East Cameron Folkcore out of Austin, Texas left me speechless after their performance at this years Muddy Roots Festival just a couple of weeks ago. In a euphoric haze I picked up what I thought was their new album, it was not… it was their 2013 release called “For Sale”. An amazing album as well, but I don’t see the point in reviewing an older album when the band just released, what I can call, one of the best albums of 2015. So I turned to spotify to do this review, but that ended abruptly when after two songs Justin Bieber started talking to me about his new album… A lesser evil was the answer, iTunes. You can buy the cd or double LP via the links below. My order is in!

This was by far the hardest review to date. This album is so complex and versatile, it’s not just the songwriting, the lyrics or the blend of genres… This album takes you on an emotional ride with a message that is very universal. It is true that our world is changing and not for the better, they may sing about America or their own city, but on this day that the Belgian government decided that equality is no longer a right for everyone I feel their anger, fear and disgust. We are mere puppets that can be pushed around or at least that is what they want us to think, untill we can take no more, and when that day comes… WE DO FUCKING NOTHING!

I still have no idea what to call the style of music these guys play, they blend indie-folk(?) with hardcore like out-bursts, layered with strings and vocal harmonies. Now what makes this album so intense? All songs flow into each other in such a brilliant way like you’re listening to a story or watching a movie and what ever happens, you want to know what’s coming up next, it grabs you by the neck and seldom loses it’s grip.

The album is made up in four parts, Canto I: The grand illusion, Canto II: Through the Looking Glass, Canto III: The People Speak and Canto IV: Ship of Fools.

Canto I opens with “What the Thunder Said”, a spoken word piece with underlaying “ambient” sounds, strings and horns, telling us what our world today is all about. It’s not pretty, but damn… If you think about the words, they are all painfully true… The tittle track “Kingdom of Fear” follows and with this first real song the band shows you what great songs writers they are and also present you the level on which the lyrics have been written. If by now it wasn’t clear, this is not you average drinking, loving, losing and fighting album. This is a statement, a protest, maybe even a stand against todays world.

The more you listen to the album, and you have to really listen, the more you get pulled in and discover new sounds, new layers and new (hidden) messages. The footsteps at the beginning of “The Greater Fool” being one of these little things. The vocal harmonies on this song are of such a high standard and the layers just keep unfolding untill the end. This is a song of great beauty!
“Fracking Boomtown” is one of the songs that doesn’t asks it’s listener to think about it, it clear and simple. Fracking sucks! It hurts people and should not be legal! Period!

“When we get Home” with it’s almost classical like orchestration gives us the story of a soldier dreaming of coming home, and in this time of age we all know someone who was in a war that didn’t make sense, and maybe this song will help us understand their fear and uncertain thoughts on what to expect when the day comes…
I know a bunch of punk bands that wish they would have written “Protest Hero”. This song gave me goosebumps in the beginning and I had my fist up in the air at the end. It took me straight back to 1999 when we where on the street fighting police and nazi scum, raising our voice against racism and intolerance. It also remembered me of the feeling I got afterwards… “What was the fucking point? What did we gain with this, are we making a difference, are we not the same?”

Coming home to the city you grew up in or lived your whole life, seeing it all changed can be hard, and you wonder, “why?, is this what it became?” I think that when we grow older we think back and remember a false past, but that doesn’t make it less hard. “Our City” is a song that feeds this feeling, and this feeling of injustice only gets bigger when we realise we had a hand in it ourself. Absolutely one of the best songs on the album!
The more I listen to the record, the more I realise we lost our innocence a long time ago. The phrase in “Newspeak”, “Back when Orwell was sci-fi” makes it all so real…
“Into Hells Sea” picks up where “Newspeak” ended with the words “I hope you can swim” and takes us to our almost final ride filled with despair, lost love, fear and regrets… No this is not a happy record…

East Cameron Folkcore is one of those bands that deserves to be huge, but maybe never will. It will not be their fault, in a day of age where everything is cut into small pieces and fed to the masses without a critical thought needed, I hope they will never give up. There are people out there that need this music, this message to hold on, to feed and grow stronger and then rise up and say, “FUCK NO! NO MORE!” I hope this day comes soon…

https://eastcameronfolkcore.bandcamp.com/album/kingdom-of-fear
http://eastcameronfolkcore.com/folkstore.html
http://www.ghvc-shop.de/detail/east-cameron-folkcore-kingdom-of-fear

Muddy Roots Music Festival 2015… Number four for Inny and me. It’s becoming “normal” you would think, but every time we drive up there, a feeling of coming home takes over. This was number four in Cookeville, we did them all in Belgium, but this time it was extra special. We brought close friends with us and hoped they would have the same experience we had those three previous years. A feeling of freedom, friendship, honesty and pure joy (unless monday morning…) that’s what we where hoping they would feel. I’m damn sure they did.

Sophie, the rebel, doing her own thing, getting on my nerves, buying moonshine, handing out gifts and beer. I tried to take care of her, but I knew better, she’ll be alright where ever she is. Jo, my brother from an other mother (I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true), a wild-man if he wants to be, a caretaker if needed, a great songwriter and a friend for life. Kim, the little loud city girl, a heart of gold, a head full of lovely chaos and the temper of a furious cat (unless she encounters a spider…). And last but not least, Inny, my wife for eight years, my soul-mate for 15. My rock, my know it all head-buster, my Goddess. This was my troop, these where my travelers, these where my fellow pilgrims on the road to mud… We survived… These are our stories…

Mikey Classic and his Lonesome Spur
Muddy Roots without The Goddamn Gallows? HELL NO! Well yeah… but don’t worry, Mikey took on the heavy burden and we all knew he would deliver the goods… Check out his solo album. Is it Gallows Light? I’m not sure, some folks think it is, but for me it’s just Mikey doing his thing and doing it good! I had the chance to do merch for them at some of their European shows earlier this year and they welcomed me as an old friend. I love Mikey and the rest of them crazy idiots, even Avery…

The Barnyard Stompers
Casey and Megan… First time we ran into these guys, they where playing the open mic stage a few years ago. Casey was drunk as fuck and still being one hell of a frontman, while Megan kept the rhythm going on her drums like an army general pushing his troops into battle. The Barnyard Stompers do what they do, they don’t take shit from nobody, follow no trends and get shit done! I love it. They have songs that I wish ANTiSEEN would play, and they should!

East Cameron Folkcore
One of the bands on this years line-up that I never heard of. I gave them a quick listen while making preparations. They made it to my “must watch list”. And boy was I glad I went to see them and even more glad I filmed them. I shot more than just this, but for some reason the camera fucked up two other songs. But for the rest of their set I was dancing my ass off. They gave me a “Refused goes bluegrass” feeling. I know it doesn’t do them justice, but I think you know what I’m talking about.

The Urban Pioneers
Is there life after The Broken Band? Sure there is! Jayke is doing his thing, James always did it and Liz and Jarred are proving everyone wrong as well. What started as an in between project became a solid band playing all over the world. If you got talent, you got talent, it’s that simple.

Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy
“It’s my party and cry if I want to”, that’s the song that pops into my head every time the boys from Kansas come on stage. I don’t think they ever played this song, I’m sure they hate this song. But the fact is, that when they are playing, it’s going to be a party, and if you’re not feeling it… YOU SUCK! In this “scene”, I hate the word, these guys are on the same level as The Goddamn Gallows, and people may not yet know this, but I’m sure that they will make their mark and I wish them all the good things coming to them. TETTE BLOEWET!

The Calamity Cubes!
I know there where people at the festival only to see Dr. Ralph Stanley, I also know that some people came only because these guys where playing. Can you blame them? The Cubes are that good and anyone that says otherwise is a dick… Simple as that! They are responsible for some of the best songs going around our little ball of dinosaur shit and you better learn to live with it…

Sean and Zander
The Legendary Duo! That’s all… Enjoy!

After the Sean and Zander show I put my camera away, it was rum o’clock…

While on our trip in the USA we met up with our friends in the Kountry Kittens at the Lazy Z resort in Sonora. What a beautiful place… We shared a cabin with the most wonderful folks, Jayke, Anna and Michael James. Jo got him a cheap ass guitar at a pawn shop in Seattle… Jayke and Jo played some songs and this is what we got… Second song in the video is an original by Jo (Jumpin’ Jim) Enjoy!

Thank you Anni and the rest of the Kittens, we love you girls to dead!

After releasing the split-album with Belgium’s Black Cat Bone Squad earlier this year the boys from Milwaukee are back with a new full album. And what an album it is… This must be their best release up to this date, opening with the haunting “Sharpen up the meat cleaver”. This slow-moving song with the chilling sharpening sound in the back sets the sound for the rest of the album. It’s going to be a dark and unsettling journey through a land of misery, filled with thugs, bad woman and alcohol…

In “One last gasp” Henry has met his match and goes all the way to the bitter end. Love can be a bitch, ey matey… What really struck me while listening to this album is how perfect the mix of the instruments is. With lots of albums the washboard is somewhere in the back or way up front, but on this one it’s just in there. Lacking a drummer and relying on just Cris as the rhythm section it still sounds fantastic. Here’s to you Brother! CHEERS!!!

With “If we ever wake” and “Smoke in the eye” it becomes crystal clear that this album is not about having a good time and drinking with your buddies. You can feel the despise for certain people, not only for who they are but for their actions. But then again it never goes to tacky name calling, it’s cryptic and I guess I love how Henry plays with words.

With “2 devils” the guys wrote another great sing-a-long (as they have done in the past) that will be a hit at future live shows. It’s catchy as hell! If you are ever in need for words to break up a relationship, listen to “A thousand ways”. If after that you still don’t know how to break the news, you’re an idiot! For the first 30 seconds of this song, going by the tittle, you would think it’s going to be a ballad or corny love song, boy was I wrong… Haha, I’m pretty sure it was their intention. Thanks for the chuckling boys…

There’s one more thing I really like about S.S. WEB’s way of writing songs. While the music is up-tempo or there is a bunch of snare picking going on, Henry’s singing is at a whole different pace and this brings a sort of calm over the songs.

While the album goes on we come to another highlight in the form of “Bring me home”. A desperate call for the end that could bring doubt to the happiest person on this planet. I guess I’ll take another feel-good pill now, thanks again guys… Sigh…

We come to a close with two extremely dark sounding and slow songs, and I love them both. “Do they” seems to be a complaint against the hypocrisy of religion (I could be wrong). While “You can’t run forever” is a straight forward murder song. It takes balls to end your album with these two, because they leave the listener in a bit of a haze and pressing the repeat button to feel more depressed it not something most people would do. (I did…)

You can buy the record at live shows and it will be for sale online soon I was told. The i-tunes date is not set yet. But make sure you get your hands on this. It’s so damn good!

Last week we got an email in our inbox from a very lovely lady named Kate, praising what we do with the website and the Beagle Sessions. Along with the praises there was a press release about a band that I never heard of. She asked me to read it and listen to the tunes if I had the time. At that moment it hit me, “oh fuck, this girl is being so nice to us, what if this band sucks? I don’t want to be the one to tell her, ah fuck me!!!!” But don’t be fooled, Kate was not just looking for a cheap way to give some crappy band some media attention. She knew what she was doing, she knew the band was good, real good, and I knew it after just one song. Thank you Kate!

The album opens with the 1930’s jazz song “I lost my gal from Memphis”. The song was originally composed by Peter De Rose, with lyrics by Charlie Tobias. Rollie and his boys give the song a small make-over with tremendous respect to the original wich ends up in a fun swinger. It puts a smile on your face and makes you want to dance with a pretty lady.

For the next song Rollie and his band slow it way down with the Charlie Patton classic “Elder Green Blues”. Where in the Patton version you hear a violin, I’m damn sure these guys used an accordion and it sounds just perfect. It adds to the sadness of the song. After the instrumental “Michigan Stomp” (an original I think) we head over to the traditional “Satan your kingdom must come down”, this song is best known in the Robert Plant version but I have to say I like this one better. It’s darker, more intense, you can feel something lurking in the dark and those minimal jazzy drum strokes combined with the controlled feedback make it one hell of a song!

We pick up the pace again with another original called “Speakeasy Rag”, it’s again an instrumental song in wich the bands shows how good they actually can play and control their instruments. Check out this video and judge for yourself. I was impressed.

After a little intermesso on organ we come to  another 1930’s popular swinger named “It ain’t right”, first recorded by Stuff Smith. Again the violin is missing like in the first recording, but what the boys do with the song makes up that feeling in a heartbeat. There’s something in Rollie’s singing style, he swallows the last letters of most words he sings, this would be something that would bother me with every other singer, but it works for him. Is it just the way he talks? I don’t know, but it sounds just right and makes this song even better. I included the video for this song at the end of the review, check it out!

“KC Moan” by the Memphis Jug Band is up next. By now I was wondering… “These guys play all covers, well most of the songs… I don’t like cover bands, I hate cover bands… Why am I doing a review for a fucking cover band?” You know why? Because they play them so good and with so much respect it doesn’t feel like it’s a cover. And they don’t play covers if you think about it, they play a song recorded before by an other artist in a time long gone. They are passing these songs on to the next generation, they are paying an homage to these old blues and jazz legends and I respect them for doing so.

The next homage is “James Alley Blues”, recorded by Richard ‘Rabbit’ Brown in New Orleans on march 11th in 1927. It was a sad song back then, it still is now. While Mister Brown’s version is very slow, Rollie and his boys go for a more up tempo version, but it doesn’t take the “sad” out and that’s how it is to be.

The last song on the record is “Done Got Old” by David “Junior” Kimbrough. It’s the youngest song on the album apart from the originals and again the band nails it. Dirty, fast blues with a country feel this time and with awesome hand-claps in the background and amazing picking by Rollie.

I would call this album a history lesson that every person who likes blues, Jazz, roots or whatever “rock” music should listen to. I got to know so many great and long forgotten songs and artists while listening to these tunes. Is it original? No! Is it good? Hell yeah! Am I going to look different now upon cover bands? NO! Fuck them! Unless they do it like this, pay homage and don’t take the easy way out.

Picture by Peter Smith


		
	
	

On the Belgian national holiday there where many places to go, but if you love some good old live music played by some amazing people, there was only one place to be! The first edition of Roots in het Park! It was a free festival with such a great line-up. Fishgutzzz, Philip Bradatsch, James Hunnicutt, S.S. WEB and to top it of, Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy! For most of the artists it was the last show of their tour, so they played their very best and had a great time hanging out with friends and family, old and new.

Thanks to Kurt from Rootstown Bookings and all the people helping out!

Enjoy the video’s we made, and we hope there will be more of this the coming years…

By now most of you have heard the news about Owen’s passing… I woke up to this at 5 in the morning to get to work and the news felt like a fist to the gut.

The first time I met Owen was last year at Muddy Roots in Cookeville, I think it was Lou Shields that introduced us to each other. He gave me a firm handshake and made a sarcastic joke about Belgium. I knew from that moment on he was a great guy. I had seen him play in 2012 and loved his songs from the first note. In a scene where most bands are  playing with dirty punk sound or attitude, Owen went the traditional path and I admired him for that.

From time to time we talked a little on facebook and he was always so thankful even if I couldn’t help, he was grateful that I tried. That’s a quality I miss in folks these days, you can’t always have what you want, but be thankful for people trying… Owen was like that, he was honest, straight forward, in your face and funny as hell!

It seems like last week, but Muddy Roots Europe is already a month away and that’s where I got to know more about Owen. He hung out at our camp every night, he sang songs to us while we shared drinks, burgers and stories. Owen was an amazing storyteller. People would gather around him and listen to him tell one of his crazy adventures, when the story was over he took a big sip of rum and played another song. He would then pass the guitar and let somebody else play and he would listen, really listen. He cared about that, people playing their songs…  Every time he walked up to our camp you could see smiles on people’s faces, and the biggest one was his. He was so happy being in Europe, playing songs, telling stories or teaching people how to play a better banjo. He was teaching Stefan from Black Cat Bone Squad how to play clawhammer. Stefan who is ten years older took it all in as a little kid, looking at Owen like he was god… It was beautiful…

If you look at what’s happening on facebook you know that Owen touched many hearts, he sure touched mine. We where making plans to do an interview and a (non)Beagle Session in Cookeville in September and I was so looking forward to it. I guess it’s never gonna happen… The news of his passing makes me so damn sad, but I try to think about that one weekend, just a month ago, and that puts a smile on my face. I hope you can do the same. Remember him as he was, one hell of a good guy!

Here’s to you Owen! You will never be forgotten! CHEERS!

Sunday, June 28th we had the pleasure of having them Carrie Nation boys over at our place. We did an interview and they played 3 songs in our back yard. Later that day they played a show at the Irish pub in Diest. After the show they crashed at our place, the Beagles sure loved it…

 

 

Waking up sunday morning was hard… Real hard… All this fun, drinking, and goofing of with old and new friends was getting to me. I’m only 34, but I’m sure as hell not 16 anymore. But hey, the show has to go on! Due to the fact I was having a hard time getting trough the day there is not as much video as I wanted. My sincere apologies for this.

Viva Le Vox kicked of the party at 1 PM, but for me personally,  they deserved a spot way higher on the schedule. I mean, this is party music, and 1 PM is to early to party… I’m not saying that there where bands that had to be lower on the schedule, it’s just… Aaarrgghhh fuck it! Viva le Vox kicks ass, that’s all.

Our buddy and good friend Lou Shields was up next and he always puts a smile on my face, on and of stage. There’s just something about him. He has a new album coming up, so keep your eyes open for that one! Oh and enjoy the dancing skills Cris from S.S. WEB is demonstrating next to the stage…

Sunday was going to be a little more traditional musical wise then the previous days and with Owen Mays, Jason booked the perfect guy to serve us some old school country and Honky Tonk tunes. We had been hanging out with Owen, well Owen had been hanging out with us at our camp, and he played us some songs the days before together with Jo from Black Cat Bone Squad during a late night jam session, so we made sure not to miss his set! I remember him walking up to camp on sunday morning with a smile from ear to ear with the great news that Liz Sloan would be joining him and his boys on stage for the entire set. And what a set it was…

The Hooten Hallers!!! The FUCKING HOOTEN HALLERS!!!! Holy Crow!!! Most folks had no idea who they where, but did they make new fans and friends, yes SIR! With John on guitar, Andy on drums and Kellie on bass sax they put down a totally original sound that grabs you by the balls and makes you dance. Could we describe them as Morphine on swamp gas? Maybe we can, but there is no need to compare them to any other band, these are The Hooten Hallers, and The Hooten Hallers are The Hooten Hallers… Hooten Hallers, I just love to say Hooten Hallers…

After this I was done filming, I was tired, I needed to relax my shoulders and my back. I did get to see some more good shows. But most of the time I used sunday to hang with friends and family. We hope to see you all again next year, and some of you in a two months in the states!

We did an interview with James Hunnicutt at our place two days ago after he played a radio show here in Belgium. It’s uncut, just two people talking… Enjoy!

Day two started with a hangover. But be honest, what did you expect? Carrie Nation dropped a bomb on us and the party didn’t stop after Beatman ended his set. We went back to camp to find a bunch of drinking buddies, artists and friends all hanging out together. So Saturday had a slow start… But after a good breakfast, some personal care taking and a first beer we where ready for round two!

S.S. WEB played their first official European show and damn… I’ve seen a bunch of guys hit a washboard, but Cris Bissell is something else! Together with Henry Berger (who we’ve seen on tour with The hangdog Hearts)  he makes a dynamic duo to which Batman and Robin look like a bunch of pussies… And thank you Uriah for saying hello to us European folks (we still love you…)

The Freeborn Brothers from Poland played their second show at Muddy Roots Europe. And they just get better and better, hobo blues trash grass? Who cares, it’s all about the party… They’ll play Muddy Roots in Cookeville this year, and let me tell you this my American friends: “Get ready, get dirty, get hot, The Freeborn Brothers will clean your soul!”

No James Hunnicutt, No Muddy Roots! Simple as that! So James was here… Who cares? WE ALL DO!!! He had some tricks up his sleeve this year. Just watch the video…

The Urban Pioneers where up next and I have to say that their sound and songs got so much more powerful now they play as a four piece band. I loved them as a duo, I loved them as a trio, but now they got that extra punch that takes their songs to a higher level. This also leaves more room for some fun on stage without losing the flow of the song. And before I forget, STAGGER IS THE MAN!!!

What to say about the Goddamn Gallows? They are a bunch of stinky, sweet, kind-hearted fellows that love to have a good time on and of stage. They are a bunch of guys that I’m proud of to know personally. Not because they are the Gallows, but because they are honest and in your face and well… They have a few good songs… 😉

Muddy Roots Europe is over for yet another year… But don’t feel sad about it, next year is not far away. And you can always come to Cookeville! If you can’t wait for any of this, most bands are still playing all over Europe as we speak…

For now you’ll have to be happy with these video’s. We start with Them Old Crap. These guys came all the way from Brazil to have a party with us. I don’t think there ever was an opening act at Muddy Roots on a friday with such a big crowd. ENJOY!

For us Dylan Walshe was up next. We missed some bands because we had friends to hug, people to talk to and have some drinks. But I’m sure you’ll like this footage of Dylan. He’s an awesome guy with a voice that can make demons cry…

Bruno Esposito a.k.a. Lone Wolf OMB, party animal, international rock star, friend and most of all a damn good musician! We have been hanging out the last couple of weeks and this guy is a handful and that’s why we love him. “Can’t talk Bruno… I’m to drunk…”

On this first day of the festival there was one band everyone was talking about. Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, expectations where high as fuck and the boys knew. What happened next was nothing less then a huge dance party. People where dancing their ass off!!! It was beautiful… I shot the first 5 minutes from the pit, so it’s a little shaky…

Some time ago I bumped into Darren Deicide while surfing the web. He instantly grabbed my attention with his music and, while looking further into him, also as a person. “This guy, now that’s something we don’t see everyday in this “roots” scene”, was what I was thinking. I got in contact with him and from one thing came the other…

Some weeks later I got his EP “Bomb This Joint” in my mailbox. This little slap of vinyl has been doing rounds on my turntable for a while now, and it gets better every time I play it. The title track is a wild footstomping piece of rhythm and blues punk that will make you wanna dance like you’re possessed by the devil himself. It sounds simple and repetitive at first, but it’s so effective. And when those hand claps come in… they just hit the spot! On the B-side we find “Hudson River Hangover” A slow-moving song with a deep impact. Darren only plays the most essential strings on this and it gives the song a dark and minimal feel. It has a certain threat coming towards you, a feeling something bad is going to happen soon… This ep, as all other ep’s, is way too short and leaves you hungry for more. So I suggest you all go to Darren’s website and order his music. You can also find him on Spotify, but please buy directly from him, we all know why…

Now enjoy the interview.
1. First things first, please tell our readers who you are, where you’re from, what you do in daily life…
I’m Darren Deicide. I reside in Jersey City, New Jersey though I’m originally from Chicago. I guess you could say that I’m a devotee of a certain thread of music tradition, that which comes from the tradition of diabolical Americana. Its influence has spanned decades and been in a constant state of evolution, and it has been great to be a part of it in any way, whether it’s playing my music, archiving music from the past, getting people to swing, or anything in-between.

2. Darren you play as a solo artist now, did you play in other bands before? Who was it, what did you play? Or have you always been a lone wolf?
I actually grew up playing piano, though I never did any public performances beyond recitals. I then picked up guitar. Like any good rebellious teen, I’ve played guitar in a slew of mediocre punk bands that mostly aren’t worth mentioning. I’ve also dabbled with other musicians, but musicians are a notoriously flakey group of people. It’s very rare when one finds a deeply creative individual who isn’t a mental basketcase, or conversely a competent, sane person who isn’t completely conventional in their approach to music. For whatever reason, the parts of a human brain where organization and expression are strongest don’t seem to wire together often. I may not be an exception to that either. So, yes, I’ve been mostly a lone wolf, however I’m starting to work more with other musicians. For example, I recently wrote a song with Nathan Gray, the lead singer of Boysetsfire, called “My Star-Spangled Banner” and I think it’s great. My crystal ball tells me that more of these types of collaborations are in the future.

3. While your 2006 album “Temptation and the Taboo, part 1” had a more “atmospheric” sound you now play a more lo-fi, primitive form of, let’s call it, “blues”. Why is this? Did you want a more head-on, confrontational sound? More like your live shows, raw and in your face?
I actually did a demo before “Temptation and the Taboo, Part 1” that was probably the most raw thing I’ve ever done, and it was pretty under-developed in retrospect. But those are the breaks when you’re exploring a musical voice. “Temptation and the Taboo, Part 1” was an early experiment in conceptualism, but I never thought it was particularly far off from my live sound. It has been a guiding ethos of mine to keep my music rather organic. Part of me, indeed, wants to replicate what I do live. There’s nothing more annoying than seeing an artist live, wanting to take their music home, and then finding out the recording is a fictionalization of what they do. It can make you feel like you bought a goose egg, and I consider it a type of false advertising. But it’s also what people who understand my music want. I hear it a lot. People come up to me and say, “Make sure you keep that rawness that you have. That’s what I like about what you’re doing. It’s real.” And while “real”, in most contexts, doesn’t mean anything, I know what they’re getting at. Double-tracked, auto-tuned vocals with ridiculously reverbed snare drum and synthetic violins seems to be the order of the day, and a lot of people are sick of the overproduction and lack of subtlety. Some people are really yearning for the physical again. They want to reacquaint themselves with fleshly experiences and their primal selves, so a lot of them are looking for more ways to unplug from this hyper-connected world. A lot of psychologists and sociologists are just starting to measure the evidence about what this constant exposure to connectivity does to our brains. Many people can’t focus or be present, they feel atomized and isolated, and then they wonder why they feel so miserable. It has been quite stark to witness, especially with younger people who come to my shows. Many have no idea what it’s like to grow up without an instant connection to the social hivemind or what it’s like to be totally immersed in the present environment of a music aesthetic without the option of outside distractions. Some are simply addicted to their phones and have no social skills. I think something about roots music is a breath of fresh air to many, and the rawness is just reflective of that.

4. If it were up to you, whom of todays artists, would you like to record a song/album with?
There is so much bubbling right now that I’m constantly surprised by something I’ve never heard before. I’m not going to presumptuously assume I’d creatively mesh with anybody. One of my favorite artists is Edgefield C. Johnston over in St. Louis. He’s an amazing poet and truly one-of-a-kind. I re-wrote an old demo song I’ve been holding on to named “Static”, and he does this great segue during it. It’ll be on the future album.

5. Is there a new full album on its way? And if so, what can we expect? Just you, or are you going to work with other people?
Yes, there is! I don’t want to burst too many bubbles yet, but let’s just say that I’ve been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work to lay the foundation for it, including talking to record labels, producers, and lots of people in-between. I think every artist thinks their most recent work is their best, just because they’re more currently attached to it, but I have to say, I really think this is my best music yet. I’ve been playing a lot of these songs live, some for over a year now, but I just haven’t put them to a recording. There have been a lot of setbacks between “The Jersey Devil is Here” and today, including a serious injury I had to deal with. But I’ll be in the studio and I’ll have more news by the end of the summer.

5. Is it fair to call you a “nerd” on American music? Not being disrespectful, but you really love the history of American music don’t you?
It isn’t exactly unfair. It is true that there is nothing that moves me more than Americana. America is an inspiration. Sure, it has issues. Human beings are nasty creatures, so their foibles will always taint any society. But in some respect, a culture is a reflection of a society’s ideals, and the American revolution established many incredibly admirable ideals. Well, its culture has reflected that promise, along with the honesty and joy that is so unique to American sensibilities, whether it’s in the indulgent horn section of a swing band, the surreal landscape of the blues guitar, or the bleak tragedies of country romanticism. And the list goes on. Americana is so influential that we see other countries taking those traditions and tossing them back at us in new variations. I welcome the ante up!

6. Can I label you as a neo-traditionalist? I’m not talking about “rockabilly guys that wish they where teenagers or in their early 20’s in the 50’s, but can’t live without their Iphone”. I get the feeling you are person that takes pride in being a gentleman, somebody that takes pride in who they are, where they come from and what they are doing. Somebody that loves doing things hands on, not wait around and hopes things will “work out”… A person that takes on life as it comes and makes the best, without crying about the things that could have been.
I’ll let others be the judge of that. I’m not one to easily slap labels on myself.

7. As the host for Agent Provocateur, your online radio show, you take on everything that’s going wrong in this world. you don’t take a political stand, but you give your opinion. You say what you think and what you want. How big is the shit storm that hits you when you take on these items?
It really depends on the issue. Take for instance my analysis of Zionism. By far, out of any subject I tackled, that produced the most feedback, for and against. But the people who disagreed came out like roaches and boy, were they persistent. I titled that episode “Zionism’s Free Pass Gets Revoked”. It pointed out what a fundamentalist movement Zionism actually is and pointed out how, like any fundamentalist movement, once it gains state power, it sprouts into a totalitarian, criminal political power. That’s nothing particularly controversial. The UN and most people outside of the American-centric worldview wouldn’t be shocked. But I was bombarded with e-mails from people, and, surprise, surprise, many had personal ties with Israeli special interest. Now, take a look at the episode archive and you’ll see that some episodes later I did another entitled “Saudi Arabia’s Free Pass Gets Revoked”. Again, what I said wasn’t particularly controversial to anyone who has been paying at least a moderate amount of attention to the world beyond their navel. The structure of the analysis was essentially the same as the episode on Zionism, but instead I dissected Wahhabism, Saudi Arabia, and America’s close relationship to it. The difference in response was dramatic. I heard nothing, not a peep. Seriously, I didn’t even receive a single email or comment. Americans have deeply internalized double-standards that most aren’t questioning, with favoritism towards Zionism being an obvious one.

All moral systems are derived from political power. In that sense, might makes right. A major point of “Agent Provocateur”, besides indulging in my humorous side, is to question the legitimacy of some of those systems. This is a Satanist here, someone who has entirely rejected the notion of divine authority, the presumably greatest authority of all. Bowing to irrational pities or just accepting the face value of common narratives is not something I do easily, especially when it’s a matter of unquestioned and overly simplistic views on the world. Stupidity and hypocrisy works well for others, especially religionists and their allies, but I’ll pass.

8. You are a member, Warlock and spokesman for the Church of Satan, if so, how does this reflect on your music?
And how does this affect your personal life?
My music is a reflection of my thoughts and emotions which come from my experiences. My experiences are dictated by my life choices, and my life choices come from my approach to the world. My approach to the world comes from my ethos, which can best be described as Satanic. I assume it would work that way for any Satanist who creates art.

9. Does the fact that you are open about your affiliation with the CoS hold back your musical career in any way? And what are your feelings about this matter?
If my affiliation is something that would steer some away from my music, then Satanism is doing exactly what I want it to do, and that just tickles my underbelly. Scholarship suggests that a lot of the blues pioneers were accused of being in league with the devil during the nascent days of the blues. Most took the approach of being defensive, insisting that they were God-fearing people. A smaller minority, like Robert Johnson or Tommy Johnson, took the opposite approach and associated themselves and their art more deeply with diabolism. Count me amongst the latter.

10. Do you consider music, and more important, your music, to be a “magical” thing? (lesser or greater)
Absolutely. Just come to my show, and we’ll see if my spells have any effect on you.

11. You make your own beer I have learned, tell us more about this. Remember, we are from Belgium and have a great beer history, we are very proud of this, but I have to say, while traveling the USA the last 3 years, I did get to drink some great American micro-brewery beers. So shoot!
First, let me say that I am a huge fan of Belgium’s beer culture, and though I have never been to Belgium, I have a life-goal to eventually play there, preferably surrounded by a crew of naughty, beer-drinking Belgians. I cannot disagree with you, Belgium. Your beer is absolutely fantastic.

I’ve been brewing beer for years, long before it recently became respectable in America. It’s a passion of mine, and I’ve entered home brews in international competitions, with really great scores. It’s gotten to the point where I just brew all my beer and rarely buy beer from a store. I make exactly what I like, often with harvested ingredients from my own garden. Why settle for anything less than what you want?

A lot of art forms have overlapping aesthetic judgments. Whether it’s music informing dance, dance informing fashion, or fashion informing sound, it all cross-pollinates to create total environments. Well, I’ve always found Americana interesting in that I feel that booze and Americana have had a unique relationship. I honestly think that some songs sound like or compliment a particular libation. It’s not something that gets talked about a lot, so this theory might sound strange. I’ll give you an example. I bet any fan of Americana can tell me what the sound of moonshine is. They probably wouldn’t jump to say the Chick Webb Orchestra. That’s more of a dry martini kind of band. Even a smooth blues man like Josh White sounds a bit more like a very nicely aged bourbon. But an Appalachian bluegrass artist? Pass the jar and light the fire pit! I like to explore that overlap when I make beer or write music.

12. Can we get an exclusive? Or just some last words…
Sure. Give into temptation. It’s only your freedom.

Photo credit will be added when we get it from Darren.

http://www.darrendeicide.com

We teamed up again with The Pirate Farm Radio. As always this was a fun evening. It was good to see Lou and Bruno, hang out, listen to their music and ask them some questions.

This is what came out of it with Lou. We hope you enjoy it.

This was the first time we used two camera’s, so the editing is not great, but we’re learning more each time we try new things.

Lou and Bruno are on tour in Europe, so go see them!

I’m sure most of our readers do not know who Philip Bradatsch is, but when I drop the name “The Dinosaur Truckers” I know heads will turn and people go… “what about them, that band is awesome!!! Are they playing near by?” Philip is the tall, skinny blond guy with the hat, playing banjo and singing most of their songs. Now you know who I’m talking about? Yeah, THAT GUY!

Philip made a solo album, and it really is a solo album. He played every instrument, wrote all the songs, did what he wanted to do and made it perfect! If, after reading this review you don’t want to buy this album, I have no idea what you’re doing here. This is not “The Dinosaur Truckers Light”, this is Philip’s album, these are his songs and his feelings.

One name came to mind when first listening to this album, Townes Van Zandt. And to be honest, it keeps coming back every time I listen to it. I’ve been playing Townes’ songs for the last week along with Philip’s to see if I’m wrong, but I’m not. He didn’t make an easy ripoff, let that be clear. It feels like Philip used an old Ouija board, summoned the ghost of Townes and asked him to write an album together. It’s this good!

By now you should know this is not a party record, far from it… These songs are to be listened to all alone, accompanied with a glass of good red wine or whisky. Alone with your thoughts, reminiscing the events that took place in your life. When I was listening to the title song “When I’m Cruel” I felt like this song was written for me personally. I can be an asshole to the one that stands closest to me and sadly she has to take the shitstorm most of the time when I feel bad. This song is like an apology to that one person I love with all my heart. I am sorry…

For the love of (whatever), please do not label this album as a singer/songwriter album, because it’s so much more than that. Just listen to a song like “Down By The Gallows”, this could be a “traditional” passed along generations on, and yet it isn’t. I do hope that musicians to come will play this song and tell stories about how they first heard this and now pay tribute to it.

Two songs after the aforementioned “When I’m Cruel” the album almost comes to an end, but not before Philip drops another emotional bomb in the form of “Mudhole”. The song tells the story of a man on the edge, ready to end his life, he doesn’t seem to have anyone else to blame but himself. The sad picking of the strings in the beginning of the song sets the mood and you feel a darkness coming. The little hope you have for the man is soon washed away and by the end you feel lost and in despair. Yes folks, songs like this are still being made and Mister Bradatsch is a craftsman.

Philip will be on tour with James Hunnicutt in Europe in June and July, make sure to go see them and buy this album. Also check out “The Dinosaur Truckers”.

https://www.reverbnation.com/philipbradatsch

After a short night, we woke up with a smile on our face in the warmth of our own bed… If you remember how cold it was on friday night, we made the right decision to sleep at home… Bacon and eggs for breakfast, some play time with the dogs and we where off for day two!

Groezrock-114I was a little sad to miss out on The Interrupters, but from what I was told, they played a real good show. The first band we got to see on saturday was, just like friday, a Belgian band. Our little country is packed with talented bands and these guys are one of them. Your Highness, is not your typical Groezrock band, with their mix of metal, stoner, sludge and hardcore they do know how to throw a punch. I was amazed to see such a big crowd for these guys and especially all the young hardcore kids (not because their music is bad, but because, well… it’s a Belgian band and they don’t really play “hardcore”). They put on one hell of a show and that grooving bass really took you on a wild ride. Your Highness comes with the official “Festival Man” stamp of approval!

Groezrock-148Next up was No Turning Back. These guys from Holland have been around for over 18 years and are still on the frontlines of todays hardcore scene. With their mix of old school hardcore, punk and metal they know how to put on a party and that’s what they did. I’m not sure if they have a loyal fan base, but the tent was packed and the pit was hard. No Turning back is one of those bands that you know will be around forever, and one that will always make quality records no mater what!

Groezrock-161We had plans to go see Teenage Bottle Rockets, but we ran into some friends and decided to have a beer or two with them and talk music, photography and life in general. Hey it’s a festival! We can’t be shooting pictures and writing in notebooks all day…

Groezrock-164Frenzal Rhomb, Australian punk rock legends… What to say about these guys… Aussies are always a little exotic and so is their punk rock. Yeah sure, it sounds like every other punk rock band in the world, but then again it doesn’t! Short funny songs about drugs, drinking and having fun, yeah sounds like every other punk rock band again, but they DON’T! Jay may be a celebrity in Australia, on stage he just rocks as hard as your local drunk punk singer. For most people in the crowd it was the first time to ever see these guys and you could feel the excitement in the air. What a great show it was!

Pizza time in the press area! Shout out to the guys that made these! HELL YEAH!!! Now that’s good eating!

Groezrock-48Do you know a better way to wash away a good pizza than beer and a show? Neither do I, so we went to see Reign Supreme. This metallic hardcore band from Philadelphia is heavy as fuck and for me was one of the highlights on saturday. To be honest, I was not familiar with their songs but they blew me away, me and so many others in the Back to Basics tent. When they played a song from Integrity I thought the tent was gonna explode, it didn’t, that was a little strange, but we can’t blame the kids for not knowing all the good stuff 😉

Groezrock-183Just before the Reign Supreme show we checked Psycho 44, another Belgian band that didn’t really fit the line-up. But again the crowd was there to support them and that filled my heart with pride. Not that I really care about Belgium as a country, but the fact that people not only go for the bigger bands or international bands, is something to be proud of. With their electronic rock (cuntrock as they call it) they appeal to the mainstream and underground the same and that makes them a pretty awesome band.

Groezrock-55It may not be “cool” to run around at a hardcore show with a Raised Fist shirt (they are not underground enough you know… Sigh…) but it sure is cool to see them perform. And by the looks of it, almost everybody wanted to be cool! The tent was so packed, it became hard to move around. With their modern sounding hardcore they take the genre to a new level, maybe not new, but inviting to people who don’t really know what hardcore is. The live shows are not at a beginners level, this is full throttle, straight on, in your face madness. Alexander barks out his lyrics as a mad dog while the rest of the band tries to keep up with the energetic frontman. Great show! Would never buy a record from these guys, but GREAT SHOW!

Groezrock-76Hey Tom, what band do your really want to see at Groez?” OFF! was the only answer… If you ran into somebody who did not know who Keith Morris was, you got a free ticket to kick ’em in the nuts. Plain and simple… Keith is a legend, and not only Keith… The rest of the band payed their dues to the gods of rock’n’roll with their former bands such as Rocket From The Crypt… Some years ago I got to see Black Flag at the Muddy Roots festival in Tennessee and it sucked! Not the festival, the festival was great and I’ve being going there for 3 years (in september we’ll be on our 4th mission) but the Black Flag show to me was crap! I don’t know why, older friends, who had seen BF in their early days thought it was great, and I respect this but… For me, nah, it sucked… But OFF!, that’s how I wanted Black Flag to sound. This raw energy, this “I don’t care” attitude, this “who the hell are you” look on Keith’s face… It was one of the best shows I’ve seen EVER! I say one, I think it’s out there with my first The Goddamn Gallows show, and first Turbonegro show. I had a huge smile on my face during this entire show. And if you where at this show, I know you had to, unless you where getting your ass kicked in the pit…

AGroezrock-95fter OFF! we needed to come back down, and running into friends with beer is the best way to do so… But the party wasn’t over. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones where yet to come! I’m always up for a good ska (punk) show and the Bosstones are master and commander of the genre. It was nothing less than a dance party from start to finish! There is nothing more to tell… DANCE MONKEY DANCE!

Groezrock-100The last band for us on this second and last day was Agnostic Front. These pioneers of New York hardcore hold a special place in my hearts. Maybe because they where one of those bands that got me into hardcore, maybe because I like tradition in music (where needed). I love me a good AG show, only one thing that bugs me almost every show… the vocals… On albums I have no problem with them, but live Roger’s vocals seems to disappear after the first two letters of every word he sings. And it really bugs me… It makes the show so much, well… less good… Again with this one, the music was fantastic, great songs, great vibe, but then Roger starts to sing and I look at the sound guy like it’s his fault and it’s not… And then again, who cares, it’s a hardcore show! I just said to myself, “fuck this, just enjoy and have party”. And so it was done!

Groezrock was over for us, we had to get up early to drive to another show in the morning. Boy did we have two fun-filled days with great music, great friends and a little too much beer. Thank you to all that made Groezrock what it is today. The bands, the crews, the volunteers, the fans… THANK YOU!

See you next year…

Last saturday we had some friends over for dinner and a show afterwards… But before dinner and the show we did a little interview and made one of them play some songs for us and the rest of our guests… We had fun, and are gratefull for having awesome friends!

What really happened at the crossroads: The darker side of roots music…

Folk and roots music artists have always been singing about the devil or the darker side of our existence, we all know how Robert Johnson sold his soul at the crossroads, but in the end good always prevails over evil. Jesus is lord and God can be an asshole from time to time, but when you need him the most he’ll be there is what seems to be the general message in most of these “spiritual” songs. How you deal with this is your own personal choice.
Then there are the murder ballads, but even here the bad guy still is the bad guy and gets what he deserves in the end.

But not all artists in todays roots or folk scene walk that righteous path. As for many the devil is an inspiration to write songs, for some it is a way of life…

Chicago born Darren Deicide is one of these rare specimen. Bluesman, lindyhop dance instructor and Satanist. Darren is a warlock in the Church of Satan and spokesman for the organization. Now before you get all scared and start hiding your children in fear of them being sacrificed to the horned one down below, relax, it’s not what you think. I have been looking into Darren and he seems to be a really nice and intelligent human being walking his own path in live. And furthermore he’s a great musician! I contacted Darren to see if he was OK that I mentioned him in this article and he was more than fine with it. In the near future we’ll do an interview with him and a review of his new 7″.
At first you would think his music has nothing to do with Satan or Satanism, it’s not black metal folks… But if you really listen to it and know a little about the COS you can clearly hear what’s it all about. His music sounds dark, maybe blasphemous, but even if you don’t agree with his way of thinking, I assure you that his songs will make you dance. With nothing more than a guitar and a stomp box he’ll take you on a wild ride to hell and back (this phrase is totally justified here!).

King Dude aka T.J. Cowgill from Seattle is not your average folk musician, his music can be labeled more neo-folk than anything else, but I still think he fits this piece. “Pagan-fueled folk wrapped tight with outsider Americana” as he describes it himself is about as close it will get. He has a long history in black and death metal, but that alone is not why he’s featured here. He’s a Luciferean and very open about it.

He recently was crowned ambassador of the Greater Church of Lucifer and is very proud of this. While he was spreading wisdom and light with his music, he now also can marry people in Luciferian weddings. He recently toured Europe and as expected I could not make it to any of his shows. One day I hope to be present for one of his performances If you like dark, doomed filled folk music check out his albums and gaze into the dark abyss he creates.

Amigo The Devil, while I know nothing about Danny Kiranos’ spiritual walk of live, fits perfect in this write-up. Why you ask? Well, because where most murder ballads seem to end badly in the end for the perpetrator Danny often writes from their point of view and this makes his songs extremely dark and intense. When you listen to “The Recluse” (about Ed Gein) you can almost feel him stalking you in a dark alley before he wears your skin as a three-piece suit. Or just take a listen to “Dahmer does Hollywood”, this banjo driven song, with its amazing clever lyrics, will send shivers down your spine.

disclaimer: (the website) Old Style Music Nights is not connected to any religion, cult, church or whatever… Thank you.

The 2015 edition of the Groezrock Festival promised to be a good one, not only for the line-up of amazing bands playing this year, but also because we know that the people running this festival take care of their visitors, fans and bands alike. Just before we went on our way I went out to get gas and the car just shut down on me at the gas station. This was not a good way to start our day! After some calls I got a tow truck too where I was stranded and guess what… The batterycable came lose… I felt like such an idiot. Whatever… We got there! We checked ourself in for our press passes and dropped our gear in one of the lockers at the press tent. We are at a festival, so we set our priorities, before we do anything, “let’s have a beer!”  While sitting our ass down in the sun we noticed the dude sitting next to us, this day was going to be good, Mister Nick Oliveri was thinking the same thing we where, priorities, remember…

Groezrock-14 Toxic Shock was the first band we went to see, and that was not a bad choice. These guys from Antwerp play fast trashcore, oldschool style. After beating cancer Wally is back on the frontline to tell you how your life sucks. Jobs you don’t want to do, kids you love but don’t want to spend time with and how growing up suck… DEAL WITH IT. They played the Back to Basics stage, wich means no front, no security… A paradise for stagedivers. Maybe it was the early hour, maybe it was the fact that I have only seen them in small venue’s but the crowd was a little méh… They played their hearts out, Wally was even climbing 10 meters up in the stagesetup… Except for the people in the front the crowd did not really respond, I don’t get it, it was a great show! Their song “Monday is cancelled” got me all fired up and I was ready for a weekend of mayhem and destruction (only thing I destroyed was my liver and my wallet…)

When The Dwarves play a festival it’s always a risk, are these guys gonna fuck it all up or is it going to be great? Who remembers the 20 minute show they played in Aarschot some years ago? Nick Oliveri walked on stage full monty and the crowd loved it before they even played a note. Blag was in a great mood and was ready for a party. Did The Dwarves invent rock n roll? No! Do they play it and make it sound so much better? YES! It’s always fun to see a band interact with their fans and when Blag got into the crowd he won the hearts of all there, he did lose his mic, but that’s not his problem. I did see some girls looking at Nick, wondering and hoping if he was going to follow Blag’s example… Don’t blame them for dreaming, besides being a great bassist he got something else pretty great to the dislike of many male fans in the crowd… I mentioned this before in a previous post, but if you want your punkrock PC, stay far away from The Dwarves. But if you just want to party, get drunk and have an awesome time this is your band! If you missed them, make sure it doesn’t happen again!

After The Dwarves it was time to hang out a little, meet up with friends, have a few beers and just enjoy the atmosphere. Groezrock is one of those festivals that are great to just be there, hang, drink wander around… Getting a beer mostly ends up in a chat with a stranger, even for a few seconds… We all understand why we’re here…

Groezrock-31I HATE AUSSIES!!! They think they are the best people in the world, they think they have the prettiest girls in the world, they think they have the best BBQ in the world and they even think they have the best beer in the world! Fuck ’em! My ex-boss was one and he’s a dickhead! (I’m just kidding, I love you Mike, and most aussies…) The Smith Street Band are according to the world-wide web a folkpunk band. I did not hear any folk… What I did hear was an indie punk band that knows how to write a song. This show was pure fun, for the people in the crowd, it was a big crowd, and for the band on stage. If they got payed for every smile they had on their face they would have been millionaires. One thing did bother me, if you’re playing at the Back to Basics stage, you know there will be people on stage diving and trying to sing along in the microphone. Don’t push them away, don’t get upset about it, they buy your records and merch. Be glad they want to be there with you and make this show what it is. I really loved this show, but for some reason, the image of the singer pushing away the girl who just wanted to sing along stuck with me.

Groezrock-67The next stop was Iron Reagan from Richmond, Virginia. Oh my god, what a party this was. Trash is back, that’s for sure. Hardcore kids going crazy on trash metal? Not when I was a kid. The mood was set right from the start, stagedivers everywhere and moshpits all around. I could see Nick Oliveri standing on the side of the stage approving it all with a big grin on his face. If there is one thing I like it’s an open mind and this band is the living proof that taste is a genre crossing thing. Nobody cares if you like punk, metal or hardcore, or should not care… Iron Reagan grabbed the crowd by the back of their neck and pulled them into a hurricane of noise and chaos. It was marvelous!

Groezrock-83We had no plans to go see Broilers, but I was a little curious about how a these guys would do. I was also convinced that the only reason they got booked for the festival was to get more Germans to the festival. But while Inny was shooting pictures frontstage, I got hooked on their sound. Catchy punk’n’roll, that you just want to dance to. I loved it! If these guys where not singing in German they would be huge world-wide!

Groezrock-104If there was one band I needed to see on this first day it was Social Distortion. The hours went by and my anticipation grew stronger by the minute. Was I expecting to much? Where they going to be a big disappointment? While my adrenalin went up, the temperature dropped, it was getting really cold in the field and the folks not willing to embark on this adventure with me started to turn home or to their tents in search of some warmth. I kissed Inny goodbye for her epic journey into the frontstage to shoot pictures of Mister Mike Ness… When I was a kid I didn’t like Social D, it was not hard enough for me, but with age comes wisdom and all of a sudden it spoke to me. These are just good songs! It took them some time to start and I was not getting drunk, but when they walked on stage and those first notes got played I got an instant high. A big smile on my face and I felt like I was the only one there. It was this good. Mike’s voice sounds better with age and the sound was spot on. They played as tight as a nun’s asshole and for a moment I was king of the world… 3 songs in I had to come down because I knew Inny was going to get kicked out of the frontstage with the rest of the photographers and finding one another in this crowd sucks. She came out frozen and in pain from taking pictures all day, and as Mike I’m a gentleman so I decided it was time to head home for the night.

The dogs where waiting to keep us warm and day two was just a few hours away…

This is an interview from months ago. Remember those others we did? Now that Austin is on tour in Europe, we thought it would be perfect to release this one. Austin doesn’t appear to be a funny guy, but he is, and this interview shows that. While his songs and devotion to his music are dead serious, he can be a goofball. We had the privilege to hang out with him on his last euro tour a lot and at Muddy Roots and thus became friends. If you live in Europe and he’s doing a show in your neighbourhood, go see it and take it all in. It could change your life… Enjoy…

1. Introduce yourself to our readers please.
My name is Austin Robert Lincoln Stirling. I rarely wash my pants. I want sweet tea.

2. On what record would you have loved to play? (any style, artist, whatever)
Mine. I didn’t get to play on mine. Everyone who played on the albums were hired studio musicians and they wore my clothes, slept in my bed, used my tooth-brush and drank my sweat tea during recording as to get a feel for my life. (Not true)

3. What is the first concert that made a real impression on you and made you want to play music?
Horse the Band opened for Gwar. And I wasn’t really there to see Gwar as much as I wanted to see HTB and that was a pretty intense set that really sticks out in my mind. “God what awful ruckus” was just that btw. Other than that Andrew Bird blew my mind when I got to see him! I was amazed and always appreciated the creativity behind everything he does. Oh and I only got to see the first 3 songs in Bon Ivers set and it was hands down the most I have ever been moved by music! More intense than any metal show I’ve ever been to. Hard to explain. Just amazing.

4. Is there a musician/artist you really want to work with and why?
I’m playing with two guys that I respect musically at the moment. And that’s Henry Berger and Cris Bissell of S.S. WEB. So they are def two of them and here I am blessed enough to be doing just that.

5. How did you end up in this “roots” scene?
I don’t know how I ended up here. God moves and I try to be just a stick in the current.

6. Do you believe in aliens, and if so… What does their music sounds like?
I have a shoe box under my bed and it’s full of thoughts and opinions that I have and feel I must keep to myself. A lot of the topics and beliefs I have go into that shoebox. It’s not very big but I rarely take topics out of that box to discus. If I do, I do it discreetly and I speak pretty softly about those topics. Aliens are one of those topics in that box. But if they have music it would def sound like farts.

7. Who do you believe to be the most overrated band on the planet at this moment, and why?
All of them and non of them. That’s all relative. With that said ween makes me want to start wars and set myself in fire. But someone might dig them. So high five to them. But yeah I wish I was a dead person whenever I hear ween.

8.Just like any “scene” this one will explode in time, how do you see the future of this new “roots” movement?
Eh there’s no telling really. It seems to be getting bigger and more well known. Or it could be dying off and I’m to busy listening to Joe Huber to notice. But either way I will still have heartburn and Taylor Swift will still be selling more albums than all of us combined. And I’m ok with that.

9. What band or record do you really like, but you are a little a shamed about?
I’m not ashamed of anything I like. I openly announce that I have some crappy taste in music. I do like Fatlip or Aesop rock (the two songs I have on my iPod) I love super mellow singer songwriter stuff. Ya know the real sensitive stuff perfect to take a bubble bath to fashioned with bath beads and a luffa. And that’s mainly what I listen to. I learned that I am a calmer, gentler person day to day if I listen to softer music. So instead or crankin Ed Gene in the mornings before I’ve even had enough time to get a bagel, I’ll turn on some James Vincent mccmorrow or Gregory Allen isakov. My day is just sexy then.

10. Eating dog shit or record with Toby Keith?
Depends. If we are writing a song about how Toby can’t write a song I may be ok with that. I could take the money I make from selling my soul and buy a wallaby because I want to cuddle and watch always sunny with one and she could also carry my tv remote and guitar picks in her pouch for me and I’ll never loose them.