“You Got to Believe!”
T he Drunken Hearts, a Colorado-based Americana band, has been making a name for itself across the state as well as the nation over the last few years. Originally a creative outlet for lead singer and acoustic guitarist Andrew McConathy, the group has grown into an electric five-piece, writing music that is alternately feisty and sensitive, while at the same time always remaining honest and passionate. This month we had the opportunity to chat with McConathy about how the band came together, where they are headed, and, perhaps most importantly, what they are reveling in along the way.
Can you give us a little background on the band members?
I was born in Louisiana and moved to Colorado via Santa Fe, NM when I was in grade school. I started The Drunken Hearts up in Vail around 2010 and Cody, who is originally from Arkansas, joined in 2012. Jon, from New York, joined in 2013, and Alex, from Illinois, in 2014. We just recently brought Kory into the fold in January of 2017, who is also originally from Arkansas (Go Hogs!). It’s been an evolution from day-one, but this lineup is clicking.
Who are your greatest musical influences?
Our influences are pretty vast – everything from Led Zeppelin to Townes Van Zandt, The Band and Tom Petty to Pearl Jam, and most points in between.
What do you hope to convey with your music?
To a certain degree, our music is about conveying genuine, authentic truth; truth in the lyrics, truth in the melodies, truth in the song itself. I hope people believe in our songs and that they enhance their everyday experience on this crazy planet. As Kory often says into the mic at shows, “You got to believe!”
Your first full-length record, The Prize, comes out this spring — Can you tell us about the songs, the journey and any challenges faced while creating the album?
The band as a whole has had quite an evolution to it. What began as three friends who loved to ski and play bluegrass music has grown into this Americana Rock beast. It’s been invigorating but hasn’t come without some serious challenges. Founding member and drummer Ted Welles unexpectedly passed away in 2014 while we were trying to record what would become Love & Thirst. As a result, a lot of love and loss is reflected in that record. In comparison, our upcoming album, The Prize, was mostly written while we catapulted across the country, playing shows night after night, and just living in the moment. Overall, I’d say The Prize is about the journey and the chase – living in the moment without losing true sight of one’s vision.
How do The Drunken Hearts celebrate together?
The opportunity to travel the country and play music for a living is something that continues to blow our minds every day and is cause for celebration. We revel in the smiles on each face when we look into the audience every night, and we certainly celebrate life– maybe a little too much sometimes, if that’s possible!