Our run of pre-Fest interviews continue today with a chat between our own Shenelle Copplin and Kim and Brian of Whiskey and Co.. The Gainesville, Florida band will be playing this year's Fest after a year that saw them go on their first major tour (with Lucero) and the release of their second album, Leaving The Nightlife on vinyl.
Wanna give me a brief history lesson on Whiskey & Company?
Kim: I don't know when we really became a band; we get asked that question all the time. They were a band before I joined them. I saw the band played and then I asked if I could join the band and they said yes.
What year did you guys become a band?
Kim: I think it was around 2001. But I'm not sure. We drink too much to remember all the details.
What kind of band was Whiskey & Co before Kim joined?
Kim: They were the same band pretty much.
Brian: We were the same band but I was the singer and I can't sing.
How would you guys define the sound?
Kim: I usually say we were all in punk rock or various types of hardcore bands when we were younger people. Than we all discovered that we liked country music. Now we have a sort of fusion between country and punk rock and folk and more recently, new country.
You guys are often described as being alternative country, how would you describe alternative country?
Brian: It wouldn't bother me either way. I think people say a lot of things about Hawaii. We just kinda do what we do and we are influenced by a ton of things coming from different people. If there is a definitive term for something, I'll take it or leave it, it doesn't matter. We just want to play music and have a good time.
Do you guys listen to main stream music?
Kim: We have been more so lately.
What kind of bands?
Brian: There isn't any main-stream country band in particular that we are fond of. But any song about drinking or going to the beach or having a nice time, sounds good to me. "Drinking Bones" is a nice song we like or "Alcohol My Friend". There's no particular artist that we are fond of but there is a few songs we can find. I give it to the two percent rule on new country; 98 per cent of it sucks, but there is a few drinking songs that are fun.
So as long as it's about drinking, it's right up your alley?
Kim: Yeah, I guess we can all relate to that.
There is a dominate theme of booze and breakups in your songs, how much of that is a portrait to the personalities of your band?
Kim: [chuckles] I think it's pretty accurate.
Who is the song writer?
Kim: We put in a collaborate effort and it works for the most part. Either I write some of my own lyrics, or Troy or whoever writes lyrics, and then we bring it in to a skeleton of a song and put it together as a band.
About a year ago, you guys toured with Lucero, was that your first national tour?
Kim: Yes, it was.
How was it?
You guys got any plans to tour in the future?
Kim: Yeah, right now we are working on putting some songs together for a new record. Hopefully we will record that pretty soon. Than once that is all settled, we are going to try and plan another tour.
Who would you guys like to go on the road with?
Kim: Drive-By Truckers! Lucero, or other types of bands that are like us, and we are all friends, and we all kind of network together. Oh yea, and Tom Petty!
I'm from Wisconsin and I am completely clueless to what the Fest is in Gainsville, so can you give me a bit of a run down.
Brian: The Fest is little bit more different than most fests. It's a lot of drinking and drugs and beautiful, wild times; a lot of fun shows and a lot of friends coming from out of town. It's just as much about friendship and camaraderie as it is about good music.
Kim: For the three days of the Fest, I kinda feel like it's a time to converge with all your friends in the city and you can walk down the street and meet new people.
Is it only Florida bands playing?
Kim: No, it's bands from all over the place. Sometimes internationally come to play.