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The Lone Bellow's Zach Williams on recording their new album in Roy Orbison's former home

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The Lone Bellow
The Lone Bellow

This is Songwriters & Tour Riders, a music podcast from KOSU hosted by Matthew Viriyapah.

The Lone Bellow's latest album is titled Love Songs for Losers and was recorded in Roy Orbison's former home. Matthew talked with singer Zach Williams just before they started their first tour of 2023, which fell right around the 10-year anniversary of the release of their debut album.

In this episode, hear Williams talk about producing their own album, going back on tour, and what it was like recording in Roy Orbison's former home.

On the days before tour starts

I usually feel pretty excited with a mixture of nervous. It's funny, you'd think after doing this for a decade that I wouldn't get nervous anymore, but. I really do. I start trying to figure out what kind of clothes I should pack for. And I just turn into this high school kid that's never left home before. You know, this time is especially fun because we're just driving all through Texas and then Texas all the way up through California. And we're just going to be in the mountains a lot. And this time of year, it's going to be pretty beautiful.

On ten years since their first album

I've been thinking on the first album a lot lately, and there's one part of me that's like, Man, I can't believe it's already been ten years we've been able to do so much. I mean, from Carnegie Hall to several times at Red Rocks and opening it up for Robert Plant to Dwight Yoakam. And it's been such a beautiful full decade.

And then there's another side of me that's like, man, we've been doing this for a long time. We're on our we're on our first record with finally figured out how to produce our own music without anybody's help. And I feel like we're just now reaching a new place in our creative endeavor. This last record that we made, we found Roy Orbison's old house, and we made it a studio. And [being] the first record that we self-produced, it was just so inspiring. Being there and being right next to Johnny Cash's old burned down house and all the history just surrounding us in that haunted old Roy Orbison home. It was really inspiring.

Just picture probably like a 7000 square foot cabin on a lake, next to Johnny and June's house that burned down and across the street from the house where Johnny passed away. The whole house basically only had two bedrooms and everything else was like these huge kind of like party rooms. There is a big indoor pool and just massive living rooms. So during the day, it's really beautiful. But at night it gets pretty spooky. So the house definitely lent itself to some great just imagination.

I think the next few years are looking like we're definitely like we're going to lean into producing more music. I'd love to start helping out like younger people and help them produce their music and help them tell their story. I feel like we've been blessed with such an incredible journey of being able to do that, and love to turn around and help somebody else do it.

Find out more about the Lone Bellow's latest tour and album at thelonebellow.com.

Music featured in this episode:

  1. The Lone Bellow - Honey
  2. The Lone Bellow - You Can Be All Kinds of Emotional
  3. The Lone Bellow - I'm in Love
  4. Roy Orbison - Crying
  5. The Lone Bellow - Caught Me Thinkin'

Subscribe to the Songwriters & Tour Riders podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get podcasts.

Matthew Viriyapah is KOSU's production assistant and host of the music podcast Songwriters & Tour Riders.
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