One month ago, Ronnie and I [BFM], the weekend before Easter, interviewed Lucero. I have interviewed many bands for zines, call me a zine kiddie. It took us a month to get it together. To live life one must be in the correct mindset. I will tell the truth for right now. Ronnie and I are dueling shots with each other, one month later, and this shit feels fine. Lucero are the real deal, fellows who love their music and are genuine. They could talk/play for four hours like it is nothing. We have never experienced a more natural, down to earth interview. We brought whiskey, we brought pizza. And we had Lucero.
OOPM: There have been too many intros and not enough stories. What about the DVD (Dreaming in America)?
Ben: We know what you are talking about. That was a show at the Knitting Factory, and I was just too drunk to play Tears Don’t Matter Much. I haven’t seen that video in forever.
Brian: They were watching you, and I found that empty bar downstairs and got hammered because they weren’t watching me.
Ben: When Roy just finally walks off stage…yeah, yeah that happened. [laughs].
Brian: I found a $20 bill in the urinal covered in pee and I took it.
Ben: Are you serious???
Brian: Then went to the bar and bought 4 shots of Jager and got drunk. I was like HOLY CRAP $20.00!
Ben: Those were the old days… That doesn’t happen so much anymore.
John C: [Singing] $20 on the urinal cake. Yeah!
OOPM: Do you have plans on producing a vinyl single again. How important to Lucero are vinyl recordings?
Brian: I still buy vinyl. We would still love to produce a record… We get a lot of offers like, ‘Hey were doing a 7″ single series, do you have any throw away songs / B sides. In response, we have never been like, “Hey, let’s do a stand alone 7″.
Ben: Recently, all the songs that have been written have been needed for the full length album. So I guess Kiss The Bottle is the only 7″ we have done.
Brian: There’s that split 7″ that had that version of Nobodies Darlings with Slim Little Jim
John C: The cool thing with vinyl albums is now you have the mp3 download on it and then people buy the album. There’s kids that probably don’t even have a turntable…its something that links them to the band, It was even kinda lost with CD’s but even now with CD’s, putting in the CD is like playing the record opposed to just the mp3 download stuff… the artwork is the intangible something that links you to the band.
I still go to the record store. I still have 7 inches, The thing with the 7 inches was… if you’re a smaller band that’s what you put out or before you got the full length. It was all you could get on a sampler. Now, you can put 3 songs on Myspace.
Back when, none of that existed.
Brian:Now, you take your 3 best songs and you put them on your web-space page as opposed to pressing a demo or vinyl.
Ben: Yeah, that is true.
John C: Then your band is legitimized kind of, like when you put out your first 7″, you were legitimized.
Brian: Usually with us it’s when some one comes to us like Sabbath is reissuing all our LPs on vinyl. We don’t have the time or knowledge as much anymore, a lot of times at our shows anymore its not punk rock kids.
Ben: People pick it up and are like “this is to big to be a cd”. (laughs)
Brian: People don’t know what they are as much anymore. I still think they’re neat.
OOPM: Along the lines of art work with albums and having something tangible. This last record as part of the pre-sale you guys gave away 6 silkscreen posters in one of the packages, when did the silk screen posters start?
John C: Well its kinda something that starts back to the beginning of the band. Started kinda screening posters for shows and as we started getting busy we had a couple of different groups of kids at home that would screen us posters and kinda made a big resurgence in Memphis. Then these other places kinda caught on to it, we would show up and there would be these amazing posters.
Ben: At first we did it for ourselves it was kinda just our DIY kinda thing.
You don’t realize how many people do posters until you go to something like SXSW or you go to gigposters.com
now. Theres people that make posters for shows that don’t even take them to shows anymore. They just do them to just put them online. Lately the clubs will have them done or an individual screen printer will do them because they like the band.
John C: Some of it had to do with when Mikey Carpenter put 4 or 5 Lucero posters into a book, and then people just kind of wanted to do posters for us.
I think its some thing thats had such a big resurgence because of the mp3 thing you don’t have the record and the artwork.
Brian: its not that U2 type of show. We have a whole new crowed of 18 to 45 year old people that like to go see shows, whether its bigger shows like the truckers (Drive By Truckers), or ourselves you get to see the band over by the merch table or at the bar before the show.
John C: The poster kinda becomes the old album art and the live shows kinda mean more to us than the record sales. There’s that documentation to that moment in time you know?
OOPM: Have you ever had a really wacky interpretation of your band?
Brian: We saw a lot of posters and you were like “wow that was cool wow!”
Ben: Some times they push the limits. But like I said, different people interpret it different ways and like yea, you can see it in the style of posters, everyone has there own Lucero
Brian:We had some mixed CD competition one time, at the time our tour manager thought that it would be good. We got like 30 or 40 cd’s.
Ben: You would be surprised sometimes. You would get a CD of all music that just sounded like Lucero.
OOPM: You guys are what, one week out? I’m a food lover, what food do you miss the most from home?
John C: It’s of course bbq is a given, but, um where we we used to live is kinda this Vietnamese community and we got really hooked on the Pho soups and such. So I woke up today and was like I wasn’t feeling bad but I was like I kinda need some Pho so I got on my skateboard and took a ride and ended up in Chinatown. I got an extra large bowl of Pho Ti and got my soup on and feel great.
OOPM: Music wise what would you suggest?
Ben: The only live bands I can see are the bands were playing with. We’re on tour with a band called Glossary from Murfreesboro TN I guess. Its’ kind of a little self promotion but we put out there new record. It’s not really a label but we have a distribution deal so we helped them put it out. It’s a great record so I have been listening to that a bunch we all kinda listen to a bunch of different things.
Brian: I’m listening to a lot of metal right now, I just downloaded black breath. Usually it’s a lot of southern everything out of Savannah, Baroness, and You Black Puss Skeleton Witches, out of Ohio. Virgin Witch, there’s a whole new wave of metal
John C: I’m on a jazz kick myself, a little Fred Hemrick, The Night Before, and some Tommy Robinson.
OOPM: If you guys were the Muppets, who would you be?
Ben: Obviously Roy’s Animal. I don’t know who the rest of us would be.
Brian: I’d probably be Beaker but I’d like to be the Swedish Chef.
John C: I’d be Fozzie.
Brian: [To Ben] You’re already a muppet.
Ben: In TE …………..video theres kinda a version of me.
OOPM: Irish Whisky or American Bourbon?
Ben: Jameson is the whisky of choice.
OOPM: Who’s the wildest it could be the smelliest the crassest throwing tequila around?
Ben: On this tour one of our horn players has been having a good time. Yeah, we all have our moments.
John C: Hes really been digging it, he does a lot of sessions for other people and is in a band in Memphis. He lives in Memphis and has a family in Memphis. But he goes to Gainesville to tour and leave out on tour with all these guys that live in Gainesvillle. But even in this short amount of time that he’s played with us its weird because it’s like he’s in the band you know, so it’s super exciting and stuff, he’s just a blast.
OOPM: Any pre-show superstions?
Ben: I like to at least buy a drink at the bar before each show, even though there is whiskey back here, it’s nice to go out and actually buy a drink at the bar, but there’s nothing like superstitions. We’re not a very superstitious band.
OOPM: With the rise of southern rock, why do you think that is?
Brian: it’s not just one thing. I don’t think it ever really went away, I don’t think anything ever goes away, it’s just who decides to notice it at what point and what magazines will say it’s a comeback. But those bands have been there a long time. Like with Drive By Truckers, “oh it’s a resurgence of country rock”, but those guys have been doing that for years.
John C: So much of the record industry is almost falling apart at this point. It’s been kind of electronic roots and then they even had the resurgence of boy bands and all this stuff, all these “hype bands”, and it’s just people being sick of it and being like wait a minute, “I don’t have to be told what to like”. Then it’s just the real stuff kind of rises to the top and southern rock has always had this element of real-ness to it. The song is sang straight from your gut and playing your heart out. The times that we are in now, I think people are just looking for something that is real and just not bullshit.
Brian: I think it’s just, it depends on what you listen to or what you’re looking to listen to. If you listen to the radio there might be more rock bands on there now. But if you listen to what you choose to listen to, the Lil Wayne record could be the best thing you’ve ever heard in your entire life if you like rap. There’s a resurgence there, like you can break any music down into a certain genre weather it’s east coast rap or southern rap or southern rock vs electro pop. Like I said obviously with the internet and myspace, you’re MTV’s, and magazines are becoming almost irrelevant but they are still trying they will latch on to anything. Like, “oh, The Holdsteady, they’re bar rock”, it’s like wow, really, it can’t just be rock and roll you have to put something in front of it. Like, Holdsteady, Drive by Truckers, Lucero, Kings of Leon, that’s 4 bands that don’t even play together that often or are just doing their own thing.
OOPM: Do you feel that the way music is being distributed electronically that it’s adding more genre labels?
John C: No doubt about it.
Brian: When people look back on it you’ve got folk rock, acid rock, heavy rock, I mean honestly thats your PR man and record labels trying to fine tune a crowd and find a point to sell it to someone.
John C: Or be the first one to coin a phrase and come up with something and be somebody becuase they came up with a phrase to define something.
I think people should listen to whatever they want but I think labels and PR people are strangling it and trying to create scenes that maybe are there but don’t need their help for them to capitalize on it.
OOPM: If you had to label yourself, what would it be?
Ben: We’re just kind of a rock n roll band. There are a bunch of different influences in the mix, I don’t know….
Brian: I tell my family and my neighbors that we are southern rock because they can understand it. Like I said thats the whole reason for these labels. If you’re like, well, we are kind of indie, but we’ve got this southern thing, we’re not lyndard skynard they just give you this blank look.
Ben: Yeah, I’ve always just said we’re a southern indie rock band.
Brian: A lot of people that I talk to now, like the older relatives and neighbors the indie throws em. So I just say we’re southern rock, and they’re like, “oh, I love all those bands”, [laughs]
Ben: We wish we were Tom Petty
OOPM: If you couldnt do this tomorrow, what would it be?
Brian: Cobbler (Fix shoes).
John C: Bike mechanic.
Brian: What you want to do? Or had to do? [laughs]
OOPM: No, what you wanted to do…
Ben: Comic books…yeah…If I wasn’t doing this right now, thats the road I would have gone down.
OOPM: growing up you read comics and everything?
Ben: Oh yeah
OOPM: what’s your favorite title?
Ben: recently I’ve been reading a lot of goon…goon is really good. what have I been buying? The new conan stuff is really good on darkhorse. Hellboy has always been a favorite of mine.
Ben: Obviously we’ve got a song on the new record called, The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo and thats based on love and rocks by the hernandez brothers. I don’t know, it just mentions a lot of the characters from that comic book. It’s probably one of my favorites, actually it’s definitely one of my favorites, if not THE favorite.
OOPM: You said bike mechanic?
John C: Yeah, thats what I did before this pretty much.
OOPM: Didn’t you guys do the Props tour?
Ben: Yeah, we did a BMX tour
Brian : He grew up with a kid named Ryan Corrigan who rides for FBM, Ryan used a Red 40 song and that led to using kiss the bottle which pretty much led from FBM to every BMX video you saw with Lucero in it. We became like the house band of BMX.
John C: We wound up going to Austin the capital of BMX, we played at the Ridge? for FBM video premieres and stuff. The next year we’re in the back of one of those half bowls. High point in my career, we were playing that half wooden bowl and there was this break in the song, with kids sitting all around it, and I pitched my bass up to this kid and ran up there and was sitting on the edge, and then theres a song that the band starts out and then right before I came in I slide in down on my knees.
Brian: The first Props tour we tried to go out on that one, but we couldn’t make it. It was skate parks, drunk BMX kids.
Ben: A lot of those north star? shows were mainly BMX kids. Ryan Corrigan used a couple of Lucero songs in his video parts which helped us out a lot actually. Every town we go to there is always a handful of Riders.
Brian: FMB was actually like, we can’t use anymore of your songs in our videos, because it’s over saturated. I still get my props 4 times a year, there is still younger kids that like us, there’s a certain generation of BMX kids. Chase Hawk might be the last one, I’ve known him since he was a baby, he likes us. It’s just that certain age range that will just always like Lucero.
OOPM: Do you see the same kids coming back every show, do you feel like it’s the same fan base?
Brian: We get a lot of new kids, you look out and you can see a FIT, or a FBM or Metal, or Etnie shoes. See people really built up top and real skinny legged it’s like oh thats a BMX kid [laughs]
John C: For a while it was just all these different pros traveling around to see us, so then all the kids started getting into it after hearing all these stories about the pros coming out to see us.
Good things could last forever, but that is only in fairy tales. Lucero, who had been so kind for an hour had to get down to business and go forth to sound check. I [bfm], had to bail for the holiday weekend, but Ronnie was lucky enough to stick around for the sound check and rest of the night. I did text asking Ronnie, to wake up in Cleveland (where Lucero was playing the next day), but he held fast and woke up on his couch barely remembering his past 24 hours. Until next time, there will be a BBQ, whiskey and Lucero. Get ready for next time.