Interview w/ Leroy Virgil of Hellbound Glory

Last Sunday in Chicago an amazing show went down featuring Six Gun Britt, Last False Hope, and one of the fastest rising bands in country, Hellbound Glory. Afterward Jashie P. of Outlaw Radio Chicago (and Last False Hope) sat down with Hellbound Glory’s Leroy Virgil for an interview. I have transcribed the meat of it below, but you can listen to it in is entirety on Episode 109 at savingcountrymusic.com/outlaw-radio.

Outlaw Radio broadcasts LIVE every Wednesday night at 8 PM Central on scrubradio.com, and each show is archived right here.


Outlaw Radio: You’ve had some write-up from some pretty good sources. What do you think of all this attention your new album has been getting?

Leroy: I don’t know, I dig it man. I don’t write the songs just to sit there and sing them for my old lady and friends back in Reno. You know I write them because I want people to hear it, hear my story and what I think of the world, you know. And hopefully try to connect with people in some way. So yeah, I’m honored and extremely proud.

Outlaw Radio: It seems like the songwriting has gotten more intense and in depth from Scumbag Country to Old Highs and New Lows. Is there anyway to explain that at all, what happened in your life?

Leroy: Some of the songs on Old Highs are older than the songs on Scumbag. I’ve been writing country songs for so long, you have them stored away. I wrote “Hard Livin’ Man” when I was 19, and I wrote “Hank Williams Records’ when I was 21 and had recorded them prior, and yeah, I just didn’t like the recordings. So I wanted to put together all my best songs about a period in my life with a divorce, a heavy drug addiction, heavy drinking, and just a rough patch in my life. Old Highs is really looking back and saying “Man, I was really messing up.”

Leroy Virgil Hellbound GloryOutlaw Radio: Do you think you guys will ever kick it into the mainstream scene at all?

Leroy: I try not to think about it all that much man. Trying to write better songs all the time. My whole thing is I just want to write the best songs about my own life that I could possibly. So whether it sounds Nashville or anything like that, its just me. In terms of just the craft of songwriting, I don’t want to sound like anybody. I want to make my own sound, my own words, sing my own stuff. We get a lot of comparisons to Hank Williams III because of the lyrical content, but to be honest with you I’ve been writing about drugs and booze since I was 16 because drugs and booze have always taken a pretty big part of my life. Now that I’m older, I’m not trying to settle down, but there’s more to life than just being self destructive, and there’s more to life than writing about that sort of stuff. You know, trying to learn to think about things a little more deeply.

Outlaw Radio: You’ve got a kid on the way you told me yesterday so congratulations on that. What does your wife think about you being on the road and everything else.

Leroy: My wife is just the coolest woman. She’s a music fan. She’s a fellow lost soul like me. Any talk of quitting music she’s like “no fucking way.”

Outlaw Radio: This is a question I ask most first-time interviewees. What do you think of the state of so called country music right now?

Leroy: I think it’s all about the songs, I don’t care whose singing them so much. If its a good song its a good song. A lot of these Nashville hits that come out, if it was just some dude playing an acoustic guitar and singing in your living room you’d say “Man, that’s actually a pretty good song.” One thing I will say is, where’s the outsider, other than Jamey Johnson? Having said that Alan Jackson can bring me to tears man. He’s just a guy writing about his own life. That is what country music is supposed to be about.

Outlaw Radio: What on the horizon for Hellbound Glory?

Leroy: I’m writing all sorts of new stuff. For the Hellbound Glory thing, and stuff on my own, maybe a little bit more laid back. Hellbound Glory is gonna go in and start recording a new album. I’ve got so many songs just sitting around. We just don’t have the money to record all the songs basically. We’re limited by our funds. Because if we had the money we’d have a new album out about every six months.

Outlaw Radio: Is there any label interest in you guys?

Leroy: We’ve talked with a few labels and its not really panning out right now. Who knows if we want to go with a label?