Exclusive: Cody Jinks Discusses How He Changed the Game for Himself Ahead of His Highly-Anticipated New Album

Cody Jinks will release his long-awaited new album Change the Game this Friday (March 22) via his label Late August Records. The Texas-based singer/songwriter has gone through some key life changes since he released Mercy in 2021. First and foremost, he put down the bottle and is living an alcohol-free life. Additionally, he cut ties with his former management and is now leading his own fully independent team. Longtime listeners will hear the positive changes when the album drops later this week.

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Ahead of the album’s release, Jinks sat down with American Songwriter to talk about the big life changes, a couple of standout tracks from the album, and more.

[RELATED: Review: Cody Jinks Serves Up Honesty, Earthiness, and Uncompromised Artistry on ‘Change The Game’]

Cody Jinks on Why He Went Independent

Change the Game is an aptly-titled record. Jinks changed the game for himself and his team when he decided to go fully independent and take the reins of his career. When asked why he did it, he said, “I just got to the point where I felt like I was at a ceiling and I needed to do something different.”

“A lot of things happened in my life that led me to this place. It’s exciting, it’s a lot more challenging than it was,” he said. “It was just time for it to happen. I didn’t necessarily think that it was going to happen but it did and, at this point, I’m very comfortable with it,” he added.

Cody on Being Sober

Jinks stopped drinking cold turkey about six months ago. When asked about his current sobriety he said, “Best decision I ever made,” without hesitation. “It’s been a long time coming,” he added. “It was one of those deals where I just woke up one day and decided I was done and haven’t touched a drop since. After a quarter-century of intoxication, I put it down and haven’t looked back.”

He went on to say that his sobriety allowed him to get out of his former management situation and steer his career forward. Had he not stopped drinking, he doesn’t believe any of what he has done leading up to Change the Game would have been possible.

Cody Jinks on Two Standout Songs from Change the Game

During his chat with American Songwriter, Jinks took time to discuss two standout album tracks from Change the Game

“What You Love”

“What You Love” is a song that is packed with solid advice that nearly anyone could use. Jinks was more than happy to discuss it in-depth.

“It means so much to me,” he said. “That was the perfect song to put at the end of this record. Once people listen to the album, they’ll understand. I still can’t listen to it without tearing up when those strings come in. It’s insane, the feelings it evokes” he added.

“No matter what it is in your life that you give yourself to, you have to give yourself to it completely or it’s not going to work,” he said, explaining the song’s message. “If you’re not giving everything you have, no matter what it is you’re trying to care for or nurture, you’re not going to have a very good harvest.”

He went on to explain, “That song is saying, ‘Hey, be passionate. Live with vigor. Wake up every day and be on fire about something. Give whatever it is you love everything you’ve got.’”

Then, he revealed why he believes that message is so important today. “There’s a lack of passion these days. You see it because people get wrapped up in the screens they stare at all the time,” he said, adding, “Now, I’m not going to say I’m any different.” He went on to say that being wrapped up in the barrage of negativity from social media and other parts of the internet depletes people’s passions. “It makes them sad and puts them in a bad place. I see a change in society. That’s why we tell our kids to work hard, be nice, and the rest will take care of itself.”

“Take This Bottle”

Faith No More originally included the Mike Patton-penned “Take This Bottle” on their 1995 album King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime. Jinks and his longtime friend and touring partner Pearl Aday turned it into a stirring duet.

Before recording “Take This Bottle,” Jinks and Aday co-wrote a song called “Ashes to Ashes.” He called her and asked if she wanted to record that track along with a cover and press them onto a vinyl single. She agreed and suggested they cover this song.

Aday called Patton to clear a couple of minor changes to the song to make it a duet and he enthusiastically agreed.

In the end, they decided to scrap the vinyl single idea and put “Take This Bottle” on the new album. It was too good not to share with a wider audience.

“We turned it into something we thought was really, really powerful. When Pearl ramps up in the second half of the second verse, I still get chills when we do it live. She just reaches down your throat, grabs you by the guts, and pulls,” he added.

Cody Jinks’ new album Change the Game hits streaming platforms and record store shelves Friday, March 22 via Late August Records.

Featured Image by Jason Deramo Courtesy of Sacks & Co.

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