As 2023 wrapped up, one thing was clear: Tim Montana's debut rock track, "Devil You Know," was one of the best songs of the year.

"It's been amazing, man," Montana told Chuck Armstrong on Thursday's edition of Loudwire Nights (Jan. 4). "I've burned every pair of cowboy boots I have. It's been so awesome to get accepted by this community."

Montana is no stranger to having his music and work celebrated. For nearly 20 years, he's worked in the songwriting rooms of Nashville, writing with everyone from Travis Tritt to Kid Rock and he's released several of his own records, starting with 2008's Iron Horse.

But "Devil You Know" was Montana's first proper introduction into the world of rock and roll.

Now, he's working on the release of his debut rock album this year (produced by Micah Wilshire, mixed by Josh Wilbur), touring with bands like Seether and Staind and playing festivals like Welcome to Rockville.

"The creative freedom in this genre is so much more than it was over there," Montana said about working in rock music compared to country. "There, you had to write songs about certain things. Over here, it's like you can put a rock album on and it's just so broad. I'm excited for the creative freedom to do this stuff and write the songs I want to write."

Montana was quick to make sure Chuck and the Loudwire Nights audience knew he wasn't complaining about his experiences in the country world, though.

"I went to the School of Lyrics and Melody with those dudes and I'm very grateful for that time. And now that the door is open with rock, I'm hoping I can plug in my version of what I've learned over the years writing with these absolute poets and bring that to the rock space."

Tim Montana Is Running a Bar With ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons

For fans who follow Montana on social media, it's clear that he's a guy who prefers to stay busy. Lately, when he's not focused on his music, he has been staying busy working on the bar that he bought with ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons, the Wise River Club.

"It's a really cool old Western spot on the Big Hole River," Montana explained.

When Montana was first on Loudwire Nights last year, he shared the story of how Gibbons became his rock and roll dad over the years. Because of that, it seems as though their partnership in running the Wise River Club is more than just business.

"We're working on it like crazy...plugging in a music program [and] we're planning on doing a festival there at some point."

The Wise River Club is near Butte, Mont., where Montana grew up; he went there as a kid and used to fish nearby with his uncle. While the bar has a personal connection to Montana, he's enjoyed digging up its storied history, too.

"Evel Knievel used to get drunk there and try to ride the pet elk at the bar," he said, laughing. "Some guy came down and brought me a sign that Evel signed for the bar years ago that said, 'To all the gang at the Wise River Club' ... and we're finding old photos from the early 1900s. Having Billy involved, he's setting up all kinds of cool rock and roll memorabilia. There are posters everywhere."

READ MORE: 'Power Hour' Hosts Pick Their Favorite Songs of 2023

Somewhere near that point in the conversation, Gibbons crashed Loudwire Nights, cracking a joke as he asked Montana and Chuck to help him shovel some snow outside of the bar.

With a huge smile on his face, Montana told Chuck, "It's a lot of work. Rock and roll never sleeps."

What Else Did Tim Montana Discuss on Loudwire Nights?

  • Montana teases fans with a lyric from one of his new songs: "I could be the dad I never had or wind up dead like my old man"
  • Why music — and specifically, rock music — is therapeutic for him
  • Why he gets in trouble at country festivals: "We're always the rowdiest dudes at anything country."

Listen to the Full Interview in the Podcast Player Below

Tim Montana joined Loudwire Nights on Thursday, Jan. 4; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station and listen to interviews on-demand. Stream "Devil You Know" at this location and check out Tim Montana's full tour schedule.

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