Rich O’Toole Talks New ‘Kiss of a Liar’ Album and Working With Pat Green
Texas country is defined by guys like Rich O'Toole. 'The Cricket Song' hitmaker grew up in Houston, immersed in the scene as a country music fan, and through hard work, determination and sheer talent, found his way to the charts as an artist. Not only did he find his own success, he took a trip full circle -- on his latest album, O'Toole hit the recording studio to work with the iconic Pat Green, who he cites as one of his biggest inspirations.
Taste of Country caught up with O'Toole right around the release of his third studio album, 'Kiss of a Liar,' which hit shelves on July 19. He dished on what it was like to work with Green, who he once watched from the crowd, and his best buddy, 'Oh, Tonight' chart-topper Josh Abbott. Additionally, O'Toole told us that he's been pushing the envelope with his latest single -- and it's working.
So you just released your third studio album, 'Kiss of a Liar.' How does that feel?
It feels like I'm just having nine heart attacks in one. I'll probably go crazy. I'm just so stressed. But it feels awesome! It's great -- it was anxious, like Christmas Eve.
And we read that your fans actually chose the title. How did that contest work?
We actually gave them a list of the tracks early, and they got to pick the track they wanted to hear and they wanted to hear 'Kiss of a Liar,' which I love.
How would you say 'Kiss of a Liar' is different from your past two records?
You know, there's still the fun-loving singalong hits on there, but there's a lot more deeper stuff: things that I've gone through in the past 3-4 years, from my early 20s to my mid 20s that have represented hardship and heartbreak. We've just figured out how to pay rent in this world and write about it!
Did the recording process come together pretty easily?
Yeah, we recorded it in Austin with a lot of musicians that I like, that I feel comfortable with, some of the guys in my band. I think it turned out really well. It represented the songs the way I wanted them. I was excited.
So you and Pat Green worked on a song together that's actually a Wilco cover. Why did you choose that song?
Yeah! We did Wilco. I love that song. I was gonna record that anyway, and you know, Pat's a real fun guy and I thought that'd be fun for us and for him to sing a song called 'Casino Queen' on the record.
What was it like working with him?
You know, it was an honor. A dream come true. I went to my first Pat Green show when I was 16 in Houston, and 10 years later I get to sing a song with him on my record. It's awesome. He's one of my idols.
And you worked with Josh Abbott too, on 'Ay Dios Mio.' How was that?
Yeah, me and Josh are best friends … Since he started in Lubbock and I started in College Station. I was in his wedding this year and it was just very fitting for us to get together and jam out a tune, you know?
'The Cricket song' has done pretty well for you. Can you tell us about the next single?
We're being real rebels right now. We're releasing a song called 'Marijuana and Jalepenos' -- my two favorite things -- to radio [laughs]. Radio's playing it! I didn't think they would but they are, and it's pretty rebellious, but it's for our fans and that's what's most important is fans down here in Texas.
What is your personal favorite song on the album?
My favorite song on the record is probably 'Casino Queen,' me and Pat singing together.
What do you want your fans to take away from this new record?
I want you to have fun, but also, the other half is you know, listening to the songs that are about life and love. Hopefully you can get a good message to walk away with and take with you.
Watch the Rich O'Toole 'The Cricket Song' Video