I journeyed through the heart of the South to Anderson, SC to meet up with the Drive By Truckers. The Athens, Georgia-based band was in the middle of a short tour opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd and had just signed with Lost Highway Records, home of Lucinda Williams, and the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

The band's most recent album, The Southern Rock Opera received high praise from rock journalism's elite following its release in September 2001, which resulted in Lost Highway re-releasing it in July. The double-album's portrayal of a fictional Southern rock garage band not only deals with the mythology surrounding Lynyrd Skynyrd, but life as it was in the Deep South in the 1970s. Guitarists/singers Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley are both immensely talented songwriters, adept at catching the subtleties and realities of Southern living.

Interviewing the Truckers was like hanging with your drunk uncle- loud, lots of Budweiser, funny stories, dirty jokes, and some wisdom mixed in for good measure. Watching them open for Lynyrd Skynyrd in front of 30,000 Confederate flag-clad rednecks on the South Carolina/Georgia border was truly unforgettable. Their story is one of remarkable persistence, faith and some old fashioned good luck. Enjoy.

AT: Why don’t we start by you guys telling me how you met?

Patterson Hood: Cooley and I met in '85. We had a mutual roommate. Cooley lived with a guy I knew, and I ended up moving into an extra bedroom. We started playing together pretty much immediately. And have pretty much been playing together ever since, give or take a year or two.

Mike Cooley: We would have never had anything to do with each other. (Laughs) The guy we were living with was such a pathetic excuse for a human being that it made us like each other.

PH: That's true. (Laughs)

AT: What did he move on to do?

MC: Probably selling insurance, burial plots. He's selling something that requires conning old ladies out of money.

PH: Or aluminum siding. I bet he'd be a hell of an aluminum siding salesman.

Earl Hicks: I think you mean vinyl siding. Aluminum siding would get pretty damn hot.

PH: Yeah, yeah. Vinyl siding.

MC: He may have even moved on to selling used cars.

AT: Talk to me a little bit about the Southern Rock Opera, both the logistics of producing the album and the creative thought behind it. Where did the original idea come from and is it true that it started out as a screenplay?

PH: It started out as a screenplay, but never really made it past the outline stage. Earl and I were working on, God, a couple of years before the band started. All of us here grew up around the same area in Alabama, except for Brad (drummer).

Earl and I took a road trip one time back to Alabama in a rented truck. We started talking about what a great movie the Lynyrd Skynyrd story would make. Over the course of a bunch of beers and a lot of miles, we kind of decided that you could never really make a movie about Lynyrd Skynyrd because you'd have to deal with the estate: band members, children, wives, ex-wives, widows and shit. And who would you get to play Ronnie (Van Zandt, lead singer)?

So, we started out by saying that we were going to write a screenplay about it, but deal more with some of the stories and mythology about it and not necessarily call it, "Lynyrd Skynyrd." So it really morphed from there.

About a year or so later, the band started. And the idea just kept going. We were talking about the Rock Opera in the beginning, before even our first record. Whenever we got together and practiced, we'd talk about it and work on some things. That's what we talked about between us. It grew from there. Earl produced our second and third album, but then joined the band in time to make this record. It all kind of blew apart and then came together in the end.

AT: The album is very visual. You can tell that it started out as something that might have been a visual production at some point in time.

PH: I'd still like to do something kind of visual with it. We've had ideas about projecting images onto a screen when we perform it, that kind of stuff. It's kind of the opposite of anything we've ever done on our regular stage show, but we'd like to do something to set it apart from a regular Truckers show. At some point, we will. Because it's something I'd like to do even if we make other records and everything. Whether it be a year or so or whatever, I'd like to revisit it. New songs may get added or taken away as time goes on. Some of the basic themes of it are certainly something we can revisit in a few years, and we'll have a different perspective on it.

AT: Was the album that was released the entire production or was there more to it?

PH: There's another song we wrote that we perform with it when we do the whole rock opera live. And there are a couple of songs on the album that were from Rob, who's no longer in the band. So we don't do those. Jason has a song and probably a couple of others waiting in the wings that will be perfect.

So it's kind of a work-in-progress, despite the fact that the album has been out for a year. We're a good bit into the next record too, so we're out playing a few of those songs live right now.

AT: That’s coming out in the spring 2003?

PH: Yeah, probably so.

AT: Where did the whole idea of a rock opera come from? Were you guys Tommy fans?

PH: No, not at all. I hated it. I thought Quadrophenia was all right, but I wouldn't say I was a big fan of it. The whole idea of a rock opera is generally kind of ridiculous. But that was part of why we did it: poking fun and paying tribute to at the same time. You know, Lynyrd Skynyrd never was into rock operas. So that was kind of part of the fun of it.

An example of a rock opera that does work, even though he may not call it a rock opera, is Randy Newman's Good Old Boy. That was definitely an influence on the writing of it. That was the original southern rock opera.

AT: Did any of you ever see Skynyrd live growing up?

MC: No. Never did.

EH: I didn't.

PH: I did have tickets, like the song says. ("Long Live Rock") That was all true. I had tickets for a show in the spring of '77. But, it never happened.

MC: It was after the plane crash before I started getting into them.

AT: Another thing that I’ve noticed after listening to the album is the importance of Muscle Shoals. Talk to me some about your early memories of Muscle Shoals studios. I’ve done a little bit of research on your dad. (Patterson’s dad is David Hood, a Muscle Shoals studio musician who’s worked with Etta James, Duane Allman, Traffic, Willie Nelson, among others.)

PH: I didn't get to really experience a lot of that, because I was a kid. And Dad didn't want me around the studio, you know, probably for pretty obvious reasons. I had a very strange childhood, for sure. There were definitely things that were happening that were very different. I got to meet the Staples Singers when I was eight. But I didn't get to hang out in the studio. One of Dad's partners had a kid who did get to hang out in the studio, so I was pretty pissed about that for 20 years.

EH: But look at his band now. (Laughter)

PH: A band that shall remain nameless. (Laughter)

AT: Arena rock is another heavy influence on this album. You guys never saw Skynyrd, but were there other big rock shows that influenced you?

PH: Oh yeah, even the bad ones. There were a lot of bad ones. I saw AC DC a lot, I saw Ozzy Ozbourne right before Randy Rhodes was killed. Those were probably the coolest. I'm a big Springsteen fan, so I saw him a couple of times. He didn't come down South much in those days, but I road tripped to see him. On the bad side, I saw Styxx on the "Mr. Roboto Tour." (Laughter)

EH: That's hard to top. That's about as bad as it gets. (Laughter)

J(): I've been to Survivor.

PH: I saw Survivor open for Kansas. (Laughter)

MC: Of all the people Kansas has toured with over the years, and they've either opened for or had everybody open for them, you had to see them with Survivor.

PH: I saw them a bunch of times. They came to Huntsville every fucking year. That's where they'd rehearse for tours. They'd open their tour there to test things out. Even then I didn't like them, but they were there in concert, and it was a good chance to smoke dope and get fucked up. Or maybe get a feel off a girl that wouldn't let me touch her at school.

MC: Exactly.

EH: Or get in a couple fights.

PH: Yeah, yeah. Everyone else was there for the same reason I was. No one really gave a shit about Kansas. It was six bucks to get really fucked up. Those were the good old days.

MC: Someone would get all fucked up and start talking about how "Frankenstein" is a better song than "Carry on my Wayward Son." They'd get their ass kicked. (Laughter) Quick. They'd be outnumbered.

AT: One of the themes in the Southern Rock Opera that I’m most interested in is the idea of perception versus reality. You talk about it a lot in "Ronnie & Neil" concerning the feud between Van Zandt and Neil Young. How is the album been perceived so far in the live shows you performed so far? I imagine it’s been more widely accepted by the audiences in the Southeast….

EH: Not really, actually.

PH: I think it's actually gone over better up north. And out west.

MC: Certainly no worse.

PH: We've been really lucky. Going into it, we wondered if it would all be misunderstood by a lot of people and stuff. It's definitely been more the exception than the norm. I've had some folks come up and talk to me about my views of George Wallace. They were a little angry, but those instances happened down south. Up north, it's generally just been treated really well.

MC: I think there's a big misconception that Northerners look down on Southerners. We've been fed that information all our lives, but honestly, it seems like they've always been kind of interested and think southern culture is pretty cool. They really do. They like the accent.

AT: I moved from Jackson, Mississippi up to Connecticut when I was a kid. My first day of school in the fifth grade, all the girls made me say "Jackson, Mississippi" over and over again because they loved the accent. (Laughter)

PH: If I knew then what I know now, I would have moved up there for high school. (Laughter) Gotten the hell out of Alabama.

AT: I wanted to ask you about the song, "Guitar Man Upstairs", from the album. It’s a really interesting song.

MC: It came out over a few months. I was living in this apartment in Birmingham and had this old black guy who lived right underneath me. He was just kind of a miserable, mean old bastard. I'd look at him, say hello and he'd say, "Fuck you, whitey." I had a friend who lived next to him and she'd tell me what a bastard he was. But every time I started playing guitar, at any volume level, he'd call the fucking cops. We'd have lots of people up there hanging out late at night with the stereo on, hanging out. And there be not a word. But I could be playing an acoustic guitar with my fucking fingers at eight o'clock in the morning, and the cops would be at the door.

I never knew why it bugged the shit out of him so much, but that was why I wrote the song.

AT: I like the way you approached it by writing it from his perspective.

MC: I didn't fuck his old lady like I said I did in the song. (Laughter) The last time the cops showed up, they took his ass away for being drunk and belligerent. They almost took my ass away too.

AT: What about "Plastic Flowers?" It’s obviously a pretty personal story. The details and imagery are very vivid. Talk to me about that one.

PH: It was inspired by the death of a good friend of almost everyone in the band, a guy named Chris Quillen. He should have been a member of the band, actually. He had planned to come to Athens to play with us. About two or three weeks before the band cut our first singles, he was killed in a car wreck. Besides that, the song is totally fiction. It's a totally different story than what happened to him. Chris was drunk and was killed late at night. But he was definitely the emotion for that song. He was a very good friend, and one of the most talented motherfuckers I've ever met in my life. Chris could play the shit out of just about anything.

About the time we started really working on this record, we also hit the road. It was right when the whole plastic flower thing was really taking off. Everywhere we went there were these reminders of that. I know I had a bit of a phobia about it for a while. I had to work to overcome this fear of being killed on the road, out on the highway. But after a while, I got over it. Shit, the road is a part of what I do as a musician and a big part of what we do as a band. It's just a chance we take. Writing that song was a big part of my therapy in overcoming that fear. There was a lot of therapy in that record.

AT: That kind of leads to my next question. A lot has been made about the fact that this album deals a lot with Lynyrd Skynyrd, but the record is obviously more about you guys then it is about then. I find it interesting how some reviewers and critics have focused so much on the Skynyrd connection, when the truth of the matter is the Skynyrd metaphor has really just served as a vehicle for your own stories.

MC: It's more based on Skynyrd than it is about them. There are only a handful of specific stories that we wanted to write songs about. Those are pretty obvious. Everything else is just tied to it or linked in some way. Betamax Guillotine is a fictional band.

AT: And an interesting name. I didn’t know much about the story behind the crash.

MC: Well, the whole Betamax guillotine myth is supposedly not true. (According to urban legend, Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zandt was decapitated by a betamax player when the band's flight crashed in Louisiana in 1977.) I've heard it both ways, but the only witnesses have undergone a lot of trauma and stress. They were pretty much scared out of their minds.

PH: Hearing the surviving members of the band tell the story is so interesting because each one of their versions is so completely different. Radically different so far as what happened to specific people and all that. Everyone landed in a different place in that swamp, so each person's account is different. It's kind of hard to fathom.

MC: Well, when you're in a hospital bed and they're working to put your body back together, you might have really dreamed some of that shit.

AT: I guess you guys have had some contact with them. How has the feedback been?

PH: A little bit. They've been really, really nice. We were very concerned about it in the beginning because we didn't know how it was going to be received by them. We were afraid they would just hear about it or see it on some kind of surface level, and think we were making light of it all. Particularly when folks talk about the Betamax part of it. We were really nervous about how that'd be received. Because it was never meant as any kind of disrespect. Part of the appeal of Lynyrd Skynyrd's music to me, and what sets them apart from other bands in their genre, is their irreverence. Ronnie Van Zandt had some pretty irreverent things to say. For example, in "That Smell", when he says, "Oak tree you're in my way." That kind of way of dealing with real-life things that were happening around him was a big part of my connection to them.

So, I was pretty nervous about how they were going to react to all of it. So far, I think it's gone pretty well. Their management people took to it really quickly. Traci (Thomas, the band's publicist) made a real big effort to get in contact with them and let them know what it was all about.

But it did make us a little nervous in the beginning. After all, we were dealing with Lynyrd Skynyrd here. I was scared we'd get into our dressing room the first night, and they'd be waiting here to jump us.

MC: Our better yet, wait until we all got inside and torch the place. I had visions of them hammering boards across the door of our dressing room. (Laughter) I mean, fuck: we are dealing with Lynyrd Skynyrd. But everything ended up being really cool with them. We're hoping to do some more shows with them in the future.

AT: When was the first time you played the Southern Rock Opera in its entirety? Did you sit some friends and family down and ask their opinion?

PH: When was the first time? Was it Star Bar on my birthday? I think it was the Star Bar on my birthday, right around the time we recorded it the second time. We recorded it three times, but I think the first time it was performed live was at the Star Bar. That's the first time we billed it as the Southern Rock Opera. We'd played it in rehearsal, but that was the first time we introduced it. It was a real good time.

AT: When was the first time you recorded it?

PH: All three times were in 2000. The first time we did it, we just demoed it because we wanted to hear all the songs and have a tape to work with. So that we could fine-tune things and see how it all flowed. We kind of had an idea in our heads, but we really didn't know until we heard it. We recorded it in the basement of Dave Schools' house with Earl manning the controls. We recorded what we thought was the real deal a few months later in Auburn, AL in a condemned house with a collapsed floor.

EH: I had to crawl under this house and raise the floor up so that our gear wouldn't fall through. It was horrible. They had had a party in the house a week before everyone was jumping up and down on the floor. There was a guy there with an electric wheelchair, which weighs around 400 pounds. All these people were jumping around him and the floor dropped.

PH: We recorded the demo and then we hit the road. Like the next day. We finished recording and loaded up the van for a three-month tour. We'd pull the work tape out and listen to it every so often. We'd perform some of the songs live at different shows. They all kind of morphed and just got better. We really figured out a lot of things that we could do better and play better.

During that time, the guy who was playing bass had to move away and wasn't able to do it. We were like, "Oh, shit. What are we gonna do now? We're about to start recording." Earl was producing and just said, " Fuck it. I'll play bass." He joined the band and went out on the road with us for two weeks. We did this really rough two-week tour, came home and recorded the record in Birmingham. We spent two weeks recording the record in the upstairs of this warehouse in Birmingham. We had the most miserable time of all of our lives, and then went back on the road. We spent the rest of the year touring. We were fucking crazy. (Patterson looks at Cooley with a grin on his face.) Why the fuck did we do that shit?

MC: I think it was because we had to. (Laughter) There really was only one option. (Laughter) That's what the next record is about.

PH: The last record is something we created; the next one will be something we lived. It'll be called, "How to Really Fuck up your Life While Making a Rock Record." But it'll be a document from the other side of the experience, looking back. Cause things are all better now; everything's a lot cooler.

We definitely spent too much time on the road, without any money. Without anything. Sleeping on the floor literally every night. People put us up everywhere we'd go. If we didn't know someone in that town, we'd wait until the gig and say, Take us home. We promise not to shit on your floor. If we dirty anything up, we'll clean up after ourselves."

MC: We probably didn't stay in five hotels in the first three years we were touring.

PH: We did nearly 400 shows in two and a half years during that time. And we recorded three records. At the end of 2000, we finally just hit a wall. The entire band did. We decided to take some time off and fix ourselves. We had the record finished, but none of it was mixed. We still had a lot of work to do on it. We had to sit down and figure out what we were going to do about…just really everything. We just had to kind of fix everything.

So we took six months off. Finished mixing the record and figured out how to raise the money to produce it. We raised the money, put the album out and booked the fall tour. We hit the road in September and did 180 shows between September and March. Since then, we've been doing some weekend gigs and recording our next album. Not having to fix things like last year, but…

MC: We've been taking care of things we don't mind taking care of.

PH: Yeah, yeah. A nice hiatus. Except it hasn't really been a hiatus, because we've been really busy doing something every week. We haven't been on the road since mid-March, but that'll change soon. Lost Highway is re-releasing the Southern Rock Opera on July 16, and we'll probably be on the road the week before that. We'll be on the road most of the rest of the year. We're going back to Europe again. I think we're going to get to do Farm Aid, it looks like.

AT: Wow, that’s amazing.

PH: They didn't tell me not to tell nobody. They said it was official. Right? (Laughter)

EH: Official word means the official word, it sounds like to me.

PH: They didn't tell me to keep it quiet until it was announced, so I don't know. I think we're playing at Farm Aid, but the joke could be on me. (Laughter) We'll be out the rest of the year, so we're going to try and finish off the new record before we leave. That way we don't have to come off the road with so much to do. We'll just put it out. It's ready: the songs are there, it's ripe on the vine. We're ready to do it. So, we'll focus on that, which will keep our minds off all the record company shit that goes along with the record being re-released. I'd be such a control freak that I'd be freaking out about everything. I'd rather have my mind on something that I do have some control over, that we have control over, rather than all that shit. That's the way it's supposed to be.

MC: That's when La-Z-Boy will make the band furniture. (Laughter)

PH: Wouldn't that be great!

MC: La-Z-Boy. That's what I need. When I'm at home in the La-Z-Boy, I have no pain. (Laughter)

AT: You should be their spokesperson. That’d make a good ad. (Laughter)

MC: Yeah, definitely. Easy B (Brad Morgan, drummer) would be the guy. He'd have a La-Z-Boy behind his kit with TVs hanging above him. He'd be down there playing drums and flicking through the channels.

PH: How about that for a video? (Laughter)

MC: Brad would be in his underwear, definitely. And the Olsen twins would have to be there. (Laughter)

AT: You touched on Europe a little earlier. Talk about that experience.

PH: Great. It was kind of the same thing we were talking about playing up North, but Europe took it to the next extreme. Europeans are so fascinated by the whole Southern culture thing. It's an exciting place to them. Just like they are to us. We met some really great people over there. I'd really like to explore Europe as far as we can go.

MC: It's interesting, because they've studied American history and shit almost as much as we have. And a lot of them studied it and said, "Damn, you guys did get fucked, didn't you?" (Laughter)

AT: Where did you get to play while you were over there?

MC: Six shows in nine days is what we did, I think.

EH: We played four or five different towns in Holland.

PH: We're headed back this fall and the party starts when we hit the hash bar.
MC: The plane touched down the last trip at 7:30 A.M., and these guys are there to pick us up to take us back to the hotel. They asked us if we wanted to go somewhere first, and I think all of us said, "hash bar" at the same time. They didn't think any of them we're open yet, but we found some. (Laughter) We were determined to get fucked up.

AT: I think that’s what everyone does when they land in Amsterdam. I’m surprised there aren’t more 24-hour hash bars advertised.

MC: We found mushrooms at this one place and headed back to the hash bar. We got just fucking wasted and head back to the hotel to chill out before our radio show at midnight that night. The two guys pull Dick (Cooper, tour manager) aside and said, "You need to tell them to slow down. The shit they're doing over here isn't like what they're used to. " (Laughter) Dick took one look at them and said, "Oh, no. They'll be fine. They do this shit all the time."

The hotel we stayed at had this spiral staircase. It was really narrow and the steps weren't much wider than a foot. Man, trying to go up and down that thing was like climbing a damn ladder. It was almost completely vertical.

AT: We’ve talked about the creative origins of the Southern Rock Opera. Talk to me a little about the logistical side of producing the album. You guys took a creative approach towards financing the whole process in forming an investors group.

EH: We came up with the idea one night and put the word out that we were looking for investors to help finance the production of our album. We just hoped to provide a quick return on their investment, much like any bank would do.

AT: So you hit up your families first and then opened it up to friends and fans?

EH: Not many relatives. Mostly fans and friends, pretty much. Even some people we didn't know.

PH: We knew about a third of the people who formed the investors' group. A friend of mine I've known since I was six was in there, along with some of our other close friends. But we had no idea about a lot of them- they just came out of the woodwork.

MC: Most of them were so into the fact that we had stayed independent for so long and wanted to see us stay independent as long as we could. That's really what got them off the couch. They were like, "Fuck no. Don't sign. Take our money and do the record."

PH: The deals we were offered at that time were terrible. We went to South-by-Southwest and shopped it around a little bit. There was a really good buzz about the band. Spin Magazine had just done a little thing and so it was perfect timing- our showcase was sold out. We had all these people from all these different labels telling us how much they loved it and wishing us luck. But they thought we should whittle it down to one record and play down the whole Southern aspect of it. "Then you might have something," they said.

There was one offer that was made, but if we had taken the deal it would have destroyed us completely. We really had no choice but to turn it down. We decided there had to be better way to do it. We weren't just going to give this record away after all we'd been through. By that time, it had been about six years coming. Three divorces and a whole bunch of bullshit had gone down during the making of this record. I wasn't just going to give the record to some motherfucker to use as a tax write-off.

It was early July 2001 when we decided to move straight ahead with the investors group. We had a really small amount of time to get the money raised to finish the album and get the fall tour booked. And get a van, because we didn't have that either. That was just going to be more money we had to raise as part of the investors group.

The manufacturing of the album was pretty pricey because of the album artwork, but we were committed to keeping that intact. It really was an impossible path that was partly a lot of hard work, people rising to the occasion and some good luck.

Our first day of fall tour after the album came out was September 12. The whole country was going fucking crazy. It just felt like the shit kept coming, you know. The impossible path continued.

EH: We were driving through Tennessee, and everyone was just freaking out. It was a national freak out. But I'm really glad we went out and played.

PH: I am too. We would have just been at home freaking out. At least we could be together with each other and just rock.

AT: I find your whole path to success really interesting. You guys really took the grassroots approach to the extreme, going so far as to ask your fans to finance your record. That’s a pretty ballsy move.

MC: We promoted the record so much without really intending to. It was on our minds so much during that time, and we'd play the songs live during shows. Our fans would hear them and then ask about the new record. So a lot of those songs became favorites before they were even recorded. They were really into seeing this record come out, and that's the interesting story for most of the media. All the press we got around that time mentioned this new album that would be coming out soon. The word was out there.

AT: I know I heard about it through a friend of mine that got me into you guys. She told me about the band, loaned me the albums and filled me in on the legend of the Southern Rock Opera.

MC: We were pretty straight with our fans about it. We pretty much told them that we'd either have to sign a deal we didn't want to sign or get some money from somebody to finance this record. Otherwise, it ain't coming out. And they were like, " Here."

EH: It was also what we wanted to do. And we learned a lot along the way. I had never written a business proposal, but it really isn't that hard. Anyone could do it. We were like anyone else trying to get funding for a project.

PH: More bands should do it. There are a lot of independent filmmakers that do it, because there's so much more money in it for them than to work with a studio. And they get to do the movie they wanted to do. Compared to what it takes to put a film out, making a record is relatively cheap. That's one of the reasons why the original screenplay concept turned into a rock opera: we didn't have the money to make a movie. And what the hell did we know about filmmaking, anyway? What we did have was a band that was really into an idea.

MC: Musicians nowadays aren't as reliant on the powers that be that exist in the music industry. All you need is money and an idea. That's really all you need. If you've got the idea and want to put it out, all you need is money. And it's not that hard to get it.

PH: I went down to Texas right in the middle of booking the fall tour and raising the money to produce the record.. I went down there for like a week solo, mostly to get the fuck out of town and get my head straight with some personal shit. I got there and started thinking about what we needed to do to get this record out and this band going. We had this finished record, something we fought for and wanted very badly.

At that time, I was thinking about which record companies to approach with it. Lucinda Williams had just put out a new record on Lost Highway. Lost Highway was the label doing the coolest stuff, with all of the success of the "O Brother, Where art Thou?" soundtrack and all that. They seemed to work with cool people.

We also talked about what our first choice would be if we were to hire a management group. We had gotten a couple of offers from some different booking agents that really were proposing less than what we were already doing on our own. I didn't want to sign with a booking agent whose goals were less than ours. Or who believed in us less than we did. So we booked our own tour, raised the money for the record and produced the record we wanted to put out. Because we did it all ourselves, we were in a position to actually get what we wanted in the end. Now, we're halfway done with our next record, we've got creative control and all the things that were important to us coming into all of this. The management group that was our first choice (Vector Management) is the same group we just signed on with a few weeks ago. And we're getting our first-choice booking agent too. If we had taken the deal a year ago, we'd be stuck in a bad situation right now.

The other big change was having Dick come work for us. He's helped out a whole lot with some of the things that I used to have to deal with, like booking shows. I hated having to do that. Doing it before you hit the road is one thing, but when you're tight for time and have to book shows as you go along, that's too much. It was driving me fucking crazy. Dick got us playing some really cool shows and will remain with the band even though we've got a booking agent.

MC: The moral of the story is that you don't need a hundred grand to make a record. There are things out there that were made for ten grand that sound better than some hundred-grand records.

PH: Shit, ten grand? We didn't spend ten grand.

EH: We might have drank ten grand worth of beer. (Laughter)

MC: No shit. Between liquor, beer and partying…

PH: But it couldn't be a sober record though. There's no way that that record could be a sober record.

MC: If that would've been a sober record, there would have been blood on the floor.