It’s something to behold when an act has its finger directly on the pulse of its listeners and provides them with exactly what they are craving at the time. The last two years have shown that Kin Faux have mastered that trade, as the Texas quartet are riding high on a number one single and another single that entered the top three.
The band is continuing to ride their hot hand with a new single heading to radio, “Wild Horses,” featuring hitmaker Terry McBride on duet vocals. An infectious opening fiddle lick immediately commands attention as the band offers a tune sure to pack dancehall floors for some time to come.
We chatted with the band all about “Wild Horses,” as well as their successes over the last two years, hitting the road hard, their plans for 2022 and more!
Pro Country: The title track to your newest EP, Honky Tonk in Heaven, was released in October of 2020. Why did you feel it was the right lead single and title track for its EP?
Kin Faux: Since the beginning, that song has always been a solid, strong song that resonates well with our audience. We had been getting ourselves established with our first two singles, “Teardrops on the Rocks” and “Locked Up in Lubbock,” and we felt we needed our next single to be our breakout single. “Honky Tonk in Heaven” always felt like it had that potential.
PC: “Honky Tonk in Heaven” earned you your first number one single in Texas and has earned over 260,000 streams since its release. What has the ride that song has given you meant to you as a band? What do you think it is about the song that struck a chord with listeners?
KF: The day we found out that single hit number one, it was truly surreal, but also very validating to us. We’ve taken a lot of huge risks and sacrificed so much to try and make this band into what we envision, and to have that kind of response throughout Texas has really been encouraging, and we are extremely grateful to our fans for all their support. As far as what strikes a chord with listeners, everyone knows Heaven has a great band, and I think we would all rest a bit easier knowing there’s a place for that band to play.
PC: The second single from Honky Tonk in Heaven, “Plainview,” was originally recorded and released on your 2018 self-titled EP. What went into the decision to revisit and re-record the song to include it on Honky Tonk in Heaven?
KF: “Plainview” has always been a fan favorite ever since we first started playing it live, and we always felt that it would work well as a single, but after endless discussion with our team, we decided to go with some of our more upbeat songs for our first singles in order to establish ourselves. It was tough to hold off on it, but we felt the timing was right to release it when we did to show a little of our serious side. We re-recorded it at Sony Tree Studios in Nashville in order to showcase some of the changes that a living, growing song always undergoes during its life. We felt the newer version was more representative of how that song has developed.
PC: “Plainview” also became a top three single. Was it at all validating to double down with another high-charting single as you continue to establish yourselves as one of the premiere groups in Texas?
KF: Absolutely, but we are fortunate enough to have a fantastic fan base and great support from Texas radio, so this is really much more of an overall team effort to get that single to where it was. It is good to know that “Honky Tonk in Heaven” wasn’t just a fluke though.
PC: Why did you feel that your newest single, “Wild Horses” was the right follow up single to “Plainview”?
KF: We felt we needed an upbeat single to follow “Plainview” up with, and “Wild Horses” has also been a fan-favorite since we started playing it live. The fact that we were able to get Terry McBride to do a duet with us on it definitely made the decision that much easier.
PC: “Wild Horses” was written by both Terry McBride and Jim Beavers. How did you come across the song and what drew you to record it?
KF: As we mentioned earlier, we are incredibly lucky to have some of the people in our corner that we do, and Jim Beavers is one of those people. We were extremely fortunate to meet him in Nashville and co-write with him and his brother a few times, and he produced the album as well. He sent us “Wild Horses” to see if we might be interested in doing it, and we loved it. We played it a few times live and got some really positive feedback, so we decided it would be a good track to cut for the album.
PC: Terry McBride also sings a duet vocal on “Wild Horses.” How special was it for you to have one of the premiere 90s/Texas country artists and songwriters on the track?
KF: That was an amazing experience, and yet another wonderful aspect of working with Jim. While we were in the studio to cut it, Jim called Terry and asked him if he wanted to hear what we had done with it, so he came down to check it out. It was incredible just to meet him, let alone hang out in the studio with him and record one of his songs, but when he agreed to do the duet vocal, we couldn’t believe what was happening. We’ve been lucky enough to have opened for McBride and the Ride since then, and Terry even came to Texas to be in the upcoming video for “Wild Horses” as well. He has become a great friend and supporter to us. What an amazing, humble guy.
PC: What do you hope listeners take away from the Honky Tonk in Heaven EP after listening all the way through?
KF: We hope the same thing we hope for every show: that people enjoy what they hear, enjoy what we’re doing, and that we can put some smiles on some faces. It’s really all any band could ask for.
PC: You were nominated for Entertainer of the Year, Band of the Year (which you won), Album of the Year and Single of the Year (for “Honky Tonk in Heaven) by the TCMA in 2021. As you reflect on the year, how big of a year was 2021 for yourselves as a band, and how encouraging was it to be nominated for each of those categories amongst your musical peers?
KF: 2020 was a hard year for everyone in the industry, to be sure. Fortunately, we were able to stay productive and creative during the shutdown, and were able to hit the ground running once things started opening back up. We’ve always felt that the strength of this band is in our drive, commitment, level of focus and our work ethic. One of the greatest things about the Texas music scene is the level of support that independent, original acts get from fans, radio and organizations like the TCMA, so it was truly an honor just to be considered for any of those awards, and incredibly humbling and gratifying to be recognized for what we do by the music community at large. Looking at some of the other acts that were nominated in the same categories, it’s still hard to believe that we are being considered on the same level as many of them. Looking back, 2021 has been a fantastic year for Kin Faux. We’ve reached a lot of goals that we’ve set for ourselves, surpassed a few, and are ready to push forward into 2022.
PC: You are known to hit it quite heavily on the road and have developed a solid fanbase in Texas and beyond at your live shows. How important has the performance aspect of your artistry been to you and what do you like most about it?
KF: Again, we are so grateful to our fanbase and so lucky to have such avid supporters. The energy at our live performances is circular, we feed off of the crowd just as much as they feed off of us, so the live shows really are just as much of a testament to the audience as they are to anything we do on stage. With that being said, being a part of that energy dynamic is a feeling you just can’t get anywhere else, and it’s what keeps us going.
PC: Of the things you can control, what are your plans for 2022?
KF: We’re set to release the music video for “Wild Horses” in February, and we recently spent some time at the Sound Emporium studio in Nashville, once again with Jim Beavers at the helm, working on some new music for the next release. For 2022, we just hope to be able to continue on the momentum we’ve built up in 2021 and keep pushing forward. Thanks for your time, and see y’all on the road!
*Kin Faux are featured on The Best of Pro Country playlist!*