Halos & Horns – Meet Rough & Tumble Artist Allie Colleen

Country badass Allie Colleen joined me for a rousing interview where we discuss her music, her tattoos, and her obsession with Halloween makeup! She creates powerful songs with real, raw feeling behind them, combining classic country with emerging country sounds. She has just released her latest album, Halos & Horns.

Sue Bonzell: She has open for Ashley McBryde, Lee Brice, Jo Dee Messina and she’s a little bit of a badass. I’m super excited. Allie Colleen is here. Welcome.

Allie Colleen: Hi, how are you?

Sue Bonzell: I’m great. I’m so excited that you are here. We’re going to talk about your new album. Okay. Look at this. It’s right here. Stones.

Allie Colleen: In the physical mind you. Someone really needs to give some kudos to that. We printed these things, you guys.

Sue Bonzell: This is awesome.

Allie Colleen: You can read it and everything.

Sue Bonzell: Exactly.

Allie Colleen: It can be read.

Sue Bonzell: It’s like the olden days. Look, it’s got words. How exciting?

Allie Colleen: Since I was a kid, I wanted to have a physical one and we were this much short on the goal. I wanted so bad to have the one that has the booklet inside the [inaudible 00:00:39].

Sue Bonzell: Oh, right. Yeah. The whole deal. Yeah. That’ll be the next one. Right?

Allie Colleen: Oh. Yeah.

Sue Bonzell: We’re getting there. We’re getting there. So tell me about the album, some of the new songs and all of the excitement around the album.

Allie Colleen: Stones is really cool. Stones was just one of those amazing blessings that came out of 2020. And I know a lot of people… That count is very small. We can all talk all day long about all the bad things that happened from all of that stuff but I think we were really encouraged to sit down and to do the album because we were looking at an entire year where all of our shows were gone. And I was like, if there was ever a time when someone could listen to 11 songs at one time, this is it.

Sue Bonzell: This is it.

Allie Colleen: This is the time. Right?

Sue Bonzell: Totally.

Allie Colleen: So we took all these songs that we’ve been writing over the last year, goes all the way back to three years, as far as the releases on there and those kind of things. And really picked our favorites and those ones that we just couldn’t quit playing and couldn’t quit messing with. We’re really, really excited. So we released the first one in April of 2021 and did the whole slow release process to it. But it’s amazing. The writers on it, I’m so proud of them. There’s not a person that touched that project that I just don’t think the moon is… They’re just amazing.

Sue Bonzell: Well, and your songs, listening to your music and just your style too, it’s that classic but then it’s also up to date. But it’s a little more classic to me and your songs have so much power and meaning in them. You can feel the passion.

Allie Colleen: I love country music for a lot of reasons but I’m that generation that does playlist. Right? We don’t do albums. We do playlists. And you have everything from Corps to Nickelback to Loretta Lynn to Willy on one playlist. So that was something to really consider for us in looking sonically at the album and what it was going to sound like. Because I’ve always been such a fan of just catering to the song, as far as what it’s supposed to sound like, is whatever the story is. So the writing in the album is really the only consistent thing top to the bottom about it. It’s just my part in the writing of it. And wrote every song with good friends of mine. There’s one song on there that I had my first cut as an artist, I didn’t write it all. It’s so cool. It’s Pink Lemonade.

Sue Bonzell: Awesome.

Allie Colleen: It’s the last track. And then one song on there that I wrote by myself that’s on there. Yeah, just the storytelling. So as I was saying, as I was growing up, I loved every kind of music. I’m a huge Amy Lee fan. I wanted to be Paramore for the longest time. I really, really love all genres and all cross genres but when it came down to figuring out where Allie Colleen fit, we just wanted to tell stories.

Sue Bonzell: Yeah. Well, and that’s country music. That’s the beauty of country music. It is the storytelling. So you’ve got this album available, this is Stones and it’s a, I don’t give… Yeah, that.

Allie Colleen: You put whatever [inaudible 00:03:21] that you want.

Sue Bonzell: Put whatever you want to put out.

Allie Colleen: You can put sugar foot. You put whatever you want.

Sue Bonzell: But you also have a new album coming out in May.

Allie Colleen: Yes. So we have a new collection of songs that are going to start releasing in May. So we have this really, really rad song called Halos and Horns coming out May 6th, which I understand by this time you guys can go check out. So go check it out, you guys. We worked really, really hard on it. I was very, very close with the producer of Stones prior to the project Joe Costa and Ben Watts. It was just amazing to work with and very kind. And then this project, we went a different direction. It’s Lee Brice and Jared Neiman and I. And a kid named Cody LaBelle.

              And we’ve just worked so hard. I loved Stones but I really just got to go in on the tracking day and vocal day and do my thing. And then I just was sent songs over the period of whatever and we adjusted and did whatever. But this process with Halos and Horns has been really, really hands on. We’ve spent nights in the studio until three or four in the morning just working on drums and all these different things. So I’m very proud of this project and we’ve worked really hard and it’s very intentional. It’s a lot different than Stones but at the same point in time, it’s really not.

Sue Bonzell: I love that.

Allie Colleen: It’s still me.

Sue Bonzell: I love that. Still as a growing artist, finding your way and finding your style that really, really just suits you. Now, you’re a cowgirl also. Right?

Allie Colleen: I am. I am. Yes. I’m a cowboy. You mentioned Ashley McBryde earlier. I think she’s the raddest cowboy that we have in this town.

Sue Bonzell: She’s pretty awesome.

Allie Colleen: I think she’s so cool. I think growing up, looking at women in country, they always seemed so strong and so cool and so different. But there weren’t very many women that I looked at in country that I was like, that’s me. And that was something, growing up, where… I tended to lean more towards Evanescence and Paramore because they looked like me. And they sang with the same emotion that I did. I fell in love with Jo Dee Messina when I was so young and just absolutely loved her. And then I grew up and I just found this pissed off version of Jo Dee Messina and just fell in love with Ashley McBryde.

Sue Bonzell: I know she is-

Allie Colleen: The coolest thing on the planet.

Sue Bonzell: Yeah. Totally.

Allie Colleen: I personally pull a lot of encouragement from her and those kinds of things but it’s all rodeo. Halos and Horns is all rodeo and it’s all about what it means to be a cowboy and just that consistent pursuit of good and evil within that hero story of the cowboy. So I’m really excited about it. Recently, I met this woman from Australia and we were talking about the song and she was like, “So you’re really going into more of a rock vein.” And I was like, “No-

Sue Bonzell: No.

Allie Colleen: … No. No. No. No, I don’t think so. What do you mean?” She goes, “This is a rock song.” I go, “This is about cowboys. This is about rodeos.” And for a woman in Australia, never once did she think about bullhorns or-

Sue Bonzell: Oh, interest.

Allie Colleen: … rodeo or anything Western.

Sue Bonzell: Wow.

Allie Colleen: She went straight to just Halos and Horns, just rock and stuff. So I’m really interested to see-

Sue Bonzell: That is interesting.

Allie Colleen: … how it’s received in all different markets and all different platforms and stuff like that. We’re excited.

Sue Bonzell: That’s super fun. Okay. So I got to ask, the tattoos. Like I said, this is girl, she’s bad ass. Right?

Allie Colleen: [inaudible 00:06:30] this way.

Sue Bonzell: I’m too scared to get one anywhere, basically but how many tattoos do you have?

Allie Colleen: So my tattoo math’s weird but if both my arms are one because I have full sleeves, I have I think 22.

Sue Bonzell: And those are just one?

Allie Colleen: Yeah. One to 22.

Sue Bonzell: Holy moly. How many hours of time?

Allie Colleen: I don’t know about all of it together but I’ve got 27 hours on my black and white sleeve and I’ve got 32 on my color sleeve.

Sue Bonzell: Holy moly.

Allie Colleen: I did three on my leg last week. I got myself.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, wow.

Allie Colleen: I know it’s weird but it’s rad.

Sue Bonzell: That’s awesome.

Allie Colleen: It’s supposed to be rad.

Sue Bonzell: Okay. Did this one hurt? I always wonder about that.

Allie Colleen: You and seven other people every single day ask me that. Every single day.

Sue Bonzell: Well, it’s what we want to know.

Allie Colleen: Yeah. [inaudible 00:07:15] hurt and it did.

Sue Bonzell: And it did.

Allie Colleen: Yeah. It hurt really bad.

Sue Bonzell: Did you have to have a shot of whiskey or something before you went in?

Allie Colleen: Oh, everything. Yeah.

Sue Bonzell: All the things.

Allie Colleen: I did everything. All the things.

Sue Bonzell: All the things.

Allie Colleen: Willpower. I made sure to get mad at someone that morning for no reason.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, there you go.

Allie Colleen: Yeah. All the things. All the things. But no, our firefly… I don’t know if you’ve got babies or if you’ve seen Princess and the Frog or not but there’s just little Cajun firefly that’s just in love with the north star, who think she’s just the brightest firefly that there ever was. And her name’s Evangeline. So as an independent artist, we really sell all of our stuff out of Evangeline Records.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, cool.

Allie Colleen: And firefly is our thing. For anyone who’s ever brought me a dragonfly gift to my shows. I want you to know that I just stick a rhinestone on the butt and tell myself it’s a firefly. So thank you guys.

Sue Bonzell: That’s perfect. Yeah. You’re going to make fireflies a thing.

Allie Colleen: I do. I get a lot of dragonfly gifts. I get a lot of moth gifts and I Just rhinestone the butt and call it good. I’m like, thank you.

Sue Bonzell: That’s a whole collection. The Allie Colleen collection. Yeah, that’s going to be next. Right?

Allie Colleen: Yes.

Sue Bonzell: We can do some fashion and things like that. I love that.

Allie Colleen: I love it.

Sue Bonzell: Let’s just do that.

Allie Colleen: October’s coming up at some point this year. It has to. So Halloween.

Sue Bonzell: I was going to say… Speaking of Halloween, now I saw some of your videos online from Halloween. Holy moly.

Allie Colleen: It’s my thing.

Sue Bonzell: That’s scary.

Allie Colleen: It’s my thing.

Sue Bonzell: Did you do all that makeup?

Allie Colleen: I got kicked off TikTok for three days?

Sue Bonzell: Did you really?

Allie Colleen: I did.

Sue Bonzell: Well, they’re pretty scary.

Allie Colleen: I did.

Sue Bonzell: Now, did you do the makeup?

Allie Colleen: Yeah.

Sue Bonzell: You did it?

Allie Colleen: Mm-hmm.

Sue Bonzell: Okay. If you are not following her on socials, you need to follow her right now.

Allie Colleen: Yes, we do more of it on TikTok, I think, than any other platform for the most point in time. We do the Facebook live getting ready. So I’ll do the three, four hours of what all it takes to get ready on Facebook live. And then you can go over to TikTok and see what it turns into. Ever since I was a kid, Halloween has been my thing.

Sue Bonzell: It is your thing. I always thought-

Allie Colleen: The thought that you could be whatever you want, anything on the planet for a night, why wouldn’t you do that? Why wouldn’t you be whatever you want to be?

Sue Bonzell: There’d be a layer and then you take that layer off and it’s like, whoa.

Allie Colleen: It’s a lot of things. Yeah. You can do multiple masks. You can do all the things but no, it’s really cool. And it was something that I protected for a long time because I didn’t know how people would receive it or whatever. But again, one of those blessings from 2020. I was like-

Sue Bonzell: You had some time. Right?

Allie Colleen: Yeah. If we’re going to be stuck here, I’m going to film it and we’re going to do it. And it’s fun. It’s really fun. And it’s not unheard of for me to go to concerts or things in town, literally just dressed as another person.

Sue Bonzell: Really.

Allie Colleen: Yeah. It’s not unheard of at all.

Sue Bonzell: That is awesome.

Allie Colleen: It’s awesome. Until I get IDd, it’s really hard to explain.

Sue Bonzell: They’re like-

Allie Colleen: I’m like-

Sue Bonzell: … what’s happening here?

Allie Colleen: … I promise it’s me. But no, it’s fun. I like that you’ve seen it.

Sue Bonzell: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Totally.

Allie Colleen: I like that you’ve seen it.

Sue Bonzell: One of them, I was like, “Okay, whoa.” I had to like look away. It was scary. It was scary.

Allie Colleen: They are scary.

Sue Bonzell: It was really very well done.

Allie Colleen: I put trigger warnings on everything. So don’t go to my comments and say that it was too scary and I should be considerate because you watched a 30 second trigger warning.

Sue Bonzell: Exactly.

Allie Colleen: Be careful.

Sue Bonzell: If you go, don’t be those people. Okay. You do a lot of working out. You are working out and you’re… And I love that you are sharing that. And it’s real and raw. How often are you working out?

Allie Colleen: When we are not on the road, which tends to be a lot of the time right now. Our summers are really heavy travel months. So I’m at home a lot right now and I’ve got a weird sleep schedule. So I usually go twice a day but I go every day. And I just like it. I like it a lot. I’ve been an athlete since I was a kid. I played soccer and I loved it but it really wasn’t until probably the last year or so that I really learned that, that is just as much self-care as going and getting Medicare.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, totally.

Allie Colleen: You know what I mean?

Sue Bonzell: Yes, absolutely.

Allie Colleen: And it’s so cool and it’s so encouraging. I’m really hesitant and weird about the social media side of it because I’m not a professional trainer. You know what I mean? I am not coach, anything like that.

Sue Bonzell: Yeah. See but that’s what I like.

Allie Colleen: And I’m not a nutritionist. As a woman, it’s so frustrating to see things work for somebody and they not work for you. So I never give detailed outlines of my workouts or of my diets or anything like that but I will show you what I do. And if you have questions, I’ll give you what I can get. But I’m very hesitant on that and I’m just encouraging of, go figure it out.

Sue Bonzell: Yeah. Totally.

Allie Colleen: Just go try. Go pick something up.

Sue Bonzell: Well, and everybody’s different too. Like you said, there’s never a one size fits all.

Allie Colleen: Never a one size fits all.

Sue Bonzell: Yeah. But I think, like I said, just you sharing that in your journey, it’s really cool. So keep sharing.

Allie Colleen: Thank you.

Sue Bonzell: Keep sharing, I like that.

Allie Colleen: Thank you. It’s been really encouraging. There’s a whole group of women that send me their progress photos and kind of thing. And I try to encourage them.

Sue Bonzell: Because you need that motivation too. Yeah. The encouragement stuff. There you go. See, Allie can be your encouragement coach.

Allie Colleen: I will.

Sue Bonzell: For your workouts.

Allie Colleen: I will.

Sue Bonzell: So there you go. Are you willing to play a little game with me?

Allie Colleen: Yes. Are you willing to potentially lose at something?

Sue Bonzell: Sure. It’s a… oh, she’s… Okay.

Allie Colleen: I’m very competitive.

Sue Bonzell: All right. We’re going to talk about the competitive side of Allie Colleen right now.

Allie Colleen: I’m very competitive and I’m not good at very many things other than my three things I’m good at. So you can imagine the war that I [inaudible 00:12:15].

Sue Bonzell: Well, the good news is this game, there’s no winners and losers.

Allie Colleen: All right. So it’s a talent show.

Sue Bonzell: So you’re a winner. We’re going to play truth or truth.

Allie Colleen: Oh.

Sue Bonzell: So not truth or dare. I’m not going to make you do anything crazy like that because-

Allie Colleen: Thank you.

Sue Bonzell: … I don’t want you to break anything.

Allie Colleen: Thank you.

Sue Bonzell: Although, she’s pretty talented. She rides horses and things like that. So you get to pick your questions. We’re just going to do a couple of these and we’ll see where it goes.

Allie Colleen: Okay. If you met a genie, what would your three wishes be? Okay. My first one would be that I could talk to animals.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, good one. That’s a good one.

Allie Colleen: My second one would be, I feel like you would freak me out and I would hate it but I don’t know if you’ve seen the Avengers and stuff. But there’s there’s the girl… I’m sorry, not that but Guardians of the Galaxy.

Sue Bonzell: Oh.

Allie Colleen: There’s the girl that when she touches you, she can feel your emotions.

Sue Bonzell: Oh. That’s-

Allie Colleen: I think that would be really rad.

Sue Bonzell: Woo. That would be rad.

Allie Colleen: But selectively. I don’t want to be bumping through crowded rooms and be like,-

Sue Bonzell: You turn it on like-

Allie Colleen: … calm down everybody. Yeah. And my third one would probably be selective negative calories.

Sue Bonzell: Oh.

Allie Colleen: Eat whenever you want and just pick-

Sue Bonzell: That… Okay.

Allie Colleen: Pick the nutritions that you get from it. You know what I mean?

Sue Bonzell: It’s like, I’m going to eat the whole chocolate cream pie, the whole thing.

Allie Colleen: I’m going to eat the whole [inaudible 00:13:38] and we’re just going to log 85 calories and that’s what’s going to happen.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, my God.

Allie Colleen: Those would be my three.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, those are good.

Allie Colleen: Thank you.

Sue Bonzell: Those are good. Okay. All right. So yeah, you guys have to listen.

Allie Colleen: You have to do it also, right?

Sue Bonzell: Oh, no. This is not about me. This is about you.

Allie Colleen: No, next time I’m bringing my own basket of questions.

Sue Bonzell: Well, you’re coming back. You’re definitely coming back.

Allie Colleen: I have to bring my guitar. I owe you guys a song. So I have to come back and play you guys song. Have you ever lied to get out of a bad date, if so, what was the lie? I’m going to be honest. I’m just going to tell you, I don’t want to go on the date. Out of full respect, it’s just going to be, “Hey man. I don’t want to waste your time-

Sue Bonzell: I’m out.

Allie Colleen: … I don’t want to waste your time. I don’t want to do it.” Also, the question should be how many dates have you ever been asked on? Because-

Sue Bonzell: Oh. There you go.

Allie Colleen: … I really haven’t had to turn down very many at all, to be honest.

Sue Bonzell: Come on.

Allie Colleen: It’s not really a thing for me.

Sue Bonzell: Seriously.

Allie Colleen: But if I did have to lie, I would probably blame it on my dog.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, okay.

Allie Colleen: That would be my go to.

Sue Bonzell: Okay. And what kind of dog do you have?

Allie Colleen: Merry Mo, she’s an American pit mix, I think.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, cute.

Allie Colleen: She’s a rescue.

Sue Bonzell: How old?

Allie Colleen: I think she’s about 11. I’ve had her three years. Her name’s Merry Christmas but we just call her Merry.

Sue Bonzell: Are you a Christmas fan? Is this a-

Allie Colleen: I got her on Christmas Eve. And I already had an Eve at the time, so we named her Merry Christmas.

Sue Bonzell: Oh, that’s so cute. Oh, see there. All the things we didn’t know about Allie.

Allie Colleen: All the things.

Sue Bonzell: So this is why we play this game.

Allie Colleen: I like it. What’s your guilty pleasure? Probably food and if not, a hundred percent online shopping but for weird stuff. Yeah. Like, ASMR stuff or Go Cars play stuff. Yeah.

Sue Bonzell: All right. Yeah. Well, you can spend a lot of money doing that.

Allie Colleen: I really can. Yeah, I know. It’s a thing.

Sue Bonzell: Well, then you go down the rabbit hole. You’re like, “Oh, what about this?” And then there’s this.

Allie Colleen: Well, it was so cool once we started. I mentioned, I was so nervous about sharing the Halloween aspect part of me. And it got to a point where people were like, “We would love to see this costume. Here’s this much money. Will you go do it?”

Sue Bonzell: Oh, interesting.

Allie Colleen: Some people started sponsoring costumes and-

Sue Bonzell: Oh, that’s awesome.

Allie Colleen: … started sponsoring things. And it was so encouraging. It was really, really cool.

Sue Bonzell: That’s cool.

Allie Colleen: And costumes I wouldn’t have thought to have done. So I was like, this is cool for me. This is really cool.

Sue Bonzell: That’s a collective project then. Yeah. Okay. But we have to have a whole photo album book of Allie and all of her looks.

Allie Colleen: Yes. [inaudible 00:15:50].

Sue Bonzell: So maybe that’s the line you need to do. The makeup line is the… You know what I mean?

Allie Colleen: Yes. That would be a killer. I could do a… Those things are so expensive. That’d be rad for me. [inaudible 00:16:04] expensive. I would love that.

Sue Bonzell: I like that. Well, thank you for playing the game. See-

Allie Colleen: Thank you.

Sue Bonzell: We all win at this game because we got some good info and everything.

Allie Colleen: I like your questions. They’re good questions. I’m also interested because they’re numbered. So I know how many there are in there.

Sue Bonzell: I have no idea.

Allie Colleen: Well then, why’d you number them?

Sue Bonzell: I don’t know.

Allie Colleen: That’s fair.

Sue Bonzell: Well, thank you so much.

Allie Colleen: Thank you.

Sue Bonzell: You guys can get her album now, this one right here, Stones.

Allie Colleen: Yep. You guys can get it as a CD on my website, alliecolleenmusic.com. That’s a store or you can get it on all stream platforms, however you prefer. And then Halos and Horns is out. So go check it out you guys.

Sue Bonzell: Yay. Thanks for watching Up N Country. Be sure to like and subscribe and leave us a comment. We do new episodes every Tuesday and be sure to follow Up N Country on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. And you can follow me too at Sue Bonzell on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.