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Willie Nelson's Son and His Band Want You to Get Off the Internet

Lukas Nelson, and his bandmate Logan Metz break down their song "Bad Case," for Verse, Chorus, Bridge.

by Caroline Pahl
Jun 25 2019, 3:30pm

In case you didn't know, Willie Nelson has a son. His name is Lukas Nelson, and unless you've been living under a rock or you have an aversion to Hollywood blockbusters, you've probably heard one of his songs in the movie, "A Star is Born." He also played in Bradley Cooper's backing band in the movie.

This month, Nelson released an album with his band Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real called "Turn Off The News (Build A Garden)" — one to be taken quite literally.

Instead of tuning into the news, Nelson and his band want you to turn off, tune out the news, and do something active with your life.

"For every two hours you spend watching news coverage of a single tweet, you could have gone to a park and cleaned up trash," said Nelson's bandmate and pianist, Logan Metz.

The album's focus was based on the "flowering of consciousness" and activism of the '60s.

"I feel like I'm trapped in this world of info constantly being thrown at me," said Nelson, "and a lot of the info I can't do a thing about, and just serves to make me anxious throughout the day."

Nelson and Metz stopped by to break down their song, "Bad Case," whose chorus — "you've got a bad case of wanting what you can't have, must be a terrible feeling" — serves as a wake up call to anyone who's living in an anxious daydream.

"I sang these vocals with the intention of talking to everybody that I'd ever known who I felt like they were stuck in their own mindset." said Nelson.

Nelson came up with the melody on a trip to Ireland, while fiddling with his guitar. He had the melody to Rod Stewart's "Maggie May" in mind. From there, he and his band pulled inspiration from their favorite bands– from the drumming style of The Who and The Rolling Stones, to the sitar vibes of George Harrison.

"I was feeling them a lot when I was writing this music," said Nelson. "I was feeling their energies."

Nelson and Metz also play in Neil Young's band. And as fans of his more folksy, lyric-dominated music, Lukas said he struggled at first to make a more poppy, radio-friendly song. But he's also a music-making machine.

Nelson said that when making a song, "everybody has to be not just OK with it. They got to be stoked. And if they're not then we'll scrap it and come back. We've got plenty of material. I write too many songs to even count."

This segment originally aired June 17, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.