"How can you not be affected by what the fuck is happening?"
The new track is the first offering from Shiflett’s forthcoming solo album – and it sees him tackling the state of the world in 2019.
Speaking to NME, the Foos axeman explained how his new take on country rock was directly inspired by both Brexit and Donald Trump’s election as US President in 2016.
“It’s always a struggle to write songs about current events or politics, but how can you not be affected by what the fuck is happening?,” explained Shiflett. “Over here we’ve got Trump and over there in the UK you’ve got Brexit and Farage. It seems like every western country is dealing with its own version of Trumpism and the rejection of the status quo and liberal policies.”
While neither event is specifically referenced on the track, Shiflett says he aimed to stay deliberately vague.
“In the early drafts of ‘This Ol World’ it just sounded a little too preachy and came off sounding like a pretentious article,” he continued. “I like my lyrics to be specific, but I wanted that one to be quite vague because regardless of your world views, maybe there’s something in there you can relate to.
“I wrote it after the 2016 election when you had left wing populism represented in the Bernie Sanders campaign and right wing populism in the Trump campaign. They’re very two different things, but inspired by the same thing.
“That same thing is a rot in the system. To me, the powers have under-represented the masses for a long time and it represents itself, depending on your world view, as coming out of the same issues.”
When asked if the song is a wider reflection of his next album, Shiflett said that his second solo record will head in a rockier direction – after experimenting with country on his 2017 debut ‘West Coast Town.’
“There’s definitely more rock than my last album. It’s more guitar driven, although that sounds like a funny thing to say when so much of my stuff is guitar driven,” Shiflett said.
“But I like exploring sounds that I don’t get to play with. ‘West Coast Town’ from my last record was super pedal steel heavy, and this new one definitely has crunchier guitar tones and it’s more of a rock and roll record.”
Fans will get the chance to see Chris when he heads out on tour in March and April – including shows in London, Manchester and Glasgow. Check out those dates in full below.
30 – The Grand Social, DUBLIN
31 – The Haunt, BRIGHTON
1 – Omeara, LONDON
2 – The Fleece, BRISTOL
4 – Night & Day, MANCHESTER
5 – Classic Grand, GLASGOW
6 – La Bell Angle, EDINBURGH
8 – John Dee Club, OSLO
9 – Pumphuest, COPENHAGEN
10 – Nalen Klubb, STOCKHOLM