Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The Lone Bellow Talks 10-Year Anniversary Tour, Mental Health Initiatives And The Perfect Day In Nashville

The Lone Bellow is an Americana band composed of lead vocalist Zach WIlliams, Kanene Pipkin, and Brian Elmquist. They released their first self-titled album in 2013 that appeared on the Billboard 200 charts. After releasing two more albums, the group toured the United Kingdom with country singer Kacey Musgraves and were nominated for an Americana Music Award for “Group of the Year.” 

The band is currently performing their 10-year anniversary tour across the United States with their new album, “Love Songs For Losers.” With the deluxe version of this album having just been released in June of this year, The Lone Bellow also released their first full length live album on November 3rd. 

At the annual Bourbon and Beyond Music Festival, The Lone Bellow performed some of their new hit singles and met with us to discuss their new album, their focus on mental health initiatives, and Zach’s experience on his home improvement show. 

The Lone Bellow Talks 10-Year Anniversary Tour
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

What was your inspiration for the last album, “Love Songs for Losers?” 

Zach: We made it at Roy Orbison’s old house. I think that there’s a lot of actual love songs on there, which, believe it or not, is kind of a curveball for us. I think that one of the things lyrically that we were trying to do was put words to situations where people usually can’t communicate themselves. I feel like the song “Honey” kind of does that a little bit, and another song called “Unicorn.” Travel is also a huge part of it.

Kanene: Well, I remember being in the studio and Zach was talking about naming the album “Love Songs.” He wrote “love songs’ down on a piece of paper, and I wrote “for losers” underneath as a joke because we are all huge losers. I think the album is really inspired by feeling like you’re not very good at love and trying to get better at it. Keep the hope alive. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

What is your perfect day in Nashville?

Kanene: I’d say, especially if people are wanting to hit up a good spot, I would get a box of pastries from Brightside Bakery. Delicious. I would go and grab some coffees from the OG, Crema.

Zach: I would get breakfast at Big Al’s. But that’s going to mess up your whole day. There’s a nap after that.

Kanene: I would grab a box of pastries, go put it in my bag. Then I would go to Beaman Park and hike some of the trails. Then back to Nashville for a trip to the YMCA person. I love the YMCA. I would go get a workout at the Y, maybe play some pickleball. 

Zach: I would always recommend going to my wife’s shop while you’re in Nashville, Patina + Co. She just got back from Europe. She’s got a new crate coming in. It’s on eighth Avenue, almost across the street from the new Hattie B’s. 

It’s like French antiques, very stunning. The majority of her clients are designers, so it’s priced way lower than regular antique stores. You could also have lunch at M.L. Rose.

Or you can go to one of our shows. They’re also priced a little too high. (Laughing)

The Lone Bellow Talks 10-Year Anniversary Tour
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

What’s your favorite bourbon cocktail or bourbon in general?

Zach: I’m a Buffalo Trace guy, just in the morning with my cereal usually.

Kanene: I love a good Manhattan with bourbon. I have a really great memory of drinking Eagle Rare with my dad one Christmas when he saw on Facebook how to make a shot glass out of a marshmallow and he failed every time. But he drank all the marshmallow slurries that resulted from his experiments and he was festive and not feeling great the next day.

You guys are celebrating ten years together and your 10-year anniversary tour this fall. What’s changed since you started?

Zach: I think we like each other a little more now. We just self-produced our first record. I think that we are entering into a phase where we can just do the things that we want, the way we want to do it more and more and that’s exciting. 

Kanene: I think we’re just more comfortable with ourselves and with each other, but we still have a good time.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

What are your must pack travel items for the road?

Kanene: Dry shampoo and my travel yoga mat.

Zach: Underwear? I don’t know. 

What’s your favorite gas station snack?

Zach: I love the Haribo, just straight up gummy bears. 

Kanene: You should see how many Brian can pull out in one fist full, it’s just incredible. Zach calls them his bag of buddies. 

Zach: They’re my buds. They’re my bros. 

The Lone Bellow Talks 10-Year Anniversary Tour
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

You guys are about to play the Kennedy Center to support mental health. Why is that so important to you?

Zach: I think it’s extremely important. I can’t wait to meet these people that have dedicated their lives to it, honestly. I’ve got three girls and one boy and my two oldest are at the stage in their life where they’re in high school and middle school. Emotions are all over the place and I think mental health awareness is incredibly important. We consider it an honor to be a part of it.

Kanene: We’ve all lost close friends and family members to struggles with mental health, so I think anything we can do to raise awareness or champion anyone that’s doing the good work of helping people get out of that is something we’re all about. 

The Lone Bellow Talks 10-Year Anniversary Tour
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

So I have to ask about the cabin in your show on Magnolia Network, “The Williams Family Cabin.” I binge watched the show last Spring and loved it! Is there going to be another house? Is there a season two? 

Zach: No. My wife did not like being on TV. She was like, “This takes too long, It’s slow, I’m bored.” It’s like, okay. I mean, she has an actual business that she’s running, and she would just be like, “I got to go guys, I got four kids, I got a thing to do.” They would be like, well this is going to really help your career. 

I enjoyed it, but I had been around production before, so I knew it’s going to take all day long. My wife genuinely thought that she was going to decorate our cabin and there would just be cameras following her. She didn’t think there would be any interviews or anything, so she was just like, this is taking forever. 

We really are selling the house though. Hopefully it’s going to close soon. It took so much out of our year to do the TV show. We were originally going to rent it out to bands, which I thought would do great, but it didn’t. I don’t know why.It’s in the city limits but it’s in a certain part of Nashville where you’re not allowed to have less than five acres, so it just opens up. It’s stunning. But right next door it’s very, very suburban. So, you’re not out in the wild at all which some writers prefer.

Right now you can catch the Lone Bellow on their 10-year anniversary tour. Check them out if they play a city near you.

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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