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Q&A: Needtobreathe’s Bear Rinehart on golf, music and the time Scottie Scheffler cried at show

“Drive All Night” is not a golf song, says Bear Rinehart, but that doesn’t mean the Needtobreathe frontman isn’t currently obsessed with the game.

While on tour promoting the band’s latest album, CAVES, Rinehart took some time to talk some golf, music and his hole-in-one songs (and a shank), parenting, slumps, faith and even the time Scottie Scheffler cried at one of the band’s shows.

Here is the full interview:

BRENTLEY ROMINE: Now, you guys are currently touring, had an album that came out recently called “CAVES.” Going on a World Tour here pretty soon. How much golf is being played on these tours for you?

BEAR RINEHART: Yeah, I mean, it’s been, it’s been good actually. This is – we’re on the second leg of it right now, doing all the amphitheater and everything, and we’re probably two or three times a week right now. So, that’s really good for me. You know, you can get kind of carried away on the tour, and it becomes tough, you know, weather wise or whatever, but we’ve had, had a run of luck. So, we’ve been playing a lot now.

ROMINE: That’s a lot more golf than I’m playing as a father of a 2-year-old right now. So, we all hate so slow play. Has a golf round ever gone up very close to a show?

RINEHART: Yeah, a couple of times I’ve pushed it. We play Red Rocks, you know, every couple of years … and Castle Pines is always a place that I like to get out and try to play. And a couple of times I’ve played on the day of the show and it’s like you’re on hole 12. It’s like maybe I can get one more in, you know, that kind of thing. And then it’s a little bit of a drive from there to Red Rocks. So, that’s happened to me a couple of times, but I try not to cut it too crazy. I walked one day. I remember we played Atlanta, and I walked Peachtree, and it was about 100 degrees outside and that kind of thing. So it wasn’t that I got rushed. It was that I was dead tired by the time I got to the stage. So, we pushed it for a little bit.

ROMINE: Fans are wondering why you’re wearing a Titleist hat up there (laughter). So, I saw you played TPC Sawgrass recently? Any highlights?

RINEHART: Well, it was cool for me because it was the second time I went down with some guys and played, and I hadn’t been playing a lot and I just played horrible. I had a really – it was a great course, obviously, but I had a bad experience. So this time I got a little second chance at it, play a little bit better and I got – Judah and the Lion is a band that’s out opening for us right now. And Judah was a college baseball player, good athlete, hits it a long way. So me and him both been getting out a lot and got to play together and finally, you know, hit the green on 17 finally. Yeah, it was a good day.”

ROMINE: I mean, as long as you can do that, you walk away feeling pretty good.

RINEHART: Parred 17 and 18, so I feel like, you know, we accomplished something.

ROMINE: That’s all you got to say. It’s so difficult playing with someone who’s longer than you because you feel like you gotta keep up a little bit, and you’re obviously a pretty competitive guy and athlete as well. Give us a little scouting report on your golf game. Not as long as Judah…

RINEHART: No, no, you know, I’m probably an 8 right now. I didn’t play golf until after college. I played football at a small school, at Furman, and just, I didn’t grow up around it. My dad didn’t play, you know, any of that. So, when I got into it, I mean, I fell in love with it, but I definitely – if I’m not playing at least once a week, it goes down very quickly. So, I feel like for me, like the athleticism is a big part of it. And then, I’m not a guy who’s like, totally natural at it. I didn’t grow up on the course and those kind of things, so for me, the more I’m playing, the better it gets.

And I got a chance to play in a tournament last year, a sort of Ryder Cup tournament thing with Steph Curry and Del Curry. They were the captains of the two teams. And so it was Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger, Ray Allen, all these guys, all of them better than me. But me and Thomas Rhett, a country singer, went; we were the worst two guys there, but we did win some matches. So we felt good about that.

ROMINE: As long as they’re giving you enough shots, that’s all that matters. Can you rank the games of the members of Needtobreathe? I mean, we know that Randall can hit 180 ball speed.

RINEHART: Yeah, exactly. It’s funny, these guys, I mean, I’m begging them to play on this tour. Literally our guitar player, Tyler, I bought him his first polo. I was like, listen, this is your entry and we’re gonna do this. So, we’re trying to get him going. Seth, the bass player, played in high school, and he’s one of those guys that’s like really annoyingly good because he played when he was a kid. And so, he hasn’t played in three years. He comes out … but everybody else I cannot get to go play with me.

ROMINE: Now, everyone has the home track that they kind of first learned on. Obviously, yours is a little bit later in life. But what’s the sweet spot? Like what course has your heart as the place where you first kind of learned to play?

RINEHART: Probably the Walker Course at Clemson. That’s where they play, the college team plays, and it was close enough to me and you could get on, you know, it’s like it was the nicest course around that I could afford when I was right out of college. And so Billy Napier, he’s a football coach at Florida now, he was my roommate in college, and we were best friends. He was my quarterback and, and so when he was a grad assistant at Clemson, I was living in Seneca, South Carolina. right close to each other And he was the one that gave me my first clubs and said, hey, you gotta figure this out, like, let’s do this together. So, we used to play a ton at the Walker Course right after we both graduated from college, so that’s probably the sweet one.

And now, you know, I’m at Troubadour in Nashville, which is just, I mean, it’s a crazy experience if people haven’t experienced this Discovery Land stuff. It’s a lot of fun.

ROMINE: The views from Troubadour are pretty insane.

RINEHART: There’s no dress code. It’s real laid back. A lot of musicians and athletes and that kind of thing. But it’s really fun because they’re great to my kids. I’ve got three little boys now, so taking them out there is very important, and not being too stuffy around the driving range and all that kind of stuff is important, you know, for an 8- and 6-year-old, so they can hit some balls.

ROMINE: I wanted to get into some of the deeper stuff later, but we’ll go into a little bit of parenting right now. What do you think the key is in terms of getting your kids involved in athletics? Like how do you know when to push them and when not to push them?

RINEHART: I’ve got three – 8, 6 and 3 [years old]. So, they’re playing baseball right now, the two older ones, and it’s been fun, obviously, I think like, each kid is so different in their personality and how much you can push him and all that. So I’d hate to say like, this is the time or this isn’t what exactly you should do. But, you know, I think most people know, but just like the lessons that sports can teach are just incredible. You can’t make your kids feel like sports can, and that’s so important. …

I really am trying to get them to figure out how to use their body. I’m trying to, you know what I mean? In baseball, golf, same way. It’s like, not get too crazy technical on all the details, just like, see if they will fall in love with one of these things because, you know, I’m a big believer that whatever you’re doing, music included, if you don’t love the work, then you don’t love it. And so, I think that’s the thing I want to foster, so when they are 12, 13, they go, I really do love this and I love working at it. I’ll stay on the lookout for it, but we’re having really fun with them right now.

2024 CMT Music Awards - Portraits

AUSTIN, TEXAS - APRIL 07: (L-R) Josh Lovelace, Seth Bolt, Bear Rinehart, Randall Harris, and Tyler Burkum of NEEDTOBREATHE pose for the 2024 CMT Music Awards portraits at the Moody Center on April 07, 2024 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMT)

Getty Images for CMT

ROMINE: What do your games look like at Troubadour?

RINEHART: Man, it’s all over the place. I’ve got some guys that I like to play with a lot. I don’t like a ton of stress, you know, like when I’m playing golf and also, a lot of my life on the road is these meet-and-greets and those kind of things. That’s not what I’m looking for. I’m looking to hang and have a good time. It’s really fun because there are a lot of people; I play with Tim Tebow out there or Darius Rucker … there’s just a lot of those kind of guys going around. And my favorite thing to do is play in the afternoons or evenings by myself. There’s nothing like it to me, you know, it’s in the summer, so nobody wants to be out there. It’s hot. I get out there about 5 or 5:30, I can play 18 holes in two hours and repeat a hole if I want to, that kind of thing. I really enjoy that part. I find that I celebrate myself a lot more when nobody’s around. You get a good one, you’re like, ‘Yes, Bear!’ I would never do that around my buddies.

ROMINE: So, Napier, Tebow, have they sent you some Gator stuff to put on over that crimson?

RINEHART: They have not, I think they know better. But I tell friends, I’m like, man, it’s crazy. Now, I follow the Florida stuff religiously really, I mean, I read every single article they write about. I never cared at all about the Gators until Billy got there, and now I’m like the biggest fan in the world. So pulling for him.

ROMINE: Yeah, we’re still trying to get it back a little bit there. When you’re playing at home, do you listen to music on the golf course? Are you a listen-to-music guy?

RINEHART: I’m really not. But I’ve got buddies that are, you know, so I think most of the time, I like when a guy is into like the old country, kind of like Waylon Jennings and that kind of thing. That’d be my golf kind of vibe. Nathaniel Rateliff, that kind of stuff. But one of my best friends is out there and he’s always playing, you know, Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake and all that kind of like pop music. That’s not my vibe, but he likes it. I’m OK with it.

ROMINE: Do you like listening to your own stuff?

RINEHART: That’s a really funny thing. They know that I don’t. It’s not that I don’t like it, but you know what I mean? I just don’t. I’m a pretty shy person. So, if they’re trying to get under my skin, they blast Needtobreathe on the golf course and they know they got a chance to get in my head a little bit.

ROMINE: Have you ever come up with a song while playing golf?

RINEHART: I don’t think so. And I think the reason is, it’s like golf is my one spot to not have to think about music at all. But I’ve been pitched many songs while playing golf. Everybody you play with thinks they’re a songwriter. So, they’ve all got, you know, ideas that, of course, can’t use.

ROMINE: You know, this might be a dad joke. But I would have thought ‘Drive All Night’ would have been a little bit about golf.

RINEHART: That’s good. I had a manager one time. This has been a long time ago. Our first manager, but we had a song called ‘Difference Maker,’ and it’s about humility really, the song is, and he comes to me, he goes, ‘Bear.’ He’s like, ‘The new song, it’s working. I put it in my head right before I hit a drive on the golf course.’ I was like, ‘OK, if it’s working for you keep using it.’

ROMINE: It’s kind of a good tempo, I guess, for your swing. Slow it down just a little bit. Now, there’s a lot of crossover, I think, between your band and golf right now. You guys have been in commercials for the PGA Tour – at least your music has. A lot of golfers pro golfers love your stuff. We’ve seen Russell Henley playing your charity event. I’ve seen him play ‘Jimi Thing’ on acoustic guitar, too, so he could probably fill in if you ever needed someone. A lot more tour pros, college golfers, they all love your stuff. But what’s it like being a golf fan and being fans of these guys who are also fans of you?

RINEHART: I mean, it’s been one of the most, you know, it’s such a fun perk of being a musician honestly because like this job is tough and you’re gone a lot, just like the golfing. I think we have a lot in common with athletes like that, especially baseball players and golfers. They came up, you know, through the minor leagues or they came up, you know, Korn Ferry, those kind of things. It’s tough travel, it’s tough being away from home. I got the opportunity to go play in Scottie Scheffler’s event. He had a foundation event that we played some music at and played with him, at Dallas National, and got to know him a little bit, and that’s the most fun is when you find out, you know, the people are great people. So, like you mentioned Russell Henley, I sang at his wedding and gave him a guitar for that. Kevin Streelman is another one, Stewart Cink, guys that you run into different places, then you find out man, these are really great dudes. They just happen to be exceptional athletes.

ROMINE: Scottie, recently a dad as of last week to a little boy. His buddy, Sam Burns, too, who you obviously follow quite a bit as well, had a son recently, and he named him Bear.

RINEHART: That’s what I heard. I’ve never met Sam, but I know he’s been playing some at Troubadour here lately and I just haven’t been around to see him. But Scottie is the one that told me that, but he did not mention – I can’t imagine it’s about me because I haven’t met Sam. But yeah, I don’t know, maybe so. That’s been one of the craziest things I’ve had happen to me as a musician is, is people come up and say they named their kid Bear. I was obviously named after Bear Bryant, so that’s where my, you know, redneck thing came from. But I do love the name.

ROMINE: I don’t think Sam Burns named his kid after Bear Bryant, though, being an LSU guy. 0.0% chance. Now, let’s talk about Scottie just a little bit more. You said you’ve met him. Obviously, we all know he’s a super great guy. Has he shared with you his favorite Needtobreathe song?

RINEHART: I’m trying to think what he said. One of the sweetest things, I went and played this event with us, Scottie, Drew Holcomb, Matt Kearney, Judah was there, too; he came back after we had played – we just did like a writers and a round thing – and I could tell he had been crying, you know, he’s like, ‘Man, that moves me, and that blew me away. I hope he won’t be mad at me for sharing that. I don’t think he would, but just, that was pretty incredible, that like he was that kind of fan and that it meant that much to for us to come down there and play. And I’ve actually asked him to do a charity, sort of auction items for the – we have an organization out with us called ‘Four Others’ right now, does foster care stuff, and he didn’t hesitate to say yes, even though I don’t know him very well, you know.

You hear about a million of those stories, you know, Romo talking about him and all that. I can just validate, at least for my experience as the guy’s incredible and down to earth. That’s great for the game of golf, in my opinion.

The Masters - Final Round

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 14: Scottie Scheffler of the United States celebrates on the 18th green after winning the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2024 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Getty Images

ROMINE: He also shares his faith a little bit like you guys do as a band. You know, you’re not maybe the traditional Christian band in a sense. But certainly, I mean that’s your guys’ roots. He hasn’t been shy about, you know, with all the great success that he’s had and really talking about how golf doesn’t define him. And I thought it was really cool before the Masters final round this year, he was talking about how his victory was already secured on the cross. I’m curious from your perspective, like, how does that mindset ease anxiety? Like when you’re at the top of your craft, you’re getting ready for a show, you’re getting ready to write, go into the recording studio or anything like that. How does your faith get you to the point where you can do that without being anxious or scared?

RINEHART: I’m somebody that struggles with that a lot. I mean, in terms of anxiety and those kinds of things, I would say, you know, it’s more zoomed out in a way. I think that the way our band approaches our music, if it was all about success, I mean, the difference between us and a golfer is that we don’t have a scoreboard to tell us if we’re doing great or not. You know, music is just not that way, and even the impact you have might be on a few people and not the masses. There’s a lot of those kind of questions that I think that, as musicians, we always come back to, and I think, really, it’s like, do we believe this is what we were made to do? Is this our purpose in life? Can we do it with a servant heart?

That’s a huge perspective for us always, is to kind of go like, man, what we’re really doing tonight at the show is serving these people that are coming here because we’ve been given this ability and this story even, you know, that we were supposed to share. And I think keeping that in mind, I think has been huge for our band and the more we make records and all that. The reason we’re not really a Christian band is probably because it’s not like we’re trying to evangelize through the music or that kind of thing necessarily. We didn’t feel like that’s our role. But we are trying to share our story and that story has a lot of hope in it, and I think that’s a good reminder for us every day.

ROMINE: Scottie was on a podcast recently, Ben Crane’s podcast, and Webb Simpson does it as well, and they asked him about the balance between like not caring, being secure in your identity, knowing that you’re not defined by what you do, but also not getting to the point where it’s like, you know, golf is not that big a deal. I’m not going to work hard on it. What’s the balance for you as a musician?

RINEHART: That’s a good question. Judah and I on this tour have talked a lot about that. I think you wanna be, whether it’s God or whether it’s you and your personal life, like you need to be moving forward. Stagnation is pretty tough place to be regardless. And so, I think that’s a definitely a balancing thing. And also, I feel like I used to say this at the very beginning of our career, I mean, 20 years ago: The greatest art in the world is made about God, whether we like it or not. … When you make that with that sort of reverence, that does make a thing better. So, I think that, to me, is important. I would say it’s not that I don’t care about the results, but I really have had to, you know, be like a lot of other athletes. I know in the sense of, like, I’ve fallen in love with the process of it, and if the results were meant for me, they’re meant for me. And it’s not that I don’t care if we win or lose, but I certainly can’t control if we win or lose in terms of what that means for a band, in terms of success.

The other thing is thankfulness is the automatic attitude adjustment. The band talks about it a lot, to make sure we remind ourselves in that way. But we’re probably in the best part of our career in terms of, we’re the biggest we’ve ever been, and we’re the happiest we’ve ever been … and a lot of that’s based on how grateful we are that we still get to do it and we get to do what we love, you know? So, we’re very appreciative of that now.

ROMINE: As someone who’s followed you guys quite a bit, I’ve noticed the last few years, the social media aspect – you guys have really taken off with that, given more of your fans a peek behind the curtain. As someone who earlier talked about kind of being a shy guy, you know, pretty humble, not wanting to really maybe too much. What’s the adjustment been like giving people a look into your life?

RINEHART: You know, it’s difficult and it still is. I think the thing that we’ve gotten a little bit better here in the last – like, because you try things, right? Everybody’s like, hey, you gotta do this. When we first started, there wasn’t social media. I mean, there was MySpace. It’s crazy how much of my career has changed, where all of a sudden this is a big deal and you need to be doing this every day and it’s so unnatural, you know, it’s always unnatural for me to like record a message with me looking in the phone. That always feels strange to me. I’m 43 years old.

I think what’s been cool is the more we sort of see what our fans care about behind the curtain, you know, which is turning into a lot into the stories we tell, the live show or the meet-and-greets, and so we’ve got somebody around who can kind of capture those moments and really put them out there for people to see if they weren’t able to be there. That’s been the thing that’s working the best. But yeah, it’s a total challenge for somebody like me.

I think people maybe think I’m rude at first or whatever, they don’t realize because my live show persona is so out there and loud and confident and those kind of things, in order to do that, I really have to save it up during the day. I guess I’m getting used to it. I also appreciate why people want that look because I’m that same way. Like, you know, you talked about Ben Crane, he’s one of my buddies as well. But like a podcast, like I’m gonna watch something like that. I’m gonna find out all I can find out about, you know, this stuff. So, I do appreciate the tool.

ROMINE: Now, if we still had MySpace today, what would be your song that you’d put at the top of it.

RINEHART: Oh, man.

ROMINE: Do you remember that? You could put the song at the top of your page.

RINEHART: Yeah, totally. I remember our first record we literally got on MySpace and we messaged every person that likes certain bands that we thought were like us. That was the old-school marketing that you had to do. I would probably say ‘West Texas Wind’ is one of my favorite songs of ours right now. It’s one of those songs that like, on the record, it’s OK, to be honest with you, you know, we made a record during COVID, it was really quick and I love that part about it, but we’ve been able to play that song live for the last couple of years and it’s really turned into a moment in the show that just feels like, man, I could play that song 20 years from now and still love it.

ROMINE: So, golfers go through slumps, right? I think you and I are in a continual slump with our golf games. But when you look at guys like Spieth and J.T., you know, they can’t putt sometimes, they’re struggling off the tee. What are slumps like for you musically? What continually kind of gives you trouble where you have to wrestle with it?

RINEHART: You know, as a writer it’s different; the tour is different than the writing part, for sure. It’s like almost two different jobs. But in terms of the writing and music, it’s easy to start chasing. I think that’s where it gets really dangerous, and what will happen is you feel like, well, I haven’t written a great one. I’ve been in there every day this week and I haven’t really written a great one. Let me start looking over here. Like, what if I was a little more like them, or this, or whatever it is, and I would say that almost never works out at all, and then you kind of lost that instinct or trust in yourself. And so, that’s where the slump, I think, at least in my opinion comes from. And most of the time, if I will spend the days, if I’ll go in there for a few days and not try to hurry, not try to get something that’s gonna be great, stop thinking about the end of the song and just, you know, it’s not a means to an end … that’s what I need. And my wife ... she’s like, ‘You’re too stressed. You need to please go play golf right now, and you come back and be sweet.’

ROMINE: When pro golfers, when they change instructors, is that similar to when a band adds a member or loses a member?

RINEHART: I think it’s like is a little bit like a producer. You know, it feels like to me, in our world we’ll hire a producer to make a record and normally we’ll make two or three of those records with that same producer. And then we change, and I think that’s a pretty natural kind of thing, in the sense that the producer is not making the music for you, they’re just kind of being a mirror for you. And I feel like that probably is like what the coaching thing is. Of course, I’ve never been coached in that way, so I don’t know exactly. That’s my closest, sort of parallel.

ROMINE: How often are you practicing your swing? You know, like the invisible swing.

RINEHART: When I’m playing a lot, it’s a ton. It was funny, Ben Crane, we were out playing one day, and he goes, ‘What have you been working on?’ I was like, ‘Well, I’ve been watching these videos.’ He’s like, ‘Stop watching the videos.’ I know that every golfer does that, but it’s very hard, I get on there and check the band stuff on Instagram, whatever. Then, you know, there’s an instructional video right under it. I’m like, well, that’s interesting. I should try. I’ve got way too much of that. I remember Russell Henley, one time we were playing. He goes, ‘You know, I’m a professional golfer. I know I can play golf. What I’m working on this summer … it’s just my wedge game between 60 and 80 yards. It’s like small things.’ He’s like, ‘I can tell you’re working on about 1,000 things, and you’re not very good. So, let’s narrow this down a little bit.’ Just have no swing thoughts at all.

ROMINE: That’s why Seth is probably so good because he’s not thinking about anything except for playing the bass and building tree houses.

RINEHART: He’s got it easy now.

ROMINE: Last serious question. And then we’ll close with just a little quick game. But I think it’s no secret that professional golf right now is in kind of a weird state. I mean, it’s a lot of, you know, boards and subcommittees and contracts and money. What’s your biggest concern right now? As a fan, as someone who digests, you know, professional golf, just as a regular guy, like, what’s your biggest concern right now with the game and kind of where it’s going?

RINEHART: As somebody completely on the outside of it, I think, obviously, the division is not great for the game and obviously you want the best players all to play in the same tournaments. I mean, that’s it pretty simple. I think the thing that I see just as being a fan for a long time is that young players really have a small window to become those big-time players, you know what I mean? And so, like, it’s not like you can just go all Will Zalatoris, or somebody like that. It’s like, you know, we just wait 10 years, so this gets sorted out, and then people can watch him play. This sort of that prime time and obviously we’re watching Scottie go through this moment. It’s like, you know, Tiger Woods-esque, and all the eyeballs need to be on that for the game of golf. And I think that’s probably the thing that hurts the most, watching the tournaments and going, man, maybe this field is not what it ought to be. And then anytime, I mean, I remember going through the lockout in baseball when I was a kid, it’s a similar kind of thing; I have no problem with what guys get paid or their values and all that. That has never bothered me watching sports, but I think when the conversation is it’s gotta be about all the business every time. What do you think about this? How did you treat this little player? Whatever, all that, that is taxing on a fan for sure.

OneRepublic + NEEDTOBREATHE: Never Ending Summer Tour Launch Event

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - MARCH 05: Bear Rinehart of the band NEEDTOBREATHE performs on stage for OneRepublic + NEEDTOBREATHE: Never Ending Summer Tour Launch Event at Ryman Auditorium on March 05, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images for Live Nation)

Getty Images for Live Nation

ROMINE: All right. Now, we’ll close this off with a quick game. Now, initially, I was going to do hole-in-one and shank, being favorite song from an album, least favorite song from an album. But then I realized that it’s very unfair for you to try and pick out a song that is your least favorite because all your songs are great. So, we’ll just do hole-in-one. I’m gonna list five of your albums. Just give me your favorite song from each of them.

First up, we got to start with one of the O.G.’s. Not the initial O.G., but ‘The Outsiders.’

RINEHART: I’m probably gonna get title track on most of these maybe, but we’ll see. But ‘The Outsiders,’ that song has become one that we just cannot play a show without playing. It really identified who the band was and not only who the band was, who the fans of the band were, which that’s a unique kind of thing, everybody kind of wears that badge at our show. So, I love that one.

ROMINE: What’s the feeling like when the banjo starts?

RINEHART: It’s always great because, you know, that song is a sneaky rock song, which I love, you know, it comes on with a banjo kind of song. People don’t know this. But when that song first came out, this is pre Mumford and Sons and all that kind of stuff, so banjo was like a really strange instrument at the time, especially in pop music. It was like, whoa, you’re doing bluegrass, you know. That felt sort of rebellious at the time and it still kind of does to me now.

ROMINE: This is also probably another title track for you, but ‘The Reckoning.’

RINEHART: That song, ‘Oohs and Ahhs.’ I’m gonna go with that one actually. That record is a really cool record. It was a lot of fun. We made it right before – we were going out with Taylor Swift, which was, you know, and our eyes were all big and like, well, this is crazy. This is really happening. So, it’s very grandiose, kind of like a you’re gonna be playing arenas and stadiums record. And that song was the first song we played every night on ‘The Reckoning’ tour. So, I have great memories of that.

ROMINE: ‘Rivers in the Wasteland?’

RINEHART: The song ‘Wasteland’ actually, which it’s kind of a title track, is probably my favorite, mainly because I wrote that at the end of the record. It was the last song that made it and it’s a live take in the studio. So, I just went in and cut it the next morning after I wrote it. And that’s what’s on the album.

ROMINE: That’s a pretty emotional song. That might have been the one that got Scottie if you played that one.

RINEHART: It’s funny, I tell a story sometimes like that song is, I set out to write the darkest song I could write. I was in a really bad spot. I mean, the band had been working on this record in Van Nuys, California, for like six weeks and had about three songs done. Maybe. That’s not a good, that’s not very efficient. And so I was just in a really rough light, the band was fighting. It was all it was. And, of course, like people go to me all the time, like, ‘That song is so encouraging to me.’ I’m like, that’s amazing that it could be used for that and that you saw it in that way.

ROMINE: And then your guys’ sound changed a lot, I think before this next record. ‘Hard Love?’

RINEHART: That record is a really good record, song-wise. It’s probably my least favorite record in terms of sonically. It got kind of a little out of hand, I thought, and I’m gonna give you a, what did you call it? A shank? There’s a song on there called, ‘When I Sing,’ which it’s not a bad song in itself. It was like one of those things where like a piece of the song is good, but not the whole song is good. And I feel like we forced that on the record, and we’ve never played it live and whatever.

ROMINE: There’s two versions of that isn’t there?

RINEHART: There probably is. And I think we really, like, grinded over trying to make the one part of the song that we liked into an actual song, you know, which hopefully we’ve learned our lesson in that way. Sometimes the song is not gonna reveal itself to you.

ROMINE: I hate to skip over ‘Into The Mystery,’ so let’s do that one real quick, and then let’s close with ‘CAVES.’

RINEHART: Like I said, I think that song ‘West Texas Wind’ ... that’s probably my favorite. ‘Into The Mystery’ is my favorite record, believe it or not. It’s the most personal, and I love that. And on the ‘CAVES,’ gosh, what song? ‘How Wonderful We Are’ is probably my favorite song. There’s also a song called ‘Hideaway.’ I like both of those songs. It’s been really interesting. We’re playing some of those songs, but we can’t play the whole record. So, we got four or five in there right now. So, I’m sure next tour we’ll play the other four or five.

ROMINE: I’m curious because you guys are starting a world tour soon. Do you play more of the oldies? Considering the fact that people in other countries sometimes, you know, start listening to the older stuff. They get a hold of that a lot sooner than they get a hold of the newer stuff.

RINEHART: Yeah, we try to put some sort of balance in there. I mean, it’s tough. It’s 150 songs to pick from and we got two hours, you know, so I think there’s a good sprinkling of, like, from all the albums. There’s a couple of songs in there. There’s some old ones that we just, we’re gonna play no matter what. So it’s a matter of like changing them up and making them feel fresh. There are, I don’t know, four or five songs from the new record that we play. Yeah, we just try to, we try to give enough. I didn’t think there’s an awareness. I’ll ask people almost every night; we’ve been doing this over 20 years, and we always say we’re the biggest band your friends have ever heard of. So it is such a niche thing ,you’re like is why are 5,000 people here for this band? You know, we never had some big hit. And I’ll say, is it your first time seeing the show? And almost every night, half the audience is brand new. So I think that’s something that we’re aware of going like, yeah, I know we’ve done 2,000 shows, but this is their first. So try to make sure you put the pieces of like what our story is, you know, where we came from and where we’re going.

ROMINE: Well, Bear. Thanks so much. We know that you’re not gonna be very far away from St. Andrews when you guys are in the U.K.

RINEHART: So, there’s some discussions because I’ve never played over there. I played K Club one time back in the day. There’s some discussions of how we can stay a couple of days and maybe play some golf. So, we’ll see.