In this episode, the three kings are reunited as Kurt Allison and Tully Kennedy join Rich and Jim as they talk about a multitude of things and playing with each other since 1999. Jim takes the lead as he digs deeper into the dynamics of the three kings in terms of work ethic and what they learned from each other throughout the years backing Jason Aldean. The guys reveal some truths about each other and dive into their guilty pleasures. Get to know their list of highly overrated bands and their take on why those bands are overrated. Tune in as the three kings talk about meshing together and creating a lasting bond.
It’s episode three. I know these guys are going to say, “Episode three.”
What the heck?
Just like the last time you know this.
It sounds like a waste of three episodes.
You know this is the three Kings self-proclaimed. We have Tully Kennedy on bass, Kurt Allison on guitar. We’ve been playing music together. We’ve been bringing the music of Jason Aldean to life for several years. We’ve got a lot of stories, a lot of history. Of course, I’m joined by my sidekick, cohost Jim McCarthy.
I’m no sidekick.
You’re my cohost. You’re my coproducer.
You’re the one that makes this thing happen.
He’s glad to be here.
He’s the chief bottle washer.
I’m glad you have me.
I’m lucky to be here.
His side hustle, Big Dot Lighting.
Big Dot Lighting, Big Dot Electrical.
Don’t forget Keller. Keller is here.
Keller is in the audience.
Who’s in the audience?
Feel free to clap when we do something cool.
We’re still learning the buttons.
Where’s the audience? There it is.
Jim, I still need a tiny bit more of myself. It’s 58.
I feel like you’re blooming.
You too might sound much better than Tully’s.
I hear you fine.
This mic, something’s not right. It’s the cable.
Is it fuzzy?
I know microphones, this isn’t good? Here we go.
You’re probably a little too close.
We got the planet waves cables.
I’ll deal with it.
Is that an endorsement? Can you lower my playback a little bit on my mic? It’s a little hot. That’s what I think it’s a little hot.
Yours is super clear though too.
Yours is good. Mine’s good.
This sounds like we’re playing Bingo.
These are Audio-Technica microphones.
You don’t have to be on it.
No, I don’t have one. I was sure.
I didn’t stand up my book like this. That was Jim McCarthy, but for you consumers out there, people that are hungry for knowledge, this book took a long time to put together CRASH! Course for Success: 5 Ways to Supercharge Your Personal and Professional Life is available at Amazon.com. It’s got a perfect rating. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, it will show up to your door the next day.
It is Amazon Prime you can get it the next day or two days.
Next day on Amazon Prime. We’ve also got the digital version that goes right to your device. I recorded the Audible version, which will be available at Audible.com in 30 days or so. The Kings are here. Let’s not waste time. We want to get right into it. I don’t even know what we’re going to talk about but it’s great.
I am not going to read it because I only read.
Maybe you should get the audio too.
I’m going to read it, but only in hardcover.
It’s fine. You already have a hardcover. I gave it to you.
Did you give Tully a hardcover? I’ve got to think about it.
There are no profits in hardcover.
I need a hardcover book. The pages need to be crisp.
These aren’t crisp. Jim is going to direct us. Jim has all questions he likes to ask us because we finish each other’s sentences. We’ve been on the road together, sweat, blood, diesel fuels, we have been around each other a lot. We’re in this world it’s hard to get outside of ourselves. What we have going on is we’re maybe on our fifteenth year of touring nonstop with Jason Aldean. We’re done with our ninth record. The ninth record is coming out this fall. I don’t know if it’s too premature to say, but we’re going to have some theme song associated with some football thing going on. I know you love that.
That was a good cut. You did well on that.
I played it for Jim. That sounds good.
My mic is not right. Something’s wrong with my mic. I feel like I’m part of the show I don’t feel like I’m part of The Rich Redmond Show.
You are. I ordered four microphones from Audio-Technica.
How do I sound in your cans, Jim?
In my can, you sound great. You’re on it tight though. You’re not in front of 25,000 people.
You can back off a little bit. What do you think, Keller?
You’ve got to eat the shirts.
The shirts are good.
What do you think, Keller?
Jim, where are you leading this?
I’m leading this?
You’re leading this conversation because I don’t have anything to ask these guys.
What are your influences? I’m joking. You are based on our history together.
Adam Clayton, we talk about this.
U2, you talk about it in that world-class documentary.
You know I didn’t talk about last time though?
It has bothered me since then.
Do you wake up at night?
I have, you know why? I have forgotten to mention this guy and not just The Rich Redmond saga of things we do but the other interviews I do that was close by the way. Rich, almost fried our sweet road caster throw.
We wouldn’t be able to hear John, who will go, “Shazam.”
Tom Hamilton, Aerosmith. I have done numerous interviews and forgotten to mention his name. I just want to say that now, I feel better.
Les Claypool, right?
No, but I appreciate him.
Your levels are high that’s why. Try it now. You were peaking.
Can we start the show over?
This was good banter.
I need where I was though. There’s something for the extra lock cable here.
You were peaking.
You might’ve been peaking.
I’m still learning how this works. You have a strong voice.
Keller wants his dad off.
It’s the mic.
You should get a sample of Keller doing something. What looks like a good catchphrase you can say? Forever is his word.
This is good, Jim.
What were your influences, Kurt?
Let’s get to something more interesting.
I love Brent.
I know. That’s why I said it.
Brent Mason, Nick Mason, drummer?
There are some bands out there that I put on a list of highly overrated bands.
Let’s talk about this. Let’s do this.
This is the real dirt. I say we do it.
You like being controversial, Rich.
You and Kevin Murphy should have a show.
What genre though?
This is appropriate left, right.
Progressive rock. Any genre.
What’s that word that you think it is?
It’s a niche.
No, it wasn’t the word. It was the use of a niche.
I say niche all the time for everything.
How about people who say supposedly?
The medium and the road?
I don’t know if we should make that list of people we don’t like because it’s a music business where it’s a small world.
Give me one. You brought it up.
I understand what they brought to music, but I don’t like listening to Pink Floyd.
That’s unfortunate considering favorite bass players.
You have to respect this music.
Gilmour. He’s great.
I would say in Rich’s defense, there are a lot of Pink Floyd songs that are magical, most of them. Some got a little bit out there.
I was never a Stone guy.
I don’t get it.
I can see that.
Sympathy For The Devil is cool. There are a couple of things that are cool and no. Honky Tonk Women is in your top five.
My favorite song of all time.
It’s the number one sit song in the world but, are you listening to any albums?
Yeah. Don’t you?
I have them all. I liked the fact that they play. Usually, the greatest hits is where I go to.
You ever watched The Office. Remember the Smokey Robinson episode?
Keller loves The Office show.
He was like, “Smokey Robinson died.” She was like, “Good news. He didn’t die. He’s playing two weeks from now. Tickets are $350 apiece. Why don’t we go ahead and get you in some for your run?”
Tully, what’s yours?
I want to dig deep here. I’m going to start by saying, I appreciate this band.
We always appreciate you.
I do appreciate what they did. Maybe it’s because I was forced fed this band at a young age from my father.
Steely Dan? Do you want to go back to history?
I got the Asia record for him for his birthday.
Even though he knew I didn’t like Steely Dan. He got it for himself.
No, I got it for you.
He hands it to me, “Happy birthday.”
You see what I did, Jim?
Yeah. Stoking the fire.
The case was cracked and he goes, “Happy birthday.” I said, “Did you get me a Steely Dan album?” He goes, “Yeah, it’s great.” I said, “You know I don’t like Steely Dan.”
Was it a cassette?
I got it at Walgreens.
I said, “He knew I didn’t like Steely Dan, we had this conversation for years.”
What did you do?
We kept it.
Did you record it off to a cassette? Is that why you opened it?
No, it got cracked.
He opened it.
I appreciate it, but I would never sit there and subject myself.
A lot of those bands I can agree with. I worked for a classic rock station in Connecticut and a lot of them were played on that station and I’m like, “I don’t get it.”
I liked Jack FM’s playlist. It’s like a nice cross-pollination of the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, 2000s pop and rock it’s still happening.
I got sick of classic rock. If Rolling Stones or anything came out.
At least the cliche songs were played classic rock.
To every freaking break, it was like, “That was another 40-minute long set on The Home of Rock & Toll I95 with the latest from Led Zeppelin.”
I love Led Zeppelin, but I don’t want to hear Stairway To Heaven just because it’s been played.
This topic keeps on coming up and I apologize. I’m in a huge Avengers kick and in Thor movies in Ragnarok, Thor all of a sudden comes down to Immigrant Song.
Isn’t it Immigrant from outer space?
That’s a great soundtrack.
From the land of ice and snow and it’s all about Valhalla and everything, Norse guys.
Those are Lord of the Rings.
I was like, “Yes.” The crescendo with the movie and him coming down with the lightning and twenty guys on a pile ready to be destroyed without the hammer. He wasn’t bringing the hammer down.
I feel I got off easy by saying Steely Dan because these guys mentioned big bands.
Steely’s big. People use that to tune PA systems in the studios.
I feel equally the same. The equal amount of appreciated disdain I have is for Rush.
They’re a math pick.
I’m going to say they’re wildly overrated, not just overrated. They can play fast licks and that’s cool and a lot of playing, but I don’t get it. I don’t want to take some heat for that.
That’s a good segment.
I like it.
These are dirty secrets.
I’d never let Geddy Lee’s voice. I’ve never liked his tone. I’m sorry. It’s kind of a lot going on.
He’s a nice guy.
He wrote a book.
You’ve got to give him that.
He’s a baseball fan.
Why did you say that? Geddy coming in?
It’s funny you should say that.
We can get to anybody. We are one degree of separation forever. It used to be six.
Let me ask you this. Here’s a good topic. Guilty pleasures.
Do you mean music?
It’s your off time, what do you want to do?
Music, TV, movie?
No. I want cookies and cream blizzard.
You’re going on food.
Cookies and cream blizzard and they at the window, they show you that it’s thick and creamy that’s upside down.
That’s an interesting gesture you’re making there.
I know my guilty pleasure. It’s food as well.
What would people be surprised to know about you in terms of musical tastes or movies?
You’re making me dig deep gym.
Mine has been the Avengers, Marvel cinematic universe thing.
That’s pretty common.
It is. It’s cliche, but I don’t know, I don’t get it because I don’t enjoy it much anymore.
I’ve enjoyed that too. My son Keller is over here, he pulled me into the Avengers realm. Had I not had him, I would have never seen these movies, but I do enjoy that.
My daughters to the point where if anything DC comes on the TV, she’ll leave the room.
What is the deal? I don’t get that.
Hold the Pepsi.
Can’t you like both, come on?
We’ve watched the Aquaman and Wonder Woman.
You’re speaking to somebody that doesn’t know the difference here.
They’re a me-too version of what Marvel has done. Talk about slamming underrated brands.
Keller, is that the way you feel?
That’s the truth.
It’s a dirty word.
It’s a fact. They completely screwed up. Aquaman was awful.
It was terrible.
Do they have the advantage because of the popularity of Superman and Batman?
Their characters aren’t flawed. It’s the characters.
It’s everything. It’s the way they all connect.
Did you watch all the End Game?
This will be after it happened. They announced they’re rereleasing it into the theaters to beat Avatar. They’re $40 million away from beating them.
I never saw Avatar.
You did? What was your tech?
I remember liking it at the time. It was okay. The big thing was it came out in IMAX too, didn’t it when it first came out?
The 3D was unbelievable.
What year did they come out?
Earlier than that.
This movie will topple to James Cameron films are already for Titanic and now Avatar.
I remember Titanic, the little CGI people walking on the deck of the boat.
It was amazing at that time.
We were like, “Look at them.”
I felt like we’re losing about there.
I don’t know if we ever got them.
I got a weird feeling that this isn’t going to form.
A lot of people are going to listen to the Three Kings because they want to be behind the curtain. They want to peek behind the curtain. Even if we’re talking about nothing.
That’s usually what we are talking about.
I figured you’d drive this up.
No. I’m not driving it. I love the fact that you’re driving it as our cohost because I am part of The Three Kings and I know everything about these gentlemen and I don’t know what angle to take. We’re still trying to find.
I like it when Jim takes the wheel though.
It’s great in this situation. My last two guests, “I did a good job.”
You did. You were masterful and impressive.
Thank you. Time in the trenches #Richhosts.
Getting into it. Tell me a little bit about your guys’ histories and stuff like that? When did everything start to mesh?
The three of us, as far as that goes, it meshes instantly.
We played together and you played together and then we said, “You know him?” You brought me in on the Amy Dalley and that’s when we all came in together.
The meshing was instantaneous.
What was going to be plan B?
There was no plan B. There still is no plan B.
There’s got to be something.
Kurt went to an audiovisual media training school for a while to work at the TV station and do graphics and voiceovers and stuff. Tully ran the band’s light, drove the milk truck. He’s been playing bass. There was no plan.
Maybe that’s the positive thing about moving here young is that there was no plan B. It was going to play music and met these guys. That turned out the destiny was already there in place. I was talking to somebody, Rich, I can’t remember his name at Life Time Fitness. He’s got tight looks for urban maybe. He’s got tattoos and he’s a super nice guy. I was telling him, it’s a similar question. I said, “I’ve been lucky to have my best friend, but create this musical core that we never had to stray from.” I don’t have a lot of horrors. I’ve got some horror stories, but not we’ve been pretty fortunate to spend many years together and not have to stray from each other.
You had a magical path. You never worked a day gig like I was. I substitute. Todd had to drag my butt out of bed. I waited tables. I was always doing stuff and I did more gigs than you. You ended up finding gigs that paid. Whether you are with Rose Falcon or whoever it was like, “I got enough money to pay the rent, pay my bills, and have my captain.”
I did a lot of bad gigs when I first moved here before I met you.
You didn’t work day jobs either. I was the one that was always getting up and doing day gigs.
We were more visionaries though. We got to set ourselves apart. It’s timing. Honestly, at that point of playing bass, if you could sing and play bass, you could work. It’s still that way, like drummers, but guitar players there wasn’t a guitar player like Kurt is in town. A lot of country guys, but this is a different time you got to remember. This is the mid to late ’90s where everybody was a drummer.
It seems like still is.
All kidding aside, a talent, you got to have all that. The timing is crucial and it all comes together. It doesn’t for some people, unfortunately. A lot of great people who are talented, timing can be strange.
Looking at the CRASH! Course philosophy, Commitment, Relationships, Attitude, Skill and Hunger. It couldn’t have come together more perfectly than that acronym for anything. Are these tenets familiar to what you applied early on?
We made a commitment to stay together and the artists that we were working with. We honored our relationships. We brought out the best in other people through our relationships with them. We always had a great attitude as far as what it came with making it easy for people to work with us and making it a joyful experience. We had enough scale to gather, you could put anybody in front of us that had zero experience karaoke singers, you got signed to record deals. We would make them sound like they were seasoned. All these years, we still have a hunger to be successful.
Back then you were hungry.
We were very hungry.
It wasn’t a self-help book for us at that time. We can apply those principles to stuff now, but at that time it was desperation and passion maybe those two things. We were desperate to work and we were passionate about music and each other. That did it for us.
We did though. We still have a great work ethic. We worked hard. I was talking to Kurt about this, 2 to 3, 4 showcases a week.
These guys memorized everything. They were not lazy. When we rented a house over in Donaldson and then Hermitage and we would each be in our respective rooms and I would be charting and programming loops and listening to the stuff and these guys would have it underneath their fingers. By the next day, they would have it completely memorized, we would go load into 12th & Porter, sometimes with or without cartage and then the artist would show up. We would run the show several times, take a short break, do the showcase, which is usually 5 to 6 songs for the industry makes show tasteMAKERS. They would come out and they would get the cigars and they’d be like, “I don’t hear it. I love it, kid.” We did this all the time as an industry.
I don’t know if we knew that there was another way, like Tully was talking about work ethic. I don’t know that we knew another way. That’s the way that we approached it as the way that all of us approach it. It was part of the allure of being with each other is that we had a lot of respect for each other’s playing and who we were as people and also the work ethic as well. That was the way it went with us.
We showed up over-prepared.
For the layman, a showcase, typically people don’t prepare for them like that is what you’re saying?
We rehearsed all day with an artist and then we would go the next day and do along with sound check with them.
Typically, people would listen to the song right out of the chart they show up and he’s explained the chart.
He always thought it was important that the artists felt like they had a band behind them, not side musicians.
That sets you guys apart. You understand the virtue of differentiation as a core with section.
Rich could try it and as he’s sitting down, look over to his side and reboot. Me and Kurt didn’t have the stands up there and still to this day, watching the show with someone with a stand in front of him playing bass or playing guitar, could have worked harder.
We worked hard for our money and then good news travels fast, but bad news travels twice as fast. We quickly cultivated our reputation as, “You want your artists to sound good at the showcase, call these guys,” because we were in the business of exceeding expectations. I would say 8 out of the 10 artists that we worked with showcasing are nowhere near the music business anymore. They were like, “That’s it, I’m out.” We got a record deal at Douglas Corner for Emily West, who to this day, was one of the only singers I’ve ever played with where every hair on my body would stand up because she was emotionally charged, into it and freakishly talented. We did a showcase and got our band Rushlow signed. The showcase for Aldean, some of us were missing. I don’t think we were all at that. We did 40 showcases, but the one where they pulled the trigger, I don’t know if we were all there.
That showcase might have happened at the Wild Horse.
It was me showing Feld Cody’s dad.
You wouldn’t have been there either.
I could have sworn, there was one time where neither of you guys was there but we had done 40 showcases.
That show you’re thinking about we might have been on the road with Rushlow when that happened. We went and made the record. As a matter of fact, oddly enough, I can’t remember who was there that he only played a couple of songs, but it was one of those nights where a bunch of people went down and played. They get up and play 2 or 3 songs.
Do you remember, we did Jason with a hat, without a hat, with a steel guitar, without a steel guitar, fiddle, and steel, just fiddle, acoustic, every variation of those five songs, Amarillo’s guy, Johnny Cash, Why? Many showcases.
On all those showcases, did you know that there was something there intrinsically? Did you know by playing in it and getting to know them and seeing what was happening that eventually, something’s going to happen? We knew it was unique. That’s all you can know. It’s hard to know what suit is going to get it or put money behind it. We knew it was unique. That’s why we were a part of it.
Seriously, we got passed on twice by each label, at least.
How did that feel every time?
Was there a glimmer of hope that like, “There’s something here they’re going to miss out, they’re going to regret that decision?”
We knew when we’d go back to the trenches and keep on working and find the now.
The glimmer of hope was in that time, this was a brilliant thing about Michael Knox. While we’re getting past that, he’s also taking us in the studio and we’re playing some of these early demos, like Johnny Cash and he saw why. It had no deal yet, but we were learning how to be in the studio, to record and make a record.
Johnny Cash is a demo, right?
They got upgraded. That was the demo of Broken Bone.
That was cut in 2002 or 2003. An album that comes out until maybe ’04 came out in ’05.
Was it played by any other artists at the time?
Yes. Tracy Byrd cut it. As a matter of fact, we were supposed to have cut it on Jason’s first record. Isn’t that right that Tracy Byrd cut it and put it on his?
Was it on the Relentless Record?
No, it was on the second record. That was a Sophomore Slump. We didn’t know if it was going to happen.
I don’t think if it’s the Sophomore Slump.
That was also the first video that featured you.
We were like actors in that video, but we were in Hicktown, Amarillo Sky.
That was a ten-hour shoot in the mud pit with fires, trucks, and a lot of girls.
A real country life right there.
It was not glamorous because, after that video, I was like, “There’s got to be a party somewhere. We’ve got to go do something and celebrate this twelve-hour video shoot that we did.” Ghost town.
It all worked out.
It worked out great.
It’s crazy to think that hits like those existed for years.
It is crazy to think that.
Not only are you banking on this lotto ticket stuff where even eventually the songwriters are going, “This thing has got life somewhere. It’s not with you, but it’s with him.” Let’s get it under on us.
Interestingly enough, talking about songs that did have hopeful lives with other people, why was written by John Rich and he’s a great songwriter, the great artist and all that, but he wasn’t sure that Jason was going to take off. He cut it on an artist that he was producing at that time, Shannon Brown. Thinking that it was going to be a hit for her and he didn’t realize that Jason was going to explode like that. There were some great songs that Johnny Cash, Why? Was the Amarillo Sky part of it? We played those all of the time.
Every showcase and the greatest thing about Amarillo, which every night we play that song, there’s huge reaction still this day. When we were playing the clubs back, when we had cut maybe half the first record, nothing was out. We had these club dates and we went and played like Cody Joe’s with playing songs that we recorded that no one’s ever heard. For example, we use the local bands’ gear and they play their set covers and they say, “From Nashville, Jason Aldean.” The dance floor completely empties and we’re up there. I remember playing Amarillo Sky and some guy come up and giving us the finger. No one’s on the dance floor at all. Everybody’s drinking, they moved off to the side.
“Play funky music.”
Block it up.
Was it Coyote Joe’s is where for years I played on the house?
Was that in Charlotte?
No respect. What’s the other one Crazy Eight Saloon or Lucky Eight?
We played in many clubs.
It was a staple where we would keep going back something with eight lucky something.
That was a bull riding riffing.
It may have been San Jose we would play, we take breaker gear down, go out to the taco truck and then a gigantic salsa orchestra would come in.
It’s like the saddle Rackers one of those.
That’s in Sacramento in San Jose.
That’s when Mathis was leaning up on my back and my rig.
You’re right it is the one.
The homemade guacamole.
It was before they come in with the amazing guacamoles.
The salsa band right after. I look back and one of my favorite bands growing up was Van Halen. I think about from the time I got into them and granted I was eight years old so every year from 1984 to when I graduated high school seemed like an eternity. You remember when you were a kid, everything’s the years dragged out. Time was different. When I got into them, I listened to the 1984 album from start to finish in a tent on Assateague Island because my brother and his friend went down to the beach and I was left by myself and I’m like, “Let me play.” I instantly was hooked. I looked at back when Van Halen came out, it was 1978, six years was like a lifetime to an eight-year-old. I think about from 1978 on up to ’93 the last album they had before that was ’91 with For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. I believe in ’95, they released the next one and I can’t remember the name of it. You have been doing this with Jason.
Recording and touring nonstop for fifteen years.
Think about that, you are now at the 1993 version of where Van Halen was. Does that make sense?
Totally, it does, but I can’t put any perspective on that. For us, it’s we’re playing and, “We’re playing an arena, blah, blah, blah. There’s Fenway Park.” You don’t get many times to go and look back and have any perspective. To me, I don’t.
The longevity of it.
I can’t process it.
It’s been such a home base for a long time. It’s like, “You sold out Wrigley Field. You sold out two nights at Red Rocks. You sold out the Hollywood Bowl in an hour.” It’s like, “What?”
I know for me, it’s not enough.
I can’t process it. If that was any of your childhood idols, we’ll sit there and watch whatever VH1 behind the music, Bon Jovi, and they’re playing those at my ears like, “That’s awesome.” We walk out and play our own arena to a bigger crowd and that doesn’t have any impact on you at all. It’s hard to fathom and hard to process.
It’s because what goes on is the road for us to get here, wasn’t it like it is for somebody’s acts now? I see some of these acts where they spend a year doing something then they’re out on a tour. For us, it was a lot of a slow ride because of many shows you’ve played in bars and in all the years that we played in bars before we moved here. We’re lifelong musicians since we were kids. Part of the charm of that is that I know for myself, I’m proud of what we’ve done, but I still want us to be even greater. I still think we can always be better. We do every now and then every twice a year.
Something happens every three years and we’ll go.
It will have a moment. Otherwise, we’re trying to make great records and find better songs and be a better band. We can always be a better band.
We check in with each other every night. You put me in charge of this pep talk and sometimes they’re deeper than others. We got, “Let’s go play. People need to be entertained.” Sometimes it’s like, “We did this or did that. Let’s go kill them.”
It’s being in touch with that twelve-year-old kid that you were that long to be where you are now. It’s keeping that perspective for me and it’s interesting.
What gets interesting is, Tully was talking about some of the newer bands that are coming up and what I was going to say is, what does blow my mind is when a guy from another band goes, “I grew up listening to you.”
They’re 23 and we’ve been out for fifteen years. They would have been seven years old learning to play their instruments.
That does blow my mind and it happens on a regular basis. They’re almost shaky like, “I have to be out here with you. I remember sitting in my room learning to play these songs.” I’m like, “What are you talking about?” It hit me like, “He was six years old.”
We don’t act our age. We’re eternally youthful. We’re the vampires of the music business. Playing that instrument over there, it keeps you young. It keeps us young and we want more. Wouldn’t it be nice to do 50 stadiums a year? We’re doing arenas and we’re doing amphitheater, which is amazing.
I never guessed that you were 64.
It’s like Benjamin Button.
We’re still pulling a lot of younger and older crowds too, which is great.
We saw you in Charlotte, we brought the kids two of them to the show. The crowd is young. My wife and I were looking at each other going, “This is not our scene anymore.” I’m not wearing short short enough.
This audience is 15 to 55 male and female, which is impossible to achieve.
It’s a wonderful thing. Lightning in a bottle.
Thinking about it if someone liked us when they were 30 when we first came out of 44 years old.
I remember watching the video for the first time Hicktown and I saw Rich playing and I’m like, “I could do that.”
That’s the thing about talent versus getting the chair between talent and getting the chair is all the stuff that no one wants to do.
It’s a good point. Anybody can play the lick. Most people can play lyrics.
We’ve played Hicktown 1,500 times with the same passion, tenacity, zest, zeal, and focus and they’re like, “Rich, I’m losing focus. My mind is wandering when I play my cover band over the weekend.” I said, “You’re bored of the songs and stuff. Here’s the deal, this is what separates the men from the boys. You could play my exact same drum part, but can you go out there at the same conviction and passion every night for fifteen years?”
There’s a misnomer where “I can play that lick. I could do that.”
Every night for fifteen years?
Before that, where the rubber meets the road for me and this is where I draw the line in the sand is like, “Can you create it. Can you play it in the Red? Can you record it? Can you sit there, make a record, and come up with that part when you don’t have three weeks to sit there in your room and hash something out?” This is a touchy line.
That’s separating musicians for musicians. Jim is saying, if Jim had a day, he could learn the drum part to Hicktown but we’ll get the foot we had to do to go.
How bad do you think I am?
You could do it half a day.
I’ve got to be honest. I don’t know if I know you played drums. I didn’t know that.
What’s funny is most people in my life I meet through drumming, but they have all these other side talents.
Drummers are like that. You like each other.
It’s fascinating, isn’t it?
Guitar players, for the most part, they hate the stain.
They don’t like each other for the most part.
Bass players, we only have a couple of people. There are very few. Most we don’t, but drummers are oddly supportive.
There are a couple of exceptions most to begin along.
Why is that?
Almost all of us get along.
It’s a fraternity.
Did we use to bat for each other?
No, we used to beat on logs and skulls and that was the man’s first instance.
It’s cathartic to be a drummer, so we’re cool to each other. Beating things up.
It’s the greatest thing to have to release.
You had too many friends.
Do you think we have too many friends?
I do. In general, people have too many friends.
I’m a relationship guy.
A relationship is one thing, but why do you need many friends?
I’m friendly to everybody and they gravitate towards that.
You can be friendly but you don’t need as many friends.
The difference between a friend and someone that you know, and someone that you don’t return their catch.
There are friends and there are dear friends.
It’s much simpler for me.
Jesus set the standard when it came to friends. He could only handle twelve, three on your inner circle.
Twelve is a little high for me.
Was it me, Jesus?
It is. You set the model.
It’s an interesting model.
They all got on the same side of the table. They knew someone’s going to take a selfie or something.
Let’s move on. Drummers have too many friends, guitar players don’t like other guitar players.
I like a lot of other guitar players. I’m saying in general, most guitar players don’t hang out.
In my high school, we had a handful of people that were in the metal and rock bands. I got on the tail end of that. I became the drummer in high school. That was halfway decent. The other guy that was the guitar player who still plays now and he’s amazing was still that guy. Whenever there was competition, I remember not shying away from other drummers. I was like, “You’re a drummer. Cool. We’ll get along.” If there were other guitar players around like this guy named Lanning and that was his name and he’s a shredder master.
Did he play with anyone?
I’m not sure if he does not around here.
Play too many notes, Lanning.
One hundred and twenty-eighth notes, that stuff. He never gravitated towards other people that do what he does. Bass players, on the other hand, they’re like, “You’re like a drummer.”
No, I’m more of an elitist. I have some close friends I played, but only a few.
You’re friendly with players.
You’re a hard guy to get to know anyway.
That is true. He likes to keep a circle of bass players because he’s always selling his gear and he always wants to have people.
I’ll be honest with you, every time Rich has me in the sessions or doing a video, I walk in and Kurt’s there. He gives me a big hug and he looks at me like, “You again.”
What are you doing here? Let’s get to this.
What’s up with that?
I’m super quiet.
I love where you wait for a public forum.
I can’t tell it is misunderstood.
I’m thinking I’m understood. You’re a close friend of mine, but when I’m in work mode, I’m not, “What’s the weather like?”
You’re a wallflower. Not a networker.
He’s a networker.
I’m a networker. My bubble is small and don’t get me wrong, I consider you a friend. At least I thought I did until you said that.
A friend or an acquaintance.
He’s a friend or are you within the twelve?
Am I a friend of ours or a friend of yours?
You’re a friend of mine. I will call you up if I needed something.
I needed a show.
I get this a lot though, “You’re unapproachable.” I’m okay with that but I’m loyal to my inner circle of friends. You’re in the circle, Jim. You got one foot in there.
Judging by the last shoot that I was at, Rich trusts me enough that I’m not going to say or do something that’s embarrassing.
If anything, I’m comfortable around you. If I didn’t want you in there, I would set something.
When I dated my wife at the time, I was insecure and I would say, “I’m not sure if Jeremy and Justin like me all that much.” She’d go, “No. They do. You’d know otherwise.” I said, “How do I know?” We talked about it openly one night and they said, “Jim, if you walked in and we looked at each other.” I said, “Is that what that look is?” “We don’t do that to you.” They never did that to me. I was in.
You’ve been around us for a long time. That’s crazy.
I’m comfortable. I don’t work with you on a level.
There are not a lot of sessions drummers carry their own video crew. You got to capture life because it is fleeting. You have continued to grow and evolve. We did our time of New Voice Entertainment. We produced three number one song and then I took a stab at five years of learning a new skill writing song every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Let’s face it and not a lot of people can say that they’ve had three number one songs with a Tasmanian pop-country band.
Is that T pop?
No, that’s the Wolfe Brothers and they are coming back to Nashville and we’re riding again. I like saying, “What a niche, a Tasmanian pop-country band.” You have had mainstream success. For the readers out there that are a long time Aldean fans, which tracks did you write so they can focus on it and crank it up even harder? They don’t know.
Turn it up.
They don’t know Tully and I wrote on the Reason to Love LA, which we’re both proud of that song. We both love that. On the last record, we had a song called Like You Were Mine and we’ve got two that are on the upcoming album as well.
Cha-ching, is there a money thing on there?
I don’t think so. We could do that.
Tully also wrote in case you don’t remember, which was on two records ago, is that right?
They Don’t Know record.
You had the name of the tour, They Don’t Know. It was a single, it was the name of the record. It was the name of the tour. The Seein’ Red for Dustin Lynch, that was your number one.
Tully and I wrote that for a month.
I’m at the party and all your family was there. You gave good speeches, did it seem real? You’re like, “I’m in the songwriting capital of the world and I’m a number one songwriter.”
It doesn’t hit me like that. I wish it did. It hits me like, “Now we got to do it again or we got to do something else.”
I know that Tully and I would both say that we don’t look back on any of that. It’s all what is happening and what’s going to happen tomorrow because if you aren’t thinking that way, you’re going to get left in the past. You need to move on.
Are you in the mindset of putting yourselves out of business? “What’s going to put me out of business?”
I’m not sure I know what that means.
I don’t understand.
Thinking how another company or somebody that’s up and coming that would try and put you out of business.
I don’t know if I look at it like that. If we’re working hard at what we do, we’re okay.
What’s next though? You’re doing the recording playing with Jason and then you’re doing the songwriting like what Rich is doing, are you thinking about entertaining speaking or anything like that? Honestly, what I would like to do because we’ve had Gentlemen Cardone on our show, who’s a mega influencer on Instagram and everything’s got a ton of followers. He does a thing every year called the 10X Growth Con. He’s going on number four. It’s going to be in Vegas this year. We’ve been trying to get Rich on his platform for years.
When the time is right. I’m there.
It’s funny, having The Three Kings as like a house band and speaking thing would be an interesting angle. Is that something you ever want to do eventually?
Anything that involves us three we’re always up for. We know that we work well together, we love each other and there’s a chemistry there. We’re always up for anything.
The reality show has got to happen before I release another documentary.
We’ve had the ins and outs with the reality shows.
I’m sure there are some people that would welcome another documentary. The interesting thing is the access because we are a part of a huge thing, but our name is not on the marquee so we still have to dance around a little bit. It makes things somewhat uncomfortable sometimes because even the emails come in, it’s like, “Rich, we want to promote you for the new line of Sabian cymbals, but we need access to common, do video and photos all day at this giant arena. It’s a Union Arena and it’s $5,000 for a videographer to walk into the room.” The company goes, “Take some GoPro footage and a high res photo and we’ll see what we can do.” The same thing with like my drum company that I’ve been with since 1993 Remo Drumheads, they’re like, “Can we come and shoot video from the side stage at Summer Fest?” I’m like, “Let me send you the GoPro footage it’s height.” You don’t have to deal with passes and access.
The logistics can get hard.
It’s difficult. People just don’t realize the logistics having to babysit someone all day in an arena. They can’t go to the bathroom by themselves without having a pass and being escorted by you. It’s a long day.
Which is back to our friends’ talk.
It sounds like the good old days where you could bring somebody along. It’s political.
Look at Vegas, we got to consider everything.
The security’s different now.
That’s political and it’s the security. They have to take all precautions. Look at those drum start, those were sitting on stage for 40 to 60 days. I forget the exact length of time, but that’s the Vegas kit, and those are never getting sold or moved and they’re still beautiful. There’s not a scratch on them. I’m making music on to this day. It’s insane.
Have you ever talked publicly about that?
We don’t make it a habit of it because you dance around it a little bit.
We all feel this way. We talk about it together at times because we know each other understands it. Talking with someone that was outside of the situation has zero comprehension of what it was, or I couldn’t tell you what it was. We find comfort in each other and we’ll talk about it. It is what it is. It’s not like we break down when we talk to each other about it, but we know that each other understands.
That morning for me, my wife was browsing Facebook and we hadn’t heard anything that had happened, and all of a sudden, she gasped. We’re lying in bed and I’m going to getting ready to get my day going and she starts, “Vegas and Rich?” I’m going, “What are you talking about?” She goes, “Didn’t you see what happened?” “I have no idea.” I looked it up and then instantly, I texted you and I said, “Please text me back, are you okay?” It was one of those things that, I’m close to it and I’m able to get the inside scoop, so to speak. I looked at it from not on the same level as you but knowing you and have spent some time with you having that feeling of that limited connection of having a little bit of semblance of connection to it.
I mentioned the five things that help people that help people recover from anything in their life and that’s faith, family, friends, passion and purpose. I went and talked to somebody and the girl said, “You have all five of these things. You’re going to be okay.”
Finish the statement. I get up every day and I?
I do my gratitude list every day.
That’s something new for you?
It’s more important than ever not to miss it.
I don’t know if I have grand list that I have every day. It’s not like that like Rich said if you’ve got those things and you’ve got them and that’s part of my everyday life.
I do, I will say, we can never compare ourselves to anyone who was in the war, like a soldier with PTSD. I get freaked out on the highway when someone else is driving and I’m in a lot of Uber’s and I play with my phone and I don’t look up and super loud noises, unrelated musical noises, loud things like fireworks, freaks me out a little bit.
My business partner, Tim is a service-connected disabled veteran from the Marine Corps and we moved into our new office building. There was a garbage truck outside and I was apparently wrestling with one of the dumpsters and it couldn’t coordinate itself with emptying this thing. We’re sitting inside the room talking about different things and they must have dropped this thing off the forks and it must have hit the ground. All of us jolted, but he almost hit the flipping ceiling and you know Tim, he’s 7 feet tall. I’ve never seen that side of him to that bit of effect.
I’m a little bit nervous. I don’t like the roller coasters and that stuff, but when somebody else is at the wheel and they’re close to that left-hand guardrails, I’m like, “Why do you have to go 92 against the left-hand guard rail? What if you pop a tire? Can’t you stay in the middle lane and go 75?” You make these suggestions to your Uber driver.
You’ve always been like that.
Plus, I was in that accident too last February, the airbag went off. I was spinning around, ended up facing oncoming traffic on a Saturday night in Los Angeles on one of the busiest freeways in 1:30 in the morning.
How do I not know that about you?
I should be a goner from that one.
Was that in the Q3?
It was in the element. That’s how I bought the Q3. State Farm pays out.
What are you going to do? You got a lease coming up.
What should he do?
Jim is my car whisperer so he’s going to come shopping with me because he sold cars. He knows all of the red tape and all the add-ons that they try to stick you with.
I negotiate the deal.
Are you going to buy or lease again?
I will lease again.
That makes the most sense on that thing.
It’s not going to be that long.
What are you driving these days?
I went to a truck.
I’ve got a four runner.
That’s an SUV.
I’ve got a little black Mustang tiny little thing.
You buy or lease?
I bought mine.
Leasing makes sense.
For what we do we’re not in town.
You don’t lease or you don’t buy a German car like yours. You lease it.
It’s going to be hard to change brands because that car is well-made. You walk about a foot taller when you get out of it.
I was struggling to get out of it too.
It’s the only car that I ride higher than.
You feel good about yourself when you get out of the car. It’s when you come out of your workout, you look in your mirror and you’re like a foot tall.
You’re like 5’7″ when you get out of the car.
I might be 5’8″.
I put 5’8″ on all my resumes but that was not nearly enough for the young and the rest.
On age, what do you put?
My real age because your casting directors know that you can play.
Do you worry about your age?
I did it for twenty years.
I’m embracing it now.
You’re younger than I am.
How old are you?
You’re older than I am.
Maybe that’s why you never thought that I was your friend because I always held you down because I know you’re younger than me.
I never said that.
Yes, you did.
No. I didn’t. I thought there were some questions.
Are you hurt?
That hurt my feelings. I thought we had this unspoken, close thing going and not to know that we don’t hurt. I was joking. This is what friends do, they joke.
I like that new shirt, Jim bought this new Wrangler shirt. That’s incredible. I was like, “I went to go get some SD cards.” He goes, “I’m going to get a couple of new shirts.”
For your flies, you go fly fish.
There are a zipper and a pocket. It’s amazing.
Keller, do you have any questions that you ever wanted to ask your uncles?
I’m sure he’s got questions.
What grade are you in?
I’m going on seventh.
Good for you. My daughter is going on eight.
What is puberty eighth-grade?
Let’s save that for Tully. He would tell you.
Are you getting hit with weird questions?
Did you ask me that?
You haven’t talked?
We got the talk. It was great.
My son and I, in front of people, will come up to me and be like, “Dad, what is?” I’m like, “What?” My wife is sitting there laughing.
What is Lingus? Shazam.
That’s good for him. He needed to.
He needs to call it on time. This was great. Do you have any questions that you’ve ever wanted to ask two of The Three Kings? You know everything about me.
That was the only question was like, “Why does Tully shoot daggers at me when he’s angry with me?”
He’s misunderstood. You got to remember, he’s a New Englander too.
So am I.
You are from Connecticut.
I don’t need more friends.
Jimmy, you’re out?
No. He’s already your friend.
This was controversial. You don’t need more friends. I’m on the fence about paying for it. You don’t like The Rolling Stones.
The Merv Griffin said.
I am misunderstood a touch because I don’t know why everybody has to always talk. You bring up a good point social media, overrated too much.
To me, it’s a generational thing a little bit. If used properly, it’s amazing but most people don’t.
We got a steel guitar player who was sworn against it and he is addicted.
He’s something else.
Carl is in 100%.
It helps your career.
I don’t think these guys are on social media to help. They do it because it’s fun, they can post pictures of cool fun things.
Every once in a while I’ll have to throw it out to the PRS.
I got it. I’ve gotten this.
Adidas, buy it.
Unless you got it. I use it to post things and my company’s.
Tully Kennedy, I like it loud.
Do you have a mantra?
I put it up there a few months ago.
Follow it. It’s @TullyKennedy.
I feel lucky if you’re one of my friends.
I like It loud. I never noticed that.
That’s not a bad posture to have.
I put it in there maybe a few months ago.
I’m going to put gut feedback.
I like it quiet.
Kurt’s business card in 1997 was got feedback.
Kurt is going to be, “Are you a guitar player? Don’t follow me.”
Jim, we like you feeling questions on this.
We could do here for parts on this.
We didn’t even scratch the surface.
You can be recurring guests.
We need to be.
It’s hosting show for Jim.
I still have to earn his friendship back. Somehow, I have lost it and even though I didn’t know I didn’t have it.
Next time Keller needs a mic. It’s usually that needs to be part of the thing. You’ve got insight.
He’s got insight.
What’s the hot thing is as far as the apps and stuff like that, what’s the next thing we need to be watching out for like new apps? My son is constantly hitting me up for new stuff. He’s like, “Dad, can I get MeWe?” “What is MeWe?” It’s all the kids are doing it.
I’m not a fan of it but Tiktoks is new.
Keller, maybe you’re too old for this and it’s a little bit younger than you, but most younger people watch YouTube of someone playing another game, do you do that or does your age group do that?
I watch a little bit but now, I watch other things now.
Would you like to watch somebody playing Minecraft or what’s the game of choice?
Minecraft or Fortnite.
I tell all the kids in my speeches I say, “Parents, if your kids can do anything else, but play Fortnite and they are interested in anything, please support them 50%.” My parents did that. All of our parents were supportive. You were in your dad’s band. I met you playing in your dad’s band and your dad is a musician. Tully, you come from SOC. My dad’s an accountant. He gave me good advice. Old man Redmond. He’s great. He’s 74 years old. One of the only guys I know that has two holes in ones. We all have great parents. We do. We will wrap this up. Kurt, Tully, thank you for joining me. It’s fun.
Thanks for stopping by the third episode of the show. My cohost, my coproducer Jim McCarthy. He is my sidekick.
I’m his sidekick.
You’re my friend. His sidekick.
You’re my friend too.
Thanks for tuning in. Rate, like, subscribe to us. We love it. We’ll see you soon.
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