What are your names?
Samuel Williams, Cyle Barnes, Cain Barnes, Damien Bone
Where are you from?
Samuel: We’re from Florence, Mississippi.
Describe your style in 3 words:
Samuel: Mississippi glam rock. Or, maybe muddy glam rock. Swampy glam rock.
Cain Barnes: Baby-making music.
Samuel: Boom! That’s good.
What is the first song that you remember playing on repeat?
Samuel: ‘Three Marlenas’ by The Wallflowers from ‘Bringing Down The Horse’. I got it on cassette - it was my first cassette - and I didn’t know how to flip it. I didn’t know how cassettes worked, really. I loved that song. I don’t know why.
Cain: I guess it would have been ‘The Ballad Of Curtis Loew’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd. That used to get played in the truck all the time. That’s probably the first one where we were like, ‘Put it on repeat! I wanna hear it again!’
Damien: For me it was probably ‘Dirty Pop’ by *NSYNC. I was super into pop when I was nine.
What is the best gig you’ve ever been to?
Damien: I watched Cage The Elephant at The Basement East in Nashville almost a year ago. I was so hyped after that show, it was crazy. I was so inspired by it.
Cyle: I have two. The Hold Steady is one of my favourite bands and I finally got to see them play at a festival we did somewhere. I was blown away because I am super into them. Then, I got to see Against Me! play this year in Nashville. I’d never seen Laura Jane Grace in person perform in stage, and she destroyed it. It was an amazing set. Someone threw a trashcan at the stage and she flipped the crowd off and kept playing. It was badass.
Samuel: Wilco. The first time the twins and I ever hung out, like a week before we had decided we were going to start a band and I remember saying at the time, ‘I can’t do anything this weekend because we’re all going to see Wilco at the Temple Theater in Meridian,’ which is where Pat Sansone, their auxiliary dude, is from. They played for three hours and they debuted a bunch of songs. Pat came out with his dad, who worked in the box office there, and they cried together on stage. My dad was with me. I think that was the initial inspiration of, ‘Yes! I’m gonna fuckin’ play music, and I’ve got these dudes. I just met these guys. We haven’t started a band yet but we’re gonna, and that’s what I wanna do.’
Cain: Right outside of Memphis I saw Mavis Staples play. Luther Dickinson opened up for her and had Sharde Thomas playing drums and fife for him, then they all got together at the end and did ‘Amazing Grace’ and a couple of other songs together. It was the most incredible shit I’ve ever seen. It was wild.
Samuel: Mavis Staples opened for Bob Dylan four months ago in Nashville. I was just weeping the whole time.
What was the last album you bought?
Cain: Weirdly enough, I think the last album I bought was the new Old Crow Medicine Show record - ‘Remedy’, I think it was. That’s the last one that I actually went to the store and purchased. A great album.
Cyle: They just re-pressed ‘Boys And Girls In America’ and ‘Separation Sunday’ by The Hold Steady, and I got both of those.
Samuel: It’s technically a re-buy, but I bought the reissue of Sonic Youth ‘Dirty’. I remember finding an original ‘Dirty’, which was already in a horrible condition, and so it didn’t take much to wear it out totally. It wasn’t even totally worn out; I think the song ‘JC’ didn’t work anymore, so I was just not happy. So I got a new one!
Is there a song you like that people might not expect?
Samuel: I will preface this by saying that I don’t believe in guilty pleasures, because I don’t feel bad about anything that I like. I like it, and that’s fine, and if you don’t, fuck off. But let’s see…there’s so many.
Cain: Ooh, this is definitely a guilty pleasure: I want to say that Diplo is a part of it…
Samuel: Holy shit! Damn
Cain: I swear to God! It’s that song with MØ…
Samuel: Diplo and MØ?! I never expected this. Okay, I’m learning.
Cain: It’s the Major Lazer song. We listened to it in a cab the other day, and I remember when it first came out it was before everybody used the really strong Indian-influenced stuff, and now it’s in every fucking beat that you hear, but the first time I heard it I was like, ‘Whaaat?’ And then I saw they did a fashion show and it was on TV and they were the performing artist, and she was singing it just like the fuckin’ album. I was like, ‘That’s badass!’
Samuel: So current, Cain! Mine is probably Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’.
Damien: Yeah, she has some catchy songs.
Samuel: Honestly, that whole record is fire, but ‘Blank Space’ specifically is just one of the best pop songs in a long time for me. I remember when ‘1989’ had just come out and it was the first platinum record of the year or whatever. I was driving home with my sister for Thanksgiving and she had just bought it. I was like, ‘I mean, I don’t like Taylor Swift, but as a musician I should listen to the first platinum record of the year.’ Like, it’s clearly got some merit to it - I don’t know if it’s the merit that I would see. But ‘Blank Space’? Yeah.
What music did you listen to growing up?
Damien: A lot of classic rock.
Samuel: Yeah, like Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Band, Bob Dylan, Wilco. And pop music; I had a lot of sisters, so I definitely did not miss The Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys and *NYSNC. You couldn’t miss them. You couldn’t be an eight-year-old in 1998 and not fucking love those bands. And if you didn’t like them, you still went and saw them in concert, because in Mississippi and Alabama that’s what you did. The concert of the year is *NSYNC so everyone goes. It’s unreal; I meet people our age and everyone went to that *NSYNC show. But that was a pretty quick phase for all of us. Not for everybody, but for us. I grew up on classic rock, then I was nine or 10 my cousin made me a mixtape that had The Hives - it was like ’01 or so, so it was all garage rock: The Strokes, The Hives, The Vines, The White Stripes, and I think Weezer and The Pixies were on there, and that was the eye-opening. That led to three years of Nirvana, and that was it - I didn’t listen to anything but Nirvana, period.
Cain: We actually had a similar thing getting us into that same realm. We got given this cassette that had Nirvana’s ‘Unplugged’ on it, and I remember jamming that cassette so hard to where it was eventually just worn out. I was like, ‘Okay. I love it. I want to be in a dirty rock ‘n’ roll band now!’ That’s who made me branch out and be like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to listen to the normal stuff.’
Samuel: Yeah, I would say probably Nirvana was the most influential. And Kings Of Leon.
Cain: Kings for sure, no doubt.
Samuel: Going back to influential concerts, I saw the Kings in like ’03 or ’04, because a sound guy in Birmingham, Alabama, told my dad, ‘Your kid likes rock ‘n’ roll music? England fucking loves these dudes - they’ve already blown up over there and I’m pretty sure it’s about to happen here; you should bring your kid.’ They still had those stupid haircuts and the handlebars and shit. I remember being like 12 or 13 and being like, ‘That’s it! That’s what I want to do! I’m gonna take all the stuff that I grew up listening to, and they’re playing it louder.’