The rock & roll lifestyle is all fun and games until the law gets involved. Just ask Quaker City Night Hawks, who detail a white-knuckle run in with the fuzz in the funky new jam “Suit in the Back,” the first song to be premiered from their next LP, QCNH.
Rattling along on a thick, thumping groove, “Suit in the Back” walks a swaggering walk but talks a slightly more cautious talk. “It’s about a band that’s on tour and gets pulled over, and there’s stuff in [the car] that they’re not supposed to have,” says Sam Anderson, one of Quaker City Night Hawks’ two guitarists and primary songwriters. “This is [supposed to be] the cool part about being an outlaw rock star, when it’s actually the most nerve-wracking thing in the world.”
Due to be released March 1st, QCNH drops three years on from the Texas quartet’s last release, El Astronauta, which was their first for Lightning Rod Records. As “Suit in the Back” suggests, the band is ready to embrace the “Funky Town” nickname of its home city, Fort Worth. “People have a very staunch idea of what they think is Texan, but a lot of times, if they’re not from there, they’re not really aware of all the other stuff that’s going on down there,” Anderson says. “It’s not just boots and cowboy hats.”
Not afraid to draw the connection to Lone Star legends ZZ Top — “Some of the funkiest music you could ever listen to,” according to Anderson — Quaker City Night Hawks cut the new album at Niles City Sound, the same Fort Worth Studio where Leon Bridges recorded his 2015 debut Coming Home. “It definitely dives into a lot jammier stuff than we’ve ever done before. There are some longer tracks that are going to be on the album and some stuff that kind of loses form for a little bit,” Anderson says of QCNH. But, he adds, “It’s still going to sound like Texas boys trying a new genre, no matter what we try.”
As for “Suit in the Back,” fans may need to wait till closer to the album release to know the true origins of the story. “Call me in January and I can tell you if it’s a real experience,” Anderson says with a laugh.
Quaker City Nights Hawks play Shepherds Bush Empire in London, England, tonight with Blackberry Smoke, with whom they’ll resume touring again in February.