White Denim Frontman: Why I Chose Music Over Baseball

James Petralli is the son of a professional baseball player – but he took a different path.

By Haley HowleMay 6, 2015 8:28 am

If you’re smart, you don’t pin your whole future in a career in pro-baseball. Not even if you’re the son of a major league player for the Texas Rangers. When he was a kid, James Petralli would watch his dad Geno Petralli on TV and wait for him to get home after a long series on the road. Well these days James is in his 30s. He’s a father himself and he also spends long weeks on the road, but not playing ball like his dad used to.

James Petralli, frontman of the band White Denim – and more recently the solo outfit Bop English – is perhaps one of Texas’ most well known indie rock guitarists.

On how he feels about baseball:

“As I get older and I have my own family, I really want to go back out to the field and kind of share that part of my life.”

On being pulled away from baseball:

“Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin just really got to me when I was about 17 years old.”

The first song he learned:

“The first song I learned on guitar was ‘Bad To The Bone.’ I’d close my door and play that thing. I was probably terrible but I really felt bad to the bone. I felt like I was the best at playing that riff.”

On why he’s pursuing this solo project Bop English:

“I did a lot of multi-tracking on this record…things that I couldn’t really justify doing in a quartet setting like White Denim.”

On the future of White Denim:

“White Denim is my life, you know. I’m going to continue that group with as much enthusiasm as…you know that’s my band right there. I’ve got to keep it together.”