We first noticed The Warhorses after coming across their 2014 debut EP, Regardless. We dug their straight-forward approach, edgy sound, and authentic vibe. The band’s distinct sound certainly caught our attention and we’ve been anticipating a full-length album ever since.
Composed of front-man Casey Shaw, Sonny Bihl on guitar, Seth Tobin on bass, Phil Medina on drums, and Lucas Seiferman on lead guitar, the band was founded in 2012 and now have two successful radio singles under their belt. They’ve shared the stage with acts such as Pat Green, Randy Rogers Band, Kevin Fowler, and many more!
With a brand new single at radio, and their 10 track album dropping this Friday (10.7), the Austin-based band has a lot of excitement on the horizon. We were able to chat with this rising act about their new record, the growth they’ve experienced since their debut EP, the playlist their drummer listens to during their shows :), and much more!
Texas Music Pickers: Who would you describe as musical influences?
The Warhorses: The band has a pretty wide range of influences, which I think is what contributes to our sound. For me, country music in the mid-80’s to early-90’s was a huge influence: George Strait, Dwight Yoakam, Randy Travis, etc. That led me to some classic country and outlaw stuff, which led me to the singer-songwriter thing and a lot of the Texas guys…Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Robert Earl Keen and Pat Green. I think that’s sort of the natural progression. All of that stuff had a profound impact on the way I sing and write songs, although they aren’t always translated that way. The other guys in the band are into everything from southern rock and blues to funk and jazz to heavy metal, so they’re able to apply those influences to what they do when we’re arranging songs. I think the metamorphosis that happens between me writing the song and the band arranging it is pretty cool.
TMP: How would you describe your style of music?
TW: It’s hard for us to put our music into genre terms because there’s such a wide range of influences. We never want people to get the wrong impression of what kind of music we play and we certainly don’t want to turn someone off because we say our music is this or that. People have different ideas of what’s country, or rock, or Americana and we like to let people draw their own conclusions about what we do. I’m sure we’ll mostly be identified as a country band, and that’s okay. The great thing about this scene is that there are all kinds of bands that can share the same stage and get the same respect from the crowd.
TMP: Tell us about the new album, “The Warhorses”.
TW: We’re really excited about the new album. It took us longer than we planned to record and release this album, but I think it happened that way for a reason. When we went into the studio, we were really hitting our stride as a band. I think that shows in the finished product. For people that are just discovering us, it’ll give them a good picture of who we are and what we’re all about as a band. For people that have been following us, they’ll see some growth from the last album, but it won’t be much of a departure from that. And even though we have grown, I’m proud of the fact that our sound has remained consistent. We found something that works for us and we’re trying to be true to ourselves and make the best music we can.
TMP: The lead single, “Leaving in your Eyes” is already racing up the charts! What lead to the decision to release that song to radio first?
TW: “Leaving In Your Eyes” was one of the first songs I wrote when we started the band. We didn’t play this song for a long time, I think it just got lost in the shuffle. We resurrected it for the new album and it became one of our favorites. It’s a big, up-tempo song with lots of guitar. We hadn’t released a song to radio in a while, so we wanted something that would grab people’s attention. I think we’ve accomplished that.
TMP: If you had to pick just one song from the album, which song are you the most proud of?
TW: That’s a tough one. There are aspects of each song that I’m proud of, but overall, I’d have to say “Walk Away.” The recording of that song is one of those things that “just happened” when we allowed ourselves to get lost in the moment and be creative. When it was over, I think we were all blown away. I love the lyrics, the instrumentation and the eerie feel of the song. It’s a lot of fun to play live. I’m really proud to have written the song and really proud of everyone’s contributions to the finished product.
TMP: One of our favorite songs from the record is “Hear You Sing Along”. Can you provide us with some background on it?
TW: This is a song I wrote for my wife when we were dating. It was an apology when I once thought our relationship was over. Early on when I’d play for her, she would sit next to me with her head on my shoulder and sing along to whatever song I was playing. In this particular instance, I thought if I could play her the song, she’d snuggle up to me and all would be forgotten. She never let me in to play it, but I recorded the song and sent it to her. She won’t admit it, but I think the song played a part in our reconciliation.
TMP: Can you describe the differences in the way you guys approached this album, versus the first EP “Regardless”.
TW: When we record the EP, we didn’t have any money and I only had a few songs. It was just something we did to establish that we were a band and so we had something tangible to give fans. We did it in 3 days with little preparation and even less money, so there wasn’t a lot of time for creativity or experimentation. We didn’t even really know what we were doing, or what we ultimately wanted out of it. We were still a pretty new band at that time, so our level of experience wasn’t what it is today. I think we got a product that served its purpose, but I wouldn’t mind having a do-over with some of those songs.
Going into recording the new record, it was a totally different ballgame. We had a budget, we had time, and we were more experienced as writers and musicians. We were a different band than we were in 2014. And we knew exactly what we wanted this record to be, we had a clear vision. We were able to be creative and experiment and let things evolve naturally. This record was a much more deliberate process than the EP. And I think that will show when you compare the two.
TMP: In what ways do you think you guys have grown since the 2014 EP?
TW: I’m a better writer than I was 4 or 5 years ago and we’re better musicians. We’ve learned things in the process of recording, we’ve learned things by playing with other musicians and bands, and we’ve learned things by playing hundreds of shows. We’re better performers. We’ve learned a lot about the business through the process of recording, releasing and promoting singles. If you aren’t growing and improving, then what’s the point?
I’m not sure our sound has changed much. I mean, maybe it has improved because we’ve learned new things and changed drummers and we’ve added another guitar player; but I don’t think the sound you’ll hear at a show is drastically different from what you heard 4 years ago -and I’m proud of that. I’m proud to say we’ve been consistent and true to ourselves and our vision for this music that we’re making.
TMP: What is your favorite thing to eat while out on the road?
TW: That’s a toss-up between Whataburger and Waffle House. We spend a lot of time in Buc-ees too.
TMP: Can you share a funny story with us about something that has happened while out on the road or performing?
TW: Like most bands, we use in-ear monitors on stage. Phil (drums) sometimes uses a pair of over the ear headphones in lieu of ear buds. At one particular show in Austin, a guy was at the front of the stage intently watching Phil play. I thought that maybe he was a drummer also and was just interested in Phil’s playing, so I didn’t pay him much attention. I was wrong. Suddenly, in between songs, the guy climbed onto the stage and walked over to Phil and asked him, “What are you listening to?” I guess he thought Phil was jamming to his favorite playlist on Spotify during the set.
TMP: What is on the horizon for the Warhorses? What do you have lined-up for the album release?
TW: At the moment, we’re focused on releasing the album on 10/7. Album release day is going to be busy. Here’s what’s on tap so far…
9:45am: Performance on Fox 7’s Good Day Austin
7:00pm: In-Store Performance at Superfly’s Lone Star Music Emporium in San Marcos
11:00pm: Album Release Show at Saxon Pub in Austin
Here’s where we’ll be in October:
10/7 Saxon Pub – Austin (Album Release Show)
10/8 Quarry Hofbrau – San Antonio
10/13 Red Brick Tavern – Conroe (Casey solo acoustic)
10/15 TMP Top Pick Competition – Bryan (Casey solo acoustic)
10/22 Railroad Blues – Alpine
10/29 Rusty Cactus – Oakwood
Checkout our the exclusive debut of “Hear You Sing Along” below and grab yourself a copy of the album on Friday!
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.