Mad Maxx’s Hippie Holiday Bash #1 with Texas Hippie Coalition, Tempesta, Day of Tragedy and One Gun Solution
7 p.m. Friday
Samuari Sake House
3034 N. Portland
Some men are born for metal. They look the part, sound the part and, presumably, smell the part.
Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister is a perfect example of the prototypical metal front man. Following in that tradition is Richard Anderson, better known as Big Dad Ritch, lead singer of Texas Hippie Coalition. The band plays Friday’s Mad Maxx’s Hippie Holiday Bash at Samurai.
Anderson was raised on Southern rock and roots country, and now cuts an imposing figure more like the security guard at the door than the man behind the microphone. Unlike suburban metalheads across the country, he has his outlaw bona fides.
“When I was 2 years old, my dad got in trouble with the law in Texas, so he packed up the family and moved us all to Washington state,” Anderson said. “We hid up in the mountains for seven to nine years. I’ve had long hair for as far back as I can remember, as we were raised up in the mountains like hippies.”
The “Hippie” in his band’s name was a nod to his unusual upbringing, which did as much to form his musical identity as his eventual return to the Lone Star State and delving into the music of Stevie Ray Vaughn, ZZ Top and Pantera. The Coalition’s thick, chomping and aggressive sound is certainly heavier than his idol, Johnny Cash, but Anderson said he tries to inject an emotional complexity into the music that most people wouldn’t expect from metal.
“I always felt that Cash dug a little deeper into the darkness of a person than other songwriters did during that day,” Anderson said. “That’s what we try to do: to carry on that outlaw tradition. The only difference between us and Waylon and Willie is they were packing pistols and we’re packing rifles and shotguns.”
“Groupie Girl” is among the more nuanced tracks on their sophomore album, “Rollin’,” a ballad about the short-lived romance between a groupie and a musician passing through town while on tour. The song is flanked by much more aggressive numbers, yet avoids coming off as uneven.
“From one song to the next, you can tell they are on the same piece of property, but in very different parts of that property and miles apart,” Anderson said. “I think some people look at us and say, ‘That’s too heavy,’ and other people look at us as not heavy enough, and that’s where I want to be.”
He also works to avoid falling into the same “I hate my dad” groove common among many metal acts.
“As a parent myself, I know my success ratio isn’t 100 percent, and I don’t expect my parents were 100 percent, either, but I don’t go for this teenage angst of blaming everything on my parents,” Anderson said. “I’m very grateful that my parents were who they were, and that, at the young ages of 15 and 19, they decided to have a sonofabitch like me.” “Charles Martin