Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies don’t do anything half-ass. His recordings are total raw nerve, real country shaken up with all the punk rock, metal and everything else that went into his Pacific Northwest meets roaddog upbringing. His work ethic speaks for itself in terms of shows played and fans won over and you basically would have no chance ever convincing him to stay off the road. He released a great album on Century Media last year, “Til The Wheels Fall Off” and toured it all over the U.S. and is now set to do an unbelievable summer haul across Europe. I am a big fan of Bob and the Outlaw Carnies and was very happy Bob recently took some time to give us an interview before he left, read on……
LRI: Thanks for talking to us Bob. You released a kickass album last year, Til The Wheels Fall Off, what do you have in mind for the rest of 2013?
Bob Wayne: Well, I did a 5 week tour of America, which was a damn good time, now I’m gearing up for a massive European onslaught!! We’re playing some huge festivals over there this summer and lots of club dates! After Europe it’s lookin like another South American tour in Brazil!! I’m lookin forward to gettin back over there as well as I made some good friends last time! Will be good to see everyone. After Brazil hopefully I can start recording all these new songs!!
LRI: A little background for those who don’t know. Your band is called the Outlaw Carnies ,also the name of your first album on Century Media and you travel the world playing dive bars and juke joints. Before that you’ve did lots of other jobs, anything to keep you on the road, what were some of your gigs and did you enjoy them all?
Bob: I used to drive ZEKES van for a few tours back in the day. I sold Merch for them as well. Then ZEKE was on tour with Super Joint Rititual of witch Hank 3 played bass for. Hank 3 then was doing his own thing after Super Joint and he needed a guitar tech and put the word out… That’s kind of how I got my name in the hat. I ended up getting that gig and boom, next thing you know I’m getting to watch Hank 3 and his damn band play every night!! And I got to help be a part of it setting everything up!!. Best job I ever had!!! Made a lot of good life friends traveling in that camp!!……Also “Outlaw Carnie” is my first “official” release!! I made 3 albums on my own, with the help of the Hank 3 camp, before that!!
LRI: You’re originally from the northwest. Do you think any of your punk rock, grass roots vibe comes from being from somewhere other than music center/entertainment center places like L.A. or New York?
Bob: I was born and raised just a couple hundred miles east of Seattle. We had a small but strong music scene as a teenager. I got to play shows with and go to a lot of underground shows to see tons of killer bands like KARP, Neurosis, TAD, and many more. That’s all we would do, go to shows or try to have our own shows.. It was an amazing time. I think the biggest influence on me though was my mother. My bedroom was also her bands jam room “the music room” so I grew up sleeping next to drums and guitar amps from a very young age. Sometimes my mom would get drunk and i would wake up to her in their writing songs and singing in the middle of the night (which is funny because now as an adult that’s the time that I write the best songs). She also took me to my first big concert. It was Johnny Cash playing at the Benton County Fair. Even though I was just 11, it had an impact on me.
LRI: I played your album back to front on my road trip to Las Vegas recently and it’s cliche but it is really a road-tested, long player album. This is the kind of record you can really beat the shit out of for thousands of miles and still want to come back to it. What kind of music do you listen to while you’re logging miles on the road or do you prefer to listen to the quiet of the engine?
Bob: We’ve gone through phases…. I tour constantly and with lots of different people. So every now and again you get someone who is sensitive to music being played … Especially if I’m the DJ (laughs)… I listen to some pretty off the wall obscure shit sometimes.. But in company I try to keep to the classics, Sabbath, Townes, Jimmy Martin, all three Hanks, Cash, Waylon, etc.
LRI: You have told a real friggin good story about how you wrote the song “Pistol and 100 Dollar Bill” which got me to thinking, how many great stories or scenarios inspired the lot of these songs on “Til The Wheels Fall Off” ?? Can you share another story of what inspired a song like “Blood To Dust” or “Lost Vegas”?
Bob: Well “Blood to Dust” is pretty easy, it’s just an autobiography basically. Every word in that song is true. Actually, so is lost Vegas !! I lost 3,000 bucks gambling and it was literally my last dime…. I was fucked after that…. But I got a good song out of the deal… And I learned that I have a gambling problem (laughs)!! Only in Vegas though
LRI: I talked with Hank 3 about the dedication and hard work involved with being an entertainer and I was most impressed with his honesty. It means the world to people to be entertained and forget about their problems for a while and as a performer you have to really want to do that job and enjoy doing it in order to be effective. How do you keep your spirits up in between shows and keep yourself in that entertainer mindset?
Bob: It’s an adventure to me!! A life adventure!! Trying to make each gig, then giving it your all… And yes it drains you. I think what I do to keep going is just keep it fun, have fun with band, we joke around a lot. Try to meet more good people, live life, and put on the best show that we can! I’ve been told I have an “unhealthy” obsession with the road…by doctors and friends!! But I can’t stop!!
LRI: You have written some deeply personal songs about real struggles you’ve gone through. That to me is what is missing from a lot of music, particularly country. Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, and on and on did not shy away from pouring their hurt out into their music and people are smart enough to know the difference between someone playing a “hit single” and someone performing honky tonk therapy. Has there ever been anything that you just felt was too personal/ hurtful or on the other hand, too happy or silly, to write about?
Bob: Wow. Good question!! There actually is… I can’t seem to write a love song to save my life. Which is crazy because some of my favorite songs are love songs about heartache. The only way I can do it is if someone dies in the song !! It’s like this weird block I have. Hence the song “Love Songs Suck” written by yours truly!
LRI: You’ve put out two records now on Century Media which is primarily thought of as a heavy metal label. How much different is it having a company involved than it was doing it all yourself?
Bob: Actually not different at all except I’m able to pay Andy Gibson for recording me!! But nothing changed. They just give us money to do what we do. Then we turn in the record and they get it out there best they can. It’s been a team effort and I’m really happy with how it’s all turned out! But those guys are like family to me and were before I ever thought to do a record deal with them!
LRI: In playing shows you find out a lot about your audience if you’re paying attention. Have you noticed a trend that your audience is really into all kinds of different music or are there a lot of straight old-fashioned country fans as well?
Bob: One of the things I learned being on Hank 3’s crew and traveling with him was the diversity. You look at a Hank crowd and you see Slayer patches and shirts. You go to a Slayer concert and your going to see a Johnny cash or a sun records patch. It’s old school country and old school metal… That’s what all my friends listen too, that’s all I listen too really… And I think that’s what makes these shows so killer… Is a bunch of like minded people who all love the music that they love!! So we all have this kind of bond.
LRI: Thanks for talking to us Bob, really appreciate it. You’ve talked before about how your hope is that your music takes people on a trip, almost like a good movie. I think it does. If you were afforded any budget you wanted and could turn your life into a proper Hollywood movie, what would the plot be like in a nutshell?
Bob: Here’s the opening scene…I hope it’s not too long…. based on a true story
He, was a good cop gone bad, she, was a singer in a smokey bar. After her set He buys her a drink, and starts to talk to her…. Fast forward 2 hours….they are doing huge lines of cocaine in a cheap hotel room. …they begin taking off there clothes and start getting it on….(crazy sex scene begins with Black Sabbath playing in the background)
Nine months later…… Bob Wayne was born.
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