Nashville, Tennessee, musician Wes Woodward has a tough time categorizing the music created by his band Meridional Pyre, but he is very clear that it is most definitely not country music.
"I'd say it's best described as southern Gothic with black metal and folk influences," said Woodward, whom friends and bandmates call "Woody." "It's somewhat reminiscent of the literature of William Faulkner and Edgar Allan Poe."
Woodward added that he recently finished reading The Sound and the Fury, which provided some of the inspiration for Meridional Pyre's upcoming album, Agriculturally Resonant, which he describes as the band's most definitively indefinable work yet.
Like Meridional Pyre's previous eighteen albums, the new album incorporates many components of traditional country music, including steel guitar, fiddle, and three-quarter time, but it employs these elements in musically revolutionary ways.
"At first play, to a less seasoned listener, it may sound like country," said Woodward. "But it quickly becomes apparent that we're referencing those country sounds ironically - sort of a 'look how far we've come since then' concept."
Woodward admitted to occasionally growing frustrated when more naive fans seek to lump the music of Meridional Pyre in with that of groups like the Zac Brown Band - but he doesn't let the mis-categorization get him down. "It makes people feel safe to put things in boxes, even when they don't quite fit. I get it."
Want to check out the genre-busting, post-country-apocalyptic music of Meridional Pyre? You can find their latest album in all the usual online places, or, even better, catch them live at their weekly residency at Nashville metal/indie hot spot Roots, Boots & Spurs - and leave your musical "boxes" at home, because Meridonal Pyre will be shattering them with their poignant pedal steel. And remember, don't let the superficial similarities fool you - this is anything but country music.