Jason Isbell is known for his alternative-country music, open discussion of his progressive political views, and a response to the now-famous meme tweet about the 30-50 feral hogs.
So, when the Los Angeles Times interviewed the star, why wouldn’t they quiz Isbell on his thoughts about fellow country music stars? Isbell is not surprised by Zach Bryan’s rise to fame, but he is puzzled about Rich Men North Of Richmond sensation Oliver Anthony.
“Buddy, there’s a reason you just don’t jump in the fucking pool,” Isbell commented in the Los Angeles Times interview.
“There’s something there. But that’s the song you should have written when you were 16, and then, when you were 19, you should have rewritten it without the part about hating people on welfare. And then when you are 20, you throw the whole thing out and write another song.”
The line Isbell referenced is in the chorus when Anthony sang, “I wish politicians would look out for miners / And not just minors on an island somewhere / Lord, we got folks in the street, ain't got nothin' to eat / And the obese milkin' welfare.”
Oliver Anthony’s breakthrough single went viral in August, gaining over 28 million views in under two weeks and divided listeners across the US. Early in the song, he sings, “I've been sellin' my soul, workin' all day / Overtime hours for bullshit pay.”
While the song gained attention from political figures on the left and the right, Anthony stated that he stands at the “centre of the road” regarding politics.
In April, a new tell-all documentary about Isbell, Running With Our Eyes Closed, premiered on HBO. It arrived ahead of Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit’s latest album, Weathervanes, released in June.
“There is something about boundaries on this record,” Isbell revealed. “As you mature, you still attempt to keep the ability to love somebody fully and completely while you’re growing into an adult and learning how to love yourself.”