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I would love to be more simple plan than I am now: CHUCK RAGAN interview

3 février 2010

I Shot Concert Photography

J’ai juste pas le goût de partir sur une grande envolée décrivant à quel point j’ai hâte de voir Chuck Ragan et Tim Barry à Montréal ce vendredi. Ostie de line-up de rêve. J’ai fait une petite entrevue par e-mail avec Mr. Ragan.

Read on si c’est votre tasse de thé.

Your new record opens with the song For Goodness Sake. In it there’s a pretty strong sentence that say «Love yourself to love your family, and find the difference between wants and needs». Would you mind telling us with some details what that sentence means to you?

Sure. First off thanks for taking the time! I’m looking forward to getting there! That line you referenced is simple. Basically, I believe that it’s hard if not near impossible to truly love someone or something if you don’t love yourself first. I’m not speaking of any type of vanity in anyway but more self respect. If I respect myself, know what I need to do and overcome to get by, then I’ll be more apt and able to care for and love my family. Make sense? As far as distinguishing between wants and needs, that’s easy as well. Most of what we want, we do not need. I would love to be more simple than I am now, yet I’m finding myself at a computer in a hotel office center sipping coffee from a to-go cup. Do I need to be doing any of this? No. I would still rise tomorrow, I’d still find something to eat and I would still find a place to sleep. But I want to do this. At least right now. All I’m saying is that the more we understand the difference between our wants and needs, the closer we can become to true self. As in what’s most important to thrive and survive.

Get Em All Home…It’s obviously a song about the war. Do you have friends in the army in Iraq, Afghanistan or anywhere else? Do you think that there’s a war that can be justified?

I do have family overseas in the war. I’ve had family that fought before me. I empathise with families that have their loved ones away from home and that is what this song is about. War is war. As history has shown, the majority of the time it usually just breeds more war.

The amount of CD, LP, 7’’ and 10’’ you released as a solo artist since 2006 is pretty crazy. Are you working on something right now? You also have your own record label called Ten Four Records. Is the adventure of releasing records what you expected so far? Do you plan on releasing records from other artist than you?

Right now we’re keeping the label just for my own works. We just wanted to do it to be a bit more self-sufficient rather than have something that would take over all of our time. I’m always working on new projects. One of which is planned to be recorded in May with a good friend. As far as who it is…you’ll have to wait and see!!! All I can say at the moment is that we’re very excited about it and look forward to making another record!

As far as you can remember, what’s the first bluegrass/country/Americana song/record that you’ve and that really hooked you up on that sound?

Possibly Rocky Top, White Lighting who knows… but I also grew up on a lot of Cajun music from my mother’s side of the family. A lot of which I couldn’t even tell you what the names were.

You’ll be playing in the province of Quebec with Tim Barry pretty soon. You’ve definitely knew each other for a long time. Hot Water Music and AVAIL had a sound/energy/live show that could be compared in some way. The RVA Family. You’ve wrote songs together, toured together and who knows what else. Do you remember the first time you met him, saw him on stage, and heard his band? What was your first impression?

My first impression was Avail playing the Hardback in Gainesville in the early 90′s. We all looked up to those guys even thought they weren’t too much older than us. They were just already on the road and tearing it up. We admired that. Tim, Joe Banks, and Beau were a few guys who basically taught HWM how to « be a band ». In the sense of what it takes to make ends meet, survive on the road, and survive as friends and a band. I’ll never forget it. By the way, there was about 30 people at that show and it was one of their best.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how excited are you about the new Leatherface record coming up in February? Did you ever tried to get Frankie Stubbs to play an acoustic show with you?

Super stoked! I tried to get Frank to play but it just hasn’t worked out yet. Hopefully one day soon! I have all the respect in the world for those shitty shoed bastards.

If I’m right, you «stopped» HWM because you were kind of «sick» of touring constantly. Funny thing is that you’ve been bring back to that lifestyle because of the success of your solo career. Do you think you’ll ever be able to live a sedentary life?

I wanted to get away from the band life because it was stale to me. I felt that if I continued I’d just be lying to myself and everyone else. I never wanted to quit playing music. So I went back to my trade and continued working on and building homes. I kept writing, started recording more, then signed to Side One. Since I was doing it on my own just my wife and I, the freedom, the excitement and the independence of it all was back. So we kept on. Then the housing market crashed and work became tougher to find in my trade. The music was there, and so were we. So we just started doing both as we could. I live and work for myself in whatever form it takes to provide for myself and my own. That I can not see changing.

Mercredi le 3 février à Québec au Dagobert.

Jeudi le 4 février à Chicoutimi au Bunker.

Vendredi le 5 février à Montréal à l’Esco à 17h00 et au Quai des Brumes à 20h00.

Un commentaire
  • Mike Savard
    9 février 2010

    More Simple Plan? Ahah
    Bonne entrevue!



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