Pat Green is one of my favorite artists to interview. That’s why I pester his publicist every year or so, regardless of whether he has new music or a new tour. I don’t care. I just like to catch up with the proud son of Texas—the man responsible for some of my favorite songs, including “Texas on My Mind,” “George’s Bar,” and “Songs About Texas.”
Pat is always up to something interesting (besides making country music), whether it’s baking biscuits in the kitchen or sculpting and painting in his home studio.
So, I pestered his publicist for a couple of months . . . and I finally caught up to Pat Green on a crisp October morning to ask him 5 Questions.
I’m still spinning your 1997 album, George’s Bar, in my truck’s CD player. What do you remember about that album?
Pat Green: Is it because you can’t get it out? The CD player broke [laughing]? Man, I got to tell you how much I appreciate that, being that it was my second effort. I really enjoyed making that record. I made it at the same place I made the first one, at Caldwell Studios there in Lubbock. Lloyd Maines, of course, was at the helm. Yeah, still fun songs. I just tried to make people drink a few beers and have some fun.
A couple years ago, you had a broken collarbone from skiing. Before that, you sliced your fingers. You staying healthy?
Pat Green: My mother will tell you that every single emergency room nurse in the city of Waco knew me by my first name. I’m just an accident-prone person. I’m a bit clumsy, and probably a little bit more top-heavy than normal. But yeah, I haven’t broken another bone since then. There’s no end to the punishment I put my body through.
After such a tough 18 months during the pandemic, what does it mean to a touring musician like yourself to be back on the road?
Pat Green: My motto when I started in the music business was, “you can’t out work me.” If you could, then you probably are going to do pretty well if you’ve got the skills to play and sing, and more realistically, sing in tune, which I think very few people can do that.
But yeah, going back to work this year was equal to some of the best years of my life. I don’t know how else to put it. My wife threatened to burn the chair that I was sitting in if I didn’t get out of it and go do something. It sounds comical, but it’s truthful. That was the hardest year of my life, without a doubt. Yeah, going back to work was a big thing for me.
I got to do a show a few weeks ago. I did one this week as well, but we had two shows with ZZ Top in the last few weeks. The one that we did in Oklahoma—I did my show, did my set, and I felt like it was a good set. Then I got to go see ZZ Top play. Seeing 20,000 people scream their brains out to a couple of 70-year-old musicians, I thought it was the coolest thing I’d seen in a very, very long time.
What have you been working on in your art studio?
Pat Green: I’ve been sculpting more than painting. COVID forced our little gallery [Galleywinter Gallery] to close, because we just couldn’t sit there and spend money. Nobody was making any money out there in the larger world. That meant nobody was buying any art, and we were just sitting there paying rent. But no, I still have my office, which is where I sculpt now. I’m still sculpting daily.
Are you working on new music as well?
Pat Green: We have a new record that’ll be coming out at the end of this year. At the end of the day, creativity really got me back on track. Getting in the studio and making a record and just working on . . . I’m a pretty solitary person. I’m really—other than golf with two friends, three friends—pretty much by myself all day, every day. I have to be busy enough. If I’m not busy, I’m finding a way to screw things up.
We just made our first full record in, man, I want to say it’s been five or six years since I made a record.
I feel like the songs that are on this project are fantastic. I wish that I could go backwards in time and write this record first, and then end up at George’s Bar. I don’t know what would have happened, but I just feel like that’s a funny thought since you brought up that album.
I hope you like this album when it comes out. More on that, really soon.