Preview 3-18-10 to 3-20-10 Austin, TX

Mar 16th 2010

The Gourds have been around for over a decade and with nine albums under their belt they continue to pump out "old school music." Spinner caught up with the Gourds' Kevin Russell to discuss the Austin-based band's musical influences, the origin of their name and what it takes to survive SXSW

Describe your sound.

A parliament of owls BBQing in a pawnshop. Strings ringing around the reeds and singing over the fat low grooves of tubes and skins. The Bipolar express.

Where did the band name come from?

The Gourd is an ancient object of myth and tool. There was a sculpture outside our rehearsal house, The Steamy Bowl, made from lawnmower parts of a man with a Mexican death mask playing guitar. The creator endowed him with an enormous butternut squash. A Coleman Barks poetry book called, 'Gourd Seed.'

Since you will be at SXSW this year what would you say is your festival survival guide?

It's important to get out of it all for a few hours everyday. Zilker park is huge and full of places to hide. Late night skinny dipping at Barton Springs is a good way to sober up. Haha.

What are your musical influences?

Car radios, mother, father, sister and brothers, boom boxes, birds and bees and boredom, so many I can't sort 'em. Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, Dylan, Neil, Willie, Waylon, Al Green, Bee Gees, Bill Withers, Van Halen, Skynyrd, Replacements, Huskers, Minutemen, X, Vic Chesnut, Lenny Cohen, Doc Watson.

Beatles or Stones?

John Lennon, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Charlie Watts. That is the line-up I would pick. Throw Billy Preston in there too.

What's the best and worst part of being in a band?

Best: a continuous life of dynamic, creative moments shared with a group of friends who are family. The worst is the psychological complexities of all personalities and assumption of roles taken on that lead to passive aggressive struggles and waning of creative spirits.

If you could sit down and have dinner with anyone who would it be? And why?

James Hillman, Psychologist. Fascinating man of great wit and experience. We would dine on Pacific Oysters, yams and fresh Swiss Chard.

Name one song the describes the journey of the band.

'All The Labor' by Jimmy Smith. This band has worked hard and long with bags full of integrity.

Nicole Barnett is a contributor from Learn how you can contribute here.

1 comment:

  1. Max, Jimmy, Kev, Keith and Claude your labors are appreciated here.