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The Georgia Thunderbolts: Meet Your Next Favorite Southern Rock Band

The Georgia Thunderbolts: Meet Your Next Favorite Southern Rock Band

The Georgia Thunderbolts: Meet Your Next Favorite Southern Rock Band

In the long hot summer of 2020, The Georgia Thunderbolts has arrived and they will rock your world!  If you enjoy legendary groups such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Outlaws, expect to meet your next favorite band when encountering the spirited reveries of The Georgia Thunderbolts.  Certainly the next generation of truly inspiring Southern Rock and Roll, The Georgia Thunderbolt has just released their debut Self-Titled EP via Mascot RecordsHighwire Daze recently caught up with lead guitarist Riley Couzzourt to find out a whole lot more about this up-and coming-collective and their amazing new EP!  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in The Georgia Thunderbolts, and how long the band has been together. Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there?
I am Riley Couzzourt. I play lead guitar in the band The Georgia Thunderbolts. The band has been together almost six years. We are based out of Rome, Georgia, and the music scene is mostly southern rock, country and blues.

Select two songs from your Self-Titled EP and what inspired the lyrics.
The first song I am going to choose is So You Wanna Change The World. This song is one of the songs that will drop on August 21st and is a real ballad and anthem for the world today. The songs lyrics are about what the title says. I think the message in this song will bring positivity to all people, and they will really sink their mind into what TJ was looking to tell them in the song. Spirit of a Working Man is another one that will be released on the 21st. This song is for the working man! Hence the title. The song is about giving the shirt off your back to someone in need, and just flat out being humble! This song is not only for factory workers, mechanics or construction workers. Anyone can relate to this song who works for a living OR is just a humble, and genuine person.

Who produced the Self-Titled EP and what was it like working with them?
Our manager Richard Young and engineer David Barrick produced the EP. Dave owns Barrick Recording studio where the songs were cut, and Richard is the guitar picker and singer for The Kentucky Headhunters. It’s amazing to work with these two. The studio has this vibe that no other building I’ve ever walked into has. It has tons of vintage tube gear that Dave really knows how to use. Richard has been in the business for years and has so much experience. He knows exactly how to build a rock n’ roll song. I love working with those guys.

What has it been like to release music right in the middle of a pandemic and so much social unrest in the world?
Releasing music during this pandemic has really been fantastic for us. We haven’t played a show since February and it is great to be able to finally give something to our fans after all of these months. Our fans are very important to us. We are very grateful. Thanks to the new music we have gained new fans during these trying times.

What could one expect from a live The Georgia Thunderbolts show?
You can expect true, raw energy from us at a live show. As I mentioned, our fans are very important to us. If we’re not entertaining them, and giving them what they paid for, we’d be better of just to not show up and play at all. We give it our all. We try to touch everyone who sees us with our lyrics and music, we sweat, and we are REAL.

What was it like opening for Ace Frehley and did you get to meet or hang out with him or his band at all?
We didn’t get to meet Ace but we did get to meet his band who are great musicians and even better people. Opening for Ace was an especially exciting experience for me. I grew up listening to KISS on a cassette player in the floor of my grandmothers living room when I was a kid. When I first heard Ace’s guitar scream through the headphones it changed my life. To get to open for him twice, in Atlanta, Georgia and in Nashville, Tennessee was a mission accomplished.

Another very iconic band you opened for was the Outlaws. What was that experience like and did you get to meet them at all?
We did meet The Outlaws. They were very humble, cool dudes. It was an honor to open for one of the old school southern rock bands that influenced us.

If The Georgia Thunderbolts could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
We love to play so much we aren’t particular at all on who we play with. There are a ton of bands we love. We can’t wait to jam with Blackberry Smoke, in May of 2021. That is a blessing. I would like to open for Skynyrd, Zeppelin, Aerosmith, maybe even get together with some of the newer bands like Greta Van Fleet or Dirty Honey. That would be nice! I just can’t wait to get back to playing live.

What’s up next for The Georgia Thunderbolts?
Up next for The Georgia Thunderbolts is our self titled EP which is coming out on August 21st. Also we will be releasing a new single and video for our song So You Wanna Change the World on the same day. We are excited about our brand new logo and new merch for our fans. Right now we are spending time with family and friends, and looking forward to touring season! We have been fortunate to be signed by Mascot Records. They are such a great label for rock and blues music. Personally I cannot wait to get back to playing live. That is where we pour our heart out the most. We’ve had alot of great things happen for The Georgia Thunderbolts in the last few months. We are so grateful.

Any final words of wisdom?
If you have a dream of playing music or a dream of doing anything at all, don’t ever give up, keep your head up, and stomp the gas! I never would’ve thought as an eleven year old guitar player in my bedroom that I would be signed to a major record label at twenty-one. We have been blessed that’s for sure, and always remember “It ain’t about how fast you get there, it’s about what you make of the ride.

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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