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A Dirty Dozen with STRONG LIKE BULL – August 2019

| 27 August 2019 | 1 Reply


According to a recent press release: “Kansas plains rock band STRONG LIKE BULL has released the official music video for their debut single, “Live While You Can.” Originally premiered on PureGrainAudio, “Live While You Can” was directed by Daran Herrman of Colored Lion Productions and is available to download / stream vie TLG / INgrooves. The track was produced by Carter Green at GreenJeans Studios. STRONG LIKE BULL is a straight up Pure Rock N’ Roll band with rural roots in the land of motorcycle rallies, rod runs, and all night keg parties. Influenced by rock from the 70’s to now, Strong Like Bull is delivering foot-stomping, fist-pumping, high energy rock n roll and earning new fans at every show the band plays.” We get the band to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

DAVE: “Live While You Can” has a double-meaning. Everyone quickly realizes it is a party song since it starts with the declaration, “I like whiskey, I like to party…”, but if you have to take in the lyrics to the verses to get the deeper meaning. Live the life you want now. Time is wasting.

NEVIN: I wouldn’t say we really threw in any Easter eggs with “Live While You Can.” This was one of the first songs we worked on so I know I was mainly concerned with just finding my image and sound that defines me. That being said, I’ve already been asked a few times “Hey man, did you take that part at the end of the solo from Free Bird?” Haha. I knew someone was gonna say it, but no. When I recorded the solo, a lot of it was written right there in the studio, so it was a coincidence the breakdown section resembles it.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

DAVE: I started as a guitarist, and I knew I wanted to play guitar when I heard Led Zeppelin.

JAKE: I remember my older sister was in pep band in high school, I was in I think 4th grade. This dude, Dan Gilliam, played the kit like a monster, lol. Just hitting hard and looking cool. I knew then I wanted to be that guy up there making all that noise.

NEVIN: I have a long line of musicians on my mother’s side of the family, so I think that was an ingrained thing for me to begin with. The actual “moment” I knew… I was like 13 I think? I had just begged my parents to buy me and an Ozzy Box set. I started listening to it and the guitar work was just… WOW! I didn’t have any words for it. Then I heard “Mr. Crowley” and all the hairs on my arms stood on end when that first solo came around. I knew right then and there that I wanted to be able to play the guitar like that.

SHAWN: I followed in the footsteps of my older brother. I remember going to one of his jam sessions and thinking man this would be fun.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

DAVE: My first rock album was KISS’ Alive II. I nearly wore it out. My mom got it for me when I was around 7 years old. Those KISS songs are ingrained in my memories. After that, my neighbor who was 4 years older than I started sharing music with me that he got from his older brother who was 4 years older than him. That’s where I heard a lot of classic rock like Led Zep, AC/DC’s Highway to Hell and Dirty Deeds, and other rock bands with a heavy blues influence.

JAKE: I saw Godsmack live in 2000, 2001 I think, for the first time, and it was mind blowing. Sully just has this ability to lead the crowd and make the show unforgettable! I knew I needed to try and give others that same feeling of that night.

NEVIN: My parents were always very open minded and my guitar teacher always advocated to never limit your musical tastes, so my I’m all over the board… I’ll listen to anything. Literally anything. I’ve got a favorite artists in just about every genre I can think of from Country, Rap, Rock, Metal, Classical, to some old school Blues, you name it. I’ve always held the belief that there’s great music hiding in every genre, we just got to go out and find it. That being said, Rock and Metal is definitely my main squeeze.

SHAWN: One of my first live concerts was Aerosmith, Pump Tour. What a great show. Steven Tyler’s high energy and the band’s effortless performance made me aware of my taste in music.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

DAVE: Hard to narrow down…Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, and KISS.

JAKE: I’d say old school Metallica really got my adrenaline pumping. Then some White/Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson during my high school years (still love em btw). Godsmack really had some great drum rhythms that really gave me a different perspective on the use of the drums. Danny Carey from Tool is a drummer I am in awe off.

NEVIN: Ozzy Osbourne, Pink Floyd, Devin Townsend, Black Label Society, and Lamb Of God.

SHAWN: Metallica, Megadeth, GnR, Black Sabbath, and AC/DC no specific order.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

DAVE: Slash. I almost said GnR instead of Aerosmith as an influence, but I hear a lot of Aerosmith influence when I listen to GnR. Slash is used to writing with vocalists who sing in my high range, and I’ve always been a fan.

JAKE: Danny Carey from Tool. His playing is insanely technical and I’d love to be a part of that process.

NEVIN: Hmm… I’d be down to work with just about anyone really, but I’d really love to work with Nuno Bettencourt and pick his brain a bit haha!

SHAWN: Maybe Duff McKagen. It would be cool to come up with bass lines that he adds to the music he records.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

DAVE: High energy straight up pure rock n roll. I’m usually honored by all comparisons. It does make me cringe when I meet someone who thinks all rock must be angry or that there is no room for straight up rock. There’s room for all types and tastes. Bands like GVF, The Struts, Dirty Honey, and Them Evils are just the first of the “new classic rock” sound that is coming. The UK has already got a big NWOCR genre going.

JAKE: Yeah definitely AC/DC is my go to, but a little more modern.

NEVIN: Old school hard rocking jams. We’ve gotten quite a few comparisons to bands like AC/DC, Jackyl, or GnR which has been great to see!

SHAWN: Most people compare us to AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. We are perfectly fine with that.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

DAVE: It is just part of who I am. I cannot deny or suppress it. Now that we’ve released “Live While You Can,” I can tell who already knows it in the audience. It is cool to see fans fired up about your own music.

JAKE: When I play I always say there’s no past, no tomorrow, just that moment with my friends on the stage and down front.

NEVIN: My little world up on stage. I was never really the outgoing type at parties and I grew up pretty introverted through my adolescent years. The stage gave me an opportunity to play a role in the moment without having to really go out of my way to interact with people I didn’t know. Now conversations and relationships build and just happen naturally through our shows. It’s helped me open up socially and kind of realize the potential I wasn’t sure I really had as an artist.

SHAWN: The best thing for me is that a musician brings people of all walks of life together with music.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

DAVE:  Ha! No one cooks, but we all drink whiskey. Nevin gets the guitar going for sure!

JAKE: We practice out at Nevin’s parents place and his dad Rick is always busting out the fireball for us!

NEVIN: Well, at practice anyways, I usually keep our fridge stocked with plenty of beer and whiskey to keep us all “hydrated”. I know I’m not much of a cook, but I’m a pretty hardcore angler and can sure as hell whip up a mean fish fry!

SHAWN: There’s usually Fireball when the four of us get together.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

DAVE:  I think I was a little bit when we opened for Jackyl. They rock!

JAKE: Wayne Static, that hair man!

NEVIN: Hmm… Steve Vai. I asked him to sign a guitar plate of mine and came off as this totally awkward pleb. I doubt he remembers it, that’s probably for the better.

SHAWN: I usually don’t get star struck, but I have to admit, meeting Rex Brown was damn cool.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

DAVE: Possibly A&R for a rock label? How about something with coffee and a beach?

JAKE: Astronomer, nothing relaxes me more than looking up at the stars.

NEVIN: Growing up I always wanted to be a Meteorologist. The Great Plains are home to some insane thunderstorms and I was always captivated by them. I really wouldn’t mind working a State Hunting/Wildlife Conservation position either. I love the great outdoors!

SHAWN: I think it’s cool to design and build. Maybe an architect.

11.  Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

DAVE: No do-overs here. All those moments led up to now. I may not do it right, but I’ll damn sure keep trying.

JAKE: Any misstep I’ve made just made me the wiser for it, no changes!

NEVIN: Don’t drink and drive kids. DUI’s aren’t cheap, I learned that the hard way. It didn’t really hold me back from accomplishing what I needed to get done, but it sure as hell didn’t make anything any easier.

SHAWN: I really can’t think of any do overs. You take the good with the bad and learn from them.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

DAVE: I think I’d like to be a fly on the wall for either AC/DC’s Highway to Hell album or Def Leppard’s High N Dry album… or both! Two of Mutt Lange’s greatest producing efforts! He got so much out of Bon and Joe in those sessions and made some amazing recordings.

JAKE: I think Master Of Puppets would have been interesting to see being made. That is an album I played from beginning to end over and over on cassette.

NEVIN: Zakk Wylde’s Book of Shadows. That album, start to finish, is 100% gold and helped me through a very rough point in my life.

SHAWN: I would only want to be a bystander and observe, but Pantera, Cowboys From Hell album. It would be awesome to see how all the songs came together in the studio.  This album just reminds me of my past.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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  1. Wayne Smith says:

    I’ve been waiting to know more about these rock n roll crusaders from Kansas since #LiveWhileYouCan first made its debut on PureGrainAudio! Great interview, the more I have learned about these cats, the more I want to know. (I promise I’m not a stalker)!!
    I’m Oklahoma City’s biggest fan. If they were to start a fan club, I’m in!
    Can’t wait for the release of #GoodTime on September 6th on the streaming platforms.
    I raise a shot of Fireball for these gentlemen and what they are doing…..Cheers!

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