Southern Gentlemen Interview 3/3/2000

1 - Where did the idea come from to start this band?

David T. Chastain: Actually I had been recording this type of material on the side for the last 15 years. However I was always too involved with my other bands to put the time and effort into it. Plus, also being the vocalist, I had to prepare myself both mentally and physically to handle that part of the band. While I had performed some lead vocals back in the SPIKE days, I never really ever considered myself a professional vocalist. However over time I came to understand and appreciate my voice. In any case, this style of music was something I wanted to record at this point in time in my career.

2 - For someone who has not heard the music, please give a short and simple description?

DTC: I call it Very Heavy Blues Rock. Imagine early ZZ Top, Trower and the like but playing much louder and aggressive.

3 - "Exotic Dancer Blues" is getting a lot of positive early reviews. What are they saying?

DTC: The people who understand it are getting the point of the Cd. That is we are out there to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously. I have 20 or so albums where I was dead serious. Now I wanted to do something that I could enjoy 100% of the time. A lot of the reviewers have mentioned Trower, Hendrix, early Whitesnake, Bad Company, Humble Pie, ZZ Top, Skynyrd and other similar acts as comparisons.

4 - Were those bands your early influences?

DTC: Well you can't play electric guitar and not be influenced by Hendrix in some way. I think he was a creative genius on the material released during his lifetime. Most of the stuff released after his death was not the best. I always loved the Trower vibe, especially the vocalist. I liked Humble Pie for a couple of albums when Frampton was in the band. I have always loved early ZZ Top. Of course Skynyrd had tons of great songs but they were never one of my favorite bands. However you have to give it to them, they had some classic songs. My influence for this type of music was generally the late 60s and early 70s bands.

5 - What are your favorite tracks on Exotic Dancer Blues?

DTC: I love all my children on the Cd. However if I could only take a couple of songs with me to a deserted island they would be "Don't Be Shy" "Drive Me Wild" "Back Door Woman" "Too Hot for Love" "Ease the Pain" and.....I guess I am going to name all of the songs eventually so I better just stop here!

6 - Why did you choose Dennis Lesh to play drums and Kevin Kekes to play bass? Those guys are also in Chastain.

DTC: Because they were in Chastain is the reason they are in Southern Gentlemen. We had toured together and we get along great. We were waiting for Kate to have her baby and get back in the groove but I decided I would do this in the mean time. Both Dennis and Kevin beside being incredible musicians are also great guys.

7 - Is there plans for a tour?

DTC: I hope so! I look forward to just going out and playing and not worrying about anything but having a good time. Playing live in Chastain, Chastain Harris or even CJSS it is hard to really enjoy myself. There is always some part in the next song that is like taking a MENSA test. I have to be on my toes to make sure I can pull it off. In the Gents it won't be that pressure. Just lay back, smile and let it rip!

8 - Lyrically, this Cd seems to be more about women?

DTC: Yes, Yes! Bring on the women. Yeah every song is about women in one way or another except Time Traveler which is about past lives. Let's face it, good rock needs some lust injected back into the mix. Some people have said the content is tasteless. Well the 90s was "the decade of the ugly" as far as I am concerned for rock. In country and rap, beautiful and sexy women were considered OK but not in rock. You had to look like a gutter rat to be accepted by the critics. Well they can have them, give me a stripper any day!

9 - Are you guys really addicted to strippers as you seem to let on in the press release?

DTC: If I have the choice between going to a bar and seeing a bad band with a bunch of purple haired, nose pierced grunge rats or a strip club with naked vibrant women dancing 3 feet in front of you I am afraid you will see me at the strip club 99% of the time. With that said I don't have time to frequent them very often. Much to busy writing songs about them!

10- Will there be more Cds released from Southern Gentlemen in the future.?

DTC: I sure hope so. I have about 5 albums worth of material ready to record. This music is fun and that is something that is missing from most music released today. While there are important things going on in the world to write about, I am going to write about something that gets my Adrenalin moving and not get so depressed about world matters. Life is too short to always be unhappy!

11- In the Cd credits it mentions for all exotic dancers of the world to send you guys photos for the next Cd cover? Is that some sort of come on?

DTC: I hope that all of our covers will feature a beautiful woman.

12- Who is that hot blonde on the cover of Exotic Dancer Blues? She is pretty damn hot!

DTC: That is Kate French, the lead singer in Chastain. That is a great picture and most people are very positive with it. How could they not be unless they were some prude or more likely jealous?

13 - Any last words to all of you metal fans out there?

DTC: This music is still pretty damn heavy it is just based upon a slightly different musical progression and the lyrical content is a lot more fun. Lighten up and enjoy yourself! You only live once so you might as well be happy!


Southern Gentlemen photo

Mp3 Sound Sample

On-line Review 2/16/2000