Family Tradition

Hank Williams III hopes that country gold comes in threes

"I don't know," he continues. "I should be on an independent label. I'm just too wild. They tame me. They hold me back. I can't be what I need to be. We'll see, because I've got some pretty wild stuff, like 'I'm Here to Put the Dick in Dixie and the Cunt in Country.' I got some stuff like that. I could still sing that in front of 60-year-olds and get them to whoop and holler. I don't think they'd ever touch nothing like that, as much as that song needs to be recorded."

For now, he's not as worried about what songs should or should not be recorded as he is with his band's live show, which he promises "isn't what our album really sounds like." Lately, he's been thinking about the music he listened to growing up: the KISS and Black Sabbath albums that led to the Misfits and Dead Kennedys. Back then, all he wanted to do was play drums, and country wasn't cutting it. He needed something that would match his energy, and punk met his standards.

And just because he's a country singer now doesn't mean he's forgotten that period of his life when he was just another faceless punk. During our conversation, one of the few times he gets excited is when he's discussing a poster he just had made up, for a concert that may or may not happen, featuring his group and his new friends, the Melvins. He recently recorded some vocals for use on the Melvins' upcoming album, and the band's drummer, Dale Crover, appears on a handful of tracks on Risin' Outlaw. Williams believes that a bill with both bands on it would go over well, if only because he believes no other country band rocks as hard as his.

"If one night we're playing a show that's like a Branson crowd, well, we can be a respectable band," he says. "But if the next night it's a crowd that's like tattoos and piercings, an 18-to-32-year-old crowd, we can go out and rock them as hard as we need to. I just want to put out as much of the energy while I got it. I've got the rest of my life to chill out and sing slow songs and stuff."

Hank Williams III is scheduled to perform on Monday, January 31, at the Cajun House in Scottsdale. Showtime is 8 p.m.

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