Big Dad Ritch is the lead singer and founding member of Texas Hippie Coalition, aka THC. Red Dirt Metal is what THC plays, with a reverent nod of influence to Country Music’s most famous outlaws to the late Dimebag, with Black Label Society and Lynyrd Skynyrd in between. Texas Hippie Coalition’s Southern Hard Rock ‘N Metal is as American as corn dogs washed down with (plenty of) Shiner Bock beer.
This badass band from Texas aren’t about kowtowing to the mainstream or the man sitting high-up inside some ivory tower. Hell no. This is Texas Hippie Coalition and they aren’t about being a band for the ages, they’re a band for the people, in my forthright opinion. With 2010′s Rollin’, their newly released Peacemaker (Carved Records), coupled with a notable live presence from clubs to festivals, Texas Hippie Coalition have earned a continuously growing fan base that knows real when they hear and see it.
They’re skilled musicians that are loud, proud, hard and heavy as hell with contagious American Southern pride. Texas Hippie Coalition are: bassist John Exall, guitarist Wes Wallace, drummer Timmy Braun and of course, Big Dad Ritch and his earth splitting vocals. Big Dad Ritch took the time recently to answer more than several questions that I tossed his way. As this being my second (appreciative) encounter with Big Dad Ritch, I can honestly say he is as genuine, kind, professional and badass as they come. Metal be thy name. There is and forever will be only one Big Dad Ritch. Here is what he had to say:
Stone: I know I absolutely love your new album Peacemaker. The fans and critics have spoken and this album is a winner! Can you put into words just how rewarding all of this widespread acceptance feels to you?
Big Dad Ritch: Feels like a backyard friends n family Bar-BQ, with all the fixuns n pecan pie.
Stone: What is the secret behind the muscularity that Peacemaker represents musically and lyrically?
Big Dad Ritch: Just being proud of being BADASS. If u were a rodeo stock bull would you want to be the ol’ piece of beef every sod buster rode for a short 8 seconds or the Horned Monster Bull that punished every belt buckle chasing cowboy for a long 2 second ride. Dare to be BADASS.
Stone: Your vocals are so powerful! Are there any steps you swear by in keeping your voice so healthy and strong?
Big Dad Ritch: Never drink or smoke… I’m lyin!
Stone: Yes, Big Dad Ritch, you’ve proven that you can sing a ballad! What’s the story behind the creation of “Think Of Me”?
Big Dad Ritch: I wrote that song on Valentines Day, like most Valentines Days I spent it with the love of my life – music. I think people will say a song like this is dated or that it shows a softer side. Yet, in my opinion, I believe to write a song like this in this day and age only shows that this band has balls, BIG BALLS.
Stone: What came easy and what was difficult about recording Peacemaker?
Big Dad Ritch: Music and words flow thru those that participated on this album, the task seemed so easy at times. Difficult part was deciding what 11 songs of the 14 to put on the album. My stance was like that of Sweden. I held the money while they argued.
Stone: THC will be opening for the legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd on select dates this September. Describe the thrill you are feeling about this and don’t hold back!
Big Dad Ritch: WhooHooo, yipp, yip, yippy, yeehaw!!! Hyeah! Raise Hell! Sorry, got a lil carried away there. See, couple years back I started tellin people THC would open for BLS (Black Label Society) very soon. At the time an untruth. People on fb started connecting dots comments like “I would pay to see that show”. Next thing I know, were on half a dozen BLS shows. So I started fibbin, again fibbin is almost a lie. Tellin everyone we were gonna open for Lynyrd Skynyrd, at the time not true. Yet here we are today talkin about the Skynyrd n THC show. So what I’m trying to tellya is I never lie, and soon we will be touring with Willie Nelson n Judas Priest… I’m lyin. This show with Shooter Jennings on the line up as well is proof there is a Southern Uprising!
Take a look and listen below to the Official Video for Turn It Up!
Stone: I look at the band photos, listen to the songs and watch the video footage of THC and the feeling of brotherhood hits me like a ton of beer kegs! How important is this brotherhood toward your band’s success?
Big Dad Ritch: Texas Hippie Coalition. Texas = Proud of where we come from, which everyone should be. Hippie = that’s the way my mom n dad raised me, TRIBAL. Coalition = Because we are more than just 4 men, we are many, we are chapters nationwide, we are chapters world-wide, we are fans around the globe, we are men that would be kings, we are twisted hippie chicks, we are FAMILY MEMBERS, we are all together under one flag that we wave HIGH n MIGHTY, we are COALITION.
Stone: Many bands pigeonhole themselves into one “select” genre. With THC, you guys can reach out to many Rock genres with your sound and style. Would I be wrong to call THC “the band for the people”?
Big Dad Ritch: The PEOPLE’S CHAMP, love it. Red Dirt Metal, Southern Fried Rock. It’s all good.
Stone: As THC creates their own hard-earned success, do you ever have time to take it all in?
Big Dad Ritch: Yes I do inhale. What was the question?
Stone: You tour the country and witness many things on the road. Is American pride still alive and well or is there a sense of division among us as a nation?
Big Dad Ritch: There is an immense amount of pride nation wide, but I do believe people are starting to place more faith in their neighbor than in their government. US definitely still applies in my eyes.
Stone: If Big Dad Ritch could sit by the river with a legend of Rock, either past or present, to share some booze, stories and barbecue with, who would it be and why?
Big Dad Ritch: Tuff one, I always aspire to be what I have grown to refer to as “1 man empire”. The likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon or Willie, or modern-day Rob Zombie, Zakk Wylde, or Vinnie Paul. To achieve things in and out of the world of music. Hoping in someway one day to grow up and be an OZZY. Sorry mom. So to pick from all of these would be hard. So I would say this I would pick “Dime Bag” just so I could tell him what he has meant to generations of fans and how much he has influenced me and many others. I would even drink one of those horrible black tooths.
THANK YOU, Big Dad Ritch for this interview! Thank you for creating such memorable Red Dirt Metal with your band! I am so happy for you and the band and wish only the very best for Texas Hippie Coalition both off and on stage.
Until the next time, your brother in Rock ‘N Metal -
PEACEMAKER Available NOW! Get it at iTunes (with exclusive track WHISKEY): http://bit.ly/OYvn5O
* For more info on TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION, click on the links below!
LONG LIVE BIG DAD RITCH.
LONG LIVE RED DIRT METAL.
LONG LIVE TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION.