Yelawolf and Shooter Jennings are debuting their new rock collaboration Sometimes Y, an album the pair says was recorded during a time that made them feel "heavy pressure to do something important." During an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, the pair discussed their new band and project with Jennings detailing the origins of the music. "It started 15 years ago. Pretty much or whatever it was that I first met Yelawolf," the country rocker recalled.
"I was always drawn to him...I thought his was music was awesome. I was a fan of him. I think the first thing I heard was Trunk Muzik [Yelawolf's 2010 mixtape]. And then, I was just a fan of his style...And I just kind of stayed with him," he said. The pair worked remained close over the years, trying at different times to collaborate but things always seemed to get in the way. Eventually, they linked up in Los Angeles in 2020 to record some music, which would take shape as Sometimes Y, the name of their new band and rock album. "Once we had it scheduled that we were going to do this," Jennings said. "It kind of just started to become more and more apparent that this was going to be something really diverse and different and cool."
"We played with ideas for years," Yelawolf added. "But there were pivotal points where we were like, 'Oh, okay. Yeah.' Like we started to agree on, not a sound... but a vibe like that we wanted to go for." Reflecting on their first time recording in the studio as a band, the longtime hip-hop artist spoke candidly about the "pressure" he felt to craft something memorable. "The floor was set for me. It's like, 'Alright Shoot, I want to sing a record. I want to sing an album. I want to make a rock album,'" he said. "We're not going to do rapping on this project. We're going to be clear about how we do this."
He continued: "There was heavy, heavy pressure on me. You know, the George Floyd thing had just happened, like literally just happened, like days before. So there was an intense vibe in Los Angeles. It was just a very heavy pressure to do something important."
The product of their hard work is Sometimes Y, a straightforward rock album that plays like an homage to anthemic hits from the '70s and '80s, like Bowie, Springsteen, and in the case of their album, a little bit of Judas Priest. "Can't wait for people to hear it, man," Yelawolf said. "We've been sitting on it for two years. So, we're like, ready for the world to hear it."
Sometimes Y has already dropped four singles: "Radio," "Make Me A Believer," "Rock & Roll Baby" and "Jump Out the Window." The latter tune has a special place in Sometimes Y's origin story, as Yelawolf revealed that the music video for the song was the first time the guys all played together as a band. "It was the first day, first shoot, the first morning of the five days we were in Vegas. And it was a lot of firsts happening. First video from Spidey [Smith, director] with us. And it was our first time performing as a band. It is on camera," he explained.
Yelawolf continued, "The first time we stepped up to do any performance ever. You're watching it. That's it. That's the first. We have never even rehearsed. So, you know, we just set up in the desert and played that song. And I was like, I don't know. I was just so proud. And this menacing cloud was coming over the mountains and, you know, the wind was howling. It was just, it was... It was the song. It was perfect. It was a perfect way to start the run of videos we were shooting."
For those hoping to catch Sometimes Y live, the guys revealed that they do have plans to tour behind the album, and soon. "We're definitely going to be playing," Jennings says. "We're doing it in a way in which we're kind of like we're letting this album kind of come out and people digest what it is, but we will be popping up. We're, in fact, [Yelawolf's] coming to L.A. soon for us to kind of get ready for all that." Sometimes Y is out now, via Yelawolf's Slumerican label. Fans can pick up physical copies and keep an eye out for eventual concert dates at Yelawolf's website.