Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Trent Langford- Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Tree Stump
Matt Newsom- Drums, Auxiliary Percussion, Backing Vocals, Main Driver
Bristen Phillips- Guitar, Backing Vocals, Art Design,
Dub Wood- Bass, Backing Vocals, Secondary Driver
Art Portillo- Manager, Merchandising/Art Design
Pat Martinez- Stage Manager, Guitar Tech, Muscle/Security
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to No Dry County? How long has the band been around?
No Dry County has been around since 2009. Trent was the first to join NDC shortly after their inception but in fact there are no original members left. Matt joined in 2011, Dub in 2012, and Bristen has been playing with us since 2014. Trent started in a rock band in college, as far as bands go. He grew up with a musical family. His mother teaches piano, and they have grown up playing instruments and singing in the Church.
Matt was a percussionist in high school and at Texas Tech. He has played with Multiple Bands, before No Dry and during his time with the band. He’s a talented drummer and can sit in and play with pretty much anyone. Bristen was in a band called ODIS. They were a cool funk/rock/booty shakin’ band out of Dallas. We still jam their stuff on the way to shows fairly often. Dub was in a metal band before No Dry and has played with a few Lubbock dudes along the way.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
The band’s name was something we inherited from the original members of the band. As the story goes, Lubbock was in the midst of a vote to become a wet county or remaining dry. One of the original band members saw a political sign that read, “No Dry County”, and the band used it. We’ve thought about changing the name several times, but ended up just sticking with it. I don’t think anyone is necessarily opposed to a name change, but we haven’t come up with anything better.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Trent has been the main song writer over the years. Bristen has a few songs on this current album and others have contributed to past records, but Trent is the main guy. He brings songs to us and we all get together and arrange the music. The themes have changed over time as has the music. The last record was about our experience on the road and the grind of an independent musician. The current album however, is more of a snapshot of the Texas Panhandle through specific characters, towns and terrain.
We really wanted to tell the story of where we grew up. Panhandle Music is an album that tells the story of the people within this landscape, from their deepest despairs to their highest hopes. Everyone has their mountains to climb, even in a land as flat as ours. Sonically, the album focuses on the electric heritage of Texas music. . Like the oceans roar, the violent thunderstorms and massive waves of sweeping dirt pound relentlessly and unobstructed on every man made structure our land is loud, and we feel we should be loud as well.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
We’ve listened to many different artists and styles throughout the years, all of which had an influence in some way or another. The artists who stick out at the moment would be, Terry Allen, Bob Schneider, Weezer, Ryan Adams, Black Hawk, and Jason Isbell.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
There isn’t a single band or artist that inspired us to start a band. It has been the music we’ve listened to over the course of our lives. We wanted to play music we enjoy in front of people and if other folks enjoyed it, we‘d play some more.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
After we get to the venue, we normally warm up a little on our respective instruments, and go over any specific parts we have questions about. We will do a little sound check and move around a little to get the blood flowing (a couple baseball mits and a ball, someone on a skateboard, hiking if the terrain allows). Typically, right before taking the stage we will run through 3 and 4 part harmonies acapella followed by a family prayer, shot of Jager and start the show.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
Our last album was super fun and got a great response. We toured off that record for a while and had a good time. We worked with great people on that record. We did that album with Allen Crossland at Route 1 Studios and Jay Saldana as our producer. Both of those guys are super talented and great to work with. Our latest effort was recorded at Yellow Dog Studios in Wimberley, TX. Working with Adam and Dave, away from distractions, was an even more enjoyable experience. Each instrument seems to have more depth with their respective parts, which has a lot to do with working with Adam. We would like to think that this album will be the highlight of our career as it is our favorite record thus far.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
Being on the road with other bands is always fun. We’ve been out with Flatland Cavalry, William Clark Green, The Forty Thieves, Chance Anderson, and a few others. We’ve never had a bad time with any of those dudes, unless hangovers count as a bad time. It would’ve been cool to see what the rock and roll scene of the past was like being there. Rockers like Jimmy and Led Zeplin, Joe Cocker, The Doors, and the Eagles. The country greats like Willie, Waylon, Dean Dillon, Johnny Paycheck, and George Jones. It would have been amazing to have been able to see firsthand what it was like then and to be a part of those scenes. They probably partied a little harder than we could do these days, but I bet we could at least hang for a while.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Here are some current Panhandle musicians you should be listening to:
William Clark Green