Coming off a whirlwind trip to the South By Southwest Music Festival and months of hard touring, Welles returned to Q104.3 New York's "Out of the Box" with Jonathan Clarke to preview his upcoming full-length album, Red Trees and White Trashes, due June 15 via 300 Entertainment.
The Arkansas-born and raised Welles has turned plenty of heads over the last couple of years with his gritty riffs, unpretentious-yet-poetic lyrics and Cobain-like vocals. Red Trees and White Trashes follows the songwriter's raw and rocking Codeine EP from last year.
If rock fans see both the genre's past and future in Welles' song craft and gripping live shows, it's because he grew up with all the right records. Welles became a Beatles acolyte at age seven thanks to a Sgt. Pepper's cassette given to him by his grandfather, and he used to tape songs he heard on the radio so he could learn them.
In his previous visit to Q104.3, Welles' recalled how he wrote much of the songs for his debut at a communal artist compound in Arkansas. In his recent visit with dozens more shows under his belt, he described to Clarke how he's learned that he needs to remove distractions of road life to write songs.
"I hardly attempt it," Welles said of writing on tour. "You've got other stuff to worry about."
Welles' use it or lose it approach to songwriting is part of the visceral, honest appeal of Codeine and the upcoming Red Trees and White Trashes full-length. He says he sometimes records riffs to his phone, but if he can't craft something around them quickly, they don't get used.
"I also know that I'll listen to that same riff in four days and think it's trash."
Check out the full interview and Welles' solo acoustic performance of "Life Like Mine" above.
Get all Welles' tour dates here.
Check out the music video below for Welles' first single, "Seventeen."