Jason and The Scorchers changed the face of Country Music for ever, effectively launching the concept of Alternative Country, now 2010 see's a new Scorchers album and the band raring to go live on the Festival circuit this summer, we ask Jason Ringenberg some pertinent questions.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT RETURNING TO THE STUDIO WITH THE SCORCHERS?
After being Farmer Jason and Jason solo for the past 10 years, it was a delight to be back rocking again. I told everyone concerned that I had no interest in singing songs about dead Confederates. I wanted to ROCK, and we did.
WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAPPENED IN THE STUDIO?
The sessions really weren’t funny or humorous experiences. Actually they were incredibly intense, almost scary at times. Once Dan Baird, who played rhythm guitar on most of the tracks and co-wrote many of the songs, said he wrote “The Days of Wine and Roses” about me and Warner, and our refusal to give up when most folks think we should. It was emotionally overwhelming and I just had to leave for a while. I must have looked a sight, sitting in a Music Row alley in tears.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ABOUT TOURING WITH THE SCORCHERS AGAIN?
Once again, given that I rarely “rock” anymore, to do real touring with a rock band at 50 plus years old will be a complete treat. I can’t wait to hang out in dressing rooms, ride in vans with a bunch of music dudes, and witness audiences Scorch again. I also really look forward to hearing Warner on a nightly basis. He is playing at the top of his game. Its truly amazing to experience it first hand in a band with him.
WHAT ARE YOU NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT TOURING WITH THE SCORCHERS AGAIN?
The inevitable late nights and long drives, and having to decide things by committee. I am used to doing whatever I want whenever I want to do it…
WHERE WERE YOU BORN, WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I was born and raised in Bureau County Illinois up on the prairie. We were hog farmers.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY?
Singing “The Ballad of the Green Beret” for first grade show and tell.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST RECORD YOU OWNED?
John Denver's Greatest Hits. I still listen to it on occasion.
WHEN AND WHERE WAS YOUR FIRST PERFORMANCE?
See question #2
WHO IS THE SINGLE BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?
WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE CONCERT YOU'VE ATTENDED?
Bob Dylan in 1979
WHAT IS THE WORST JOB YOU'VE EVER HAD?
Renovating crack houses for a slum lord in East Nashville.
WHAT IS THE BEST JOB YOU'VE EVER HAD?
Being Farmer Jason
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS MEANT BY THE WORD ARTIST?
That’s too deep for me.
WHAT IS THE BOOK YOU'VE READ THE MOST?
The Bible of course.
IS THE MUSIC INDUSTRY BETTER NOW OR WHEN YOU STARTED?
It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Both have some spots in them, and some taste better than others.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG YOU'VE WRITTEN (AT THE MOMENT)?
Mona Lee off the new Jason and the Scorchers CD.
WHAT IS THE FAVOURITE SONG SOMEONE ELSE HAS WRITTEN (AT THE MOMENT)?
Just about anything by a band called The Woodbox Gang from Southern Illinois. Their singer, (currently in prison) is in my humble opinion the most exciting US songwriter since mid ‘60s Dylan.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT SONGWRITING COLLABORATION?
It forces you to be creative and not get lazy. Two people have committed their time to accomplishing something so you tend to really go for it, and not waste both collaborators time.
WHAT'S THE WORST?
If you can’t find an idea to work with, it can be a very awkward atmosphere.
WHAT SINGLE THING HAS HELPED YOU MOST IN YOUR CAREER?
Learning to use rolling luggage.
WHAT SINGLE THING HAS HINDERED YOUR CAREER?
I am not all that great of a singer or guitar player...
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE DRINK?
Unsweetened soy milk
WHO'S YOUR FAVOURITE POLITICIAN?
President Obama, without a doubt.
WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN IN 2010?
From a political point of view I would love to see real health care reform pass in the US, but I doubt it will happen. Personally, my goal is always the same: that my family stays happy and healthy