Fred LeBlanc of clients Cowboy Mouth: One of my earliest experiences playing drums was when I was a senior in high school. A guy in my class wanted to put a band together with some other seniors. A teacher named Mike Berricosse had to watch us during his lunch period so we could have access to the school auditorium. We did one rehearsal and it was just terrible. I got so frustrated that I started banging on the drums, just really going at it. I got so much satisfaction out of it.
Mr. Berricosse walked up to the stage and said, "LeBlanc! See me after school!"
I spent the whole day dreading it. I sat down in his office and kind of slumped my shoulders. He said, "LeBlanc, whatever you do in your life, do NOT EVER stop playing the drums. Because you're too good at it."
I thought, "Oh wow. That's not what I expected."
It was a little formative experience, just the world's way of saying "Keep going."
We played in Memphis, about a year or two ago and he and his wife came to the show. I said, "You know, that really helped me out. And I really do appreciate it." Later I called him out from the stage. I think he really enjoyed it.
Cris Cohen: What's cool and fascinating about you guys is that you're actually from this area. I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles. And there are always bands from LA, San Francisco, and New York. You don't often hear about bands from the Triangle Area (Raleigh – Durham – Chapel Hill, North Carolina). And you even said in a previous interview, "It's great to lean into this place where we're from." How do you do that with your music?
Joseph Terrell of the band Mipso: I think part of it is that we don't try to be too deliberate about that. It feels like the honest way of being a band or a musician from North Carolina is to make the music that you make, that feels honest and, in the sense that you are from the place, it will become a reflection of that place. We don't go to the drawing board and say, "Alright, Doc Watson + Superchunk = Mipso 2022." I hope that we sound like we're from here because we are.
And there is a rich, layered history of a music scene around here. And that was a cool thing coming of age here. On the one hand, there are so many studios that you can pop into and play. There are so many great venues, so many great older musicians who, I think, are very welcoming. So we were in a fertile ground to become musicians.
Also, I am invested in the state, the idea of the state, this place, and everything about it. It's been a fun process to learn the history myself. And there's the ones that are on billboards like Libba Cotton, as she should be, and Doc Watson, like I said.
But then there are different layers at every era of amazing artists from right around here that there's so much to learn from. So we're lucky.
Part 1 of my interview with Michael McDermott of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts is now up! We discussed:
- The new acoustic album, "Changeup"
- Delivering the drumming of classic songs like "Crimson and Clover" and "Bad Reputation" with just acoustic percussion
- What defines punk music
- And more
I hope to release Part 2 next week.
Miss Marie of Professor Louie & The Crowmatix: One piece of advice that I give to singers… When you work a big stage, there is a lot of noise. And you might not hear your monitor that well. I always wear a little ear plug in one ear, just a little foam one. Then you can hear your voice in your head. And it really gives you good pitch.
Cris Cohen: And you said in another interview that “every song is a message.” When you're writing, do you have specific recipients of this message in mind or is it more about letting fate decide who is going to receive this message?
John Hall of Orleans: I try to write things that I know about or things that are important to me. And sometimes I know, or I think I know, who that will appeal to. Sometimes it's just, “I hope people get this.” Sometimes it's a lyric that came from things I learned, like “it's all up and down from here.” Somebody came up to me once, when I was celebrating a birthday, and said, “Congratulations, John. Well, it's all up and down from here.” You know, it's the truth in life. Things are never as good as you think, or as bad as you think. But life is really in the middle. So this is something I wrote because it meant something to me. And I also thought it was funny and would ring true to people. “Lessons,” same thing. “Everybody I've spoken to says I needed to learn patience. I wound up in a traffic jam.” Yeah, me too.
Trying to force an outcome of a situation, especially when you don't really know what the outcome should be… I've learned through trial and error -- and some pain -- that it’s best to show up and do my part and then see what happens, as opposed to trying to wrestle a person or a situation or a job -- anything in my life -- to try to make it go where I think it should go.
"BAM!" - the new album from client Daniel Glass. "BAM!" showcases the trio's high-powered, freewheeling approach to group improvisation. Features an enticing blend of originals and some truly unique covers (including a wicked take on "Smoke On The Water"). Check it out at https://www.drumminginmotion.com/dg-trio