Sons of Liberty & Preacher Stone: ‘We want to make this a regular deal!’

This is the first time I’ve simultaneously interviewed two bands, so I hope it sounds/reads alright! Sons of Liberty and Preacher Stone are headed on a co-headline UK tour next month, so we got the chance to sit down ahead of that and ask how it all came about!

How did the tour between the two of you come about?

Ronnie: I think it started with a conversation between Freddie Hale and Jim Bolt. And I know Freddie had gone back and forth with Marty Heal, the guy who founded Preacher Stone and struck up a good friendship. It call came down to ‘wouldn’t it be great if we went over there?’. We were like ‘hell yeah, that’s impossible!’. That’s what we like to do, we like to find out if something’s possible. If it is we’re not really interested but if it isn’t hell, sign us up!

So that’s really how it started. And I have to say from the onset it’s a really organised piece of work. The routing is absolutely pristine.

Andy: Yeah we’ve proof tested the run around the UK geographically. A couple of times, actually. We got screwed over big time when Covid hit, of course. We had one nice run around the UK which got completely messed up because of that.

We actually did a similar, much shorter duel hook-up with a band called Comancheros from the US around springtime last year. Just three gigs and they jumped on the back of stuff we were doing. It made us realise something like this is absolutely gonna work.

Ronnie: Exactly! My task for tonight is hotel rooms. At least with them knowing where they’re staying it’s a lot simpler than the audacious task of going ‘okay, I’ve never been to this country, let alone this city, so what hotel rooms should be nice?!’ So thank you for the Sons for being so organised!

Are you planning on filming bits of the tour like Preacher Stone’s European tour video?

Ronnie: We’ll probably shoot some things on our own, we won’t be bringing a camera. We’re shoe stringing this one. It’s going to be really close to the vest. What we’re hoping to do is that this is the beginning of a regular thing. Our people at No No Bad Dog were kind enough to see the necessity to go and said they’d underwrite this. But the thing with record companies is you get to pay it back. You want to spend as little as you can.

Andy: From a video point of view there’ll be loads of little clips, iPhone shots and stuff. You should be able to follow the tour, day by day, just through the social media channels. We’ll try and make that as much fun as possible.

Ronnie: Yeah, we’ll show the fun bits!

Have you been fans of each other before this, then?

Oh yeah!

Andy: Sons of Liberty started off as a southern rock tribute band. My personal choice was never to do the really obvious ones like Synyrd. We were always on the hunt for different tracks to put in the set, so we actually played a couple of Preacher Stone songs in our set going back to 2015. I think it was probably through the Sons of Anarchy TV programme.

Ronnie: Yeah, we were on Sons of Anarchy seasons 3 and seasons 5. That’s where a lot of people heard us. Being on that opened the door to us being able to do stuff like the Simple Man Cruise and the Rock Legends Cruise and festivals in the States like Rocklohoma, Rock the Ridge and stuff. That’s really helped us. It always seems to come back; just when you think it’s run its course someone will be like ‘you guys were on Sons of Anarchy!’. As I introduce the song every night, ‘here’s the song that brought us here’. We probably wouldn’t have met you guys if it hadn’t have been for this song.

Andy: Yeah, that’s how the connection started. We realised we were coming form the same rootsy position. We’re not that full-on country and Preacher Stone aren’t either. We’ve got more of that edgy guitar southern sound.

Ronnie: I mean, we’re southern because we’re from the south! This accent is real!

Are you guys planning anything special for the tour? Any collaborations?

Ronnie: I don’t know, we’re open to about anything. I don’t see how you can take two bands like this and not doing something or sharing a stage.

Andy: Absolutely. I think the last night of the tour is Leo’s Red Lion, that’s going to be a bit of a party. That’s as close to London as we came.

Ronnie: And we’re perfectly adept at flying home wounded!

Andy: And of course first night of the tour is in our hometown, Bristol! I think on the day off we’re gonna have a day in Liverpool too.

Ronnie: I’m excited about that. We’re as big a fans as we are band members, and to get to go where some of our influences came from and to be playing… I can’t tell you how excited how excited we are. This is a bucket list thing for us. And we want to make this a regular deal.

Are you both working on new material, then?

Ronnie: It’s been a while for us. We’re working on number 5 right now. We’ll have released a single in the coming days, maybe two releases before we board the plane to come over.

Andy: We’ve got musical backing tracks down so we’re halfway through album number 3. We’ve got no vocals down as of yet though so there’s a bit of work still before that’s in the can.

Ronnie: We’re six done and we have four more to go. We have the first video shot for the first single, it’s ready to go, we’ve just gotta throw it out there!

Check out our last interview with Sons here.

Outside of this tour, do you have a dream tour line-up?

Ronnie: I mean realistically we’ve got Rocks, Ribs and Ridges with 38 Special, Blackberry Smoke, Samantha Fish, the Outlaws, a real southern rock who’s who. We’ve got a bunch more festivals in the States, in the Eastern parts and even some in the mid-West. After we get back from the UK we’ll be back on that run. The US has a lot of weekend runs. That’s what we do, just get in the van and go!

Andy: Namedropping southern rock royalty, a lot of those bands have been over for one off tours to the UK. But Black Stone Cherry are definitely a big band for touring the UK and Europe so they’d be cool to go out and do something with!

Ronnie: Our idea is that we’re another band in the US so to speak as there are a lot of other bands of this ilk but in the UK we have the distinction of being somewhat authentic.

Southern rock seems to be doing better than ever over here!

Andy: We lucked in. Just at the point where we started doing original material Cadillac Three, black Stone Cherry, Brothers Osbourne really kicked off from the States over here. So there was a real buzz going to the scene. And then bands like us, Outlaw Orchestra, Bad Touch, there’s a few British bands that have that Southern storytelling thing going on as well. We were able to make the most of that really!