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A Dirty Dozen with THE GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS – August 2020

| 20 August 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Whether it be on the banks of the Mississippi River or deep in the heart of the English countryside, rock ‘n’ roll lives, breathes, and burns on the outskirts. Hailing from Rome, GA at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, The Georgia Thunderbolts rise up with a scorching signature style steeped in soulful southern swagger, blistering blues, and raw rock. Out August 21st via Mascot Records, the quintet’s self-titled debut EP conjures a tried-and-true spirit through a fresh fire. “We’re going for that timeless and classic sound with a modern twist and newer attitude,” exclaims TJ Lyle, the lead vocalist for the group that also features Riley Couzzourt [guitar], Logan Tolbert [guitar], Zach Everett [bass, harmony vocals, keys], and Bristol Perry [drums].” 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 you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Riley: There are always hidden nuggets in good music. Something I would like to share with folks that happened to me personally that I will never forget is the ending solo on “Set Me Free.” We all sat in a room and Richard was trying to get  me to play a “snakey” solo. He was showing me solos similar to what he was talking about but I wasn’t getting it. Finally, with Greg Martin’s of old Les Paul strapped on, I asked Dave the engineer to run the tape. I remember shutting my eyes and playing the whole solo, I looked up and Richard had tears running down his face. Everyone was just in awe and it was a moment that captured a once in a lifetime memory for me. I hope when folks hear this song they can visualize that magic moment.

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

Logan: I’ve always loved music and I tried learning guitar around age 10 I think but I never got big into it until around 15.  The moment I realized I wanted to be Musician was when I was sitting in my dorm room playing guitar and I thought to myself you only have one life, at least try to do something you love to do. Here we are.

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

Zach: Lynyrd Skynyrd really took it to the next level for me. My dad showed them to me and when I heard that “Saturday Night Special” riff start up, I knew that I wanted to be able to play that. I didn’t know it then, but that was the beginning of a quest to become the best musician I could be. I don’t think I’ll ever complete that quest, but I try every day.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Bristol: For me it would be Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ozzy, Pantera, and Black Label Society.

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

TJ: Probably Ray Charles just so I could sit and watch him play!

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?

TJ: We have a very raw and original sound. We’ve never had a bad compliment honestly. Everybody we have met has always been so generous and kind to us.

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

Logan: Riley TJ and I do the cookin , Zach and TJ grab the drinks, and either TJ or Bristol is the first to break out the guitar.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Bristol: When I met Fred young for the first time. What a great drummer and even a better person. He has helped me so much and he even lets me take his vintage stainless steel Ludwig kit on the road. It’s an honor to sit behind that kit!

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Zach: The best part of being a musician is being able to do the thing I love more than anything else for a living. If I couldn’t be a musician anymore I’d move further down south to the wiregrass area, my family’s home, and become a farmer like the several generations before me.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Riley: I have always wanted to be asked what I do other than play guitar. The answer is fish, hangout with family and friends, and just kick back and enjoy the positive things in life. I’m not tired of any questions. I love to be interviewed.

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?

TJ: I wouldn’t change anything that has happened in my career so far. Every step I’ve taken has brought me to where I am today and I promise it’s not a bad place to be at all! I’m very fortunate to have such a wonderful team, family and honest partnership of folks around me!

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?

Logan: I’d love to go back and watch ZEP I get recorded. I just want to see how young Zeppelin prepared and set up the studio to get all those tones.

BONUS QUESTION – Due to the current world situation with COVID-19 / quarantine / shelter in place, what have you discovered you miss the most from your life before the pandemic struck?

TJ: I miss seeing fans, friends and just people in general. It makes me sad to know that the people who depend on music can’t get what they need right now. And I wish it would all go away so we could hit it again full force!





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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