I asked both Woody and Nate Hall from U.S. Christmas to answer five questions for me. For Woody's interview, I put the word out to people I know, and people who know him, and find out what questions they wanted answered. Just about every single person wanted to ask how he's doing, which I guess is a testament to how much people care about this guy. For those of you who don't get certain questions, Woody's parents owned a jewelry store on Hillsborough Street, which is where Locopops is now located. You'll see his answers below, but first, let's get started with Nate.
(US Christmas pic by Scott - HR Junkinstuff, Marion N.C.)
1.When is the new album coming out, and what can we expect from it?
The new album “Run Thick in the Night” should be out in in cd form mid- September on Neurot Recordings. It is our strongest album yet, fully realized, and expansive. It is the guitar album I always wanted to make. Sanford Parker recorded it and it sounds great. It is a long, trippy, dark, satisfying record.
2. Where's the best place to go camping in Western N.C.?
Pisgah National forest I guess. I live in the woods, but I prefer a bed. Camping is fun until you try to sleep.
3. How did you and Matt go about re-populating the band, and how did the sound change with the new line-up?
We asked the best musicians we knew and they all said yes. The sound is fuller now, louder, and more complex. There are lots of layers, and tons of drums (two full kits). Meg’s violin sound works really well. She plays stuff that sounds like guitar lines sometimes, at others she gives the songs a very folky feel. Josh uses the bass to create a lot of drone sounds. He is mainly a guitar player, and he has a great overdriven sound. The overall sound is darker, more earthy now. I love it.
4. I'm also including a 5 questions interview with Woody Weatherman, which will be published with yours. If you could ask him an interview question, what would it be?
I would ask him about his guitar and amp setup. He is a killer guitar player and I always pay close attention to guys of his caliber. I would find out about the components in his rig, maybe get him to talk about live sound.
5. According to your Myspace page "the mountains and people of western North Carolina are a primary influence on the band’s sound." Please explain, and tell us also how your surroundings specifically influence your lyrics.
My family has been in WNC for centuries, it is in my blood. Same story with the rest of the band to a large degree. I live in a very pretty, rural place and it feeds the music I write. I have to be here to write music, it is part of the creative process for me. WNC is a very pretty place and I pay close attention to the way it changes with the seasons. A lot of the material on RTITN is rooted in lunar cycles, the night sky, and the mountains themselves. I feel like USX is continuing a tradition in a way, because we don’t deny our culture or our roots. We could move to some major city and probably do pretty well, but that would eventually kill the music.
(You know these guys.)
1. How are you doing?
Simple question with a fairly simple answer and thanks to all for asking. I've been doing pretty good here recently, working on some new tunes with Mike and Reed. Maintaining a decent sized garden this year and running around trying to keep up with our 17 month old little boy, thats the toughest part out of all of it.
2. Why did you, Mike and Reed decide to work together again now, and will you guys continue working together?
I guess it took us a while to realize we needed to jam together again, sometimes we meander around staring into space and it takes a little longer than it should for us to figure these things out. We do have a bunch of shows set up at the moment and a 7" coming out in a couple weeks. Got a pile of songs for a new record so I'm assuming we'll do it as long as it is fun and then take another 10 year or so break.
3. Two for one gemology question: Are you a registered gemologist and can you identify a diamond with the naked eye?
I am indeed not a registered Gemologist and I could never tell you the difference between the Hope Diamond and a broken Pepsi bottle.
4. What's your favorite Locopop?
You caught me on this one, to be honest with you I have not been to that spot on Hillsboro Street since my folks closed up their store a few years ago. Heard the pops are good though.
5. Tell us about your guitar and amp setup, the components of your rig and how you get your live sound (this question came from Nate of US Christmas -- I'm doing a 5 questions interview with him too for that show).
Ok, well my stuff is super simple and it is that way for a reason. I figured out a long ways back that the less junk you rely on the less stuff there is to break down on you. I don't use any effects pedals live except for an occasional Crybaby. Plug straight into a Mesa/Boogie dual rectifier amp and run two 4x12 Marshall cabinets loaded with vintage 30 watt Celestion speakers. I have a few gibson SG guitars and a couple of ESP guitars that look like SG's with Duncan Invader pick-ups in the bridge position and Billy Gibbons Pearly Gates in the neck Position. Just remember sometimes less is indeed more. Thats probably enough info to bore the pants off most folks.