So ZBB is back on the road. It feels great by the way. We just had a pretty good break. Probably the first break of that magnitude in 9 years or more. I had a chance to reflect over the break, which is something I’ve tried to do as much as I can since I got strapped to this rocket 9 years ago. It’s next to impossible to reflect when you only have a day or two off. It’s hard to digest what you’ve accomplished and in what direction you want to grow when you don’t have that time. You basically run your engine up the gears and keep it in overdrive with the pedal slammed to the floor and then put it in auto pilot, cross your fingers, and then try to do the best at all times and hopefully it all works out.
Over the break, I had a chance to kind of catch up to who I am now. What’s happened over the last 9 years has just been nuts. It’s very hard to have any kind of perspective that’s realistic. I’ve tried very hard to stay grounded with my family, my ol buddies, nature, music and creativity. But looking back, it’s just nuts at all the band has accomplished and all we’ve experienced. Awards, making music history, records, songs, stadiums, wives, love, lost, death, babies and so much more. If I had to describe in one word what I found while having this break and time to reflect, I’d say it’s “grateful”.
I recently read a Jason Isbell interview in GQ magazine. It was an article on Jason, Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson. The article had Chris penned as a long time Nashville songwriter turned overnight performer who caught a big break with the musicality and timing of his last album. Sturgill was kind of the ambiguous question mark artist who is trying to be truthful but unrevealing. Jason’s article seemed to have a core quality of gratefulness and sincerity. I’ve seen a few documentaries or interviews about some of my favorite musicians or artists. Some of the interviews are amazing and some are a total bummer. By far the most disappointing thing someone can say that you love as an artist is that “what they do is tough or hard on them.” It’s just not a flattering angle. I get it. I’m sure being successful can be really intense and stressful. But it sucks to hear someone you admire complain. I’m getting a little off point. But in the Jason Isbell interview, he said something along the lines of a lot of people don’t like what they do for a living and they kind of don’t have another option. He goes on to mention how he tries to wake up everyday and be grateful. I thought to myself that might be the coolest thing an artist you respect can say. I thought, how cool is that. How cool is it to hear him say that he’s grateful for it all. But it actually made me think about being grateful for the next month or so. What does it mean to be grateful? What does being grateful feel like in my life? I really enjoyed searching for the answers to those questions by the way.
I arrived at this place of simplicity. I’m just grateful. I’m grateful for my family, my wife and our health. I’m grateful to be in a band of brothers that I love so so so much. I’m grateful that this magical combination of dudes makes music that people like and moves them. I’m grateful this music is successful. I’m grateful that there are people who are interested in what I personally think and say and do creatively with the band and on my own. I’m grateful for being able to explore different avenues of my writing whether it be music or stories and it have an audience. I’m grateful for playing Fenway 3 sold out shows last year. I’m grateful for having a signature guitar coming out soon from a company that I’ve been playing since I was a kid. I’m grateful for having made music that won Grammys. I’m grateful for having played “Walk This Way” with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. I’m grateful that I make Dave Grohl laugh hard when we hang out and he’s my buddy. I’m grateful for Zac being one of the baddest ass creative forces on the planet and him being one of my all time favorite people and best friends. I’m grateful for you reading this now. Because if you weren’t reading it, you wouldn’t know I like being grateful. Boom! That’s heavy right there. So, I had a chance to breathe. I had a chance to look back. I had a chance to gaze forward. I had a chance to feel what it feels like to be Coy Bowles standing still and not on a plane, train or automobile moving from place to place. I had a chance to sleep in my bed.
So, know this. My name is Coy Bowles and I’m born and raised in Thomaston, Ga. I’ve busted my ass from the time my feet hit the ground as a baby trying to be something that made a difference. I love my family, my wife, my band, our fans, my life and you, too. I try as hard as I can to push myself. I try to create as much as I can. I try to grow on a daily basis. I’ve practiced my ass off and I still practice all the time. I wanna be better. I wanna be respected as one of the best. I wanna be badass. I am, above all things, grateful for this life. Amen.