is / Livin’ like Willie and Waylon and No Show did / Keepin’ it country as shit,” Farr and Jelly Roll sing on the tune’s chorus.
Listen To Tyler Farr And Jelly Roll’s “Country As Shit” Below
Music Mayhem recently sat down and caught up with Tyler Farr about the origins of “Country As Shit,” his friendship with Jelly Roll, a “crazy” run of shows with Koe Wetzel, and more.
Didn’t Write The Song To A Be Radio Hit
When the “Redneck Crazy” singer got together with his co-writers, he had one goal in mind. “Let’s just write a song that just smacks people right in the face. No shits given.” He didn’t want to think about how much radio play it could get or try to make anyone happy except his fans. “Let’s write a song for my fans and make my fans happy,” Farr recalls thinking.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about giving my fans what they want from me. Because if you try to cater to too many people, you get cookie cutter bull crap.” He suggested writing something “country as shit,” and his co-writers proposed taking that phrase literally. “We wanted to write something, add a little bit of Hank Junior attitude… it’s my personal ‘All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight.’”
Pays Homage To Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings And George Jones
The line of the song that stands out to Farr the most is “Living like Willie, Waylon, and Noshow did,” which he says is a tip of the hat to the way he feels men used to be. “When something upset ‘em, they would just go out in the parking lot and fist fight, get up and shake hands, go about their business. I grew up in the country and it’s all I know how to write.”
Although the lyrical content references traditional country, Farr says he’s received criticism about it not sounding traditional.
“I got some DM and Instagram from some hillbillies… ‘This song is not, it’s not even country. So how can it be country as shit?’ And it’s because it has a modern [sound] and I was just giggling at it. I’m like, you missed the boat.”
He Knew Jelly Roll Was The Perfect Collaborator For The Song
Farr knew that there would be a short list of artists who would be willing to sing a song on radio or streaming services called “Country As Shit,” but he also knew who would step up to the plate.
“I knew Jelly Roll would not have a problem with that because he says a lot way worse stuff than shit,” he laughed. He wasn’t sure if Jelly Roll would like the song or agree to sing on it with him, but he decided to go for it. “I ran into him downtown one day and basically asked him if I could send him a song. I’m like, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to do it. He’s like, yeah. And then he texted me, he’s like, freaking love it, dude. Just let’s figure out a day to get in the studio.”
At that point, Farr told his producer Jason Aldean about it, who hadn’t listened to Jelly Roll’s music at that point but was willing to give it a try. The biggest challenge was to coordinate schedules to get in the studio. “That was a chore. Trying to coordinate my schedule with Aldean’s schedule and Jelly Roll’s schedule. Cause at this point in time, he’s already started popping off. He’s all over social media and selling out freaking Bridgestone [Arena] and all that and just blowing up. And so we finally got a date that worked for all of us and made it happen.”
Jelly Roll Impressed The Song’s Producer Jason Aldean
When Jelly Roll recorded his first take, Aldean was floored. “Jason’s like, holy crap. Freaking awesome. He’s a freaking pro. And he was super impressed.”
Aldean had a vision for the sound of “Country As Shit” and told the band “this cannot sound too pretty. It needs to be kind of rough around the edges and just think Hank Junior rocking.” That direction is what led to more traditional sounds of steel and dobro with a metallic guitar in the background. Aldean wanted a hard rock sound for the live show and joked, “It’s dirt, don’t try to church it up.”
Farr shared some behind the scenes’ footage from the studio on Instagram.
“I got to record a song with two great friends, @jasonaldean and @jellyroll615! Honored that Jelly Roll put his spin on this tune and truly made it, Country As Shit!! I hope y’all enjoy some of the behind the scenes when we recorded it and thanks to @tullykennedy and @kurtallison for putting the hard work in to make this song what it is today.”
Farr first heard about Jelly Roll while he was turkey hunting with Ernest, Morgan Wallen, and Jon Langston during the pandemic.
“I’m like, who is this Jelly Bean or Jelly Roll?” he laughed. “I really dug his stuff and was like, man, that sounds awesome.” Farr met Jelly Roll at a charity golf tournament and ended up being at the same golf events several times in a row. “We just got to hanging out, had some drinks and stuff and hit it off. And he’s just a sweetheart of a dude and just an awesome person. I could tell he had a good heart and he was a good human being.”
The Road to Hell Paso Tour with Koe Wetzel
Farr opened for Koe Wetzel during a recent run of shows on The Road to Hell Paso Tour and had a memorable experience on the very first day. “We set six fire alarms off. And my guitar player has to come sprinting out of the shower, like stark-ass naked.” The “12 foot flames” from the pyrotechnics had accidentally set off the fire alarms. “My guitar player was running down the hall naked. I’m like, what in the hell? There’s no way I’m going to survive this tour.”
Besides the false alarm, Farr says the tour was “a freaking show,” describing a rowdy crowd. “I probably saw 14 girls hammered drunk, getting wheeled out in chairs. I’m like, good God, what is going on? This is crazy. I mean, I’ve toured with Brantley… I have not seen anything like this. And they’ve all been sold out.”
Farr says that as soon as he met Wetzel, he felt like they were long-lost kindred spirits, sharing a love of the outdoors. “I think I like him so much because he’s a stylist. And I grew up around George Jones, my stepdad playing with George. I’ve always been a fan of people doing their own thing and having their own sound. And he’s great.”
Farr has teased snippets of new music, including “Whiskey Talkin’,” “Silverado Gold,” and “Tell You Bout That,” which he plans to release eventually. He says he would release a triple album right now if it was up to him, joking that he doesn’t think Aldean would let him do that right now. But, he says an EP is in the works.
“We have enough already for a full EP.” For the past three years, Farr has been focused on writing, saying it’s the best material he’s ever written. “I’m just ready to get people some more new music because that’s all they want. They don’t care when you had the last hit. If they’re fans, they’re fans and I think they’re all ready for some new stuff, which I don’t blame them. I’m ready to get some stuff out there.”
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