Pretty Little Poison

Pretty Little Poison

Warren Zeiders is the latest in a growing contingent of emerging country artists, mostly men, who eschew the pop and hip-hop influences so prevalent on country radio in favor of traditionally informed, often vulnerable music. On his debut, Zeiders crafts a wide lane that lets him explore different facets of his artistry, pairing faith-informed heartbreak songs like “Love’s a Leavin’” with the brooding grit of “God Only Knows” and the anthemic power balladry of the LP’s title track. Other highlights include the aching “Inside Your Head,” originally written by Chris Stapleton, and “Pittsburgh Steel,” a co-write with Randy Montana and Joe Fox that nods to Zeiders’ Pennsylvania roots. “Everyone always asks this question in interviews: ‘What'd you grow up on?’” Zeiders tells Apple Music. “Country music, rock ’n’ roll, and Christian music were probably the three dominant. But I'm a Justin Bieber fan. I love all genres of music. I'm just a lover of a good song. Something that touches your soul, something that makes you move.” Below, Zeiders shares insight into a few key tracks. “Pretty Little Poison” “You look at me, I'm all dressed in black, and you see the guy onstage and you think, ‘Oh, holy crap. This guy may seem intimidating.’ But at the end of the day, I'm actually a lover. I'm a teddy bear for the right people. So, I think, for me, that I am a lover and I put myself in situations where I tend to have gotten hurt along the way, and that's okay. And so the overall arching theme [of the track], I say, is the faceless cowgirl [in the music video], or the faceless cowgirls, whether it's my story to tell or it's stories that I've heard from friends who've gone through relationships and stuff too.” “Inside Your Head” “There are bits and pieces of the song that I could connect to. Like I said, I'm a words-of-affirmation guy, so I do want to know what's going on inside your head. I want to hear words. I want to hear what you're feeling and what emotions [you’re feeling]. But yes, I think it is a full-circle moment for me when it comes to the Chris Stapleton [connection]. I think his music is so pure. And I just think that he's himself in his own realm, and he's absolutely amazing. So, I think, too, when I'm looking for outside songs, what could make sense for this overall arching theme of all these songs on this album about girls? And ‘Inside Your Head’ was the only one that really stood out to me. And I'm always up for a challenge.” “Pittsburgh Steel” “Being from Pennsylvania, I think, Randy [Montana] and I and Joe [Fox], we were beating around the bush and stuff, and talking about what we wanted to write and approach that day. I wanted to write about a lady and what was in my heart. I can't take credit for it. Shout-out to Randy. Randy came up with the whole ‘Pittsburgh Steel’ concept, which is absolutely genius. He's a great writer, and he's got quite a few tracks on this album. But, yeah, I played that one time live, and that was last fall already at Pittsburgh. And Pittsburgh went nuts for it.”

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