PROFILE. They may not make rock bands like they used to anymore, but then how do you explain Girls Guns and Glory? A group that seems to have arrived fully formed from some bygone epoch of country rock, the young Boston band’s Americana sound is rich with a maturity that is well beyond the reach of their years and the breadth of their experience. It’s a quality that a dusty, well-worn song like “Temptation” from their most recent release “Inverted Valentine” trumpets instantly in its opening salvo of mariachi horns and singer Ward Hayden’s golden honey and biting whiskey croon.
The latter is GGG’s not-so-secret weapon.
“I’ve got a lot of natural cracks and breaks to my voice,” says Hayden. “Most mornings I sound like a teenager until I’ve been awake for an hour.”
He says he used that cracky voice in his high school choir, where it was not as an appropriate a place for it as rock ‘n’ roll.
“They used to try to train me out of it, but breaking into my falsetto is just how my voice wants to flow,” he says. “I used to always think I’d be better suited for singing country music, but it wasn’t until my early twenties that country and Americana music really caught my ear. Since then I just fell in love with the sound. It’s how I hear the music and it’s much easier for me to sing with a twang and falsetto kind of style.”
Something about that singing style, not to mention the band’s backwoods roadhouse thump, caught the attention of label Lonesome Day Records out of Kentucky.
“Their founder happened to be in the audience at one of our gigs in Lexington, Kentucky,” says Hayden of the fortuitous meeting. “He approached us after the show, wanting to talk further. Long story short, he got in touch with our manager and after a few months of talking back and forth, they seemed like the right label for us at this time.”
Lonesome Day has plans to re-release “Inverted Valentine” early next year with national distribution. Soon thereafter the band begins work on the next album.
In the meantime, their increasingly busy touring schedule continues to ramp up with high profile dates like the Warren Hayes Christmas Jam in North Carolina alongside acts like Steve Earl, Gov’t Mule and the Allman Brothers Band. So far, the touring has been a series high with a few lows tossed in to keep things interesting, says Hayden.
“The increased touring has definitely helped make the band a lot tighter. When you’re on the road playing every night, sometimes doing two to three sets, it really gets you on the same musical page as the other guys in the band,” he says. “But, some of the drawbacks are that every now and again you find yourself in a small van with four guys that want to strangle each other over something silly, like ‘who has better sleeping arrangements’ or ‘who threw up in the van and won’t claim it?’ The latter only happened once, but the mystery is still unsolved.”
At this rate it won’t be long before they’ve achieved every band’s real dream: having someone on staff to clean up the throw up for them.