-=[ BILL MALLONEE ]=- [The following interview with Bill Mallonee of Vigilantes of Love was conducted on behalf of the VOL mailing list
. The interview questions were submitted by the list members to Joe Kirk . The interview took place in Bill's kitchen in Athens, Georgia on Monday morning, May 9, 1995. The interview lasted about two hours. I've felt the freedom to edit about 10% of it out. We were interrupted by phone calls several times (very common at the Mallonee home) and there were a few places in the dialog that didn't transcribe well into written form. We were locked in the kitchen with three very active kittens. They kept eating my shoestrings and generally being a total distraction. We made a lot of PETA jokes about them. I've spared you from having to read that kind of stuff. I appreciate all the questions the group sent. I hope I delivered them fairly. I have included the name and email address of the author of each question. - JK] BILL: OK, What have you got here? JOE: Well, I've wanted to do an interview for a long time, but I didn't know how I could pull it off, given our friendship. I thought it would seem too phony. I think this will work because I can ask somebody else's questions. Basically, I sent out the mail message recently that had everything people sent me. You've seen those questions. I've gotten a few more since then. I've pulled the questions out and arranged them into categories, so that we won't keep coming back to the same topics over and over, because several people asked basically the same question. I may throw in a few spontaneous questions of my own but, basically, I'm just going to ask their questions. BILL: You just want short answers right? I mean, you're going to be transcribing a mountain if we go in depth. JOE: No, I want honest answers. If you get on a roll, I think they want to hear that. I can edit it all down later if I have to. BILL: OK, I appreciate you doing this. I don't get a chance to communicate with folks out there on the Internet enough. I've got the access, but I don't get a chance to respond enough. JOE: That's actually a good lead-in. This is kind of unusual for someone to have a little group of people to have their email set up to get stuff about you all the time. BILL: Isn't that weird? JOE: Robert says there's about 75 people in the list now. BILL: Really? That's bigger than I thought. JOE: How do you feel about having 75 people who want to hear every little intimate detail about you on a daily basis? Who want to discuss your work, and are anxiously awaiting this interview? BILL: I guess it sort of feels like you're walking around with your fly unzipped to a certain extent. What's interesting is that occasionally I'll find little leaks of some conversation I had with somebody at a show. I'll find that it made the rounds through some other source because somebody will write me back about it who's not local. I know stuff does travel. I don't know how fast it travels, but sometimes it's very fast. I think it's all right. Fans have a right to know more about an artist than just what's on the record, particularly somebody who's making statements about world view kind of issues. As a Christian, it's part of an act of accountability to be accessible, because occasionally people will say stuff to me that I don't want to hear that will cause me to think about an action I took or a lyric I sang or something like that. So I see it as being a healthy thing. JOE: Does it put you on edge at all that you can make some offhand comment and have it transcribed on the Internet, where hundreds of people will see it and a casual statement will become important to somebody. BILL: Sure. Eventually that's gonna happen in some sort of heinous fashion. If people are interested in me because they like my music, that's fine. But if people are interested in me because they want some kind of celebrity, then that's wrong. The inappropriate comment that was said off the record, but travels the rounds, though it might not be my best Christian witness, it's not going to surprise me. I hope it doesn't surprise anybody else, given what we know about the nature of man. One of my complaints about the CCM industry, in the journalistic end of things, is that there's not a lot of substance in the interviews I read with some of the major artists. I read some interviews with Amy Grant and Mike Roe lately where they've talked about the struggles or the downside of their walk or their career. I think that's really informative. But for the most part, everybody just wants celebrities and idols who are wearing a cross or an ichthus. That's not really what it's about. It's about people telling the truth. JOE: Have you actually been out to the web page? BILL: Yeah, Chris Rank took me over to the school and showed it to me. I don't have access at my home yet, though Mark Hall is going to set it up for me. JOE: What did you think? BILL: It looked great. I hear they're going to put 30 second clips of songs in there. I can't imagine what the fidelity would sound like. JOE: They're pretty desperate for clips of the new album. BILL: I guess Robert Davis is doing that? What would be cool would be if I could get him the demos of the new songs I'm doing. I mean, he's going to get the new album shortly. But what would be great would be if I got him some stuff you couldn't get anywhere else. JOE: That would be great. OK, let's talk about you. JOSHUA W. KITE : What is your goal; why do you play and sing? Is this just something you do for a living? Is this some dream which you've always had and have been able to live out for the past few years. How does this relate to your being a Christian? BILL: That's a good question. Why do I do it? Well, the goal is first off to be able to do it for one more year, financially, being married with a family of four. That's really the external, which I don't think is what he means. But it does impact the ability to do it. Why do I do it on the inside? I guess I could give the answer that it's part of my Christian vocation, and I do think about that. But I do it because I love picking up a guitar and I love hearing melodies and progressions and I love being able to look at the world and rearrange it through lyrics, or preserve it through lyrics, or scrape underneath it through lyrics. I like the power and vulnerability of being able to put that up in front of people in a live situation and find out what their response is. JOE: Have you always done that? BILL: No, in fact, before I met my wife I was painfully shy and if someone said that in five years I would be singing songs in front of a good number of people, I would have said they were wrong. JOE: But you were writing before that. BILL: I was writing prose. I was writing some verse, but that was pretty much it. JOE: How did marriage change that? BILL: I don't know. I guess Brenda brought out a side of me that was buried down somewhere in there. All of a sudden I felt comfortable with the world and comfortable with myself. I hadn't felt that way before. We talked about everything. I'm sure the first two years of marriage she did way more listening than I did. 'Cause I felt like five years before the marriage, I had just kind of shut down in a lot of ways. I didn't know what I wanted to do. The job searches weren't working out. I wanted this sort of identity. Was it Bill Mallonee, Christian schoolteacher? Bill Mallonee, Christian librarian? Bill Mallonee, Christian bum? JOE: You seem to have achieved that one. BILL: (laughter) Yeah, I got that one. Christian, bum, songwriter. You know, I couldn't find a place to fit into any of it. And even with the music, it wasn't like a deliberate decision to do something, and then it was there. There was a good woodshedding period of three to five years before we realized that we were making a living at this. Before that it was just kind of a glorified hobby. It was a real purposeful hobby. I drove like three or four hours a week to rehearsal spaces thirty miles outside of Athens to play in a barn with friends from church. I was writing songs. We bought an 8-track recorder and started taping the stuff. But it took about three or four years of that woodshedding before I figured out that this is the way it's done. These are the way the songs should be done. This is the way I should deliver the lyrics. It was a good time, but I never thought I'd have a record deal from it. JOE: That was early Vigilante stuff? BILL: No, earlier bands. The first band was called Bed of Roses and they sort of mutated through various things with different players. JOE: But it was Christian artists, even then? BILL: Most of them. Not all of them. It was always like a majority. DARREN FIELDER : When did you know that performing was what you wanted to do for the rest of your life? BILL: I think it was when Mark Hall and I went into the Downstairs and it was a memorable evening. We got a call to open for a band there. The Downstairs is a small Athens cafe that holds about 75 people. There may have been like 25 or 30 people down there the first time. We came back again and had to pick a name. So we came up with Vigilantes of Love. Mark and I were playing in another band called the Cone Ponies with Alice Berry. Alice was singing. I had all these other songs I called bedroom songs. They were like songs you would sing for your wife. They were more vulnerable. A lot of the stuff on Jugular is like that, more stripped down. The response was overwhelming. The second or third time we were down there, we were packing the place out. People were bringing their friends. I think there were a lot of parachurch groups finding out about it. JOE: When would that have been? BILL: Like '89. Right at the back end of 1989. Pretty soon the place was packed out twice a month. Not only was it significantly easier than the beer politic where you have to entertain a lot of hard-drinking frat boys, but we were having more fun, too. We could sit down in the kitchen with an accordion and a guitar and write a whole bunch of songs, write a whole album of songs in a week. We thought this was the thing to go after. I also thought people were hearing what I was saying for the first time. JOE: And the only real document of that time is Jugular? BILL: Yeah, although I think there is a videotape of a live performance floating around somewhere. I know a guy who recorded it one night on a 4-track and I believe he synched it into a camcorder. I don't know who's got it, but I think I can follow the trail and find it. JOE: Now you've got me intrigued! BILL: I'll try to find it for you. That may not answer Darren's question. I just feel like this is what I'm supposed to do, rich or poor, I'm a songwriter, as long as the Lord will give me a vision behind the thing. Now the struggle is not having the business thing cloud out the artistic thing. I'm not an insulated artist who only has to worry about being an artist. I have to worry about a lot of the other stuff, too. (Ironically, Bill's six year old son, Joseph, was home sick the day of the interview. He wandered into the kitchen looking for breakfast just as I asked this next question.) TOM MOELLERING : What's a typical non-tour day like for Bill? BILL: I clean the litter out of the catbox, I empty the dishwasher, I beat my sons into the shower, I offer them nutritious breakfasts like Captain Crunch. Actually, I do about an hour and a half of housework, like laundry, etc. And then I go to work. That work means, write songs. After the kids are gone, I get about two hours in writing songs. Then I spend time in Bible study and go for a run. Then it's time to pick them up at school. I'm pretty much at their disposal in the afternoon. JOE: So most of your writing is done in the morning? BILL: Yeah, I'm definitely a morning person. JOE: That would seem to be atypical for a musician, especially one who plays clubs. BILL: That may explain why I don't get much writing done on the road. When I'm on the road, I love sneaking away into a stairwell with a guitar and getting in touch with something new. Night after night I'm doing songs and so I tend to concentrate on the entertainment factor. That's not to denigrate the songs or the lyrics. But after the 150th time doing "Welcome to Struggleville," it's not as fresh every night as you want it to be. JOSEPH FLOWERS : Have you ever taken any of these personality tests like the Myers-Briggs type indicator or the Herrmann brain dominance profile? If so, would you mind sharing the results with us? Do you think they are a halfway decent representation of your image of yourself? BILL: I've taken the Myers Briggs, although I won't divulge what the results were. I thought it was pretty true. See, I used to work in a Psych unit and they gave the Myers Briggs to all the staff. JOE: I have to ask, why won't you divulge the results? BILL: Cause I can't remember what they were. (laughter) It's a big secret, even to me. I've probably got it around here somewhere. My wife took it too and she thought it was pretty accurate too. KYLE GRIFFIN : Do you feel like your faith (and writing/singing about it) has imposed limits on what you can do in the recording industry (recording contracts, distribution, touring, etc.)? BILL: The spiritual principle behind saying what's true and being clear about one's position regarding one's faith in the person of Christ and his work, the spiritual principle that we know from the Scriptures, is that the world is not going to accept that. I think you would be right in saying that the entertainment industry is an extremely worldly industry, though that's not always true. You find a lot of times that there's an intense kind of hunger out there among people that work in the industry. rock and roll's not young anymore. I don't think anybody really thinks rock and roll has the power to transform lives anymore. That kind of talk died out after Bruce Springsteen. I never hear it anymore. Now I think rock and roll is a mirror of the despair and cynicism of our society. I think that's what the Seattle thing was all about. When the industry found a way to clean that up a little and go to the bank on it, they just made a glossier form of despair. They invented terms for it like X-generation. Who in their right mind would want to be a member of the X-generation? People just invent terms so they can sell stuff to you. The industry feels better about saying, these are the people we are dealing with and this is how we market to them. The classic example of that is that screwball drink the Coke company tried to put out recently. JOE: Fruitopia? BILL: No, it was a one word drink, but it was a soft drink. From what I can tell it's dropped off the face of the earth. But it was marketed as an X-generation drink. Not much in the packaging. You couldn't really tell what it was. JOE: I bet it was clear and substanceless. All form and no substance. BILL: It was a cola drink. Anyway, how did we get here? As far as being a Christian goes, if I can just keep the stuff that I actually have to deal with, that involves my input, I just try to do that as best I can as a Christian and live with integrity. JOE: As a follow-up to that, I've sat in the press trailer at Cornerstone and listened to dozens of bands aspire to what you already have. BILL: You mean wanting a secular deal? JOE: Yeah, they're in the CCM industry, playing churches and Christian festivals. When you ask them what they really want to do, they want to get on radio, play clubs, and go out and be with non-Christians. They all seem to want to be where you are. And that's where you started. BILL: Yeah, we never started in the CCM thing. There were believers on campus who came to see us, but we never played churches. We have done that, and we will continue to play the occasional Christian college because those people get it. They understand the underlying message, but they have to come to us for it, more or less. Have you read this flame war going on in rec.music.christian over Peter King of Dakota? JOE: No, I've deleted them all unread. BILL: Well, I've only popped into it, but it seems that there's some sort of whining and complaining going on. I'm getting this mostly from John Streck's stuff. Do you know who he is? JOE: Yeah, he's part of this list. BILL: OK, well he said something like, look, you guys can't whine and complain about your music not being accepted in the secular field. You guys have to take some responsibility for sustaining the CCM ghetto that you are so loudly whining about. He said the whole industry exists not for ministry, but to sell stuff. You know what? He's probably right. You ought to get out there and look in on it. I've always respected what John Streck has written, him and Andy Whitman. They're great. They're like this breath of fresh air. JOE: Yeah, actually when I scan rec.music.christian, I always look for certain topics and for certain people. Streck is one of them. This ought to make him impossible to live with. Bill Mallonee thinks he's a genius. BILL: (in bad British accent) He's brilliant. JOE: You've managed to not get stuck in the CCM ghetto. How would you advise others not to get stuck there? BILL: That's easy. Don't pick up the pen. Don't sign a contract on a CCM label. (laughter) I'm not dissing those labels. But there's this mentality among a lot of the alternative Christian rock bands that is duplicity at best about being on a Christian label. Look, we're on a Christian label, too, when it gets right down to it. Fingerprint is a Christian label. It's just that our stuff--hopefully if it's done well and it's well written--stands in everybody's marketplace. But there are some labels that don't have access to the channels to get it past the Christian bookstore. I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. ANDY LINFORD : Can bill give any direction to a young band (mine-River) who has reached their goals but doesn't know what next? ("advice for a band with no direction") BILL: Any advice I'd have for a young band would be to write a better song than you wrote yesterday. Keep writing good songs and play them in front of real people in real places, and find out what the response is. To a certain extent, you can't just bang people over the head with a Sunday School kind of gospel, or you probably won't be asked back. To me, the people who are doing that, although they have good intentions, are not being as wise as serpents. You have to be as wise as a serpent if you're going to do that. I'm not saying that you have to be subversive, the gospel still has to be there. You'll get your chance to say more. Chances are, unless it's a straight Christian college, you're probably not going to hear me preach. I'm not a preacher anyway. Not in the sense of the ministry of the Word, the proclamation of the gospel from a pulpit. In private, one to one, I'll say it all. In some ways it's easy for me because it's a hit and run situation. I know I'm only going to get a chance at this person one time. If somebody says they like the spiritual elements in my music, I'll tell them it comes from being a Christian. I'll give them some detail about that because I want them to understand that its not like the TV evangelists. They can't reconcile that sometimes, that I'm a Christian and playing rock and roll in a club. The policy of being honest and up front works real well one to one. JOE: You seem to have found a balance. You obviously don't think of yourself as a music minister. But you're also not like Over the Rhine, hiding that down in the lyrics and downplaying the gospel. You're very open and up front. It's all over your lyrics. BLISTER SOUL is as Christian an album as I've ever heard. BILL: I think it's a gospel album. It's why I can get out of bed in the morning. The bass player from my old band, Bed of Roses, goes to church with me. He told me that I've been doing the same song all my life. I think that's probably true. I very rarely get outside the confines of a Christian world view. I think in some ways I'm the product of a lot of good theology and real tender nurturing from a pastor here in Athens, Dr. Dan Orme. You learn a lot when you stay in one place for a long time. I've been at University Church almost twenty years now. Maybe I just read the right books, but it seems to have stuck. I'm grateful to the Lord. I guess I'm getting more concerned because, being 40 now, I look back at the generation behind me and wonder where they're getting their cues from. JOE: You may have already answered the next question. But I'll ask it, even though it's probably a little self-serving for a Georgia Tech person to ask how a University of Georgia person can believe in God. BILL: (in a hick southern drawl) Well, Fred, we're not as analytical about it as you are at Tech. (laughter) JOE: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to drag out the school rivalries, because I know you don't give a rip about football. BILL: No, I don't give a rip about football. But I do give a rip about ACC basketball. I grew up in Chapel Hill with Dean Smith and the Tarheels. SEC basketball, I guess it's all right, but it's not the ACC. (laughter) But I don't spend a lot of time in front of the tube watching anything. What was the question? FRED WRIGHT : People in your part of the music world are not usually noted for their devotion to family (or God either, for that matter). Can you tell us about how you balance these things? BILL: That's a hard balance. When I'm home, I try to be here as much as I can for them. And when I'm on the road, I run up $500 a month phone bills. My biggest fear is if the thing gets big. Last year it got pretty darn close. Last year we did 160 dates. Probably 120 were on the road. That's a long time to be away from your family. We were probably on the road seven months last year. My kids are writing a chapter each day. Some days, I don't get to see the chapter, what they signed off on at the end of the day when they say their prayers and go to bed. That does hurt. I can last about two weeks that way. I don't know how to cope with that except to be totally available when I'm here. Brenda is great. VOL started to take off when we had been married about ten years and we were getting pretty settled into the marriage, so we didn't have to deal with feelings of insecurity when we were apart from each other. There are some things that are certain. Some things that you bank on. Our love for one another is one of those. It's nothing we take for granted. We nurture it. I wish that there was a way for Brenda to leave her job and be more integrated into the whole thing. She could be the grassroots management. She's really a great people person. JOE: Most people don't see that part of you, if they aren't around Athens. How important your family is. How important your church is. How incredibly strong your marriage is. BILL: Joshua comes to the shows and sells shirts. He likes talking to other bands. He's taking piano now. He says he wants to be an architect. I have a feeling he might end up doing music or something. JOE: Yeah, he's got the genes. BILL: He does. Joseph loves it, too. I'll take them to Cornerstone again this year. I try to integrate them as much as I can while still being aware that they have their own lives. I want to affirm the gifts that God has given them. They're amazing. You've got seven of them, so you know. Every day you see these things come to the surface and you wonder what God is going to do with that. KYLE GRIFFIN : How do you stay focused and motivated while touring and playing to crowds of 20 or 30? BILL: It's tough. There's a lot of boring downtime to fill. I do a lot of reading and have more consistent Bible studies than when I'm at home. I take advantage of the means of grace a lot on the road. I pray a lot. The hardest part is the exhaustion factor. We run on about four or five broken hours of sleep a night. Five guys in a broken down van with none of the comforts of home. It's hard to be ingenious and kind all the time. It wears on you to arrive at the motel exhausted and have to plead with the desk clerk for extra towels because there are four guys in the room and only two towels. We've had really amazing arguments with desk clerks where you just wanted to pop the guy over a towel. (laughter) JOE: The last set of guys you were out like that with were not Christians. BILL: I think that's true. I don't know for sure. JOE: You were the only professing Christian. BILL: Right. DARREN FIELDER : I'm currently in a band with some guys who aren't Christians and I was wondering how you've handled keeping a solid Christian message flowing in your music? BILL: Ultimately, at the end of the day, they didn't have any choice because I was the dictator. And it probably should have been more that way. I think I mistakenly led the guys in the band to believe it was a democracy and that everybody's voice counted equal. Everybody's voice did count, but I had 51% of the votes. I know that sounds hard. But it was my deal. I've worked hard for it and I don't want it watered down. They were wonderful guys, very supportive. But, it's like any friendship you have with a non-believer. You can only go up to a certain point, and then the thing that's the most important to you, Christ, can't be shared. At worst, the relationship can become very superficial. Like, we have a job to do, you hold the dustpan and I'll hold the broom. You don't need an emotional transaction to do that job. JOE: It felt that way at the end. One of your last two shows was in Augusta. The band felt like they were going through the motions. BILL: Yeah, it felt like that a lot. I mean, asking someone else to respect your music and invest emotionally in it is a lot to ask. I felt like that was what I was asking them to do. They sacrificed a lot. We made a living last year playing music, but it wasn't much of a living. I think Newt and David and Travis are all in better places, musically and personally. JOE: Where are they? BILL: Newt's playing guitar with Billy Pilgrim, who's hugely successful. Travis is playing in a band called the Beggars and is making good money doing that. JOE: Isn't that Michael Been's son's band? I just read about them in the new issue of Counter Culture. BILL: Yeah, that's it. I haven't heard the band, but they are signed to Island, so that's pretty secure for Travis. Dave's just hanging loose in Athens, playing music and buying houses and fixing them up. The breakup of the band was a tough split, but it needed to happen. I think that if we had gone into the studio to make BLISTER SOUL with that lineup, and the way the emotional barometer was working, we would have made a bad record. JOE: OK, let's shift gears. A lot of people asked questions about your literary and musical influences. Let's group them together. JOSEPH FLOWERS : What are some of the primary sources of inspiration behind your songs? CATHY NIENG : I've heard that Flannery O'Connor is an influence of yours. In what ways have her stories affected your lyrics or general world view? JOHN STRECK : If you had to pick two or three books that no one should go without reading, what would they be? BILL: It's funny because usually the people that end up in the bios and articles--Flannery O'Conner, Thomas Merton, and Walker Percy--I don't read them much anymore. I'm reading a great book by Clark Pinnock right now. It's called THE OPENNESS OF GOD. I was raised in a Reformed background, but have never been comfortable with the way Calvinists work out God's sovereignty, which is fatalism. I'll probably get blasted for that by some young buck Calvinist, and believe me, I was a young buck Calvinist before they were born. Anyway, this is a solid book. Pinnock edits it with five other guys. It's on InterVarsity Press. It's top notch. I also like Frederick Buechner because he's one of those guys who can take the simple ebb and flow of mundane and daily life and charge it with Biblical passion, with a God-charged world. God being intimately involved with his people, in spite of the fact that we are wickedly sinful people. The interesting thing with Flannery is that you never get a sense of relationships going on between the individuals and God. It's not warm and intimate. It's almost like this Old Testament awesome and terrible God crashing into these people's lives and rendering judgment or opinion or something. You do get the impression that they are going to be the recipients of undeserved grace. But I have ended up gravitating back toward someone like Buechner because there seems to be a warmer thing going on between the individual and the Savior. I don't think that's where Flannery is. I think she's about where does grace hit the fallen world and what does that look like. I think she's hard to understand, too. I don't think everything she writes fits into a tidy mold. If I had to pick two or three books, I'd pick the OPENNESS OF GOD by Clark Pinnock, and others. Gee, this is hard. Can I come back to this? (We forgot to come back to it. Sorry.) JOE: If I can throw in a personal story here. I was here in your house on New Year's Day for your fortieth birthday party. You got this three or four volume set of books on the history of creeds in the church. As geeky a set of books as I have ever seen in my life. But here were your buddies from church walking around saying they were way cool. BILL: (laughter) They were faking it weren't they? They had to be. JOE: I don't know. It was a group of guys getting excited about getting a dictionary. (laughter) Certainly, you're not actually going to sit down and read this stuff? BILL: To tell you the honest truth about those books, I haven't cracked them open yet. That's technical stuff. The guy who gave them to me, Craig Duncan, is one of my best friends. He and I are fascinated by how the church has expressed what it believes through the years. Those books will help in that study. I think he gave them to me so that he could borrow them back. (laughter) I don't read that much technical stuff. I used to read a lot of theology, but it's usually the layman's version. People like J. I. Packer. JOE: Let's move on to music. JOHN STRECK : What are a few of the albums you've most enjoyed listening to of late? TIM TERHUNE : I was wondering who his musical influences were, favorite artists/albums, and authors. TOM MOELLERING : What are Bill's favorite bands/musicians? JOSEPH FLOWERS : Do you listen much to music by other artists these days? If so, what are you listening to (five or so discs)? BILL: Yeah, I can name a number of discs everybody ought to listen to. I think everybody ought to listen to Dylan's box set. The second one, the Bootleg series. I think it's brilliant. Neil Young's live ARC/WELD. Although people should be warned, it's a three disk set and the third CD is nothing but 35 minutes of guitar feedback. I think he was just fulfilling a record company obligation with it. The two live discs are his rework of FREEDOM and RAGGED GLORY. JOE: Do you listen to the feedback? BILL: I took it back to the store and sold it back. They put it in the bin for some unsuspecting soul to buy. I can't believe they put it out. There's a pop record I keep coming back to. THE LA'S. I think they are from Wales. They may be from Scotland. Killer band. These are like records I think are brilliant, right? ACHTUNG BABY. ACHTUNG BABY is one of the most brilliant records that has ever been conceived and pulled off. It speaks the truth and it rocks and it's passionate. All the people who think U2 has fallen off the deep end are just wrong. You can't tell from the records. It's there. I think it's real strongly there. Tom Waits. I think BONE MACHINE and RAIN DOGS are great records. Let's see, what else is like real super cool? Oh, the COMPLETE RECORDINGS OF ROBERT JOHNSON. It's hard to listen to because the fidelity is not so great. I like all these other records because they have pop instincts in them. But for Robert Johnson, you have to think about where this music came from, what he was about and why this music has stood the test of time. Obviously he wasn't doing his music as though he was going to get a record deal. He was just doing it because that's who he was. It's kind of haunting. It's kind of scary. I like that. I was listening to a lot of old spooky stuff there for a while. I've started to listen to more pop lately. Not pop like The Bangles or anything. Just more radio friendly pop influenced stuff. I just want to hear the hooks. JOE: Are you consciously trying to let that influence you to be more radio friendly? BILL: I don't think so. I think it's hard for me to be influenced because my playing is not so good. But I know what I can work with in the context of the way I create songs. I know what my own hooks are. It's not like I'm gonna listen to a Matthew Sweet record and try to rip him off. I don't think I can do that, technically. See, I'm a strummer. I'm not really a rock guitar player. That's why I feel way more comfortable playing acoustic guitar than an electric. That's why I need the foil in the band playing electric. I just feel comfortable being a strummer. A loud strummer. JOE: That leads pretty naturally to the next set of questions. There were a whole series of questions about the artistic process. In no particular order... TIMOTHY SCOTT DEVRIES : I was listening to one of his CD's the other day, I don't remember which one, and I noticed that he recycled lyrics: "life is like a handgun, and the hammer just went click." I don't remember which songs this line was in, but it was in two songs on the same album. My question is: out of all the songs that I hear that he has unrecorded, how many of them are "borrowed" either lyrically or musically from other songs? And is it common for artists to steal catchy lyrics from others? (I'm not saying he has done this, he borrowed it from himself.) BILL: I don't consciously borrow lines from myself. The line he's referring to on DRIVING THE NAILS just worked in both places. I thought it was a good line. I guess some people do things like that to create a mystique about themselves. I just liked the line. For the most part, most rock and roll lyricists don't impress me. I get most of my ideas from reading books, not from listening to music. I think Dylan is a great writer. Again, most of his ideas came from books, not from music. JOSHUA W. KITE : Can you give a few examples of what alternate tunings you've used and on what songs? This may help a few of us out when trying to learn your music, and also in writing our own. BILL: This is divulging trade secrets I guess. I use two main alternate tunings. I take the G string, and it has to be an unwound plain G string, and tune it up a step to an A. I use capos all across, all over the place. You'll just have to figure that out what feels right. The other tuning is an open tuning. Both the E's are dropped to D. So starting from the low side it would be E, A, D, A, A, D. My son, Joshua, actually came up with that one when he knocked my guitar over and it came up like that. One of the first stringed instrument I ever played was a dulcimer. I'm sure that's where that drone thing came from. You hear a lot of that in rock and roll. A lot of REM songs have that melody line against a drone string. There's a nice tension in it. JOE: So when you switch guitars on stage, you're just switching tunings? BILL: Right. Given my druthers, I'd have six guitars on stage and a guitar tech keeping them in tune. JOSHUA W. KITE : Have you progressed your style (i.e., going to more of a electric/rock sound) so that you can reach more people, or is that just where music has taken you and it just happens that more people like that? BILL: That's a great question. It's been a natural growth, starting with JUGULAR. Actually, I find JUGULAR hard to listen to. I like the spirit behind it, but it was done so quick. It was supposed to be nothing more than a glorified demo. We weren't going to make a record. We never thought it would get past a cassette format. JOE: You say it was quick. How quick? BILL: Like four days, maybe three. I think the fourth day was mixing. I remember I borrowed the guitar on it from a guy named Don Chambers. Don plays in a really cool group now called Vaudeville. They are a real hard edged kind of group. Anyway, I borrowed this really old Takamine from him. It sounded better than Martins or Guilds. I remember that I had one more song I wanted to do. It was "Who Knows When The Sunrise Will Be?" I called Mark Hall and said we've got like one hour to get this song on tape, cause Don's coming out to get his guitar. So we laid it down and Mark put that accordion solo on. To me, there are some points of musical transcendence on Vigilante records. One is the end of STRUGGLEVILLE. Those big three notes that Newt plays. Those are glorious. There's something there that's almost indescribable. Another one is Mark's accordion solo on the end of "Who Knows When the Sunrise Will Be?" To me, it's just full of yearning and melancholy. That's a great moment, one of the really great moments. When we did the song, we originally intended for him to play throughout the whole song. But Mark decided to just play on the end of the song. When that accordion comes in for the first time, it really is beautiful. JOE: Any moments of transcendence on BLISTER SOUL for you? BILL: The feedback on Bolt Action is definitely one. The song about van Gogh, called "Skin." I think that whole song is great. There are a couple of pedal steel parts John Keene plays. The "Blister Soul" reprise is like that for me. It's one of those things that makes sense about three o'clock in the morning. I can't wait to hear it on the radio. Because anything that comes on the radio after that is going to sound like Ringling Brothers. JOSHUA W. KITE : How long have you been singing and how long have you been playing? What instruments to you play? What training do you have? BILL: No training whatsoever. My dad was a jazz drummer, so I started playing drums when I was about ten or twelve. I didn't start playing guitar until I was about thirty. I've been writing seriously for about eight or nine years. I'm totally self-taught. JOSHUA W. KITE : Your style has changed a lot since the early days. Do you ever miss the accordion or mandolin, or is that all in the past? BILL: I miss it a lot. I'd like to put together an acoustic record. I talked to Capricorn about this recently. It's very inexpensive to do an ADAT recording. I'd like to do a Bill Mallonee solo recording. I'd have Billy Holmes playing mandolin, maybe Phil Madeira on accordion, Chris Donohue on acoustic or double bass, and a small set of drums. I've got maybe thirty or forty songs that would fit that format. I don't really have a calling card for that end of my work. I think I have matured since JUGULAR. They were open to the idea, by the way. JOE: That's great. That comes up as a question later on. KYLE GRIFFIN : Which gives you the most pleasure and satisfaction--writing or performing? Why? BILL: That's a good question. Probably performing. This is why I like the acoustic shows, like at Eddie's Attic in Atlanta. Invariably, I can take out my music stand and try out the song I wrote that afternoon. Warts and pimples. When I nail it, it's the biggest rush. I like pushing those boundaries. I think some artists would never do that. Vigilantes of Love have not had a rehearsal hall or studio for two years. We rehearse at sound check. We just don't practice. JOSEPH FLOWERS : Mark Heard used to talk of writing music as a form of catharsis, of a burning need to write. Is this how you see it as well, or is there a subtle or substantial difference? BILL: Yeah, I feel that. I think that's one of the reasons Mark and I got along so well. It was like that for both of us. The interesting thing about that though is that one of the implications of that mindset is that you lose sight of your audience. I never think about what's commercial. I just write what I'm able to pull off on guitar and deliver. That's all I can do. It's kind of like making a limitation be your strength. JOE: I think that's a lot of the appeal of your music for many of us. Your music feels honest. It doesn't feel contrived or bent to make someone else happy. JOSEPH FLOWERS : One of the things I find attractive about your music is the use of metaphor to convey truth ("...he's in love with the metaphor...") this allows for multiple levels of meaning--some of which you may have even intended. ;) Do you find this style of communication limiting? Are there truths or concepts that you have been struggling to communicate that have not yielded to this storytelling / "chainsaw in a velvet glove" approach? BILL: Chainsaw in a velvet glove. I like that. Ask Joseph if I can use it. I don't know. The first albums had a lot of the surgeon metaphor. KILLING FLOOR was full of the noise in the head that won't go away. Lately, I think my big concern has been to make the language more blue collar, the metaphor of the common man, the stuff that you'd hear in the supermarket line or down at the local tavern. That's what a lot of real country music is. Although a lot of country music now strikes me as way glossy. Hank Williams or early Johnny Cash, those things are way earthier than what I'm hearing now. That's not really answering his question though. I've got tons of papers with three verses that I've used out of six. I guess Dylan never worried about editing. Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowland is eleven minutes with like fifteen verses. It didn't bother him that it might be taxing for the listener. I don't really have that freedom. Short attention spans in pop music. JOE: If you had that freedom, would you make those kind of songs? BILL: Probably on some things. Like "Skin" had five verses and I edited it down to three. I think it is a better song for it. I think the distillation process makes it a better song. "Parting Shot" has six verses still, but it had more at one time. At the level we're at, we have to think about what radio will put up with. "Tempest" is like two minutes, 17 seconds. With a DJ popping in at the end, it's gonna be maybe 2:12. Like a beer commercial. I'm trying to sharpen my craft so I can write those things. (laughter) JOHN STRECK : With KILLING FLOOR and STRUGGLEVILLE the so-called "Christian music industry," and Christian music fans, seemed to get pretty excited about the music of VOL (e.g., reviews and interviews in the 'zines, invitations to Cornerstone, etc.). Do you think that's helped or hindered your efforts with regard to making VOL a success? BILL: There is a perception at Capricorn that it is a Christian band and that Bill is preaching to the choir. I think the music is way more expansive than that. If it's a choir that's being preached to, it's a pretty educated choir. We're selling to a group of people who appreciate a challenge, who want music that takes a little more than one listen to get underneath of it to find out what's going on. We've had several offers, even recently, from Christian labels. But we signed with a secular label because we want to get it out a little bit further. I think the music would be misunderstood by most Christians who expect a more generic kind of CCM where the message is primary. Although I'll stack our songs, theologically, against anybody's out there. JOE: I'd put "Offer" up against any Christian song right now. It's as solid and joyous as any CCM I've ever heard. BILL: I would, too. It's very joyous. And it could wind up on AAA radio this year. Wouldn't that be great? I don't mean to sound boastful or anything. I believe God has given me a good church upbringing. If it hadn't been for Lewis, and Shaeffer, and writers like that, I don't know where I would have ended up. I just wanted something I could stand on the stage and sing to myself if I were the only person in the room and say that's a great song. I'm the only audience that has to listen to me every night. A lot of the stuff I hear coming out of the CCM camp seems designed to get a fluffy kind of gospel message to as large an audience as possible. The artistic end of things seems secondary. AARON DAVIS : In the past, you (to my knowledge) were the only Christian in the band. Recently, I noticed that you mentioned (in looking for a lead guitarist) that you wanted the members of the band to be Christian. Is this a change in the direction of the band? Do you think this will increase your acceptance in the Christian market? BILL: It doesn't have anything to do with acceptance in the Christian market. I don't know who that market is. That decision was made because of self-preservation. I told my wife that I wanted a Bible study that rocks. JOE: Is that working? BILL: Yeah, Chris Donohue and I auditioned in Nashville last week and found a guitarist in Nashville and a drummer from Athens that look like they are going to work out. It would be premature to tell their names in this interview, but they look good. Two Nashville guys and two Athens guys. It's loud and ugly but it also looks like a band that can play the nuances of the delicate stuff. See, folks who know Chris from Circle of Dust may not realize that was a temporary gig for him. His personal tastes tend to be more acoustic High Street kind of artists. JOE: And he plays piano like Bruce Hornsby. BILL: Yeah, he loves that stuff. But when he plays bass, he goes for the low stuff. He's a monster rock player. But when he plays guitar, like when we do the acoustic shows together, he's an amazing lyrical player. That's why I know we could make an acoustic record in like three days. TOM MOELLERING : What did Bill do to make a living before he took up being a full-time musician/artist? BILL: I worked as a schoolteacher for two years. I worked with emotionally disturbed kids. And I worked at Charter Hospital here in Athens. Basically doing group therapy. That was cool. I enjoyed it. It was also a chance to be a servant. TOM MOELLERING : Did Bill go to college? If so, where? What did he study? BILL: I have a history degree from here in Athens at the University of Georgia. ROBERT DAVIS : Who were the Cone Ponies? What kinds of musical projects did Bill work on before taking on the name Vigilantes of Love? BILL: A five piece jangly rock band with country and folk influences. Alice Berry sang in the band. It was the first time I had written for a female voice. We mostly played in and around Athens. We were being slammed by the beer politic. We couldn't draw 500 hard drinking frat boys. With Bed of Roses, it was a sort of an early REM kind of thing. I love a lot of what that band did early on. There was so much passion in the music, even though, lyrically, they've never really been about anything for long. JOSEPH FLOWERS : Any chance that you could provide a copy of the lyrics to JUGULAR that we could put out on the net? it's not that they are hard to understand, you understand, it's just that transcription is a painful process. BILL: I don't have them written down. In fact, on some of them, I'd have to go back and listen to the album myself to remember what I was singing. I don't do much off that album these days. Mainly just "Love Cocoon." JOE: Do you do much from DRIVING THE NAILS? BILL: No, just the title song. JOE: Not even the abortion clinic song, "Odious?" BILL: No, it would probably be grossly misinterpreted now under the cloud of all the weirdness that's going on there. We're also in an adversarial relationship with that label and I don't want to promote that record. It was made under bad circumstances. Its not as good as it should be. I'd consider redoing it, but possession is 9/10ths of the law. He's got this record and he's making money off it, yet we aren't even seeing accounting statements on it. I don't have the legal muscle to shut him down. JOSEPH FLOWERS : What's the inside story behind the chicken head? Is it now a conversation piece in your living room, or has some more foul fate befallen it? BILL: It got wet and pretty much decomposed. It was made by my older son Joshua and modeled by my younger son Joseph. Josh made it for a play at school. He blew up a large balloon and wrapped it in papier mache. Then he popped the balloon. The guys in the band hated it. It wasn't rock and roll enough for them, whatever that means. I think Capricorn botched the cover. It's too dark. TOM MOELLERING : I don't have my copy of STRUGGLEVILLE in front of me, but I am curious where the idea for "Sympathy" came from. And what it's about. I get the idea that it has something to do with a conversation with a guy in a prison and/or mental hospital. BILL: It's a Lutheran response to Satanic attack. JOE: Is it related in any way to "Sympathy for the Devil?" BILL: Nah, actually "Anybody's Guess" was Billy's attempt to come up with the same kind of groove and rhythm track as "Sympathy for the Devil." The strange thing about "Sympathy for the Devil" is that it's got this massive rhythm track and a piano. There's not much else going on in it except Keith's lead at the end. It's not a guitar driven track at all. I think Billy actually pirated part of the track and recreated it on the drum machine. We left the drum machine track on KILLING FLOOR. There's my drums on there, but we left the other track on, too. JOE: What do you mean by "a Lutheran response to Satanic attack?" BILL: When Luther was being held at Wartburg by, which prince was it, Frederick? Well, whoever it was that was trying to grab him and take him back to Rome, I think that's the place where he supposedly had all the visions. There's supposed to be a place on the wall where there is ink all over the wall from where he threw an inkwell at the Devil during one of these visits. Luther seemed to be very sensitive to that idea of struggling not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers. JOE: So that song is sung directly to Satan. BILL: Oh yeah, absolutely. TOM MOELLERING : Does he have an armed services background? What's the connection for "Vet?" Does he know anyone personally that went to Vietnam? DARREN FIELDER : I've noticed a lot of Vietnam references in your songs, what's the story behind them? BILL: I've just read a lot of stuff on war. I was intrigued by the world wars as a kid. I guess I've always been interested in what happens to grace under pressure, what common people do when faced with unbelievable odds against them. What does valor and heroism really look like. That's what interested me, even as a kid, in World War II. Since that time I've met vets from that time and from Vietnam. JOE: Vet is about a particular person, right? BILL: Yeah, a particular person I met while I was working at Charterwinds Hospital. That song was a gift. I pretty much just lifted it out of the medical charts after I'd written the music. JOE: Has he heard it? BILL: I don't know. He was discharged before the record came out. I never went back to tell him that it was about him. We've done that song live a lot on radio stations and gotten a number of calls from vets who heard it live. That's highest praise when they say that no one has ever sung anything like that to me. JOE: I always thought that song might win you a broader hearing if vets heard it. BILL: Well, the record label bungled that one when they sent that out as a single to radio stations on Veteran's Day with some flag waving packaging. It was ridiculous. They sent out this single that had the lyrics on it. It had some cheesy looking video image of a flag on it. It never went by the band, but it had this slogan on it that sounded like a beer commercial. It said something like, the band dedicates this to everyone who served in the armed forces--this one's for you. It actually said that! We were furious about it because the song doesn't take a position, one way or another, about participation in war. It just said this is what it does to individuals. That's all we were saying about it. JOE: I hadn't heard that. That must have been ugly. What a collectors item. BILL: It was ugly. I probably have some around here. The thing that ticked us off the most was that we didn't see it before it went out. And it didn't anything for us. TOM MOELLERING : How does it feel to have a song with the same title as T Bone Burnett (i.e., "I Can Explain Everything")? ;-) BILL: I just thought it was a funny phrase. I've seen it used in lots of comedy shows. I'm sure T-Bone ripped it off from somewhere else, too. Now there's a thief for you. That guy listens to a lot of stuff. I hear threads of stuff that he's influenced by. TOM MOELLERING : What is out of print? BILL: It's all back in print, except the old Cone Ponies stuff. And I think I have the masters of that. JOE: Oh, really. Do you think you might ever release it? BILL: I haven't ever thought about it. I think it would be good for Alice. She's quite good--just a captivating front person. At the time she was in this blistering, just a spit outside the garage, 50's rockabilly band. She wouldn't want me to call it rockabilly. They were definitely like a groovin' roots band, called Hillbilly Frankenstein. She was terror on stage. There's not a woman in CCM who can hold a candle to what that woman can do on stage. She was great. Cone Ponies was more like 10,000 Maniacs than that stuff. TOM MOELLERING : How many (CD) copies were printed of JUGULAR, DRIVING THE NAILS, and KILLING FLOOR? (Assuming they are all out of print) BILL: I think we've sold about 15,000 of each one, except Jugular. But JUGULAR hasn't been available nationally. TOM MOELLERING : What are the rough sales figures for STRUGGLEVILLE? (How many copies?) BILL: It's about the same, around 15,000. The weird thing is that we've sold more copies of KILLING FLOOR than STRUGGLEVILLE. That's something to get angry about. KYLE GRIFFIN : Did you really used to install fire alarms? (Inspired by a line in "The Opposite's True") BILL: No, never done it. (in bad French accent) It's just a big lie. (laughter) DARREN FIELDER : Someone here on the VOL-list suggested the idea of you doing a tape for us hard-core fans of just you singing and playing by yourself. It wouldn't have to be recorded on anything more glamorous than a 4-track. Would you ever consider doing this? BILL: Absolutely. I'd love to do it. I want to see stuff like that floating around. I'm recording a lot of that on my DAT player at home. There's no compression or anything on them. It's not like I have a big studio here or anything. It's more just a way of cataloging it. But it works. It's OK. JOE: And you wrote like 100 songs last year? BILL: I wrote 75 songs last year, of which you get 13 on Blister Soul. Some of it you have heard, but a lot of it is new. It's good, in a way, that the band hasn't been playing a lot since November. This stuff will be really brand new. BRENT SHORT : In terms of songs on your new CD BLISTER SOUL, what are you most satisfied with, and why? BILL: I'm satisfied with it being primarily a gospel record, where the big doctrines of the fall and grace and mercy are really in sharp relief. I think in a lot of ways people might hear it as being a down record. There's some songs that are dark on it. But there's the other side of the coin, too. The Bible talks about the need and the cure. I'm satisfied with the lyrics. And musically I think it's better than STRUGGLEVILLE. Chris and John and I were able to sit down on a song by song basis and keep the lyric and the voice up front. The problem with the STRUGGLEVILLE band was that there was three guys trying to go in one direction and I was trying to play catch-up. I'm not knocking those guys. I'm just saying that those guys had their own idea of what they wanted the band to be. And it wasn't my idea of VOL. JOE: But you realize that appealed to a lot of us? The big noisy rock band that ripped up the stage and broke drum stands. BILL: I like that, too. And I don't know that this band won't be doing that in a few months. Parts of that band had been together for two years when we played mainstage at Cornerstone. We were pretty big and ugly. I loved it. JOE: We probably ought to talk about the new album before we run out of time. In a few weeks, everybody on this list will have the album cover in their hands. The photo on the back, a man's chest with "blister soul" written across it, is fairly graphic for a gospel album. You originally wanted it on the cover, right? BILL: Originally. I think it's better on the back. The first shot was more anatomical. But this one, with the look upward and the jaw jutting heavenward looks like a plea. It looks like a prayer to me. It's symbolic, like having your diagnosis on your chest. JOE: Do you want to comment on the concept of BLISTER SOUL? BILL: The concept? Well, I just thought it was a cool phrase. I do think it is a concept record to a certain extent. That's why I have a song on the front and a reprise on the end with the phrase "blister soul" in it. JOE: The songs are really different. Is there any real connection between them? BILL: They are different songs. It's not like Neil Young doing an electric and an acoustic version of "Rockin in the Free World." There are some of the same chords in them, but after that the similarities disappear. Just that same phrase, "oh, my blister soul." JOE: You've had that phrase around for a while haven't you? You've had a sticker on you speaker for quite a while with it on it. BILL: Yeah, I wrote it in the van one day on the way to a gig and thought I'd find a way to use it some day. I think it is a pretty arresting title. And they did a great job on the artwork this time. I'm real pleased with the art. Like 180 degrees from the last record. JOE: The final questions have to do with the future. Any info on future tours? You're going to Europe this summer aren't you? ANDY LINFORD : What is VOL's direction? Does the label give any help with this? ANDY LINFORD : There was a rumor that VOL was going to open for some big acts last summer. Any possibility that will happen in the future? Does the label help at all with that kind of stuff? TIM TERHUNE : And when is he coming back to New England? :-) ANDY LINFORD : Is VOL playing at Cornerstone, or in the Philadelphia area this summer? ROBERT DAVIS : Will VOL be touring in support of BLISTER SOUL? BILL: Yeah, we're going to tour the states again. We are going to Europe to play Greenbelt and Flevofest, probably some dates on the continent. I realize people are real frustrated about not being able to find out what the dates are. But please convey to them that after a band does downtime, especially the way we did it, it has to regroup to make sure that what we do next is as good or better than the last time. It takes time. One of the major holdups on decisions now is waiting to see if we are going to be picked up for a major tour. We've been considered for folks like Hootie and the Blowfish, the Jayhawks, Victoria Williams. I think that's probably unlikely at this point. The record is coming out too late in the year. So we'll probably be doing clubs again. JOE: Is that discouraging to you? BILL: No, not at all. I'm just glad to have the gig. Yeah, I'd love to be in front of the Jayhawks, but I have a good feeling, because Capricorn is interested in pushing "Real Down Town" as a single. We rerecorded that for them and they are getting a good buzz on modern rock radio. There's plenty of stuff on there that will make it on AAA radio. We had that part down last year. This time, if we can get on the modern rock stations, that will bode well. See, I'd rather show up in a small club and pack it than to play a big room opening for some other band. The lights are still up during the opening band. Folks are still finding their seats. Probably the same number of folks will remember you. 150 of the few thousand who came to see Hootie, or whatever. In the long run, it's probably good for us to get on the major tour and get it on our resume. But for me personally, as a performing artist, I'd rather go in and headline the smaller club. JOE: Even though the money's tough? BILL: It's tough to keep a band on the road at that level. But we've got a good agency this time so Dan thinks it's gonna be better. We are playing Cornerstone this year on Thursday night, between the Lost Dogs and Steve Taylor. JOE: Dog-Mess told me he was going to play harmonica with you there this year. He said he was coming because he wanted to bring his kids. BILL: Yeah, he's got a sweet family. I'm trying to get permission to set up and do an acoustic set, like on the day after the big show. I'm trying to see if Dwight Ozark from ESA will let us use his tent again this year. I'm bringing the family and we're staying for the whole festival. So all these faceless people on the 'net, if they're coming, this would be a great time to meet. JOE: I think they are going to be having the rec.music.christian barbecue again this year. That might be a good place to meet folks. BILL: Really? Maybe I should play there. You know, that's an amazing place. I don't see how Henry does it. That guy does an amazing job of coordinating that thing and keeping it together. It's high quality. There's not another festival like it. JOE: You really like playing there, don't you? BILL: I love it. That's where we started all this. We walked in and almost no one had heard of us, except that Mark Heard and Pete Buck had produced us. The response was overwhelmingly positive. That's where you and I first met, isn't it? JOE: Yeah, why did you go that first time? BILL: Mark Heard had kind of discouraged it. But Dan said that if we were doing one Christian festival, this was it. Because the shock waves just go down the next 364 days. He was right. TOM MOELLERING : What's his view on the seemingly continual personnel changes in VOL? (Discouragement? Something new all the time? Other?) BILL: I'm trying to find the right chemistry of people. I've gone towards guys of like faith and like minds because it's safer. It's more nurturing. That's the vision behind the band. I don't feel like I have an agenda that I'm trying to ram down the rest of rock and roll's throat. You spend so many years trying to find your voice. I think we found it. I think somewhere around KILLING FLOOR I knew what it was and I knew what it looked like. I think we are there now. I just want to get in a position that we can make a record without this constant fear that we are not going to be somewhere. Look, I can make records real cheap and sell them on the Internet if that's what the Lord has for me. But we have this opportunity right now with Capricorn to go somewhere else. I'm just looking for guys who can share that vision. JOE: Will we see singles? BILL: "Real Down Town" will be the first. "Tempest" might be the second. But to AOR, they're gonna market "Bolt Action." I'm very happy about that decision. I think that's a great song. JOE: Videos? BILL: Probably, but we're not sure. If so, it would probably be "Real Down Town." JOE: Any final words? BILL: Tell folks to write and I'll answer them. I really appreciate being able to stay in touch with people. This is what's fun for me. Hey, I could be making records in my basement next year. I'd really like to hear what people think of the new album. Let's grab some lunch...
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Etext ©1995 Robert Szarka
Last Update: 28 Jun 1995