10 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though he’s played on over 20 albums in his lengthy career—most prominently as lead guitarist and backing vocalist for the platinum alt-metal group Sevendust—Clint Lowery hasn’t recorded a proper solo album until now. Featuring hard-charging songs about relationships, the road to sobriety, and finding solace in a higher power, God Bless the Renegades sees the veteran Southern songwriter stepping out on his own—with help from his friend Wolfgang Van Halen on drums and bass. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, but actually finding the window of time and being in a good place mentally to do it took a while,” Lowery tells Apple Music. “I was able to scratch a couple of itches creatively that I wasn’t able to do in Sevendust, so it means a lot to me.” Here he talks through each song on his solo debut.

God Bless the Renegades
“I was watching social media, seeing people do the same things and [thinking about] the redundancy of it and that sheep mentality we all get. We all start following the same things and we all start saying the same things, and it feels kind of programmed. So when you see someone doing something a little different, it’s just such a refreshing and inspiring thing. It really provokes change and growth. So ‘God Bless the Renegades’ is just me saying thank you to the people that do something out of the norm to make us stay on our toes and grow as people.”

Here
“‘Here’ is my love song to my wife. It’s pretty much just talking about how there is no limitation to what I'll do—I’ll follow her regardless of whatever she does. Without trying to make it corny, it’s just a different way of doing it—instead of making it a ballad, it’s more of an upbeat song, because it’s got this disco beat. It’s got this quirkiness to it that I really like. Some of the things I say in the song, I actually say to her in real life. But it’s basically me talking about how I’m going to be there with her, no matter what.”

Kings
“Lyrically, this song is me talking about getting sober and getting through this really turbulent part of my life—my professional life, my personal life—and just kind of getting on the other side of it. And being thankful for all the things that happened that carved me into who I am today, and being sober for over 12 years. I’m saying I’ve been through hell but now I’m here. The line ‘We’re dying at the bottom, but we lived like kings’ is basically saying I’m going to die humble but we did have fun while I was being a crazy lunatic out on tour.”

Alive
“This is another sobriety-based song. It’s pretty much the story of my journey with Sevendust or any of the other bands that I’ve ever been in. It’s basically talking about surviving that lifestyle, surviving the temptation of that environment. If you have any issues with anything, they're going to be pulled out, they're going to be exposed. You get put around these people day in, day out, for years and years. And it’s basically just a story about how we got through it and how we get through it, and how we got close to death a few times, but how we really do want to push through together.”

What’s the Matter
“‘What’s the Matter’ is about how shallow we can get. Through the verses, I’m basically calling everybody out—including myself—about how superficial we can be. And the chorus is a plea saying that I want to see something of substance. I want to see some true, direct conversations. There’s a part of it that’s talking about how we’re fascinated with trauma and drama—when those things happen, we’re drawn to it. So it’s about calling out our defects and what we’re attracted to when we really should be attracted to positive things.”

You Go First
“This song is kind of a jab. I don’t want to call any names, but it’s about a particular person I’d worked with in the music business, and how difficult it was to navigate such narcissistic behavior—and how volatile and passive-aggressive it can be. It’s the story of the ins and outs of that relationship and realizing this person is never gonna care about anything besides himself, so it’s better to just walk away, because it’s never going to change.”

Allowed to Run
“This is telling people, especially young people, that if they have a bad situation they’re in—it can be mental, it can be depression, it can be a lot of things—that they’re allowed to step back and not be imprisoned by whatever the trauma is. They have a choice to make. Take action against it—either by leaving or working on themselves. It’s basically me trying to give that exit plan to someone and say, ‘You’re able to get out of this if you really want to.’”

Silver Lining
“This is one of my favorite songs on the record, and—again—it’s a relationship song. But it’s not really about a man or a woman or any particular type of relationship. It’s more about wanting so badly and desperately to be a priority in someone’s life and to be someone’s silver lining, and how we kind of fight that a lot of times when we’re in a relationship. You put other things in front of these people that we really should be caring for and giving all our attention to. And it happens a lot with all types of relationships. So ‘Silver Lining’ is just screaming from a mountaintop, ‘Let me be the most important thing in your life and I’ll do right by you.’”

She’s Free
“‘She's Free’ is about my daughter. Even at a very early age—she’s seven—she can be a very defiant one, which I think is a characteristic that will serve her well in life. Like the song about my wife, ‘She’s Free’ is pretty much about me going to that next level as far as what I would do for her. If she was a criminal, I would be there. If she caused a disaster, I would be there. If she does something amazing in her life or she does something good, I'm going to be there. And it’s also about being fearful of the fact that I see a lot of myself in her and I want to tell her, ‘No, you don’t want to do that. It doesn’t work. I’ve tried it.’ But she’s free to do whatever she wants either way.”

Do We Fear God
“I intentionally put this song at the end because it’s the most positive-sounding song on the album. It’s kind of like the light at the end of the tunnel, musically. I don’t want to go as far as saying it’s Christian rock, but it’s about my relationship with God. But it doesn’t have to be God—it can be anything greater than ourselves. It’s more about believing there’s some bigger thing. It’s about the journey I’ve had and these conversations I have with God where I want to dip my toe into his world but I’m not ready to surrender my lifestyle. The song is basically asking, ‘Why are we so afraid of just surrendering?’”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though he’s played on over 20 albums in his lengthy career—most prominently as lead guitarist and backing vocalist for the platinum alt-metal group Sevendust—Clint Lowery hasn’t recorded a proper solo album until now. Featuring hard-charging songs about relationships, the road to sobriety, and finding solace in a higher power, God Bless the Renegades sees the veteran Southern songwriter stepping out on his own—with help from his friend Wolfgang Van Halen on drums and bass. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, but actually finding the window of time and being in a good place mentally to do it took a while,” Lowery tells Apple Music. “I was able to scratch a couple of itches creatively that I wasn’t able to do in Sevendust, so it means a lot to me.” Here he talks through each song on his solo debut.

God Bless the Renegades
“I was watching social media, seeing people do the same things and [thinking about] the redundancy of it and that sheep mentality we all get. We all start following the same things and we all start saying the same things, and it feels kind of programmed. So when you see someone doing something a little different, it’s just such a refreshing and inspiring thing. It really provokes change and growth. So ‘God Bless the Renegades’ is just me saying thank you to the people that do something out of the norm to make us stay on our toes and grow as people.”

Here
“‘Here’ is my love song to my wife. It’s pretty much just talking about how there is no limitation to what I'll do—I’ll follow her regardless of whatever she does. Without trying to make it corny, it’s just a different way of doing it—instead of making it a ballad, it’s more of an upbeat song, because it’s got this disco beat. It’s got this quirkiness to it that I really like. Some of the things I say in the song, I actually say to her in real life. But it’s basically me talking about how I’m going to be there with her, no matter what.”

Kings
“Lyrically, this song is me talking about getting sober and getting through this really turbulent part of my life—my professional life, my personal life—and just kind of getting on the other side of it. And being thankful for all the things that happened that carved me into who I am today, and being sober for over 12 years. I’m saying I’ve been through hell but now I’m here. The line ‘We’re dying at the bottom, but we lived like kings’ is basically saying I’m going to die humble but we did have fun while I was being a crazy lunatic out on tour.”

Alive
“This is another sobriety-based song. It’s pretty much the story of my journey with Sevendust or any of the other bands that I’ve ever been in. It’s basically talking about surviving that lifestyle, surviving the temptation of that environment. If you have any issues with anything, they're going to be pulled out, they're going to be exposed. You get put around these people day in, day out, for years and years. And it’s basically just a story about how we got through it and how we get through it, and how we got close to death a few times, but how we really do want to push through together.”

What’s the Matter
“‘What’s the Matter’ is about how shallow we can get. Through the verses, I’m basically calling everybody out—including myself—about how superficial we can be. And the chorus is a plea saying that I want to see something of substance. I want to see some true, direct conversations. There’s a part of it that’s talking about how we’re fascinated with trauma and drama—when those things happen, we’re drawn to it. So it’s about calling out our defects and what we’re attracted to when we really should be attracted to positive things.”

You Go First
“This song is kind of a jab. I don’t want to call any names, but it’s about a particular person I’d worked with in the music business, and how difficult it was to navigate such narcissistic behavior—and how volatile and passive-aggressive it can be. It’s the story of the ins and outs of that relationship and realizing this person is never gonna care about anything besides himself, so it’s better to just walk away, because it’s never going to change.”

Allowed to Run
“This is telling people, especially young people, that if they have a bad situation they’re in—it can be mental, it can be depression, it can be a lot of things—that they’re allowed to step back and not be imprisoned by whatever the trauma is. They have a choice to make. Take action against it—either by leaving or working on themselves. It’s basically me trying to give that exit plan to someone and say, ‘You’re able to get out of this if you really want to.’”

Silver Lining
“This is one of my favorite songs on the record, and—again—it’s a relationship song. But it’s not really about a man or a woman or any particular type of relationship. It’s more about wanting so badly and desperately to be a priority in someone’s life and to be someone’s silver lining, and how we kind of fight that a lot of times when we’re in a relationship. You put other things in front of these people that we really should be caring for and giving all our attention to. And it happens a lot with all types of relationships. So ‘Silver Lining’ is just screaming from a mountaintop, ‘Let me be the most important thing in your life and I’ll do right by you.’”

She’s Free
“‘She's Free’ is about my daughter. Even at a very early age—she’s seven—she can be a very defiant one, which I think is a characteristic that will serve her well in life. Like the song about my wife, ‘She’s Free’ is pretty much about me going to that next level as far as what I would do for her. If she was a criminal, I would be there. If she caused a disaster, I would be there. If she does something amazing in her life or she does something good, I'm going to be there. And it’s also about being fearful of the fact that I see a lot of myself in her and I want to tell her, ‘No, you don’t want to do that. It doesn’t work. I’ve tried it.’ But she’s free to do whatever she wants either way.”

Do We Fear God
“I intentionally put this song at the end because it’s the most positive-sounding song on the album. It’s kind of like the light at the end of the tunnel, musically. I don’t want to go as far as saying it’s Christian rock, but it’s about my relationship with God. But it doesn’t have to be God—it can be anything greater than ourselves. It’s more about believing there’s some bigger thing. It’s about the journey I’ve had and these conversations I have with God where I want to dip my toe into his world but I’m not ready to surrender my lifestyle. The song is basically asking, ‘Why are we so afraid of just surrendering?’”

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