Review Fix chats with No Dry Country’s Trent Langford, who discusses the band’s new album “Panhandle Music.”
Review Fix: How did the band get together? Or How did you get started in music?
Trent Langford: The Blue Light Live in Lubbock, TX has been supplying NDC with musicians since 2009. There have been a total of 10 members in that time span. Much more than a music venue, Blue Light and the musical family it has cultivated over the last 20 years has really been the one constant and a true hub for music in the Panhandle.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Langford: For this record, we did our writing and pre-production in Turkey, TX. Both Bristen and Trent’s families are from Turkey, so we spent a lot of time there growing up. It’s just shy of 300 people but rich in music history and has been the perfect place for us to isolate ourselves and hopefully find a bit of inspiration.
Review Fix: What’s your standout song on the current album? How was it written?
Langford: The song I’m most excited for people to hear would have to be SS 14. It has a dirt surf vibe that sounds like something that could have been on Weezer’s Blue Album, but the story sticks to the album’s character theme, chronicling the daydreams of a BNSF engineer on his run between Clovis and Belen, NM. This one was actually written entirely during tracking at Yellow Dog Studios in scenic Wimberly, TX and sonically, is different than anything we’ve put out in the past.
Review Fix: What did you learn from this last album? How did it affect your future?
Langford: We learned that Adam J. Odor is a magical, magical wizard behind the glass and that reverb is good and more reverb is always better.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2018?
Langford: Meet Natalie Maines.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you?
Langford: The Panhandle of Texas has played host to thousands of years of warrior horsemen, ranching pioneers, music revolutionaries, and eccentric artists of all sorts. A cast of characters set in the most dramatic landscape and violent weather you’re likely to experience anywhere. Wind chimes tling tlinging on front porches, creaking windmills and swinging gates, bending and twisting their dissonant metallic sounds in the constant and often deafening wind. Like the oceans roar, the violent thunderstorms and massive waves of sweeping dirt pound relentlessly and unobstructed on every man-made structure. For that reason we’ve chosen to focus on the electric heritage of Texas music. Our land is loud, and we feel we should be loud as well.
Panhandle Music is an album that tells the story of the people within this landscape, from their deepest despairs to their highest hopes. Everyone has their mountains to climb, even in a land as flat as ours. Their illusions and expectations set the stage and tell their bittersweet stories of a place they can’t save and never truly escape.
Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?
Langford: I’d love for people to feel as if their listening to the soundtrack of a movie that was scripted to recount the electric heritage of our landscape.
Review Fix: Why is this new album special?
Langford: It’s a mixture of all the musical ideas that are near and natural to us. This record gave us an opportunity to research our region’s heritage and musical history and hopefully do it some justice by describing the experiences unique to its people.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Langford: We hope this record is successful enough to help us provide for our families and still be able to play shows and continue to grow as musicians and make better and better records. Our formula has always been to make good music, play it for people who enjoy it, rinse, repeat.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Langford: Treat yourself to Ross Cooper’s new record “I Rode The Wild Horses.” Thank us at a show.