Creed Fisher is a melting pot of influences. Since Halloween of 2019, Fisher has released an album of straightforward traditional country originals, an album of covers of the songs that influenced him growing up, and most recently, a heavy hitting rock album that debuted at number five on the iTunes rock albums chart.
Though 2020 has taken artists off the road, Fisher has no plans of slowing down in the studio. As his current single “I’m Growing Older but I’m Not Growing Up” climbs the charts in Texas, he already has a new album of country music slated for release in July, with plans for his next rock album not far behind it.
We chatted with Fisher about the validation his early career success gave him, his country and rock and roll influences that he injects into his music, staying active in the recording studio, the biggest thing he’s learned six years after releasing his debut album and more!
Pro Country: You wrote your first song at 9 and began playing shows at 12. How did that early interest in music translate into you wanting to pursue music as a career?
Creed Fisher: I was inspired by other artists that I was exposed to. I grew up in Waco, so just seeing other artists doing it lit a fire under me to want to do it myself.
PC: You earned a lot of streaming success out of the gate with your debut album Ain’t Scared to Bleed. Did having that level of success on your debut release give you a certain level of validation in yourself and in the music you were making?
CF: It was nice that it went viral and did well. I’m about eight albums into it now, so it was good to get things started out that way. A lot of people were exposed to my music. It kind of pulled back a bit with the follow-up, Rednecks Like Us, even though that’s been my most popular album to date. Over the years, there’s been a lot of ups and downs. It was good to get a viral video and get a lot of attention out of the gate.
PC: Were you feeling any level of pressure, internally or externally, to achieve a certain level of success with Rednecks Like Us after the success you had with Ain’t Scared to Bleed?
CF: Not really, because I was doing it on my own. I didn’t really put that pressure on myself, I was just trying to make an album that would sell. I just assumed that it would keep growing, and it didn’t work that way to be honest with you [laughs]. Ain’t Scare to Bleed blew up and I made quite a bit of money, and when Rednecks Like Us came out, I just assumed that it would follow suit, but it didn’t work that way, it took a little more time. It all worked out in the end, but it definitely didn’t work out like I thought it was going to [laughs].
PC: “If You Have a Right to Burn My Flag (Then I Have a Right to Kick Your Ass)” has not only become your signature song in your catalog so far, but also became a rallying cry in a strained political climate a few years ago. What was it like for you to watch that song take on a second life and reach people the way it did?
CF: It was really cool. Having had Ain’t Scared to Bleed go viral and hoping that Rednecks Like Us would do the same, it took a little more time, but it’s become my most streamed song to date. It was really nice to have success after kind of questioning if the stuff would keep selling and if I would keep doing well. Looking back, it’s turned out to be one of the best singles I’ve ever had out.
PC: Many of the up-tempo tracks from Life of a Workin’ Man fall closer to a honky tonk sound. Was that something that was done intentionally? How important is it for you to have that versatility in your sound?
CF: It wasn’t something that was done intentionally, it was just something that came naturally. I grew up around a lot of different influences. On my dad’s side, I was getting a lot of traditional country like Marty Robbins, Don Williams and Hank Jr. On my mom’s side, I was getting Ted Nugent and Black Sabbath, so I was exposed to a wide variety of music as a young person. I think all of that blended together and made me who I am. Luckily, I think I do rock pretty well, so I enjoy having the ability to not just be a country artist. I’m also a rock artist, so it’s pretty cool!
PC: Old School debuted at number three on the iTunes country chart. Can you talk about what seeing that level of support and what it means to you?
CF: That was huge. It was the moment where you realize that you’re right where you’re supposed to be. It was definitely a day where I really reflected on my whole career. Having a number three album as an independent artist with no publicist is very special. I’ll never forget that.
PC: What went into the decision to release “I’m Growing Older but I’m Not Growing Up” as the latest single from Old School?
CF: I rely a lot on my radio promoters. They’ve done a fabulous job of picking the right songs, and I trust them. We work together, but they do that for a living every day, so I put a lot of stock in their opinion, and it’s worked out well for me. The first single that we put out, they picked a really great song to be my first single to Texas radio. It went up to number 27, so it’s kind of been the plan from the beginning. We sat down and talked quite extensively about a three-song plan. Usually you can get through two of those songs without anything changing, and that’s what’s happening so far. It’s worked pretty well.
PC: “I’m Growing Old but I’m Not Growing Up” has a humorous, tongue-in-cheek message about maturity and “growing up.” Can you talk about the inspiration behind the song?
CF: It comes kind of from my Waylon influence. I was listening to a lot of Whitey Morgan at the time, and Whitey has a line in one of his songs that says “I’m growing older but I’m not growing up,” and I said that would be a great song. I kind of wrote that song for my mom. My mom and I are close, she always asks me when I’m going to grow up. I’m 45 years old and we laugh about it, so I told her now that I wrote the song for her, so she doesn’t have to ask me anymore, she can just go listen to it [laughs].
PC: You released Outlaw Influence Vol. 1 a little more than two months ago, which was full of classic favorites and released just a few months after Old School. What drew you to record an album in that way, and what went into the song selection process?
CF: I put out a lot of music; I’m trying to hit it from a lot of different angles. Things have changed, and I’m just watching what other artists are doing. It was something that I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to do. I grew up on a lot of those old Merle Haggard tribute albums to Jimmie Rodgers, and some of those recordings are really close to my heart. When I got a chance and when it was the right time in my career to do it, it was a no-brainer for me. I didn’t want to just do a cover album, I wanted to do a cover album and slay it. I wanted to do the music justice. I think we did, and I think that’s why it’s been successful.
PC: You released your newest album The Wild Ones this week, which features a much more southern-rocking sound. How important was it for you to keep in touch with your rock roots that you mentioned your mother had instilled in you?
CF: It’s a whole part of my music that I love doing. That album was done with my band that I tour with. We do it all; we do everything from southern rock to traditional, steel guitar country. It was a lot of fun making that album. It was some of the most fun I’ve ever had recording an album. I got to explore things and I was challenged in ways that I hadn’t really been challenged before. I learned a lot of things that really came out well on the album vocally. I’m really proud of that album. I think that album’s a gem.
PC: What can listeners expect from The Wild Ones and what do you hope they take away from it?
CF: It’s very intense. You will definitely want to set the speedometer control on your car when you pop it in [laughs]. It’s really energetic. There’s three covers on it; I haven’t really done many covers in my career, but they were songs that I really bought into and “felt.” It’s a mix of that, there’s even one waltz on the album, which is kind of crazy. It’s a very unique album. I think it’s one that’s going to stand the test of time .
PC: With The Wild Ones comes six years after Ain’t Scared to Bleed. What have you learned over that time period that you’ve been able to use with the new music you’re making?
CF: Just to keep getting better as a writer. Keep doing your research and networking. You never know it all; you can always learn more about your craft. To me, that’s the thing I’m most proud of. As my career has gone forward, my albums have continuously gotten better. That’s something that I’m really proud of, and I hope it continues that way.
PC: 2020 has thrown a wrench into the plans of artists so far. Of the things you can control, what are your plans for the rest of the year along with the release of The Wild Ones?
CF: I’ve got a new country album coming out on my birthday, July 23rd. It’s 12 new original songs. There’s a lot of things in the works as far as hopefully getting back to playing later in the year. I’m always in the studio recording. I did a single called “Be the Hope” that was just released. The video is up on my YouTube channel now. We’re doing a project for a campaign with the City of Arlington, Texas called “Be the Hope.” It’s growing every day, and more cities are coming on board to come together and promote the song and movement. That’s been a really big thing and I’ve been doing here lately. We’ve got a song called “Fairies Wear Boots”, which is a cover of a Black Sabbath song, out now, which will be on my next rock album. I’m just staying busy.
PC: What has it meant for you to be a part of the “Be the Hope” campaign and to see how it is being embraced?
CF: It’s been crazy just to see how far it’s gone. To see it on the news in Dallas/Fort Worth, which is a really big market, has been amazing. To see people embracing it and how amazing it came out has been great. Most people just start crying [laughs]. As a songwriter, there’s no better compliment than somebody sobbing. It means you did your job.
*Images courtesy of Creed Fisher Facebook Page*