Known as the matriarch of metal for her neo-Victorian shock rock, Granny 4 Barrel and her band of outlaw renegades represent the rebellious spirit of rock and roll and nonconformity. But when the time came to shoot a video for the band’s latest single, “She Likes Guns”, front man Terry LeRoi (Granny) decided to go one step further by enlisting the help of veteran adult entertainer and director, Stormy Daniels.
The acquisition of Daniels and her creative vision as director takes the groove-laden track, which already features tasty elements of metal, rock and an infectious hybrid of country/bluegrass, to an entirely new level. Together, LeRoi and Daniels have forged metal heaviness into a video of double-entendre sexiness and raw power.
I recently spoke with Terry LeRoi about the new Granny 4 Barrel video, “She Likes Guns”, working with Daniels, songwriting and much more in this new interview.
To those who may not be familiar, how would you describe the music of Granny 4 Barrel?
It’s a musical hybrid. I’ve always loved straight-up metal and when I was growing up my favorite bands were [Judas] Priest, [Iron] Maiden and [Black] Sabbath. But with this band, we started experimenting with bluegrass and classical violin sounds. We now have the best elements of guitar along with the additional sound of a violin. It’s fun playing around with an amalgam. We don’t lose any of the heaviness and it adds more elements to the sound.
Where do you draw inspiration for songwriting?
It can come from anything. It could be a lyrical idea, like a cool title for a song, or it could start out with just a riff. It’s never one particular way and it’s always evolving.
Can you give me the origin of the new single/video, “She Likes Guns”?
That one is an example of writing a song from a title. Originally, the title was “I Like Guns”, because I do [laughs]. But I didn’t like the way it sounded, so I started playing around with pronouns. Then I said wait a second. This is a shock-rock band, and this song sounds way cooler if “she” likes guns. It could be sexy, heavy and have double meaning. I went into the studio with producer, Jeff Tomei (Jerry Cantrell, Matchbox Twenty) who works out of Jesse James Dupree’s studio. Jeff and I, along with two other writers, Johnny Blade and Roman Glick, sat down with my chorus and started playing around with a groove. We found the tempo and I finished up the lyrics.
How did Stormy Daniels get involved in directing the video for “She Likes Guns”?
Once we had a “female perspective/women taking down bad guys” song, I started thinking about what we could do for a video. Jesse is friends with Stormy and suggested her. He told me she directs rock videos, so I called her up. She thought the song was cool and the two of us worked on the treatment for a few weeks and then did the video.
What was it like working with her on the video?
Whenever I work with professionals I always like to see how they handle a big crew and deal with people. It can be challenging when you’re trying to be creative and be the boss and get your artist’s vision across, but she handled it very well. She had everyone’s respect and was making things happen. I was very impressed.
What are Granny 4 Barrel’s tour plans like for the rest of the summer?
There’s going to be another run of dates in September when we’ll be working the next single. We have a new record that hasn’t been released yet but another single ready to go.
What can you tell me about the next single?
The next single is a song called “Nitro Sexy”. It’s powerful, fast and people love it when we’ve been playing it live. It’s got the best elements of metal and shredding. There’s some screaming high notes and my fiddle player is the featured lead player on it. Stormy and I have already started talking about shooting the video for it in early October.
You mentioned a new Granny 4 Barrel album. What can fans expect from it?
You can expect that hybrid sound along with a diversity of song topics. But make no mistake, you’re going to get that underlying heaviness. It’s classic metal mixed with the wackiness of Granny. Right now, I’m Terry, but when Granny takes over I have to start thinking, “Ok, what would a f#cked up, old woman write about?” [laughs]. What I will say is that Granny thought it would be a great idea to remake a Judas Priest song off British Steel for the new album.
Did you always know that music would be your calling?
Music is first and foremost in my life and doing Granny is so much fun. You’ve got all these crazy characters on stage: The Maestro on fiddle; The Butcher on guitar and The Judge on drums. Then you’ve got Granny, who’s this Normal Bates mom come to life. It’s good fun and kicks you in the ass at the same time.
What excites you the most about this next phase of your career?
I love all parts of being an entertainer and keep that at the forefront of my mind. It’s one thing to be a musician (and I certainly enjoy it), but entertaining and performing is what it’s all about. There’s a real energy the band puts out and receives back from people. But whether its songwriting, performing, touring or creating a video, I enjoy every facet of it.