Austin Texas's Whiskey Shivers, described as "Apocalyptic Americana' by The Washington Post are bringing their bluegrass party machine to Dublin next month for a show in The Grand Social.
The five-piece have been wowing audiences with their high octane musical proficiency, cheeky lyrics and cheekier cover versions and an insatiable lust for life. We caught up with James, to talk about their new album 'Smothered and Covered' which takes on Weezer, Nirvana and and Euro-disco classic Sandstorm. His minimalistic acting style, as seen in Pitch Perfect 3 and how they owe it all the the most American institution of all Craigslist.
<<GP>>The video for Fuck You gives Kermit the Frog an R Rated makeover. How fun was it to pervert the children’s character like that?<<GP>>
Haha, well, the initial idea came from James Gwyn when we were recording in the studio. The fellas were laying down background vocals, and the idea clicked and sounded fun to do. One added bonus is that I am a terrible actor and didn't really have to do much. (Shoutout for the rest of the dudes for being good in front of the camera)
<<GP>>Your YouTube channel is littered with requests for covers. What’s the weirdest request you’ve ever got? <<GP>>
We once played the Star Spangled Banner before a University of Texas vs University of Kentucky basketball game in front of 2000 folks, which was televised to over 10 million. So yeah, definitely that.
<<GP>>You guys had a pop culture moment with your appearance in Pitch Perfect 3? How did that come about and what’s the aftermath been like?<<GP>>
Years ago, Horti made a Craigslist add called “Eye Candy Lawn Service”, which is a humorous and thinly veiled prostitution/lawn care service. It went viral and made a best of Craigslist list.
Any how, through Horti's weird sense of humour we were introduced to Trish Sie, the film's director, who pitched us. They had us record a few songs, and, within the month, they flew us out to Atlanta to officially “audition” in front of the cast.
I think as far as the band is concerned, it definitely made us closer. Those moments where you find yourself in an insane situation, make eye contact, shrug, say fuck it, and do your best. It also made us better musicians because we were given an extremely tight deadline to record something like seven songs.
I guess through all the previous whacky situations we'd been through together we were able to work super efficiently and pull something off that we're really proud of.
<<GP>>How do established acts respond to your cover versions?<<GP>>
I was once told that Elle King liked our cover of her song for the movie. Daniel Johnston tweeted that he liked our cover of True Love Will Find You in the End, and that meant the world to us because he's an Austin legend and maybe the most beautiful lyricist of our generation.
<<GP>>One of the more unusual ones you’ve done on your most recent release is Sandstorm. Why’d you decide to take that song on?<<GP>>
Bob had always joked about doing it. One day, sitting around at practice, he just busted it out and it sounded really fun.
<<GP>>You guys are clearly having a great time. Do you guys feel that there isn’t enough emphasis on fun in modern music?<<GP>>
I think one of the best things about music is that it can express just about any emotion you can feel. It can lift you up when you're sad, which is great. Or sometimes, when you're sad, it can be your best sad little friend that you keep in your pocket and helps you relate to the rest of the world.
<<GP>> On the flip-side of having fun, do you guys feel that you are not recognised as much for your own material as you should be?<<GP>>
I think our music reaches the people that it needs to, in the time that it needs to.
<<GP>>If you could have anybody cover a Whiskey Shivers song, who would it be, what song and why?<<GP>>
Wow that's a great question. We're torn between The Locusts covering Gimme All Your Lovin' and Kid Cudi covering or sampling Cluck Ol’ Hen yielding the most favourable results.
<<GP>>A lot of country music’s origins stem from Ireland. Will you be checking out the local scene when you’re in Ireland?<<GP>>
Oh my God, absolutely. Our country is in kind of a bad spot with immigration right now, yet so much of the music we play is a mixture of all the immigrants that have called our country home. Any chance we get to go to another country or see another culture we take as an opportunity to embrace new musical styles.
Whiskey Shivers will bring their hoe-down to The Grand Social, Dublin on Feb 16th. Tickets €13.54.