(May 2010 by Philippe Archambeau)
Hello GIG, thanks for accepting this interview the Road to Jacksonville's readers, a southern rock dedicated webzine. First, I have a personal question :
is Gig your real name ?
Gig is my real name. it’s shortened from Giggey! I am from Scottish, French descent.
Can you tell us where you come from?
I come from a place far from the nebular district of why… an effervescent fictional planet of naked women and Whiskey, where the skies are made up of pink & red cotton candy and the waters run the bluest of blues and the birds sing Led Zepplin songs all night long……
When did the band form ?
What is the line-up ? Can you introduce to us the band's members ?
Keith Inman aka The Wizard on lead guitar and slide
Michael Hough (Huff) on 2nd guitar and harmony vox
Cody Bennett on Bass and harmony vox
Michael Huffman aka Scooby on the B-3 and piano & harmony vox
David lee on the drums
I play some guitar on a couple things
Did this line-up change during the years ?
Oh yea! As things do we went thru several people on guitar and bass and piano from 2005 – 2007. In 2008 the lineup solidified into what it is now. I hooked up with David lee in 2004 and we started putting things together. Scooby came in in 2007 and The Wizard wrapped up the guitar spot in early 2008. The Bass position was the toughest spot to fill. We went thru like 8 guys from 2005 to 2007. Now Cody, our bass player now, had been with us from conception. I had used him on my demo that lured David Lee to me, however he was so young at the time he couldn’t fill the slot with such great players, so he was our first roadie!! He kept trying and trying as we went thru audition after audition and we finally said fuck it, Cody is here and he does a good job, let’s just work with him and see where it goes.. Well 3 years later he is the best bassist I know and am glad we gave him the chance… That’s cool…
In 2008, I got a CD called 2.0 including 4 titles and two extended versions of "Dance", "Fire in The Whole" et "Shoebox", can you tell us a little more about this record?
Man we were ready to go on full steam with a full 12 song album at that point but our then manager stood in the way of progress. We had just gotten the band line up as it is now and our manager didn’t think we were ready to get into a full blown album. He was wrong but as things happen we went along with his “professional” opinion. Looking back I could kick myself in the ass, we should have went on with it. But then again I do think things happen for a reason so it is what it is. That EP broke us into another level of the playing field and we went from playing a handful of shows in 2007 to playing over 150 shows in 2008. This year we hope to hit over 200 shows and then some. This recording was really our first collaboration of sort as writers amongst the band. I typically write all the stuff but Michael Hough had more to do with Dance guitar riffs and the melody guitar lines in Shoebox.. Fire in the Hole was my baby on guitar and a sign of where my head was at the time, as were all the tracks lyrically. When I see you I will tell what Fire in the hole is about!!
This CD includes a video track of "Dance"; how did its recording set?
Shooting that video was the shit my friend!! We had a bunch of strippers and the whole strip club at our disposal. We started at like 10 am and I got to hang with the girls and help them pick out their outfits.. Oh Hell Yea!! That’s right I got to watch them change and well, just use your imagination from there. I will tell you that the girls were extremely friendly and tickled pink to be in the video, you may notice my smile in the video how it changes from shot to shot!! I will just say that those chicks fuckin rocked me baby!! Made for a great day on the set! Lol! But hey come on, bikers on Harleys, mostly naked women, catering, a nice buzz and loud rock n Roll… Who wouldn’t like that shit!
2010 sees the release of Rock This Country, where and how was it recorded ?
Our producers Ken Coomer & Charlie Brocco live in Nashville, Tn and know all the rooms intimately and what instruments track the best tonally at different locations. So we tracked the drums at Sound Emporium and did a couple bass tracks and then did the guitars and the vocals at Creative Workshop. We did some touch ups and mixed it at East Iris, all of these places are in Nashville. For the most part the drums and bass went down in a couple takes. The guitar guys of course are seeking perfection so that went out for a while with great results. My vocal were all done in about 3 days. I actually wrote a lot of them in the studio as I was singing…. It was from the road and ideas that I had been kicking around, but I would lock myself in the vocal booth with a fifth of Crown Royal and roll tape… remembering my pains and desires….. There you have it!
How was it composed ? How do you share the job?
Typically I am the main songwriter. I bring the new songs to the band and we see what works. On this album I wanted to give the guys some freedom to write and get a track on the record as well as outside writers from Nashville. So it ended up like this; Lady was written by Kirsti manna and Bridgette Tatum, Bridgette is the next Gretchen Wilson, you should check her out. Stoned was written by some friends of mine and I was just floored when I heard it and said hell yes I will cut that!! Helluva Night was written by Keith (the Wizard) music and lyrics, Keith is a great writer and will have more to do with things in the future. Rock This Country was mostly Michael Hough music and lyrics but I have the guitar riff that makes it up. Scooby and I collaborated on Daddy Said and Good God with a little help from Kirsti Manna and I pretty much wrote the rest. I am very pleased with the end results of all that input.
What are your lyrics talking about ? Are you feeling close to the southern culture in general ?
My lyrics are about real life, mostly my life. But my life is no different than yours or anybody elses… I have hardship and pain and fun and I love to party. I had a tough youth upbringing and don’t blame it on anyone. Life is a bitch man period, I don’t care who you are or how money you have, you’re still going to have daily trials and tribulations and problems arising.. We are all human and that is simply a part of being human. I grew up with the healing powers of Led Zepplin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Genesis, Joe Cocker, Yes, Pink Floyd at the same time I was listening to Metal Church, Judas Preist, ACDC, Accept, Scorpions, Riot, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, on and on..my point here is that I found some healing power thru this music that kept me from killing myself every time I had problems.. I found peace in the music, related to it, or they related to me.. That’s what I strive for now as a writer, to give people hope when the chips are down. Most of my writing takes you on a journey from no hope to new hope tomorrow.. Touching peoples lives is my gratification, nothing else.
Southern culture is all about family and friends with good times mixed in with support from your family no matter what… hence Sunday dinners with the entire family as a tradition. I am southern culture…
From whom "Daddy Said" is speaking ?
Man first of all you have to understand that I am an emotional disaster… I shed tears at anything sad, for anybody, and mean it. I guess that is why I write like I do. But as to your question;
My best friend, our photographer (jillimages.com) whom I am very close to and then our manager all passed away within the course of a couple weeks. It ripped my heart out to have this happen and I put myself in their shoes. That’s where my inspiration for the song came from. I asked each of my friends to share with me some words of wisdom from their fathers as I was writing the song. They had no idea. When I let them hear it they freaked out…. But I put myself in their place and wrote it from the heart imaging it was my dad, bless him, he is still here, and there you have it. I am offering some light to everyone in the world who is in or has been in that position of losing a loved one, in particular, Daddy.
What is your favourite song on this record, excepted "Daddy Said"?
Good God and The Inn. These two are light hearted fun songs of ignorance and no shame…
I do need a break from heart break from time to time! Lol!
Good God relates to trying to please your women to no avail, something all of us straight males can relate to, I guess the gays could too? Lol!! It’s like reaching out to your women with what matters to you as being in love, and she just does not get it, but tolerates your passion of trying…waiting for the ring…If she was to get the ring I guess all hell would assume! LOL!
Welcome to the Inn is a fun party biker song. I wrote these lyrics off the cuff in the studio as I was thinking about our tour of the mid west, Sturgis bike rally in particular. This story is made up of true events on the road. Travelling thru the desert and seeing a naked girl on the side of the road was a trip! The Inn is where we parked the bus @ the Broken Spoke campground in Sturgis, MY GOD I can t tell you, well I will tell you in person when I see you..
Daddy Said is obviously my mainstay to my heart, I know that soon I will lose my Dad, I don’t know how I will deal with that………..
You come back from the Simple Man Cruise, how was it ?
Man we were apparently the buzz of the boat, as being the new boys ya know. I had no idea how many people knew who we were. Fans started taking our pictures and coming up to us from the minute we walked on the boat till we actually got in our bus and left when it was all over. It was the fuckin TADA of the Century!! We met soooo many cool people from all over the world! Let me give a shout out for the Toons! We made great friends from Germany, Austria. Norway, England, Canada, it was crazy cool to say the least. All the bands were great! We had an experience to be had my friend, and perhaps you can imagine how long and hard of a road we’ve trampled to get to do something like that.. I think we’re going back on the 2011 cruise, you GOT to come!!!! I will send you some pictures!
What does it bring to you ? Do you think that a company or a label will try to sign you thanks to that exposure ?
Funny you bring that up! Actually, we are in the midst of dealing with just that. That’s all I will say about that. Except maybe for It’s about fucking time!. No really we’ve been on Big Penny Entertainments label for 4 yrs and have been very fortunate to have the deal we have now, still with them. Big Penny was designed to develop the band to the bigger picture, and so here we stand. Things look great for the 4th album coming out this fall!! Wait till you hear this shit!..lol..
Did you have proposals to come in Europe to play ?
We do in fact!! Whew Hew!! We are on SAOL/CMM http://www.myspace.com/saolcmm out of Hannover, Germany. Distributed by HART and Zebralution. We are coming my friend! I’d like to ask your readers to check out the Swamp and if you dig tell someone over there. That will help with the tour routing there, and THANK YOU in advance!! Lol!! But anyway there are possibilities for the fall of this year 2010.
What are your best memories on stage ? For who did you open?
The best come from the Dogwood Festival in Fayetteville, NC . We were support for 38 Special in front of 18,000 people! That was our first really big show over 5,000 or so and it was just incredible! The crowd was into it and so were we…. We had a lot of on stage moments that night, it was great… That whole night is a great memory for me.
A more personal question : what do you think of the U.S.A. just a little more than a year after Barack Obama's election ?
Dood…… Ok I gotta get another drink about now..be right back….
Aaaaaaannnnnd Im Back! Lol!
I will get back to you on that one, at the present time the U in U.S.A is missing. You refer to the S.O.A. States of America at this point….. The United is gawn muthafucka’s~~~ U.N. Resolution coming, NOT……… Lol!
What is your opinion on downloading ? And on the music business' state ?
Dood the music business is searching for redemption. I read where the Major labels are now looking to be more involved in 1 artist in the development for longevity of the brand…. HELLO DUMB ASS… that’s the way it should be and used to be.. Why do you think Aerosmith, Kiss, ACDC any old classic rock band sells out arenas, its good music and great live shows. As for the downloading, it’s like this; I have done it too.. I think it should be available to the fans and if they are indeed fans, they will buy it anyway. Fans seem to know shit that I don’t even know…it amazes me when I meet so many people that know what we are about..they get us… that’s a trip. Or look at it like this; If you lived off the money from your bubble gum machine which cost you $100.00 to fill it up, but earns you $500.00 per refill every week. That’s $2000.00 per month…well you could live off that as 1 individual or 2…Cool… Now let’s say someone gets the code to your bubble gum machine without you knowing and they start emptying it before you can sell even 1 piece. Well you have to continue to fill it up to get some sales….
Rinse & Repeat people…….. We live off our music……….. Listen~Diggit~Buyit~
If you have to go on a desert island, What are the 5 albums that you would choose ?
Skynyrds Second Helping
John Mayer Trio Live…..
Led Zepplin, Physical Graffiti
Scorpions, Animal Magnetism
Black Crowes, Blackberry Smoke, Sade, and as many other downloads I can get!! LMAO!!!
Thanks for granting us this interview, have you something more to say to the southern rock fans? +
Thanks for listening ya’ll
I truly want to meet you guys.. help spread the word, we will be there sometime… Keep the Southern Rock Vibe going my Friends!!!!!
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