In this very special episode of The What Podcast, hosts Brad, Barry, and Lord Taco chat with songwriter Noah Kahan about Bonnaroo, but also how mental health influences his art.
Kahan also touches on putting Vermont and New England into his songs, the music of Paul Simon and Cat Stevens, and how deeply personal art can universally translate. Of course, The What Podcast crew also asks for any sneak peeks into Kahan's upcoming Bonnaroo 2023 performance. (Grab tickets to the festival here!)
Prior to the interview, Brad, Barry, and Lord Taco also spend some time breaking down the Grammys, giving their takes on this year's awards.
Listen as Noah Kahan gets real about the importance of mental health and gets excited about playing Bonnaroo. You can also watch the full discussion below via YouTube. Also, remember to like, review, and subscribe to The What wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our shows, and snag our "Radiate Positivity" T-shirt on the Consequence Shop.
Guest: Noah Kahan
|24:30||What song hits a little too close to the heart for artist Noah Kahan?|
|28:50||Does an artist like Noah Kahan write songs as therapy for himself, or because it might help someone else? Or, it is because it makes for a better song?|
As we make our way closer to Bonnaroo 2023, we start to do a deep dive on some of the artists playing the farm. One of the biggest streaming successes of the year, selling out all over the country and getting a major slot at Bonnaroo, Noah Khan joins us today on the What Podcast. Barry Courter, Lord Taco, Brad Steiner, talking to Noah Khan today. The What Podcast starts right now. Welcome in to another What Podcast as we get closer and closer to Bonnaroo 2021. Barry Courter, Lord Taco. One of the biggest artists of the moment that we have ever talked to on the What Podcast. We've had some big ones. If you do our festival lineup poster, we've got a pretty good lineup, don't you think guys? But today, I don't know if we could find a more of the moment star than Noah Khan, today's star of the What Podcast. I'm pretty excited. Yeah. Can we back up? What year did you say this is? What did I say? Did I say 2022? 2021. What did I say 2021 for? Did I really say 2021? Oh my God. Wow. Jesus Christ. What is wrong with me? I'm not judging, man. You could have said 1921. I mean, yeah, it feels like we're, it feels like we've been living 2021 for six years. I feel like I love how Barry did not catch that whatsoever. No, I'm not judging. Taka, the only one that's, Taka again, always the only one paying attention. Well, that's a good point. I'm not listening to you. Thanks, buddy. So you could have said anything. Thanks, buddy. But yeah, no, it would have been. I really can't believe I said 2021. I have no idea where that came from. No idea. I love it. Yeah. What have you guys been up to? Yeah. Yeah. Let's go back to 2021. It was a great year. Yeah. I've been holed up in my basement for a year and a half. Let's start this again. One of the biggest, the biggest Spotify artists of 2022 joining us today on the What Podcast, a massive star for us. I don't know how we got him, Noah Khan. Barry, have you spent much time with the album, with the song, et cetera? I've been, yes, I've been listening. He was just in Chattanooga. Did you go to the show? He's pretty good in 2023. He's pretty good in 2023, yeah, so far. Are we going to do this the whole time? Well, we don't have data. He was the top streaming artist of Spotify, or top streaming song of Spotify in 2022. No, I didn't go and I'll tell you why I didn't go. Because it was at night. There's two reasons I didn't go. That's one. And you didn't tell me about it until about two hours before when you said, go to the Signal. Noah's in town. So? Well, I don't live like you, man. Hey, there's only one way. I've got a nap. I've got a nap. Look, there's napping that has to happen. There's rides, you know. Barry Corey, there's only one way you're going to meet Bill Murray in this lifetime is taking up my life strategy of never saying no. You're saying he's not coming to my house? No, no. Bill Murray not coming to your house. You know, look, I'm counting on you guys because you're such good friends. You're going to bring him to my house. I'll give him a call and leave him a message on his voicemail. We got to go to Chattanooga. We got to go see. Yeah, I'm taking a road trip to Chattanooga with Bill Murray. That is the worst buddy film of all time. Yeah. So you say you have spent time with the album and the song then? Yeah, I have. I have. Sure. Yeah. I mean, it's big, right? I mean, the interesting voice. I love it. It's a yes. Very descriptive. I don't know. I know you caught me off guard. I'm trying to describe how I'm trying to figure out how to describe it. And you caught me. Barry just channeled Lord Taco for a second. Whereas yes, it's good. Yes. You're not wrong. Well, I tell you, I tell you, I'm going to tell him this too, because I'm a fanboy for a moment. I get very obsessive over songs and bands. Like when I find it, when I hear it and I am absolutely in love with it, I will do nothing but listen to it over and over and over and over until everyone around me has lost their mind. When I first heard Shays Long from Wet Leg, it was literally on repeat for, I mean, weeks and weeks. I have done nothing but listen to Stick Season day upon day upon day on repeat. I mean, my entire train ride into the city every day is 25 minutes of Stick Season. Why I'm listening to the same song over and over, I don't know. He's the top streaming artist of Spotify in 2022. 2023, I damn near probably have half the downloads or streams of Stick Season. I love this song so much. Yeah, no, that's the one. That's the one I was listening to. I have so many questions for him that were related to it. That's part of why you threw me off. I wasn't ready for your question. We can start over if you want to, or we can just go back to 2021 if you need. Let's go back to 2021. Yeah, I mean, you tell me, why are you listening to it so much? I mean, I just started recently because you turned me on to it. I think it... Tell me about it. I feel like it's earnest. I feel like it's honest. I feel like it's vulnerable. I don't know if it's a story about his own life, but it sure as hell feels like it was. It feels real enough to his life that he's letting us in. I always get really dorky when I get to songs that transport me into someone else's life experience and I feel like I'm seeing everything that they're seeing at that very moment. The last song I can remember that did that to me was Pine Grove, Old Friends, that I felt like I was walking around in someone else's skin and clothes where I was seeing the world like them. He does such an incredible job of painting pictures as well as a human being can. I love the way that James Vincent McMorrow tells stories and I get... I don't know, I immediately thought of that kind of storytelling when I listened to Noah. I mean, that's why I love it so much. I nerd out a little bit about it. We've done this before on the show when we've had artists. Those are the most poignant moments that I remember when we've had artists who come on and said, you know, I wrote this song because it was so personal to me and I never in a million years thought it would resonate with anybody else and then it becomes their number one hit. That's why. It's when people put themselves out there. That happens all the time, right? It's a good question. Because that's what we connect with. I know this is a crazy thing to say, but I... I know I'm going to get roasted for this. Darius Rucker has this really great quote when he was a shut up taco. When he wrote Letter Cry, he introduces it every Hooting the Blowfish show. He introduces Letter Cry. He says this story, he goes, Bonnie Raitt one time told me that every songwriter has one great song in them. One great one. This is my ode to Bonnie Raitt. He talks about Letter Cry. But Bonnie Raitt's exactly right. Every great songwriter has got one brilliant one in them. I do wonder how that is and I'm going to ask him a similar question because I have a theory. I might be crazy about it, but you know, we'll see. That is so amazing you bring that up because I literally am staring at my screen trying to figure out the title of the Bonnie Raitt song that she just won the Grammy for. That whole show was all about new music and then here comes a singer songwriter who just puts her heart inside of an acoustic guitar. It's a great song. I know, but may I... look, I wish that we did a Grammy episode and I could let out all the secrets of the Grammy voter, but can I be totally... I mean, look, there are 350- Are you going to crush my heart? A little bit. A little bit. Just to pull the curtain back, there's about 350 voters. The four main categories, everybody's got to vote in. And then you have... well, you only have 10 votes first and foremost. There are 200 categories, but you have to limit it to 10 votes. You have to also only vote... you have to vote in the four main categories. Most of the year, song of the year, record of the year, best new artist. You have to vote in those four. All 350 voting members have to. And then the rest of the six, you get to sort of shift and shape wherever you want it to go, but they prefer you to be in your area of expertise. So when they opened up the nomination process and the nominees to 10 different nominees for best new artist, for the main categories, you're going to get splintered votes. You've got probably 100 people vote... or 75 people voting for... let's put it this way. If there's 200 people voting, half of them are going to go to Beyonce, half of them are going to go to Harry Styles. So then everybody's third favorite song probably is going to win in years like this. Okay. All right. Wow, these things are just talking points. I get that. That's not what was not my point. I guess my point was the fact that she was even in the room is worth noting because it's a great song. It's a touching song. Yeah, I understand that. But at the same time, she's in the room because they throw a bone to the music purists every year. I mean, there's one of these in there every year. I mean, look, back one years ago... How do you do what you do? How do you feel not just... Who said I didn't? Who said I didn't? But the idea of... It's just gross. All right. But the idea that most of these Grammy winners... You take a... Oh, yeah. I totally get that. Some of these categories are only getting 25 votes, man. Okay. So the winner is getting 10, 12, 15. And they're bottom. It's like... Yeah. It's like Oscars and movies. They're bought. The studio buy it. I get that. I guess my point was it's a great song. It is a good song. It's a simple song. It's an old fashioned John Prine song, which is what she tried to write. I'm just glad it gotten attention. Okay. Well, yes. Me too. Now you're sitting there throwing poo poo on it. Okay. Who uses the word poo poo? Me. I'm going old school because it's Bonnie Raitt. I could have said kaka. Man. The words poo poo and Bonnie Raitt in the same sentences. I'm using poo poo because I'm Bonnie Raitt. I don't think that she wants to be associated with that though. Yeah. She doesn't want to... Anyway. But yes. She doesn't want to shit word. It is a good song and yes, it deserved the attention. I'm just saying that they throw music purists these kinds of things every year. I'm shocked honestly that she won, but I'm trying to explain to you why she did. Votes are split four different ways for very deserving songs and she just happened to be right above it. No. I never for a minute believed that the entire voting block was a unanimous. Well, I think it surprises most people that there's only 350 votes out there. That is surprising. Yeah, that is surprising. You can only vote 10 times. There's only 10 votes that you can put in. I would think most people think it's completely based on numbers. Like whoever had bazillion streaming wins. Well, I mean, yeah. That's the reason why Justin Bieber has no Grammys. It has nothing to do with... Streams has to do with what the... Yeah. The Beatles have... I think the Beatles have won, if I'm not mistaken. Maybe some tertiary ones, but yeah. I get it. I never get too excited about those things. They're all talking points. They're designed. Rolling Stones top 500. They're all about getting people like you and me to talk about it. But yes, I'm very excited that she won. Don't get me wrong. I'm very excited about it. I love Bonnie Raitt. I love Bonnie Raitt. By the way, speaking of Bonnie Raitt, one artist that I'm surprised we haven't seen come back to Bonnaroo. I think that she was... Was it 2003 or 2004 she was there? I can't really remember. Maybe six. But I would love to bring Bonnie Raitt back in one of those late afternoon tent shows. That'd be perfect. I love Bonnie Raitt. That'd be great. Yeah. Right in that early evening, the John Prine slot where he was. The John Prine slot. Yeah. That's right. Who's the John Prine of this year, by the way? I know it's off the top of my head. Huh? Oh. The current... Yeah. Why can't I think off the top of my head? There's a... Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm not looking at the lineup right now. I'm sorry. All right. All right. Let's get into Noah. Noah Gahan on the What Podcast. Okay. I think he's over on Zoom. Yeah. Do we need to reach out? God, I hope not. Oh, look there. Noah, how are you, stranger? Good. How are you? Doing amazing. How are things? They're great. They're great. I wonder what it's like being the biggest music star on the planet right now. I wonder what that's like. You have to ask Taylor Swift. Man, I can't tell you how much I love this album. I love Stick Season. God Almighty, it has been stuck in my head for weeks. I ride the entire train to and from the city. I play it on repeat. I don't know. I know exactly the last song that I got this obsessed with. It was Shae's Long by Wetleg. Oh, yeah. Man, congratulations. What an incredible last eight, 12 months this has been. Yeah. Thank you so much, man. It's been a total trip. And I'm still happy playing the songs live, which is a testament that I think I actually might like the album a little bit. So thank you guys for listening to it. I appreciate that you guys like it as well. I wonder, do you have to? You're a very smart guy. Being this part of the zeitgeist, does it feel weird? I don't know. I feel like it's... I don't know. It feels cool to have a lot of people listening to the music and extrapolating their own details from it and putting it into their own lives and then seeing people kind of form a community around the music is what it's all about. I've been doing this for six years and even when I was playing shows for 300 people, less than that, I still saw this amazing sense of community in the audience and among the fans. And I still see that same community as the fan base grows. And I think that's so cool. Being able to feel like you're creating something that's creating positivity and letting people vent their feelings to each other and creating conversations around mental health and therapy. That's so cool. So if I can be part... I don't know what part of the zeitgeist I'm in, but if I'm doing anything and people are hearing the music and taking away their own challenges themselves and finding ways to deal with it, then I'm happy. Well, you mentioned music is therapy. The way that you write is so... I don't know. You're so introspective. It feels like it's coming straight from your life. How much of it is therapy for you to put some of this out? Yeah. I mean, every song has parts in the unit and every song is helpful for me to kind of figure out what I'm feeling. Sometimes I'll write things down. I didn't even know I was feeling it and then I read the words like, Jesus Christ, I'm depressed right now. Or like I am sad and this is sad. It's cool to be able to kind of figure yourself out through songwriting. So it's always been a way for me to process my emotions. I also go to therapy every week, which is really helpful and allows me to kind of have some clarity and lets me look at what I want to write about next within myself. Yeah. I think what's mostly therapy for me is seeing other people feel better about it and feel like I'm making a positive impact on people's lives, which is just so cool and should be the goal of any artist. And that's been what's been the most healing for me is seeing people find happiness through the music. Was there a point in your music? Because we've talked to people before and we were talking before you got on here about artists that we've interviewed that said, I wrote this song for me. I never intended it to go out. Sorry guys, one second. Can you ask that question just one more time? Sure. Yeah. I was just saying that we have talked to people before who've said, I wrote a song, you know, whatever that I never maybe intended to be public. It was just for me. And then it went public and they were shocked and surprised that it resonated with anybody else. Was there a point in your life where, you know, I'm guessing you might've been similar. I mean, I don't think anybody sits down and says, I'm going to write this song because it's going to resonate with, you know, a million people or a hundred million. But at some point you have to make that transition where, you know, you wrote it just for you, but now you realize it hits with other people. Was there a point for you? Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I think, I think it started like the first time that I started writing songs about anxiety and depression, which is because I was feeling such an overwhelming sense of these things in my life. And then I started putting songs out because to be honest, I had writer's block and they were the only songs that I had written. I was like, you know what? These songs need, I don't have a lot of other songs. These are the ones that are about sadness and the things I'm going through. The response was so cool and so supportive from everybody, you know, down to the label, down to my family, but definitely to the fans as well that it inspired me to keep doing it. And I always say like when I was younger and I felt like there was no one else in the world that understood what I was feeling. And I heard a Paul Simon lyric or a Kat Stevens lyric. And for one minute I felt like someone had figured me out and that someone knew what I was going through. And I felt like I wasn't alone. And when I sit down to write, I do try to be as vulnerable as possible and I never think like, oh, this song is going to come out. But I think, man, if I could provide that little lifeline for some kids somewhere that I got when I was in seventh grade, that I'm doing something important and the vulnerability is worth it. But you know, I don't make music. I make music for me, but I really do also make it for the fans. I think I'm not writing songs to cater to the fans, but they seem to like when I talk about myself and I try to do that for them. I think that's so interesting that you just said it that way because so often times some of the songs that I love the most are the ones that crack the code in words that I wasn't able to put together. But then there are ones like Stick Season where you put me into this world that was yours. You transported me from my life and dropped me into the middle of yours. And now I'm experiencing everything that you're feeling. And that is such a I love it so much, but I'm sure it could freak some other people out. But the way that I feel about it, it feels like it's something that you literally were writing for someone to walk around with you and see. 100%. Yeah. I when I tell people I'm from Vermont, they think I'm from Canada and they don't know where Vermont is and they don't know anything about it or they think, you know, Bernie Sanders and maple syrup, which are actually very big parts of being in. I was going to say maple syrup. That's so funny. Yeah. And when I was growing up, I would listen to Gregory Allen Isaacov, who and I felt like I was like in the eighteen hundreds in Europe, like traveling around or I would listen to Paul Simon and I would feel like I was in New York in the 70s. And I would I love being a part of other people's worlds. I have my favorite TV shows. My favorite books are these like immersive world building experiences. And I really did think going into this record about trying to show people what it was really like, you know, the good, the bad and the ugly about being in Vermont. I wanted to bring people to a different place. You know, like I said, my favorite thing about music is feeling like I'm being transported. Phoebe Bridgers, particularly the new Sam Fender record, does a great job of that. I think you feel like you're in this person's life and their neighborhood. And, you know, my story is obviously a lot different, but I'm still from a place that not a lot of people know about and not a lot of people have experienced. And I was desperate to show people that place and show them that world. It's very interesting that you're writing it for a locale considering. Well, let's put it this way. What is the next album starts feeling like? Are you trying to you're not going to take someone on another vacation? You're probably going to, you know, maybe it's Seasons next. Maybe it's a, you know, you know, Stevens, Stevens, Stevens did this album about every single state in the country. And I think I'm not sure how many he got, but I'm trying not to set a giant endeavor for myself. But what's been really cool about this record is some of the songs feel like they have a larger story to tell. I think about a song like Orange Juice that feels like it tells a story about a moment in time between two people. And I've thought a lot about expanding those stories. You know, maybe they go beyond New England. Maybe they don't, but I've thought a lot about expanding on some of those stories. And you know, I, I've tried very hard to not write about New England and to write about different places, but I keep getting dragged back to it somehow. So I have a feeling there'll be some New England imagery in the next project. And I, I think it's a really interesting place. And there's more than enough material to write about for the rest of my career in Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, maybe Connecticut. It's obviously very defining for you as a human being though. For sure. Yeah, definitely. It's like a, the gravitational pull. It's also probably the most troublesome relationship that you've been in in your life. You know, it's definitely been the longest. Yeah, yeah. It's been a back and forth for sure. I've moved a couple of times and I keep coming back. Are you still in Vermont then? Huh? Are you in Burlington? I'm in a Watertown, Mass. But yeah, I was living in Vermont throughout the pandemic and then moved to Mass with my girlfriend and now we're a little bit closer to Vermont, which is nice. I was in New York for a while and I don't know, there's something about New England and the cultural identity there that really feels right for me. When you write this personally, if you don't mind, is there a song on there that is almost too personal? The one that's probably hits way, way, way closer to home than you even imagined? Yeah, I think Orange Juice is pretty personal. Just a lot about my struggles with addiction and, you know, addictive behaviors as well as addiction throughout my family and in my friendships. And then also as a song that I had to dig deep into kind of these unreconciled friendships that I have in my life that was really difficult. You know, I put it into two different people, the stories that it's not about me, but there's a lot of, there's all of me in it. And so it required a lot of kind of truth finding within myself, which was hard. And it was one of the only songs, there's another one that I have that I haven't released yet that feel like really personal. And I have a hard time playing them because it makes me feel like I'm back in that space of when I wrote them and kind of, but also I find that the things I want to do least like therapy or like singing about things that are personal to me are the things I need to do the most. You know, just today, not to bring it back to therapy all the time, but I remember I almost sent it to my therapist a text like, yeah, can we just do next week? I'm like, if I don't want to do this right now, it probably means I should be doing it. And so when I think about releasing a song like Orange Juice or, you know, a song like Howling, I find that the tension and the discomfort I'm feeling is usually an indication that it should be in the world and that it's something important for me and the listener. What is that? Because I don't do it. I've never done it. I won't ever do it. What is that like though, to be able to go out in front of a horse? But by the way, I'm stopping you there. What a silly thing to say, Barry. Why would you say you're never going to do something that you don't know if you might need? It might be something because I'm not going to get up on stage and sing a song that I've written is what I was where I was going. I won't. I'm too chicken. I won't do it. And that's part of where I was going with this. When you do something like that, and I'm always fascinated by this by somebody who literally puts their heart on a piece of paper and into a song that has to be tough first, but then to go out and sing it in front of people once has to be really, really tough. But to do it on a regular basis has to be even tougher. But then you get that feedback where somebody comes up and says, man, it's like you're reading my diary or something. That whole circle is just so fascinating to me. The fact that you would do it, that you would sing it, that you would share it, and that somebody else would identify with it. That's what we're talking about. No, I don't mean to jump in here, but let me give you a little thing about therapy because I've been in for years now, Barry. The first time I ever went through my life and all my problems, I said to Gail, I said, I'm never doing that again. But guess what? The second time I did it, I was like, oh, this is getting a lot easier. And then the third time I did this, I could talk. Let me talk to you about my problems now, Barry. Because I've got no problem whatsoever and I got to imagine doing the song part of therapy the same way. Well, you'll get it. That's what I'm asking about. Yeah. Totally. I hear you both. Yeah. I think it's a lot like jumping into it's like a bunch of people telling you that at the bottom of a pit of fire, there's a big cushion and you have to trust yourself to jump into it. But all you know is the fire and all you can see is the fire and all these people are like, I promise you that there's a big pillow at the bottom of the land, you're going to be okay and you're going to be better. It takes a long time for people to make that fall. It takes an incredible amount of trust to tell someone how you're feeling and to be honest about it. For years, I went to therapy and I was never honest. I would just say things that sounded truthful or sounded like they were important or deep, but that was truly never digging into that stuff that really hurt. And in going to therapy and allowing myself to be honest, I was able to be more honest in my music and to be able to make that trust fall on stage as well to say, I'm going to say it. This is what I'm going through. This is what the songs are about. To see people in the crowd of all ages, of all ethnicities, of all sexual identities together listening to that, hearing that, I think it's important and it's a real platform and I feel like I'm obligated to share my honesty with them. Okay. All right. That's it. Do you do it because it makes the music better? Do you do it because it makes you feel better or do you do it because it connects with your audience? I think it's a combination of all three. It's all I've ever known really was writing about how I was feeling. I grew up in a house that was incredibly supportive of my mental health issues. We all talked, like literally at the dinner table, we'd be like, what are we sad about that we talk about it? My mom and I would talk about my feelings all the time. My dad and I would take walks and talk about how I was feeling. It just felt like what communicating was to me was saying, oh, here's what I'm going through and here's how it feels. And there was always a sense of humor about it. And when I try to write songs that aren't true to those feelings I have, I feel a little disingenuine. So it seems like my only path sometimes. And when I see people respond to them and react to them and people say your music's so sad, but I see people smiling and dancing in the shows, there's something really fun about hearing someone else confirm your own sadness and your own problems. I know that I've been to a lot of great shows. I listen to Bonnie Bear all day and it doesn't make me sad. It makes me happy to hear someone else does the same. Because it makes me feel like I relate to them and that I'm not alone. And when I'm on stage, I see people dancing and they're like, it's weird. They're like having fun being sad. And I think it's really cool. So I think that's why I do it. Just because we can have a shared experience found by someone that makes us feel uncomfortable sometimes. I love how you say you were faking it through therapy because I'll be totally honest, my first year, I was just doing material. I was just trying to make my therapist laugh. You know? Yeah. But she's telling jokes. And they see that and they're like, damn, this guy's fucked up. Yeah, totally, man. It's so hard, bro, because it's really hard if you've never spent a lot of time being honest or if honesty always comes with a joke or a self-deprecation or a qualifier. It can be really hard to sit there and talk about yourself just from a conversational standpoint. Do I just start talking about myself? The first five minutes of therapy are always a little uncomfortable. I wonder if you think about this the way you don't. I can already answer my own question. But think about it this way. Is songwriting the same as the way that I think of actors? Songwriters, we talked about this a minute ago, Bonnie Raitt said that every great songwriter has got one great song in them, at least one great song in them. I wonder, the way that I think about actors is the actors that really have a great part. The part is this close to who they actually are. Leonard and I think about Leonardo DiCaprio and Wolf of Wall Street all the time. He was so great in that movie because I think he's this close to being the actual person. I wonder if the great songs that artists write are this close to their actual lived experience. That's a great question. I do feel like I'm not much of an actor. I was talking about this in my drummer last night. He was like, you got to be an actor, bro. You could do it. I'm like, I think I could only play the guy that's sad and looks like Jesus. I'm like, oh, that's just me. I think that would be my Oscar-winning part. I think the best songs are undeniably honest in some way. I think if you're doing songwriting in a normal way, you are trying to put some of yourself in it, I think. I can't speak for everybody else, but the songs that I can connect to the most and that I see artists loving to play. Again, go back to Sam Fender, that Seventeen going under song. He seems to fucking love that song. That's an amazing song. That feels unflinchingly honest to me. I like to think that the best songs are ones that truly reflect the writer, the creator. I don't want to sit here and pretend like I have all the answers to songwriting, man. I hear you. I hear that. It's such an interesting thing because like a Johnny Cash, the beauty of Johnny Cash is you believe every word that he sings, but he didn't kill anybody. That you know of. That I know of. That's a good point too. I think I asked Jason Isbell that once. He was like, you know, that's the talent of the writer. You believe the narrator. You believe the way he's singing it, the way the music's accompanying it, and the way the words are being spoken that he maybe understands what that world looks like, but isn't a part of it. I think it takes a real skill as well to create stories. I look at Stephen King and a great New England author, obviously. He's creating all these incredible stories, these incredibly personal, horrifying moments in these young people's lives. I know Stephen King didn't live this because I've read his autobiography, but it's so believable. That cat didn't crawl out of the grave. We know that. Yeah, but there's definitely something in there. Everything's in New England. There's pieces of him in there. There's pieces of, I think, I don't know, Isbell is another one of my favorite writers ever. I know he hasn't lived all those things, but I know there's parts of it in there. I think there's got to be parts of you in these songs, even if you're coming up with a story. I think you just nailed Isbell, you guys share a lot of similarities. He pays really close attention to details that you wouldn't normally think that would matter. I'll go right back to that song where he makes sure to say, your boots were in the hotel in that hotel in Richmond or something like that. Those boots on the floor in Richmond, like that specific detail he wanted to add into the song that, oh God, I can see those boots. And I wasn't even there. The detail makes the story. But for you, so you take these songs on the road. Is this the first, how big is this tour for you? Is this the biggest one of your career? Where is this going for you right now? Yeah, it's definitely the biggest one of my career. I've been touring since about 2017 and have played a lot of fun sold out shows, but the level of people waiting outside all day and there's a whole controversy about the tickets being so expensive and the demand being so high. It feels like a real moment in my career, I guess. I feel like you can sell out shows forever if you play in the same cities enough, but I played in Columbus a couple of nights ago. I'd never been there in my life and 3,000 people fit in. So it does feel like there is something happening and it's just so exciting. I just never take it for granted because I have played those. Are you guys based in Nashville? So Barry's in Chattanooga, Tennessee. So is Russ, sort of it. And I'm in Brooklyn, New York. Got it. So I played Rockwood Music Hall for like 17 people. And I remember being like, damn, this isn't much fun. There's not a lot of people here. The sound is bad. So to be able to play in these amazing venues with thousands of people packing in and some people coming to see if there are tickets like one that's already sold out and having two tour buses and having this amazing crew of people that are so professional. I'm just not taking it even for granted. And it's surprising me every day. I'm enjoying every second of it, truly every second of it. Because I know how quickly the shit goes away, man. So I'm just trying to enjoy it right now. Along those lines, I wanted to ask, what was it being like on Colbert? You're the first person that I've known that's been on. I think it'd be cool. And he's got a pretty I think he has really good musical taste. So it has to mean something, I would think, you know, as an artist for him to pick you to be on the show. What was that like? That was really cool. Colbert was it does. I agree. I think he has great. He curates really great music, which is always fun. I think John Pateez helps a lot with that, by the way. John Pateez is such a legend. Shout out. Absolutely. Can't forget about him. Yeah. It was my first time doing late night TV, and a lot of times there's these moments that like everyone else makes it more scary than it actually is. Like I did the rhyming a couple nights ago and everyone's like, you nervous? I'm like, no, I was just going to have some fun. And on Colbert, I'm just going out there and play the songs. And I definitely got nervous. The environment is nerve wracking. It's freezing cold. And you know, like you always see Stephen Colbert on TV. Colbert on TV. And so I saw him and I was like, is this like a wax animatronic version of this guy? This is really him in front of me. And it was nerve wracking as fuck. And I saw Steve Buscemi walk by right before I went on and I was so nervous that I just said, thank you so much. And he goes, for what? And I'm like, okay, I'm fucked. At least you didn't say great work. At least you didn't say great work. Yeah. At least you didn't say great work. The funniest part is the next time I did late night with Seth Meyer, Steve Buscemi was just randomly the guest again. Oh, wow. Yeah, that was crazy. You guys are taking the show on the road, you and Buscemi. Yeah. We're a duo. So when you live in the Northeast, does a festival like Bonnaroo ever go through your hemisphere? Does it ever attach to you? Do you know anything about it? Because I'm not going to lie to you, you're on a place on the lineup that is quite high for a first time Bonnaroo. Short sighted decision, I think. I'm way too high on that lineup. I went to Bonnaroo three years ago and my first record came out and it was the most communal awesome experience ever. These festivals can be so toxic and shitty. I don't want to talk shit in any festivals actually. I probably shouldn't do that. But Bonnaroo is an incredibly cool environment. It was so fun. The vibes were so good. People were so kind. Everyone was obviously doing a bunch of drugs and stuff, but people were still cool, kept their cool and were kind and supportive of each other. So doing Bonnaroo is a dream, man. I can't wait. I can't wait to stay there and camp the whole weekend. Wait, I don't mean to interrupt, but did I mistake it? Have you done Bonnaroo before? Yeah, three years ago. I did the super jam. Yeah, I did the super jam with like Grizz and Rainbow Kitten Surprise and Hobo Johnson. How did you get onto that? Who called you for that? Dude, the Illuminati put me in. I don't know. I'm not supposed to talk about it. No, I've been a fan of Illuminati for four years. They won't let me in. The super jam is kind of like one of those places where if you're not like a fully developed artist or you don't have like a bunch of records, like they can kind of put you on for the night and like get you in front of some people in front of the bookers and everything. So I did super jam. So nervous. I sang the whole song on the wrong key. It was like with this full band behind me and I fucking blew it, but it was so cool. The energy at Bonnaroo is incredible. All right, but you didn't have a Noah concept at Bonnaroo. No, I didn't. The Noah concept was me trying to find my way to the bathroom when I was too shit faced. So you practiced at the Holiday Inn in the convention center. We've sat and listened to that practice year after year after year waiting for our credentials. What song did you screw up? What do you think that you messed up? I did Wake Me Up by Avicii and I don't know, man. I was one of those things where you have so long to wait where like all you can do is get more nervous and like drink more like beer. So I was like just getting like drunker and drunker and more dehydrated. And like by the time I was on, I was like completely uninhibited by how nervous I was. And I was just like singing and I was like, I'm in the wrong key. There's a teleprompter and I was like trying to focus on that. I don't think it was as much of a disaster as I'm making it out to be, but it definitely was my brightest moment on stage. That's okay. It stuck with you enough that makes you want to say I want to come back to Bonnaroo at some point, huh? Absolutely, man. I mean, the lineup this year is so awesome, dude. I'm the same day as Kendrick. I cannot wait to go see Kendrick play. I'm so excited for it. Yeah, you got a really good day. That Friday's fantastic. Do you know where you're going to be playing yet? Do they have you on one of the two big stages? I think it might be like the big tent like right before you go to the big stages. I don't know. I'm still in, my music is kind of campfire. They're like, let's take them in a fucking tent. I'm not sure yet, but I hope to see you guys there. Oh my God. I'm so excited for you. Look, the last year of your life has got to be crazy. It's not many people get to say the most streamed Spotify song of the entire year. So congratulations. I love the album. I love the song. I'm very, very excited that at least my format and radio is starting to come around on it. If I have to will this thing to happen, I want it to. So congratulations. I can't wait to see you come to New York. I really appreciate the questions and also the format of the conversation. I just want to say it's fantastic. I love just chatting. You guys are great. So thank you. Hey, anytime you want to come back, let's do it. This was so much fun. You're welcome. Thank you guys so much and we'll hopefully see you soon. See you buddy. Thanks, man. Have a great night in Detroit. See you buddy. Nice to see you. There you go, Mel Cohn on the White Podcast. I have a new man crush. Do you? I love that guy. Oh wow. That was a lot of fun. I just noticed as he was hanging up that I might be in trouble with the record label because I just realized I'm wearing an Epic Records hoodie and he was wearing a Republic Records hoodie. No. It was Republic Records that did this for us and now I feel really shitty. Label wars. You and me, Ross, we're caught. We're caught in the middle. Can you blur out the Epic Records part, please? Yeah, we'll Photoshop something. Did you notice what I'm wearing though? Oh yeah. You have a radio station that... Oh, my old radio station. Your old radio station, yeah. So Barry, I went from Alt 92.3 in New York or New Orleans to Alt 92.3 in New York. It's like I have a type. Yeah, your type. Your typecast. I have a type. I just love the kid. I knew he was going to be a phenomenal chat. I did not know about the Super Jam thing. That's fantastic. I don't think we've ever talked to somebody. It's just been a band player of the Super Jam, have we? I don't think so. First time. I don't think so either. No, I don't think so. He's one of those guys you never would have noticed on stage that played the entire run. I want to dive back into that if we had more time. Write that down because when we talk to him at the festival, I'd love to talk to him. Oh, my God. Why don't we ask him if he's going to be in this year's Super Jam? Damn it. All right. Get him back. Call him back. Call him back. Man. All right. Well, this is something that I'm putting you guys on for Friday. On Friday night, we got to ask him if he's going to be in the Super Jam and if... What the Super Jam was like from the year that he was there in 2017. I say 2017 to 2018. It was 2021. That's what it was. It was 2021. No, it wasn't 2021. It was 2008. It was... We're still in the year 2021. It's so funny to hear. Everything he talked about, he's just a person. And then to say, I was so nervous, he drank all day and then he got out on stage and saw it because he'd been drinking all day. So funny. That is funny. That was great. That was really good. I enjoyed that a lot. So good. All right. Well, there you go. Noah Con. I guess he's officially... I guess he's not officially a Bonnaroo first timer. So I guess we got to find some new first timers this year. Just change the label. It'll work. Give us a call. Yeah. Lord Taco Barry Courter. I'm glad we talked to you. I'm glad we talked to you. All right.