5 Questions With Shane Smith About the ‘Yellowstone’ Boost, New Music, Texas BBQ & More

by Jim Casey
5-questions-with-shane-smith-yellowstone-boost-new-music-texas-bbq-more

The musical stylings of Shane Smith & the Saints earned a legion of new fans thanks to Season 4 of Yellowstone. But the hard-touring Texas troupe—Shane, Bennett Brown, Dustin Schaefer, Chase Satterwhite, and Zach Stover—has been a Lone Star State staple for more than a dozen years. The band’s studio albums include Coast (2013), Geronimo (2015), and Hail Mary (2019), as well as a new live album, Live From the Desert (2021).

However, Yellowstone is a TV behemoth, boasting an average of 7.8 million viewers per episode during Season 4. And the band is reaping the benefits of having its music featured in back-to-back episodes.

During Episode 3 on November 14, series creator Taylor Sheridan—as character Travis Wheatley—capped the episode by name-dropping “Shane Smith and the f—ing Saints” while “All I See Is You” (which was also the title of the episode) played in his truck. The following week’s Episode 4 opened with “All I See Is You.”

Outsider caught up to Shane to ask him 5 Questions about the Yellowstone effect, new music, Texas BBQ, and more.

1. For a band that primarily pays its bills via touring, how has the pandemic affected you the last two years?

Shane Smith: It’s been . . . it’s just been very weird. Everybody’s having to put up with the same stuff and try to navigate it and figure out a way to make it work at the end of the day. I know a lot of people didn’t try necessarily to play shows, and just stepped back and didn’t try to set up any outdoor events that were socially distanced. It was easier for them just to sit back and not tour at all. And I respect that, but a lot of those same bands that I’m talking about are no longer bands anymore. Like friends of ours that were really talented.

I’m proud of the way that we went about it. We tried to be as safe as we possibly could, but we also tried to work any chance we could. And we tried to keep things going. I’m proud to say none of our guys lost a single paycheck during the entire ordeal up to this point. We’ve been able to continue as though nothing ever happened, in terms of just our well-being and operation.

2. Can you quantify the ‘Yellowstone’ effect with some metrics?

Shane Smith: Within just a couple hours, I started to see just the impact that it was having. I think in the first 24 hours, “All I See Is You” was Shazamed—you know, the Shazam app—90,000 times. It’s crazy stuff like that. I’ve never even thought about looking at Shazam to see if we have any high numbers on Shazam.

Over the course of the next few days, it went to number one on Shazam. And that was the same week that Adele had released her new album and Taylor Swift had released her new album. We sat at number one on Shazam for, I think, two weeks or something like that. I think it’s been closer to 400,000 times or half a million or something like that on Shazam alone. Then on Spotify, our monthly listeners increased by 300,000 a month, average monthly listeners, over the course of about two weeks. And that’s the same for Amazon Music and Apple Music and the different streaming platforms.

Yeah, it’s just crazy. I don’t know. It’s absolutely bizarre. We’re so used to having to work our asses off to get any kind of movement on the needle, and then all of a sudden you get this placement. I’m really thankful for it. It’s definitely new territory for us that we’re not used to at all. But I’m just extremely thankful for the nudge forward.

3. Did you send Taylor Sheridan a muffin basket as a thanks?

Shane Smith: Dude, I asked our manager to contact him and I was just like, “Tell him he’s got a free show whenever he wants it. We will show up. I’ll fly us out or we’ll take the bus out. Whether he wants to do it on the Four Sixes or he wants to do it at a wrap party or in L.A. or whatever, we will show up and do a full band show for those guys.” They haven’t taken us up on it yet, but I hope that they do.

4. What can we expect as far as new music in 2022?

Shane Smith: Yeah, so we just recorded two new songs. One of them is called “Hummingbird.” The other one’s called “Fire in the Ocean,” and we’re about to be rolling those out in this new year. And then we also have a lot of other songs [written] that we haven’t gone in and recorded, but we’re about to start, I think, getting back in the studio and trying to knock those out just kind of one at a time. I hope we can have an album out this year and have it done by then, but we’ve got to see.

I know for a fact, though, that we’re about to be releasing a couple new tracks that I’m very excited about and I think they sound amazing.

5. Where’s the Best BBQ in Texas?

Shane Smith: Oh man. Let me think about this. Personally, I really like Black’s Barbecue in Lockhart. But I know Terry Black’s in Austin is incredible as well. The other one that I’m a huge fan of is The Salt Lick in Driftwood, Texas. In my opinion, that would probably be number one for me just because I love the barbecue sauce as well, which you’ve got to factor that in. And a lot of people would be so pissed off if they heard me say that, but I definitely factor that part of it in.

But more than anything, I just like the ambiance in Driftwood. If you go out there at sunset, there’s a vineyard right there, and a winery, and you could do a wine tasting, and hang out with your buddies or whatever, have some beers while you’re waiting for a table. They have a really cool setup. And Driftwood is one the prettiest places on earth.

Outsider.com