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Barenaked and Blue
by Alan Sculley
Jam! Magazine, National
Aug 18th, 1998



Welcome to HORDE Cyberchat 98. Live from Florida.

Blues Traveler: This is Brendan Hill, the drummer from Blues Traveler.

HereTitlePlace: What's life like on the HORDE Tour?
Blues Traveler: The HORDE tour has always been the most fun on our schedule. Its like summer camp with trucks. Every band on this year's HORDE are great musicians and such nice people. And we're having a great time. Summer camp for us.

SonicNetHost2: How's the catering?
Blues Traveler: I haven't had any of the catering, but, generally, it's been quite good. Though I avoid sushi.

HereTitlePlace: Who's your favorite band on HORDE right now?
Blues Traveler: I would still have to say Mosaic, who are hosting the workshop stage along with Chris Barron from the Spin Doctors. Mosaic is a band from NY who have been blowing away crowds all tour. And I'm very proud of them.

SonicNetHost2: What has the public's reaction been to the diverse line up? (the Pumpkins, Catatonia)
Blues Traveler: One of the best things about the tour is its eclecticness. We can have any type of band from SKA, i.e. MM Bosstones, to southern rock, i.e. Allman Bros., Black Crows to cutting edge alternative, i.e. Smashing Pumpkins. And I think it's interesting to put all these bands in front of the combined crowds and watch people getting into music outside of their personal taste.

Kevin_is_my_inspiration: When did you first start making music?
Blues Traveler: Individually, I started when I was 6, playing the violin horrendously. John, I believe, was the cello at age 5. Also to little accolade... Bobby began a bit later with the bass guitar, I think in middle school. And Chan with the guitar at age 10. We all joined together as a band in 1987.

p38_: What is your favorite song that you have ever done ?
Blues Traveler: I would have to say "Mountain Cry", because I was able to realize recording that song with Greg Allman playing Hammond, and he also sang a version which sent chills down my spine. So, as far as songs that I've written, that has to be my favorite. But songs to play, my favorite new one, so far, is called "Her and Me". Look for it, September 1999.

TeenAngel_316: Who are your major musical influences?
Blues Traveler: Personally, John Bonham, Ginger Baker, Mitch Mitchell, Clyde Stubblefield. And Cosy Powell. To name a few. But listening to guitarists, sax players, and bass players have given me inspiration as well.

lethargicbanana: What do you do in your spare time?
Blues Traveler: I enjoy motorcycle riding, I'm a certified scuba diver, I have a 1970 Chevy Chevelle and I love to sail.

rebeccaj6: What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened on stage during a performance?
Blues Traveler: I believe one time, musically embarrassing, I counted off a song in 6/8 instead of 4/4 and none of us knew what to do, so we played the whole thing in 6/8. But John tries to embarrass us all at least once a week. The last five shows he's made Chan do splits. (Girls, watch out!)

Babe5050: How did you come up with the name Blues Traveler?
Blues Traveler: We were originally called Blues Band. But when we moved to NYC we realized that there were 1000 Blues Bands. And it was the time Ghostbusters had just come out and we all thought that the idea of Gozer the Traveler, who could take any form, was a cool idea. So, we dropped 'Band', added 'Traveler'. and when we are really hitting a good jam we can almost feel a fifth entity in our midst (But it's probably the catering).

BeastieBoysGirlie: How did you like playing with Dave Matthews Band?
Blues Traveler: Dave Matthews Band I believe are the most deserving band out there. The excellent musicianship, the long years of touring, and the personal obstacles they've had to overcome makes me feel they've reached - scratch that. When I heard they were playing Giant's Stadium, I cheered them. We would love to tour with them in the future, we consider them very good friends.

JaNe_LaNe_2512: Will y'all be doing any other festivals next year?
Blues Traveler: We're gonna try to mix it up next year, nothing's solid yet but we want to try and do some amphitheaters on our own. HORDE has always been a great gig for us, so it's always hard to not do it. And then there's always Europe. But, rest assured, Blues Traveler will be playing in a town near you next summer.

IceSk81ngR0x: What is it like to perform and have girls scream at you?
Blues Traveler: There was a time when our video was out when it was almost impossible to hear John singing over the crowd who were singing along to "Run-Around". And that's a good feeling, because you know everyone's having a good time. We hope that people are listening to our new record and will be singing along with some of those songs as well. But nothing beats playing in front of a live audience, thank you for that question.

Nelsea: Where do you think you'll be in 10 years?
Blues Traveler: Hopefully, I'll be playing with the band doing exactly what I'm doing now, which is making music, getting to tour around the country with my friends and paying the rent. Hopefully, the Y2K bug won't trigger a massive nuclear war, or else we'll all be dead. I don't want to think about that (and I won't be in the Oval Office).

rebeccaj6: If you weren't part of Blues Traveler, what would you be doing?
Blues Traveler: I always wanted to be a Marine fighter pilot, if not in this country, for the RAIF. So, if I weren't a drummer, I'd be a pilot. Or an Outward Bound sailing instructor.

toaster555: Do you like country music? And if so, which artists/songs?
Blues Traveler: I like some of it. There's so many different artists, I couldn't begin to narrow it down. When you're on the road, probably 70% of the music stations are country, so it's hard to ignore it. I love the simplicity, the story telling, and the general good humor.

LLRain8: I was wondering what you guys thought of this year's Furthur Festival and if you think it is a good idea for The Other Ones to continue to tour?
Blues Traveler: I think it is a good idea for them to continue touring. There's no rules in music, and I think that if they enjoy playing with each other they should do it. I think changing names was a good move, because they aren't the Grateful Dead without Jerry. And the Furthur Tour, I think did really well this year. And hopefully sometime in the future I'll be home and see it. But nowadays there's so much good music to see all throughout the year. We feel lucky to be on this HORDE with this lineup. I'm about to hand the baton my bandmate, John. I didn't mean this to rhyme, but I'm well out of time. Thank you for your questions. Hope to see you all soon.

Blues Traveler: Hello everyone, it's John. How goes it in the world of cyber porn?

peaches_1_1998: I don't want to ask you about the president thing because that is stupid and wasting your time. How did you come up with the name HORDE?
Blues Traveler: I think the president is stupid and a waste of time. As far as HORDE is concerned, I was always a historical fan of a period in European history when the sedentary, agriculturally based villages trembled with fear at the approach of Hunnic Avar and Mongol warriors (basically big tough Asian gangs) who, because the motorcycle hadn't been invented yet, descended on the helpless villages by the way of horseback. In fact, one of these lesser gangs, Magyas, would soon become the kingdom of Hungary. And as a Hungarian-American, I cannot help but feel some kinship to the saddle, so when the first HORDE set out, I had a glorious vision of five different tribes or bands converging on a town and ravaging it. Fish would come in from the North, we would ride in from the East, The ARU and Panic would come up from the South...erm, that was PHISH. There would be no escape. The devastation would be substantial. So I needed some sort of anagram for HORDE, Because I wanted to call it the GREAT AMERICAN HORDE. So, since all the East Coast bands originated it, we thought it would be cool to call it Horizons Of Rock Developing Everywhere. Ego sum Atilla flagellum dia, which means I am Atilla, the scourge of God.

JasonMillner: John, I know you had visions of a harpless album, and at RR, a lot of the songs were harpless, but on HORDE, many of them have gotten a harp added. Have you backed off the idea?
Blues Traveler: The initial idea itself was not to be a matter of doctrine. We had always left room for a harp to creep back into the music. If a tune needs harmonica, we are always prepared to put some in. The object of trying to avoid harmonica altogether was merely a starting point. If we feel that a tune would be really enhanced with a harmonica on the record, we will certainly visit that. But at this point, I have no guarantees in my mind that the little harp I am playing on these songs will actually make the album. I think largely the reason I play harp on the new stuff when we play live is that I basically feel like a dork standing there not doing anything. I mean, it's right there, I might as well use it. Once we have recorded these songs, we'll be better able to determine my role song by song.

abcor: John - when it comes to making a decision about new songs is it gut instinct that drives you or is it the consensus of the rest of the band?
Blues Traveler: Yum, chocolate. Each song can be written by any consistency of every option we have. If I have an idea that is complete, the band will adhere to the idea that I have and find their own pocket within the structure. If I have an idea that needs a little work, then the band helps finish writing it. If I don't have an idea, the band works on it together. A great example of one extreme is "The Mountains Win Again", by Bobby. Bob wrote the song in its entirety and we filled the parts he had written. Another extreme could be "Sweet Talkin' Hippie" where Chan played a groove, I played another groove against that, Bob played a groove to match those, and Brendan made up a drum part. But as for being driven, personally, I like to try things I haven't tried yet. Execution is certainly fun, but I find myself more attracted to inception.

Cupid17x: I heard that while you were in Virginia Beach doing a show, you sang "MmmBop" with Hanson. Did you have fun doing that? Do you like Hanson?
Blues Traveler: It was a real treat to play "MmmBop" with Hanson. Whether you like Hanson or not, the song that song has a historical basis. Centuries from now, everyone will have to concede that back in the 90's, Hanson's music affected contemporary music. The boys were nice enough. Humble, polite, etc. But I'd like to talk about their musicianship for a second. When were their respective ages, we couldn't play instruments nearly as well. When I first saw Hanson on video, I remember feeling a little concerned for them, insofar as they are cute little blond boys who will be chewed up and spit out by an uncaring and fickle teenybopper, radio-friendly audience. The reason this concerned me was that they seemed to care about playing their own instruments and writing their own songs. It is my hope that given enough time to interact with other musicians, as they get older they will continue to grow in their playing and their songwriting. I think they did a fine job, bravely walking on someone else's stage, a stage full of musicians who can really play, and sell a hit song to a very skeptical crowd. What was weird for me was looking back and seeing young Zach behind the drums. Because he looked exactly like Brendan when he was 13 and I first started playing with him. Quite the eerie flashback. Hanson has both blessed and cursed for being cute in a teen idol kind of way. If I was them, I would milk it till the teat is dry, and then regard it as merely an introductory chapter in their musical career.

Carly_01: Who are some artists or bands that you would like to perform with in the future?
Blues Traveler: Time and computer chips do not allow me to list every musician I would like to play with. Suffice it to say, barring Madonna and the Spice Girls, I would like to play with everyone. I'm not really into Bush either (the band that is) but I really think playing with absolutely everyone teaches you something. But if I had to pick a favorite off the top of my head, I think I would most like to play with Prince, whatever name he's under at the present time. He is a BRILLIANT guitar player, and yet he plays it so rarely that when I hear him play, I have to stop what I'm doing and listen. By and large, I've gotten to play with most of my favorites. Led Zeppelin might be fun. And Metallica with a real amp would be really cool.

HereTitlePlace: OK. Blues Traveler and Backstreet Boys in a fight. Who would win?
Blues Traveler: The outcome of such a battle would never be in question. I feel the real question would be, "To what extreme would the Backstreet Boys pay for their audacity?" It is my strong intention that the arena of our battle would be strewn with the bile and physical remains of the dead. The human entrails stretches some 35 miles if you stretch it properly, and I feel that we could achieve this. And with the razor-sharp implements at our disposal, we could slice through the goo, bones, etc. and have the entrails, laying them end-to-end for a whopping 70 miles of BB blob. If you feed someone enough Alka Seltzer they'll explode. We have crates of Alka Seltzer the size of urinal cakes, and after removing all of their teeth and portions of their upper jaws, we could stuff jumbo tablet after jumbo tablet down their throats despite the twitching protests of their near-lifeless bodies. Then we would start with fondue forks. If you heat a fork enough, you can pierce the human eye without losing any fluid. Upon penetration of each Backstreet eye, we could superheat the forks beyond 3000 degrees, causing their beautiful eyes to burst like ripe cherry tomatoes. Then we would take sharpened spoons, also superheated, and burrow into their flesh, creating many additional orifices for us to sodomize with dull lead bars. Then we would get started. I have an erection just thinking about all this. Please help me. I would also like to point out that if you properly access the human circulatory system, you can over a long painful period of time replace all blood with a mixture of coffee and sulfuric acid. Those wacky, darling Backstreet Boys would feel so much pain they might actually come to love us. But we're not violent. So the thought has never really occurred to me.

Closing statement. The info superhighway is a vast and marvelous place. It can be used to discuss which the better Star Trek was with a friend in Iraq. It can lose all of your tax forms or send kiddie porn to a friend in Peru. I am very proud in being involved in constructing a use for this helpful thing for daily life. There is power in the web. But with power comes responsibility. So, remember kids, try not to learn how to type and always be as stoned as you can when using the computer. And if I could add one final thought it would be..................................

Go outside.