Credit: Jimmy Fontaine

When Rival Sons lead vocalist Jay Buchanan and guitarist Scott Holiday first started writing the band’s new album Feral Roots, they took a trip to a place that could certainly be described as feral: a remote shack deep in the woods of south Tennessee.

“It just looks like a place where the mob would dump a body or something,” Holiday tells ABC Radio. “The lakes are sitting against this beautiful mountain range…[it was] kinda creepy, super majestic on the other hand, too.”

It was there in those back woods that the pair started to write what would become the Feral Roots lead single “Do Your Worst,” which started with a riff that Holiday came up with.

“[I] had the idea to [say], ‘Hey man, let’s set the amps and set everything out on the porch,’” Buchanan remembers. “So we cranked the amps and had that sound with that riff, this really dirty, menacing tone, going out over the water, over the entire holler.”

While that riff was echoing throughout the woods, Buchanan took a solitary walk until he was struck by what the song should be about.

“The song needed to be me, the devil, and then a woman between us,” he says.

“Do Your Worst” currently sits at number eight on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Songs chart, giving Rival Sons their first top-10 single.

“That’s a big win for us,” Buchanan says. “People say, like, ‘What’s the big deal? You know, artistically, charts don’t matter, man,’ and all of that. Like, ‘No, yes they do.’”

“The charts mean you’re being listened to,” Holiday adds.

Feral Roots will be released this Friday.

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