1. Tell us about your craziest touring experience?
Hmmm… let’s see. It would probably have to be the time we broke down in Jackson Hole, WY. We were driving thru on our way to Billings, MT to play a show for Montana State University. I should preface this story by saying that this tale of ours has so many twists and turns that if told correctly… It can take up to an hour to explain. So since we don’t have that kind of time, you’re gonna get the “Cliffs Notes” version.
It was a crazy 3 day misadventure between Wyoming and Montana involving one Tiki Taxi, two transmissions dying, surfboards on the freeway, a saloon with no doors, an open mic night, roaming dogs, wolf spiders and peyote harvesting, an elk destroying a tow truck radiator, The Beartooth Pass, Yellowstone National Park and Old Faithful, Cake’s “The Distance”, and a case of Heineken. If you’re interested in the full version, I told this story on NPR’s show SNAP JUDGMENT. Refer to this link.
2. What type of college class would you’d most want to take and why?
Now? Probably something involving literature. I enjoy reading whenever I get the time to. I was a performance major at school so I read a lot of plays, but not too many novels. And there’s so many classics I still need to read. If that class wasn’t available, I might take a “How to succeed in business without really trying” kind of class. That could be useful.
3. What city in America is the most fun to visit and why?
Ooh! Good question. I don’t know. There are so many amazing spots in this country. Nashville and Austin are a blast. Most of California, I find pretty seductive. Las Vegas is absolutely hypnotic! Although, if I had to choose a favorite, it would have to be New York City. There are no substitutes for NYC. It makes me feel like I’m living in a movie. Just magnificent.
4. What’s some of the best advice you were ever given?
You want one, but I’m gonna give you three.
#1. Bob Dylan said, “If you can wake up in the morning, and rest your head on a pillow at night, and in between do what you love… you are a success.”
#2. Willie Nelson’s thoughts on perseverance,” Ultimately, the world has got to get around to guys like us.”
#3. My Mom and Dad,”Honesty is the best policy.”
5. What’s in heavy rotation in your MP3/CD player right now?
Well, I have been having a lot of fun listening to my old 8 track player lately, to be honest. Here are my top 5 8Track jams.
The Best of Sam Cooke
The Band “The Last Waltz” Pt. 1 & 2
Paul Simon “Still Crazy After All These Years”
Fleetwood Mac “Rumours”
The Best of The Doobie Brothers
As far as newer stuff goes, this is what I’m listening to right now.
Iron & Wine w/ Calexico “In The Reins”
Dr. Dog “Shame, Shame”
The Civil Wars “Barton Hollow”
Band Of Horses “Infinite Arms”
The Dear Hunter “The Color Spectrum”
6. The last good book you read or TV show you’re addicted to?
Book? “Bumping Into Geniuses” By Danny Goldberg. TV Show? I’ve been on a real 30Rock kick at the moment. I’m a big Alec Baldwin fan!
7. What’s the first concert you ever saw – how was it?
The Alternative Nation Tour with Soul Asylum, Spin Doctors, and Screaming Trees. It was awesome. My big brother got me drunk.
8. What are three items you can’t live without on tour?
#1. Coffee. Dark coffee. It makes up most of the blood in my body.
#2. SanBitter. It’s a drink made by San Pelligrino. I love it!
#3. The iPhone. I hate to be that guy, but it’s true.
9. Who are your major musical influences?
This is an impossible question to answer, because there are so many! I am influenced by so much. Music is not the only influence on me musically, but also: Art, Film, Food, City Life, Country Life, Roadside America, Literature, you-name-it, the list goes on and on. I would say that a well-placed cup of really good coffee in my day has as much influence on me as say… Simon & Garfunkel’s live version of “America” from their concert in Central Park, or growing up singing choir music, or performing theater, or looking at my older brother’s artwork, or watching a film like Dazed & Confused. I am inspired and influenced by everything. I mean, we all are…right? It’s hard for me to differentiate influence or inspiration. It’s like picking my favorite breathes of fresh air. There are just too many good ones.
Any random messages or tips you’d like to give to mtvU watchers?
“Being cool is over-rated. Just be yourself. It’ll be easier and far more gratifying in the end.” Thanks for letting me ramble! See you down the road.