Today is the turn of Joe Bent, the best skateboard-slide-player in the world. No, seriously, this guy is pure gold. He has more heart and skill playing that two-strings-skateboard-bow than a thousand Bonamassas dressed in 40's suits with fedora hats.
And anyway, Joe Bent came up with something fresher in the blues-roots genre. Something that in fact, was in the heart of it: use whatever you've got at hand to make noise and have fun.
GuerrillaRocanrol: I first knew you when you joined Left Lane Cruiser, but later i knew you had a story of bands behind, was always "roots" music or did you try other styles?
knowing that your style of "roots" music is not orthodox which i really like.
Rock and roll and punk were always first in my musical category, when I got into the new roots music, it really grabbed my attention because it's just acoustic punk. I really liked that. I've always played blues as well. Cut my teeth at the old guy blues jams in town and started jamming with people.
GuerrillaRocanrol: I have the feeling that roots music now has become the "the new punk" what do you think?
I still have faith in punk, but a lot of the old punks are drifting towards the roots scene for sure. It's not surprising, the energy that goes into a roots show is almost identical to a punk show
GuerrillaRocanrol: Yea, what are your plans right now? next gigs, tour?
Moving forward. Constantly. Doing what makes me happy, make no money doing it and maybe I can influence someone along the way. That's all I can hope for.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Righteous! apart from music, what other jobs do you have?
I am a truck driver.
GuerrillaRocanrol: You sure have run a million miles due to your dayjob and playing shows, what's the average distance you drive between shows?
Anywhere from 20 minutes to 16 hours depending on what we have happening.
GuerrillaRocanrol: And how do you book the gigs? is it hard?
We have a lot of friends, other bands, promoters that are also friends that we work with, so when we book something it's always easier to work with people we love than go through a company. It usually is more gratifying as well since the people that book us like what we do.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Are bar owners or promoters reluctant to book underground acts, or is there some kind or circuit?
It really just depends on the bar, club or venue. Sometimes they won't have anyone that isn't a cover band, so that always is a pain, but as for the bars I deal with, they love the underground so there's no problem.
GuerrillaRocanrol: I wish there was something similar here
As for a circuit, yeah there seems to be a large number of clubs that all of the bands in this genre play at. For good reason, great crowds, you are treated well and you can actually get paid! It's a successful show if you make any money.
I love playing Spain!
I miss it so much, oh man, so this one time in Madrid, we played at a huge club, had a blast, then went walking down this area where a whole bunch of prostitutes were all hanging out trying to sell their merchandise, this absolutely gorgeous girl runs over to me, grabs my arm and I had to tell her that I've never paid for sex and I wasn't about to start now haha.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Was it a festival with other bands?
This one wasn't, just a show with us and another band.
GuerrillaRocanrol: What's "making it" in music biz for you?
Joe Bent: I'm going to explain this the best way I can without getting upset...I have seen what needs to be done these days to "make it" and be involved with a larger record label, and I want no part of it.
You have people who don't make music telling you what you should be doing. Constantly.
Down to what your album is going to be called and what the subject matter is going to be. There is nothing you can do about it either, because they own your ass.
If that's what it takes to make it, I'm just fine with being a nobody. I'm never going to change that.
Not even in a moderate way? like the artists in the Chitlin circuit?
It was totally different back then. But even then they had 20 people taking a percentage off the top before they saw any money at all.
I'll most likely never see a dime from the work with LLC because that band is so in debt to the label they'll never get out of that hole.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Pretty fucked up
GuerrillaRocanrol: I have thought about Kerouac, the writer, and his book On the road when we mentioned the miles a musician drive, do you dig that "americana epic" of the beat generation and general weirdos? weird question, i know...
Joe Bent: Yes I do, I'm a huge Kerouac fan. I wish that mentality was as popular as it was in his day.
GuerrillaRocanrol: Yea, i see you in a Cassady style, driving and playing through the country.
Joe Bent: I wish it were that easy haha
GuerrillaRocanrol: Yea, i know...they were a bohemian bunch, drugs fueled, funny types but i guess they left a good "trail of destruction" after them (talking of their personal lives).
Joe Bent: Absolutely
GuerrillaRocanrol: Well, reaching the end, how do you make a song? which comes first, lyrics, riffs...or is it something "above" that?
Joe Bent: Always the riff first, I constantly hear music in my head. So these little snippets of a song will pop in my head, I'll put it to an instrument then later the words come.
GuerrillaRocanrol: And what do you love to sing or growl about?
Joe Bent: Heartbreak, whiskey and things of that nature.
GuerrillaRocanrol: And this space for you to add whatever you like...
Joe Bent: My message I'd like to get across to people is that whatever you do, stay true to yourself. It shouldn't be about becoming a millionaire. It should always be about self expression.