Music Business

Five Artists With Their Own Brand of Booze

It's 2:45 in the morning and you're stumbling to the bar. You've had a few to drink, and you just got your face rocked off by your favorite rock band in the universe. It's time to have one for the road and then get on home (responsibly, in a cab or on a bus, of course).

You look up to order and think, "What do I even want? There's too much to choose from." Suddenly, Sully Erna, lead singer of Godsmack, walks up to you. He says, "friend, never feel like you have to stand alone again. Here, try my tequila."

This is a fictional story, but it could happen to you this Friday night. From 6 to 8 p.m., Sully Erna, who also happens to be the President and CEO of the 8:15 Pura Vida Shot Club, will be appearing at the downtown location of Spec's (2410 Smith) to sign bottles of Pura Vida Tequila, a tequila that truly stands alone in taste.

In the spirit (ugh) of the occasion, here's five musicians who have dipped their toes (hopefully not literally) into the business of alcoholic drinks.

5. Iron Maiden I discussed the Iron Maiden-endorsed wine, Eddie's Evil Brew, some time ago here on Rocks Off when discussing stupid merchandise that you could buy from bands. Not that my opinion has changed.

Importing a $22 wine from Iron Maiden is something only the most loyal fan could possibly be willing to do. Especially since I can't find anyone who has actually described the taste of it, except for the Iron Maiden press releases which, predictably, claim it tastes awesome.

All that being said, it does exist and it apparently has done well enough to sell out four consecutive releases (which makes it even harder to believe no one seems to have ever tasted it, but I digress), so I'm going to have to give Iron Maiden the benefit of the doubt here. It's not like Iron Maiden has ever released a sub-par product in the past.

4. Maynard James Keenan As the owner of Caduceus Cellars, Tool front man Maynard James Keenan is sincere as can possibly be about his brand of wine. Despite sounding like a joke, he's thrust himself full-force into it for the last few years, forsaking music for it entirely. He even made a documentary about his efforts.

Interestingly, he chooses to make it in Arizona, a horrible place for making wine apparently. I don't know anything about wine, so I'll take his word for it. The fact that he can get a product out of this at all is something of a feat it would seem, so congratulations to him on that. The only question I'm left with is, to quote Eric Wareheim, "What kind of tool do you use to make wine?"

3. AC/DC Is it just me, or is AC/DC beer the most obvious thing in the world? I feel like this is just something that should exist for universal harmony to be maintained. It's apparently sold in the U.S., but as someone who drinks beer and likes to survey all the specialty selections, I've never actually seen it around. However, according to the video above (from a German techno fan who clearly doesn't even like AC/DC), it tastes good, so maybe it's worth looking for.

Apparently AC/DC also has a wine for some reason, but I've got to be honest here: the beer seems natural. I can understand it. I even support it. But AC/DC wine? That seems a bit too fancy for AC/DC, unless it comes in a box.

2. Hanson Hey, do you want to feel old? Hanson has a beer. A band who was not even old enough to drink when they were on the top of the charts, i.e. the last time you actually thought about Hanson, is now not only old enough to drink, but has even decided to brew their own IPA. It's called MmmHop. That's not even one of my puns. It really is called that.

It was announced in 2011, and then nothing ever came of it. However, as of February of this year, Hanson is still working out the release of the beer. If I were them, I'd rush the release on MmmHop before it gets old and stops being cute. I hear that can have devastating effects on a beer's, or a band's, marketability.

1. Willie Nelson It all started when Willie sang a song written by native Houstonian Johnny Bush called "Whiskey River." Then he got to thinking for a while. Then he smoked a joint and lost his train of thought. He found it again a while later and then immediately went to work on what would become Old Whiskey River Bourbon.

I think I speak for all of us here at Rocks Off when I say we love two things in this world: Willie Nelson and bourbon. As much as I've joked about these other wines and beers, Willie's Old Whiskey River is fine by me.

Well, except for one thing. "Handcrafted in small batches, using the naturally purified waters of Kentucky limestone?" Kentucky?! Kentucky's no good for you, Willie. Bring it on home to Texas.

BONUS: Slayer's Reign in Blood Red Wine

Honestly, the name speaks for itself here.

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Corey Deiterman