Texas Hippie Coalition’s Big Dad Ritch Talks the “Dark Notes” of Johnny Cash-Inspired Album, “Dark Side of Black”

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Carved RecordsTexas Hippie Coalition is back with a new album, called Dark Side of Black. As the title suggests, the latest effort from the Lone Star State metallers is the band’s heaviest record, both musically and lyrically.

“Texas Hippie Coalition’s philosophy, and where I come from lyrically, it’s always pretty positive energy,” frontman Big Dad Ritch tells ABC Radio. “But in this one there are dark notes, and there are some dark lyrics.”

Musically, Texas Hippie Coalition tapped into their Pantera influence, and even recruited Pantera producer Sterling Winfield for Dark Side of Black. Lyrically, Ritch hoped to channel his “idol,” Johnny Cash.

“I listen to Johnny Cash and I see him peeling back the skin and letting people see a little deeper in his soul, to the darkest part of the soul,” Ritch explains. “I really wanted to make sure that in this album that we did that.”

The heaviness of Dark Side of Black was also influenced by the personal struggles the band members experienced while recording the album. Drummer Timmy Braun, for example, spent time in the hospital during the recording process as a result of a severe infection.

“I think that everyone involved on this album had gone through something during the time period from the last album [2014’s Ride On], and that everyone wanted to express those emotions and those feelings,” Ritch tells ABC Radio. “However they came out, whether it came out through the guitars, or through the drums, or vocally, I think it’s definitely noticeable.” 

Dark Side of Black will be released April 22. Texas Hippie Coalition is currently on tour in support of the album and will be through the spring.

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