Southern Gentlemen Interview 5/1/2000

Interview by Michael Chlasciak-The Aquarian

Michael:1) David, this new record by Southern Gentlemen is something new and perhaps unexpected for the public. Your playing contains way more blues overtones than usual and you're also singing. Please explain the road, the inspiration that brings us this new disc.

David T: I classify this stuff as very heavy blues rock with a metal edge and attitude. Imagine Trower, ZZ Top, Free and similar styled music but much heavier. I have been recording this type stuff on the side for years but just never had the nerve or time to release it. It is a style of music that I was always surrounded by in my formative years. In regards to the vocals I intended to have a lead vocalist but none of the guys who did demos of the stuff sounded as "real" as my voice. My vocals just fit better for some reason. I use to do occasional lead vocals in my previous bands but just never on Cd. With all that said I am very glad I did this Cd! No real pressure, just have some fun and hope for the best.

2) How is the response to this record? How did the Metal community react to this offering?

David T: Surprisingly when we were shopping this Cd to labels we were told it was too heavy for the blues labels and too bluesy for the heavy labels. However since it has been released we have been getting very positive response from both the metal and straight press. I would think that some negative press is probably coming but everything so far has been amazingly positive. Nothing negative!! I knew there would be an audience for this type of music if it was given half a chance. The response to my vocals has left me flabbergasted! Some of the comparisons of my performance to some of my vocal idols for this type of music has been a real big surprise to me! Check out this review from the UK!! Can't ask for much more than this!

SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN: Exotic Dancer Blues Oh boy - you have just GOT to hear this - it's fantastic!!!! Right from the opening track, and forgive me for this Dave, but you're immediately plunged into the glories that was "Bridge Of Sighs/For Earth Below" - era Robin Trower, only better with superb, and similar sounding, vocals, steaming upfront bluesy guitar, excellent, crunchy, crisp sounding drum/cymbal work and a set of smokin' blues guitar solos that will just blow you away, believe me. This opener lasts just under six minutes and the power you have to exert not to want to forget track two and just go back and play this one again, would test any grown man. But you continue, and, luckily, so does the quality, as track two surges ahead on a lurching guitar riff, a solid rhythm section and those suitably sounding bluesy vocals, all leading into another set of brief guitar solos that really light things up. From there on in, the album never looks back as a storming selection of electric blues puts the smile on your face for the whole of its sixty-five minute running time, on a set of, unusually, all-original compositions, of which every one sounds so fresh and crisp as though electric blues and all the passions associated with it, had only just been discovered. This trio plays it straight down the line - no keyboards, no sax, or anything equally annoying - just a solid set of rhythms, vari-paced songs, consistent delivery and production, and a series of incredible guitar riffs, solos and electrifying axe work that you will play and play and play for years to come - possibly THE finest electric blues album of the last ten years, with comparisons to and even eclipsing the best that the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan/Kenny Wayne Shepherd have to offer, and no mistake - this is AMAZING.

3) Over the years, I must comment that you've been one of the most versatile guitarists on the scene, yet it is very hard to maintain a solid fan base while opening yourself musically and stylisticaly. Are there any factors that helped you maintain your excellent status with the fans. You must feel great as an artist to be able to grow and still make well received records worldwide.

David T: Usually I can record what I want. I accepted the fact a long time ago that I wasn't going to be massively popular and sell millions of Cds. In my opinion sales figures do not value the true worth of a release. Give me any Cd and a unlimited promotion budget and I will sell tons of Cds. Let's face it, many million selling Cds are nonsense while some of the best musicians in the world count their sales in the 1000s. I sincerely hope people like my music but if they don't, well, everyone has their own likes and dislikes. I sure as hell don't like everything I hear. Whatever turns you on turns you on.

4) I've noticed that there were some talks of possible touring with this record, is this still a possibility? Do you personally find the recording studio more rewarding then the concert stage? Do you miss being on the road a lot. There must be something said for 12 Marshall stacks with 3 heads on each one of them, ha. Comments?

David T: The studio and recording are different beasts. I enjoy playing live on stage I just don't enjoy the other 22 hours of the day that is required for touring. With that said I do enjoy doing quick tours in foreign countries from time to time. We hope that Southern Gentlemen can get out and do some dates in the US and hopefully in other parts of the world. With that said the most enjoyable part of music to me is the creation of the music with a 4 track or something similar. By the time the Cd has been released I have already heard the song 100s of times and that initial spark is usually gone for me. However for the listening audience it is better for them to hear the final product. For real excitement nothing beats a Saturday in some jammed back venue and house is rocking!!

5) Tell us about what is happening with your other projects... Chastain, CJSS, solo career, Zanister...

David T: Chastain is currently on hold. Kate French recently had a child and got married so her priorities at this time are not music. CJSS has completed a new Cd called KINGS OF THE WORLD that should be released on Pavement Music sometime in 2000. At present I have no immediate plans to record a new solo Cd. Zanister is currently recording a new Cd for release later in 2000.

6) How did you come about finding the lovely and talented, new Chastain vocalist Kate French? Can you comment of whereabouts of former vocalist Leather. I understand that Leviathan Records re-issued the classic Leather solo CD "Shock Waves"... how is that going, how's the response?

David T: I met Kate French at Foundations Forum in Los Angeles September 1994. She just came up to me and gave me a tape. Since she was a serious looker I went right up and checked it out. She definitely could sing with balls!! Plus she was young and hungry and she gave me and the Chastain music some needed fire. To top it off, she was a great writer. Leather lives in San Francisco and as far as I know she is not doing music. I hear from her occasionally. The Leather Cd was re-released in Europe and South America and as far as I have heard it is doing OK.

7) I believe that instrumental guitar, along with classic metal is getting a bit of resurgence in the world, and interestingly enough USA. Do you find noticeable jumps up in the sales of your solo guitar records?

David T: Not really in the US but the rest of world never stopped liking people who could play and sing. Let's hope some new metal band comes along with an exceptional guitarist(s) to really kick the US market into high gear. I don't mean the rap/hip-hop metal stuff out there today but a classic metal band such as a new young Maiden or Priest act with blazing guitars. That would really open things up for a lot of musicians foaming at the mouth to get back into the game.

8) David, Southern Gentlemen are accepting submissions for photos of exotic dancers from around the world for consideration to be on the cover of the next CD. Here is your chance to let all the Exotic lust filled dancing women of the East Coast know that they are welcome to participate. What does Southern Gentlemen look for in an exotic dancer?

David T: Physical beauty and a rock 'n' roll/metal look and attitude. A nude appearing Kate French is the beauty on the cover of the SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN "Exotic Dancer Blues" and we are looking for a new model on the next SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN Cd. Of course not much money is involved but your face, and the rest of you, will be plastered worldwide. Send photos and your info to: Leviathan Records, P.O. Box 745, Tyrone, GA. 30290 If we think you might fit with the concept we will contact you with further details. We don't need to see nude photos or anything at this point. However the less clothing the better! If Exotic Dancer really takes off we are going to take 3 girls with us on the road for part of the show. Dreams.....sure are nice!

9) In ending, I've wanted to thank you for this interview, and would like to ask you to give us information as far as websites, etc. where fans of well delivered music can find merchandise, and hard to find items as they relate to you and various projects you've been involved with....

David T: My pleasure and good luck with the Halford project! Check out any of the following for further info:


Southern Gentlemen photo

Mp3 Sound Sample

On-line Review 2/16/2000