Tuesday, May 27, 2008

exlcusive!: Interview with Dead Confederate

After a few bottles of bourbon, the five-piece band from Georgia — Hardy Morris (vocals and guitar), John Watkins (vocals and keys), Jason Scarboro (drums), Walker Howle (lead/slide guitar) and Brantley Senn (vocals, bass) — sat down with Nick at the Sasquatch! Festival to talk rock and roll.

Photo by Skylar Reeves


So have you guys been having fun up here?

Walker Howle: No!

(laughing) Yeah I can tell you’re not having any fun.

Howle: Nope, no fun. Next question!

Alright, next question… so how was the in-studio at KEXP on Friday?

Brantley Senn: It was cool. I think the house party the night before with was better though.

Hardy Morris: We played a house party the night before that was really, really fun.

Oh sick, in just in Seattle?

Morris: Yeah, the Green House. We played with Clout and Loving Thunder.

Howle: They were a two-piece, fuckin’ badass. It was cool, getting to town and playing a local party. It’s so real, you know what I mean, and then you go do the KEXP thing, radio shows are just not so real. It’s cool going to a town across the whole country and fitting right in with the local people. It’s really cool.

So I hear you guys get called Southern Rock a lot, what do you think about that? Do you feel like you’re Southern Rock, like you’re the next Skynard?

Howle: Hardy is! But all of us are really more Metallica-based.

Senn: Yeah we’re just rock and roll from the South, not Southern Rock. Just cock rock, monitor rock — you have to straddle a monitor.

What about the Cobain/Nirvana comparisons? What do you guys think about that?

Morris: They’re definitely an influence, there’s no doubt. But we also do slide guitar and keyboards that they would probably laugh at.

Senn: Hardy’s influenced by them, but I write the other half of the songs and I’m not influenced by them.

Jason Scarboro: Of the two songwriters, only half is influenced by that and the other half comes from weirdo-brains over there.

What’s your influences then?

Senn: Sonic Youth, Pink Floyd, Alex Van Halen. I think Alex Van Halen maybe more than anyone.

So what can we expect from the new LP. It’s dropping soon right?

Morris: September 17 or 16, the record actually comes out. It’s called “Wrecking Ball.” There’s ten songs, right around an hour.

Senn: But it’s pretty lengthy, it’s got like a 12-minute song on there.

What’s the sound like, compared to your EP?

Morris: It’s a lot tighter. It’s reminiscent of the EP, but better.

Senn: The EP was a demo that we put together in like two days. This time we had a lot more time to live and record, it was a lot longer than just kind of going into a studio for two days and trying to hammer out vocals and songs and all that. I guess the record is still kind of live.

So after Sasquatch you’re going out with All The Saints right, then Bonaroo, then Drive By Truckers. You guys are keeping damn busy, are you excited about it?

Howle: I like the way you know what’s going on.

Scarboro: This is way better than the guy who asked us what the fuck we ate at Denny’s.

Howle: We had an interview about fuckin’ what we ate. It was like, “I’ll piss on your shoes.”

(laughing) So are you guys excited to be keeping busy and just being on the road a lot?

Senn: Absolutely. We’ll be going to California for the first time. And it happens to be with The Truckers so it can’t be all bad — lots of Jack Daniels and a lot of bourbon.

Yeah, it’s kind of a Southern gig.

Senn: It’s cool that they take out bands that aren’t exactly their genre. I don’t think, with the exception of a slide guitar, there isn’t much similarity besides that we’re all from Athens. So it’s kind of cool that they actually give us a couple of weeks to go out and do our thing because it’s hard to find someone to take you out on tour when you’re an up-and-coming band.

Howle: Especially when you’re loud or you’re not an open band. If you’re loud and distorted, you don’t want that opening up for you. But they don’t care. It’s really cool that they support things that they like.

Scarboro: Patterson Hood [of Drive By Truckers] is the coolest motherfucker in Athens, basically.

So what’s it been like in the Athens music scene?

Senn: Me and Hardy went to school there for a while, and that’s where we formed our relationship. We all moved to Atlanta as a band to start taking things seriously for about four years and now we’re back.

Morris: I moved back a few years ago, ya’ll moved back in January.

Scarboro: You moved like six months before we did!

Morris: I’ve been there for two years, I really have. Where’d you think I was?

Howle: So basically we’re confused about our upbringing, but we know what’s going on now. Now we know what’s happening.