We were able to talk with John C. Stubblefield, the bass player from Lucero before their performance in Houston last week on Monday at Fitzgerald’s.
Me: Hey first of all thank you for time. So you guys are starting the tour where?
John: Well we just left Memphis last night and showed up in Louisville. We played with a live radio show during lunch with about sixty people in the audience which was pretty awesome. They broadcast in Louisville the whole area, so a live radio show for the first stop on the tour.
Me: That’s cool because I know you guys did stuff with WNRN before and was it something similar to that?
John: Yeah basically public radio. We did about twenty five minutes, then a ten to fifteen minute interview and then play again for another twenty minutes.
Me: The last record was done under Universal, and now this one is under ATO. How was the change from the two companies?
John: Well we’ll see. I am really psyched, especially with the roster of band on ATO. A lot of career bands if you will like My Morning Jacket and Drive by Truckers. It’s got more bands that I wouldn’t say peer necessarily but peers to a certain degree. It’s just with ATO being independent they seem to understand us as a touring band and kind of where we are coming from so it’s a lot of a family kind feel with everybody at the label and everything instead of lost in the shuffle with a larger label. Hopefully everything goes good but it seems like the start of a good relationship.
Me: With this album you guys worked with Ted Hut as a producer, did you chose him or was he assigned by ATO?
John: He actually produced our last album. We kind of met him through Universal; he was one of the producers that they suggested. They said, “You could go to New York and work with so and so, or go to LA and work with so and so,” and we were like are you “kidding me.” We have a world class studio right here in Memphis Tennessee. Ted Hut, on our latest album was like, “Hell yeah, I would love to come to Memphis and a produce a record for you guys.” That is kind of how we met on the last record, and then he got familiar with the city and the studio. After the initial relationship we had him back so there you go.
Me: What did you guys do differently in this album from the last one?
John: Well we had a new situation in downtown Memphis and we had a few months to flash out ideas there more than before which makes more of a collaborative effort. We were able to explore every idea and it also gave us a chance to spread our wings and experience some growth. The after that we had two months of the bands ‘Warped Tours.’ So we had two months of playing every day and trying out some of the new songs and actually getting to play several live and seeing what works and what doesn’t. We went back home after that and went back into the demo studio for a bit before which we have never really done before, realizing ideas before going back to the studio.
Me: You did the Warped Tour and also did some shows in Europe, how was that compared to doing shows here in the South?
John: Not to sound too hippy but no matter where we go or what the situation is, whenever we are on stage it’s our spot and the song is our place and our home, so the place doesn’t really matter to a certain degree. We try to transcend the moment through our songs.
Me: Are you planning on doing any re-issues of any albums like you did already with, “The Attic Tapes?”
John: Absolutely, we have done re-issues on vinyl of, “That Much Further West,” and some other things we have been working on like getting the right back from some of our old labels like, “Madjack.” It’s kind of a slow thing in between albums kind of re-releasing older albums in their entirety and going around and compiling bonus tracks and outtakes to those records. Several songs to those records have never been released so we’ve been definitely working on that stuff.
Me: With that new album like you said, you have been working with different sounds, are you planning to expand that on the next album or are you sticking to what you have right now?
John: I don’t know, because we are just kicking this tour off but I am sure it will progress in some way. It’s what keeps us going you know reinvention to a certain degree.
Me: You guys worked with different people on this album but who would you like to work with?
John: Actually, while we were recording the last album, me and Roy and Brian. Ben actually collaborated with a rap artist. On a couple of his tracks he just happened to be at the studio in the same time. He had him play on a couple of his tracks which were live construction tracks that we play at shows and he was rapping over it, it was pretty fun actually. I would love to work with, as crazy as it might sound, work with a progressive southern rap artist like maybe Yelawolf or somebody like that. We could do the backing of southern rap artists which would be awesome.
Me: Kind of like Blakroc with The Black Keys working with Mos Def?
John: Right, exactly, I would love to do something like that because it’s just so different and it would take us out of our element. Just do something crazy off the wall.
Me: What are you currently listening to?
John: Not too much, just been getting ready for the tour. Wait that’s not true, there is this great new band a friend of mine used to play with called Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires out of Atlanta Georgia. They are great and listening to the new Glossary album.
Me: You guys are going to be playing SXSW after Houston, where else are you guys touring? Just touring, we are with ATO now and our management company Redlight, we will be playing a showcase for them. Just kind of going and birthing our new record. It happens that it comes out during SXSW. All of the cities have been really good to us over the years.