With some time off from the Hold Steady and his creative juices still flowing, frontman Craig Finn needed a challenge. Rather than stay home in Brooklyn, Finn traveled to Austin to work with a new set of musicians and producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Trail of Dead). The result is is new solo album, 'Clear Eyes, Full Heart,' which takes its title from the 'Friday Night Lights' motivational speech, "clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!"
The countrified tracks on the LP are much more somber and way less frenetic than Finn's usual writing for the Hold Steady, a stylistic turn that he says reflects a part of his personality that he rarely examines in his band's songs. Spinner recently caught up with Finn before his European tour to talk about the record, the wide influence of television, getting shot and being friends with Jesus.