Jun 28, 2012

Kelcy Interviews Brad Rice of Jason Boland and the Stragglers

Brad Rice. Photo from Lovers, quarrels and more.
Enjoy this enlightening new interview, as Kelcy sits down (figuratively) with the opinionated Brad Rice, drummer for Jason Boland and the Stragglers.

Kelcy: Please tell us your background, such as where you were born, when where and why you started playing music, and what your other hobbies were at that time (sports, video games, cooking meth, whatever…ok maybe don’t incriminate yourself)

Brad: I was born in Oklahoma City in 1977. Growing up I played soccer ad basketball, but joined the junior high band in the 6th grade. I started taking private lessons when i was 13. I grew up in a very musical, but normal household.

K: What first appealed to you about playing drums and when did you begin to approach them seriously as a possible career choice?

B: I liked the physical aspect of playing drums, it really involves your whole body. I found that it is a great emotional outlet to beat the shit out of something, and there's really no substitute as i hate violence :)

K: When and where was your first organized gig?  What about your first paid gig?  First gig with your current band?

B: My first gig was at a Strawberry festival in Cushing, OK with a group of buddies. I believe I was 15, I know i didn't drive to this.  First paying gig was with JB&S, but we didn't make any money the first 3 years.  First gig with JB&S was Halloween, 1998.

K: How long has it been since you’ve had to do anything other than play music to make a living, or do you still work?  If so, what kind of work do you do?

B: We have been full time with the band for 10 years, so I'm pretty far removed from the "real world". I have a lawn business on the side with a buddy in Tulsa, and I do a few side projects in the studio every year.

K: What’s your favorite venue to play currently?  All time favorite gig?  Most memorable gig (good or bad)?

B: My favorite current and all-time gig is Cain's Ballroom, nothing compares.  Most memorable gig---pick one before Jason quit drinking.

K: What is your favorite part of touring?  Least favorite part of it?

B: My favorite part of touring is that nothing really gets old, there's always spontaneity at the drop of a hat.  There is nothing that constitutes work about my job, we literally get paid to play music.  I hate being away from my wife and two sons.

What are you lookin' at punk?
K: What’s your favorite restaurant to stop at on the road?  (I know you’ve got the world’s best chicken enchilada recipe, I’ve gotta get that from you again)

B: Juicy Jim's in Memphis has the best sub sandwich in the country. [Kelcy says: I can verify this to be the gospel, so don’t even start whining all you east coasters]

K: Where do you live now?  Wife, kids, dogs? 

B: Tulsa, Ok--married with 2 boys, 8 and 4-- 2 dogs, german shepherd and doberman ( I don't like people in my yard)

K: What’s your favorite hobby, favorite sports teams?  How do you like to pass time on the road?

B: My teams are the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the OKC Thunder.
Enjoy working out, elliptical and lifting weights, riding my bike--love to cook, might pursue that as a 2nd career if we ever slow down on touring---love to drink beer and watch sporting events of all kinds---also enjoy carpentry and gardening---I'm a full time student so i spend a majority of my time studying on the road

K: Of all the songs in your catalog which is your favorite of all time?  Favorite to play live? Favorite on current album? Favorite cover song to play live?

B: I'd say Blowin' Through The Hills is my favorite, it's kinda country-metal.  It's a blast to play live, and people cheer as as soon as they hear the riff at the beginning.  I love Billy Joe Shaver's Thunderbird Wine.  We do a pretty punked-up version that's a lot of fun to play.

K: Who are your biggest musical influences? Who are your current favorite bands to listen to? Tour with? If you could play live as part of any band, who would you choose?

B: Musical influences are Dave Weckl, William C Calhoun, John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, John Bonham, Queens of the Stone Age, Stone Temple Pilots, my marching band director in highschool, my mom (badass pianist)

I love death metal, lately I've been into Job For A Cowboy, Cannibal Corpse, Gojira, Opeth.  I also love Jamie Lidell, John Coltrane, Buddy Rich, The Beatles, Binary Star, Clutch, Eagles of Death Metal, High On Fire, My Morning Jacket, Jurassic 5, The Mars Volta, Melvins, Nine Inch Nails, The Police, TOOL, Radiohead, Static-X, and WEEN

I'd love to play in several rock bands, too many to list, but Tool is up there. I'm not good enough, though.

K: If you could have dinner with any three people, who would you choose? What’s on the menu?

B: I'd like to sit down with Senator Jim Inhoffe from Oklahoma and ask him what his fucking problem is, so he's one.  Two, James Harden from the OKC Thunder, I like his style.  Three, my wife, we never get to go out by ourselves any more.

K: If you had to choose another career path, what would you be doing for a living?

B: I’m pretty sure I'd be a chef if I didn't have music, it has many parallel aspects in that it's very creative.

K: Is there any currently touring artist you’ve never seen that you’d love to see?

B: I’d love to see Tool or Mastodon

K: If you had to sum up your life view/philosophy in just a few sentences what would you say?

B: Be nice to people, show them love.  Read books.

K: What’s your opinion on the current state of the music business in general and specifically in independent country music?  Is there really such a thing as independent country music anymore?  If so, what artist best embodies it?

B: I don't think there are a whole bunch of sincere artists out there, independent or major. It seems most of them want to go the American Idol route.

K: If you had the power to mandate two books that everyone in the country should read what would they be?

B: I think everyone should read 1984, it's eerily close to our current situation.  I also really like Walden, it really stresses the importance of nature, simplicity and love.

K: What about if you had to choose two albums of music that the entire country should own?

B: The Beatles Revolver and John Coltrane Blue Train

K: If you could give a message to the entire world, what would you say? (because that’s the kind of website hits we’re looking for)

B: Stop fucking watching reality television and pick up a damn book

Jason Boland and the Stragglers most recent album is the excellent Rancho Alto.

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