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No Frat Boy Beer: A Few Pointed Questions for The Riverboat Gamblers...

Riverboat Gamblers pic #1
~ In which singer Mike Weibe of The Riverboat Gamblers describes their views on music, their love of Texas, and their preference of Lone Star over Shiner... ~

The Riverboat Gamblers play in Houston on Sunday, July 16th at Walter's On Washington (4215 Washington Ave., Houston, TX. 77007), along with Only Crime, Hell City Kings, and I Am Wolf.

SCR: Can you describe To the Confusion of Our Enemies? Can we expect roughly the same amount of rockingness that was to be had on Something to Crow About? How, if at all, will it be different from what you have done before? In what direction is your music heading? What prompted the switch from Gearhead Records to Volcom Entertainment? If Confusion is going to suck, please tell our readers now so that they can use this time to get drunk or something.
Mike: Everyone should probably go ahead and get drunk, regardless. This one is a bit less lo-fi, but we aren't doing rap-rock or Afro-Cuban rhythms or anything. Still drunk dudes pissed off about life and yelling while distorted guitars play. Figuring out what direction our music is going is kinda tough. It feels kind of intangible. Hopefully people will dig it and sing along.
What is it like to be based in Denton? What is touring like in that context? Is your perspective on music different from that of people who live in big cities? Are your ideas (about music or about anything else) as a Texan different from those of people in other states? Why do you continue to live in Denton instead of moving to a place with connections to the music industry, and keep in mind that I ask that as a resident of Houston? Do non-Texans make fun of you for being from Texas? Do non-Texans even know where Denton is? Is Joe Don Baker really from Denton? Have you met him?
Joe Don Baker went to school in Denton, and sadly, I have never met him. I am writing a script with him in mind as a character, though. We have moved to Austin, so we aren't in Denton anymore, but that is a pretty recent development. But that was not a music industry kinda thing, really. It was more of just a fun decision -- easier to get crappy day jobs and more movies to go see when I am not on tour. I guess there is a bigger music scene and that had a bit to do with it, but we actually play Austin less now that we live here.

Most non-Texans haven't heard too much of Denton except for a smattering of bands from Denton. Right now the Marked Men are still technically Denton-based. In the past we had Brutal Juice and the whole "frat of noise" scene. Plus, the Von-Erichs wrestling family were from Denton. So...some people have heard. Any research on the town should pop up a lot of interesting tidbits.
I don't think anyone ever says anything bad about being from Texas to us. If they did...well, I can speak for all us: we would be pretty offended. Texas has its problems, but this is my home, dammit, and I am really proud of it. We aren't like anywhere else in the world -- the attitude, the music. We aren't the South and we aren't the West, and we aren't the Southwest, like New Mexico -- we are Texas, goddammit!
What is your perspective on the music world in general? Do you look at it more as an industry or as a community? What other bands or artists do you find interesting? Why do you think record sales are declining? What do you think that means for musicians? What does it mean for you (note that if your mom asked this question, it would be phrased more like "when are you going to get a real job?")?
It is both an industry and a community. I like the bands that manage to exist in both of those worlds. There are some that just exist in one -- like it's just for money or just for fun.
The Internet is changing music so much. I'm not really sure what to do about it. It might not be a bad thing, but the ways of selling music in the past are gone, and the ways of making a living off of being in a band in this new day and age aren't too set yet. I wish I knew what was gonna work best, or if this whole thing is a fruitless effort financially. Either way, I still would be doing it -- I'd just like to know.
Lone Star or Shiner?
Lone Star, baby -- I ain't no frat boy. END

-- Riverboat Gamblers record cover