Rocker Bones Owens is known for blurring genre lines and pushing boundaries and the Nashville-based singer/guitarist is doing just that with current single "White Lines," which sees him getting back to the hard rock that he grew up on.
Born and raised in rural Missouri, the former Yelawolf guitarist was raised on a mix of gospel, country, blues and rock and he brings all of those things to his own unique music mix that is showcased on the 2017 album Make Me No King.
AXS: How are things going?
Bones Owens: Pretty good. Just got to Columbus, Ohio. We're playing at the A&R Music Bar.
AXS: You opened the tour in Detroit at The Shelter last night. How did that go?
BO: Oh, it was cool! We didn't know the Reignwolf guys until yesterday so that was pretty cool as well. They're all good guys and it was a fun night. I feel like Detroit is a cool city to kick a tour off in because it's such a music city.
AXS: Looks like you did some exploring as well. You stopped by Hitsville U.S.A. (Motown Museum)?
BO: Yeah, yeah we did. We went by the Heidelberg Project site too. That's not music related, but it was still pretty cool.
AXS: So you were happy with your set and the crowd response to it?
BO: Yeah, it went well. I've played in Detroit a few times over the years with other acts. I've played the big room upstairs, Saint Andrews, and I've played the Fox Theatre, but I hadn't played The Shelter before and I really liked the energy down there. I like those intimate rooms that have a low ceiling and a basement-type vibe. I feel the energy is kind of a little bit more direct just in the room in general. Everyone's really paying attention and it sort of makes you step up harder on stage. I thought it was a really attentive crowd.
AXS: What can people coming out for these dates expect from your set?
BO: Oh, you know: hopefully some foot-tapping, head-bopping rock. That kind of thing.
AXS: And when this tour wraps up you're heading back out with The Cadillac Three?
BO: We are. Yeah, those are friends of ours and we've done some dates together in the past so it should be fun. We'll be back out with them in late October.
AXS: It seems like the new single "White Lines" has done pretty well as well?
BO: Yeah, it's been great. We've got a lot of love on that as far as Spotify goes and stuff like that. They've really backed it and put it on some proper playlists and it's kind of helped kickstart it a good bit. They also did that with "Keep It Close."
AXS: It's got a different vibe and sound from the Make Me No King album. Would you say that this is the direction that you will continue to be moving in with the music?
BO: Yeah, I would say so. I made that record almost two years ago so there's been kind of a transformation since that time. It's less of a song-writer based thing and now it's back to more of a rock thing, which is a big part of the roots of what I grew up on. It's also similar to what I've done at times in the past.
AXS: Do you have more new music ready to go or will you be working on more stuff in the near future?
BO: Well we're sitting on a ton of recorded music right now. The song that I referenced, "Keep It Close," was actually one of eight songs. I have seven other songs that were recorded at the same time back in December. I haven't released any of those yet. When I went in and recorded "White Lines" with Vance Powell in Nashville last month, we also recorded two other songs. So essentially I have like a whole other full-length set of material that's not out yet.
AXS: Do you want to release a new album or stick with releasing singles for now?
BO: For the time being, I think it's going to be single releases. Like I said, we've got 3 songs that we recorded last month with Vance and he's worked with people like Jack White and Chris Stapleton and a lot of cool things like that so we're pretty excited about getting some more of that material out there. I think we'll have it out before the end of the year, but we want "White Lines" to run its course first.
I'm not really in a hurry to drop anything that resembles an album. The way that it is in this day and age makes it difficult, you know? I mean I love albums and I grew up on them, but the business is not really that favorable from a musician's standpoint. Sometimes it's a little bit more exciting to just have releases coming out at a faster pace.
AXS: So what is the plan for the rest of the year?
BO: You know, it's still kind of up in the air. I know that there's things that I can't mention that are potential tours for late Fall/early Winter. We are firming up some dates now with another band that's kind of in the same realm as the Cadillac guys. Yeah, so we just started this tour and will be out for the next month and then doing the Cadillac thing right afterward. So yeah, if I sat at home for the last couple of months of the year and just write songs, I'd be okay with that too!
AXS: What is your favorite thing about being in the music business?
BO: Although I love touring, I also love writing too. I love the process of creating a certain vibe. With this new stuff, I really write with the live show in mind. I think about how it's going to translate live and how I can get the crowd to enjoy themselves. I think that's my favorite part a the moment: just getting a chance to try out new songs and experiment with them. It's nice to find out what's working and what's not.
There's a lot of things I love about doing this and one of those things is that I'm really kind of a tourist. Whenever I'm out touring, like yesterday, I like to get out and see the city. I enjoy that aspect of it a lot.