Southern Trendkillers

Having left behind what he calls the “more dance-y, emo style” band Uh-Huh Baby Yeah!, singer/guitarist Johnny Goebel and cohorts Chris Armstrong (bass) and Jon Cox (guitar/keyboards) went in a very different direction — raising the bar, you might say, or just straight to the bar. Or raising hell. Though Goebel says about his previous band, “Eventually, we amicably went our separate ways,” Uh-Huh’s recent work has focused on what they call “heartache, divorce, revenge and reawakening.”

The Whiskey Riders offer a heavier, more metallic attack, and their debut album, Here to Burn, is a cinematic concept album: something Rob Zombie might compose and direct, starring Ted Nugent, from a script by ICP. They play Friday at The New Vintage.

LEO: How did you go from being a bunch of dudes to being a band with a record release show at the New Vintage?

Johnny Goebel: Three of us played in a previous local band together. We decided we wanted a more authentic Southern feel, kinda like a good and smooth-tasting bourbon. After recruiting G (Gerald Kelly) on drums and bonding through pickin’ and campin’, the music started to write itself. With our new take on our classic rock roots, it’s only natural that we release our debut at The New Vintage. 

LEO: You’ve got more interstitial skits than the average hip-hop record. How did you come up with the story and the theme for the record?

JG: The story manifested as we wrote the second half of the album in the studio. We wanted a narrative that tied it together and (would) captivate the audience like a movie. As for the actual story itself, we weave a tale of revolution in the face of corruption. The world’s a messy place, and it’s time to clean it up. 

LEO: What can we expect from your live show?

JG: The live performance will draw from various elements of the record, but our stage presence will bring the album to life. 

LEO: What were you drinking — or smoking — when you guys wrote and recorded this album?

JG: Yes.