From Asbury Park to Los Angeles, country-rock/Americana recording artist and singer-songwriter Ron Santee takes us on a trip down the "Cold Blooded Highway" in his latest music video.
Ron Santee previously fronted the NYC indie rock outfit, The Battery Electric, which toured with acts like Eagles of Death Metal, Queens of the Stone Age, King Khan & BBQ Show, and Detroit Cobras. He now operates in the Joshua Tree desert with his own studio, Desert Dog Studios.
The rocksteady recording artist recently released his sophomore album, 'Cold Blooded Highway,' along with a music video for the title track. The entire album sounds like a soundtrack from a Tarantino film, and the title track is no exception. The album's concept surrounds "a struggling artist navigating his way through dark times," says Santee.
Expanding on the music video for "Cold Blooded Highway," the scene begins with Ron Santee gazing into the desert abyss. As he wakes up on his school bus home, Santee picks up his guitar and heads outdoors. A certain Grim Reaper character is haunting his every move, perhaps the real force behind why that highway is so cold-blooded.
Throughout the video, we see Santee wandering down the empty highway where cars are few and far between. With his sunglasses on and guitar in hand, Santee just misses a blow from the Grim Reaper, who takes a tumble down a ditch, accepting his defeat. But one thing stands, Ron Santee is still trekking through this "Cold Blooded Highway" to nowhere.
Experience the trials and tribulations of struggling artists and their long, tedious journeys with Ron Santee's new music video for "Cold Blooded Highway," now available on YouTube. Find his new album of the same name on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Ron Santee. We enjoyed the movie-like approach you've taken with the music video for your new single, "Cold Blooded Highway." What inspired the song itself? Does the highway represent your journey as an artist?
First off, thanks so much for having me. I’m glad you enjoyed the video! I have been waiting for us to have a romantic rendezvous…Anyways..last summer, I was camping on the bank of the Kern River, which is In Sequoia national park and near Bakersfield, strumming my guitar and watching the sunrise one morning when Cold Blooded Highway just came to me. I always loved the term “sky songs”, Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt kinda coined it to describe mystically inspired tunes that fall from the sky and land in your lap…The song is about coming to terms with the need to be cold-blooded sometimes in the name of survival. I like leaving space for listeners to interpret their own meanings, but to me, the highway represents that chronic on-the-road dilemma of wanting to return home while still yearning to hit the back roads to unknown destinations.
How would you describe your music to new fans?
My sound is as eclectic as my tastes. I experiment with fusing together all the different styles and qualities that most inspire me. My first solo record, “Wildfire Heart”, was a bit harder and louder, weaving in elements of psych-rock, Country, Reggae, and 60’s garage rock. My latest record, “Cold Blooded Highway,” dives deeper into Americana/Country music, arguably inspired by the stoic Joshua Tree landscape I now call home. “Just Ask Me Why” and “Dark Road” showcase my homage and undying love for classic Jamaican music. As a solo artist, I feel I’m afforded more freedom of experimentation and self-realization to dive into any style of music I feel like making.
Who directed it, and have you worked with this person before? Did anything unforeseen happen during the creation? Does the Grim Reaper-type character in the music video hold any significance for you?
I developed the narrative with my good friend and side project collaborator, Stephen LaMarche, who also shot the video. The video is our ode to Joshua Tree, and we had a ton of fun shooting it, driving around the Mojave Desert, and capturing the harsh expanse of its landscape. The Grim Reaper, hot on my trail, and cheating death pretty much sums up the last two years, as I’m sure many could relate.
Can you tell us more about your sophomore album, Cold Blooded Highway, and what listeners should expect? What does the album mean to you?
“Cold Blooded Highway" is the second album I fully recorded and produced on my own. Listeners can expect a fresh mix of Rock, Country/Americana, and authentic Reggae. My great friend and drummer, Robin Diaz, contributed to 3 tracks. The dude has played with everyone from Candlebox to Ozzy.. fucking come on!!! The albums got something for everyone and keep you guessing. “Cold Blooded Highway” represents the last year of my life, the highs, the lows, and the questionable…..What I love about being a musician is recording these stories and releasing my musical babies to the world for them to outlive me. I think that’s beautiful, and it’s truly the only thing I want to do with my life.
Are there plans for live shows / touring for the new record?
Absolutely, I’ll be playing throughout Joshua Tree and Southern California all summer. In September/October, I’m playing some shows in my hometown Asbury Park, NJ, and a few dates in New York City. I’m really looking forward to getting back on the road and booking a more comprehensive tour. In the meantime, I will be making new music every day and also wondering if a band like Buck Owens and The Buckaroos, and The Misfits could ever co-exist in a world that is so judgemental…