Indie rock act Water Liars' vocalist, Justin Kinkel-Schuster told us that despite being from Arkansas himself and bandmate Andrew Bryant being from Mississippi, their rural roots have little to no influence on how they play their small town-sounding music in big cities. "It's not a conscious thing," he said on the subject, elaborating, "but when you grow up in a place like that... People have the same problems (as in a big city). Life is the same in a lot of ways, but different things can be a bit slower, you have a lot to reflect upon."
That type of reflection has exhibited itself in the band's third eponymous album, out on Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum, as members took a bit more time than usual to record it. The second album took only six days to record whereas the first took three, but they spent a whopping 12 days to pump out this most recent release. Kinkel-Schuster said, "We tried to take a little more time and care with it than in the past." And the reason they took so long to name an album after the band itself? "I think we felt that up to this point, it was the best version of the sound we've been working toward," the singer admitted.
Of the single, "I Want Blood," the band makes comment on the industry. "The song is sort of about making a living playing music," Kinkel-Schuster said, "and keeping a sense of urgency about it and making it in America, too. You have to be willing to fight for it. Sometimes you draw blood and sometimes blood gets drawn from you. That's just how it is. [The song] actually started out about being an artist in the USA, then became about making it in the USA."
And their heartland sound is undoubtedly American. One embodied by, Kinkel-Schuster notes: "Otis Redding, Hank Williams, Bob Dillan, R&B, soul and country. Everything done today is a reflection of all the people who made great stuff back then." Water Liars continue to carry on that torch.
Water Liars with Drive-By Truckers at Culture Room. 7:30 p.m., at Culture Room, 3045 North Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are $25. Visit cultureroom.net.