There’s something perfect about the Athens, GA based rock band Drive-By Truckers; maybe it’s the heartfelt ballads, the nod to classic Americana or the undeniable good time that is their live show. The Truckers have an intangible quality about them that spawns devotees on a regular basis, and they should expect that pool to grow larger with the release of their ninth studio album Go-Go Boots due out on February 15, (ATO).
In celebration of this stunning record, the band performed to a sold out crowd at New York’s Bowery Ballroom on Monday. Nonstop Sound was able to catch up with DBT’s lead singer and guitarist Patterson Hood to chat about the band’s experience in their adopted hometown.
As a southern band, can you speak to the difference between your NYC shows and hometown gigs? We probably sold out in NYC before we ever sold out at home. Athens and NYC are easily two of my favorite places to play. If I get too drunk to drive home after the show in Athens, I can walk home. If I get too drunk In NYC I can get a cab.
When you're visiting New York, do you have a favorite place to stay? Why? Preferably in a hotel. Preferably a nice hotel.
You've played a number of NYC venues over the years. What has been your most memorable experience? We’ve been playing NYC since 1997. We’ve almost always had a fantastic time. The only exception was the time we played CBGB’s. That night our van got broken into and someone stole my backpack with my song notebooks in it, It was 11 of my songs for what became our Decoration Day album. Whoever stole it threw it down on a sidewalk upon realizing that there wasn’t anything of monetary value in it. Someone else found it and contacted me and returned it the next time we played in the city. I Love New York!
It’s 4:00am and last call has come and gone, what’s next? Are there any speakeasies, late night eats or after party spots you frequent when visiting New York? Unfortunately, I’m usually on the bus by then heading out of the city the next day for some early appearance or something. Our Rock and Roll lifestyle is not nearly as glamorous as it sounds.
The band is going out to celebrate a sold out show and your label is picking up the tab; where are you eating? What menu item is not to be missed? I’ve found that label folks usually love good food so I let them pick. That usually works out great. If the label doesn’t know good food, it’s probably not going to go well on the other respects.
Good or bad, have you ever had what you would describe as a quintessential New York moment? When I was a kid, my Dad produced an album by The Roches. I came up with him when he came to mix the album and Maggie and Terre took me out in Greenwich Village. I was about 11 and it changed me forever.
Have you ever gotten into a situation with one of New York's finest? If so, can you recount the experience? No. I almost got arrested once in London, but so far not NYC. I did once get pulled over, running very late for a show at Brownie’s (RIP) and the cop, upon finding out that we didn’t have guns (or obvious drugs) let us go and told us to have a good show.
NYC has all sorts of tourist attractions Central Park, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty to name a few. What's the most touristy thing you've done here? I brought my little girl up last fall and we did ALL of the tourist stuff. Everything you listed, plus Top of the Rock and Mary Poppins. Cooley and I both love Broadway plays.
What is the one person, place or thing you'd hate to miss on any trip to the city? Dancin’ Ricky.
Finish this sentence: New York City is the sweetest place on earth because… Some sentences are better left unfinished.