The "inmates" ran the asylum for Whiskey Myers' upcoming self-titled fifth album, from which the track "Bury My Bones" is premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Aug. 8).
Guitarist John Jeffers tells Billboard that the Texas country-rock sextet "debated for a while" before deciding to self-produce the set.
"We had recorded the last two albums with Dave Cobb, and we really paid attention during those and debated whether we should go back and do a third or try to do this one ourselves," says Jeffers, who wrote four of Whiskey Myers' 14 tracks, including "Bury My Bones." "I think we've matured as a group so much over the years we thought maybe we should take a shot and do it ourselves, and if it sucks we'll go back and figure out a producer.
"We took a leap of faith and just jumped in there, and we're pretty proud of it. We figured out, 'Hey, maybe we do have enough talent to be able to do it ourselves."
Whiskey Myers recorded the album — due Sept. 27 on Wiggy Thump/Thirty Tigers — at Sonic Ranch near El Paso, Texas, whittling down from a list of more than 30 songs. Any concerns about having "too many chefs" were put aside once the group began in earnest.
"As a group, we usually do pretty good," Jeffers says. "We get in a circle and run through every single idea. No idea's a bad one. We just bounce them all out, and eventually you get to a point where everybody giggles and smiles, and you know that's where it's at. You can feel it. So it wasn't nearly as hard as you'd think it would be, which was nice."
"Bury My Bones," which Jeffers penned with Tennessee Jet, is a road song, inspired by how the guitarist felt after Whiskey Myers returned from its most recent trek through Europe.
"We'd been on the road for a while and I remember thinking, 'If we keep doing this this hard we're gonna die' — just joking around," Jeffers recalls. "And then I thought, 'Well, if I die out here, I’m gonna need someone to come get my ass and take me home. I don't want to be buried out here. The story's pretty much true — tell my kind to just pick up a shovel and bury my bones in the sugar sand. I'm just writing about what I knew."
Whiskey Myers was recently in Europe again and has dates in the U.S. booked into November, including a release-day show in Dallas. The group is also still buzzing from opening for the Rolling Stones on June 25 in Chicago, according to Jeffers.
"It was the most hectic, coolest show in the world," he says. "The day-of was pretty stressful, but once we got on stage, man, it was awesome, just a stadium full of people who wanted to have a good time. We talked to [the Stones] for a while. They were supposed to go on at 9 and we talked to them at 9:20, so they were running fashionably late. The whole thing was cool, definitely a rite-of-passage gig."