Ex-PANTERA Bassist REX BROWN On His Solo Debut: ‘This Is Where I’m At Musically Right Now’

Ex-PANTERA Bassist REX BROWN On His Solo Debut: ‘This Is Where I’m At Musically Right Now’

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017
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Former PANTERA bassist Rex Brown was interviewed on a recent episode of "The Metal Podcast". You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On his recent comment that he "wanted to feel like a true artist again" by making his debut solo album, "Smoke On This": Rex: "It just depends on the circumstance. With this thing, it was kind of wearing the flight hat and doing everything yourself. Feeling like a true artist is when you have the freedom where you can just do anything that you wanna do, and with this one, that's how it kind of started out. I just wanted to, number one, start writing songs. Number two, I saw the climate out there and there's hardly any good rock and roll records out, and that's what I wanted to make. The way this thing was recorded, we did it in spurts. I'd do four tracks for six days and then take off and do another four here. Then we re-recorded it twice. I've always wanted to sing on a record, so it's back to basics. So being a true artist again is being able to not just be just the bass player, but you're wearing all the hats." On not having to compromise his vision for other people: Rex: "This is what I wanna do. I had a co-writer with some of these songs, and this is the way that I see it and this is the way we're gonna do it. KILL DEVIL HILL [Rex's previous band] was good for what it was, but everybody wanted to hear that PANTERA song. And it was, like, 'Well, you're beating a dead horse here.' You can take the boy out of the farm, but you can't really take the farm too far out of the boy. You know what I'm saying? With this one, I wanted to get back to my roots and I was listening to a bunch of… smoking a lot of weed and listening to good old '70s rock and roll. That's just what I wanted to do. This is where I'm at musically right now." Rex worked on "Smoke On This" with his primary collaborator and old friend Lance Harvill, a Nashville-based guitarist and songwriter. "Lance was and is my main man on this," Brown said. "Everything we did was finely tuned, both musically and brotherly." Drums were tracked by Christopher Williams, himself no stranger to diverse tastes, from funk music to punk. His talent has been utilized by country music star Lee Greenwood, the reconstituted BLACKFOOT and most recently, power metal legends ACCEPT. The album was produced by New Yorker-turned-Nashville-transplant Caleb Sherman, a multi-instrumentalist with work on records by LITTLE BIG TOWN and PORTER BLOCK, among others. "Caleb produced the project from a musician's standpoint," added Brown. "Not just a typical producer's standpoint, which was something I definitely needed. Between Caleb and Lance, we were a force to be reckoned with. They really pulled out the best in me." Peter Keyes, known for his work with LYNYRD SKYNYRD, can also be heard on a few tracks. All bass tracking came from Rex himself as well. After leaving DOWN in 2011, Rex went on play with KILL DEVIL HILL, which has released two albums so far: "Kill Devil Hill" (2012) and "Revolution Rise" (2013).

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