Alex Williams’ new LP Better Than Myself was already a stripped-down slice of Seventies country when it was released in August. Now the Indiana-born artist has stripped it down even further for an acoustic version of “Pay No Mind” that he recorded for the new Bud Light Basement acoustic performance series.
One of the most contrarian songs on an album chock full of them, “Pay No Mind” is a tattooed middle finger to those who would tell Williams how to think. “The only place I’m registered to vote is an inebriated state,” he quips in the opening verse, delivering a kiss off to everyone from advertisers to televangelists. Shot by Hustle Media at Starstruck Content Studio in Nashville, the acoustic version makes for a surprisingly good fit as a would-be coffee house tune, cuss words and all.
As Williams tells Rolling Stone Country, however, his indifference shouldn’t be mistaken for apathy. “Every time I was playing all these shows, whether I was with the band or not, I’d be driving along the interstate and seeing all these ‘Fear Jesus’ and ‘Hell Is Real’ signs. I saw like 40 to 50 of those in 20 miles once,” he says. “All these signs and billboards, all this marketing and all this corporate shit that tries to push you in one direction and act like that’s the only way to go? Pay no mind to that. You are your own person.”
The “Pay No Mind” video is the first installment in the new Bud Light Basement series, with more performers to be revealed. Williams’ next show is at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville, Indiana, before he heads out on a two-month run with Blackberry Smoke and Aaron Lewis.