Features Interviews Tim Easton

Interviews: Tim Easton

Tim Easton has been playing music for quite awhile, touring almost non-stop and leaving behind a dedicated fan base in each city. First recording with The Haynes Boys, he has been playing solo ever since. All his records have their own distinct vibe, but each depends on one aspect to help them soar-great songwriting. Whether it's help from former Wilco members on The Truth About Us, or heartbreaker Mike Campbell on Break Your Mother's Heart, it's still a Tim Easton song. Most of them will transport you to places you may never have been before: the desert, the dark nether regions of a broke down city, or a small Midwestern town off the main highway - all this without leaving your bedroom. These are just some of the special worlds that Tim Easton's songs create, so step inside. 2009 promises much more for Easton with continued touring with Easton, Stagger and Phillips - a new three-man project - and a new solo record, Porcupine, coming on New West Records.

Scene Point Blank: When did you first start playing music?

Tim Easton: I would say about sixth grade or so. My brothers played a bit. There was also a teacher that came to school and would teach classic rock songs to twenty kids at once.

Scene Point Blank: What was the best band name you ever came up with?

Tim Easton: The Kosher Spears, but I think the washboard player might have said the phrase, and then I made it our band name.

Scene Point Blank: When did you realize that playing music was all you wanted to do with your life?

Tim Easton: Couple weeks ago. Okay, maybe the summer after I turned fourteen.

Scene Point Blank: Was The Haynes Boys your first real band?

Tim Easton: They were my second band. The Kosher Spears were first.

Scene Point Blank: What made you decide to go solo?

Tim Easton: Convenience and having to pay the bills. I started solo.

Scene Point Blank: Which of your records was the most rewarding to craft in the studio?

Tim Easton: I would say the first Haynes Boys record. There was barely any crafting, just a band rocking out with some tape machines going. I guess the craftier one would be Break Your Mother's Heart.

Scene Point Blank: What song on Ammunition do you never get tired of playing?

Tim Easton: Most of them; "Next To You," "C-Dub," and "Black Dog" for starters.

Scene Point Blank: What tour has been the most memorable for you and why?

Tim Easton: I would have to say my tour with Lucinda Williams stands out first. I love her songwriting and her voice. I also got to join her each night on stage. It was a dream tour for me. The European tour with John Hiatt was nice because I didn't have to drive. I got to ride on the double decker tour bus with the band.

Scene Point Blank: If you could pick anyone to tour with on a dream double bill, who would it be?

Tim Easton: Strange. I just said "dream" tour a second ago, so I guess that answers that. Today, I would have to say touring with M. Ward would be a great honor.

Scene Point Blank: What active artist would you like to write a song with?

Tim Easton: Paul McCartney, Matt Ward, Jim James. How about Tom Petty?

Scene Point Blank: Where was the biggest audience you have played for?

Tim Easton: Wave Fest in Charleston, SC to 10,000 people.

Scene Point Blank: Are there any artists that are still an influence on your songwriting today?

Tim Easton: Lucinda Williams, John Hiatt, Bobby D., M.Ward, Brownie McGhee, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and of course Doc Watson

Scene Point Blank: Explain how the songwriting process works for you?

Tim Easton: Can't do it. Maybe you could explain it to me?

Scene Point Blank: What solo record was the most difficult for you to complete?

Tim Easton: The last one. Lots of different formats made it difficult. Different computers, etc. A pain in the ass if you ask me.

Scene Point Blank: What's the worst club you've ever played in?

Tim Easton: Hard to narrow it down. I guess I love the dive bars from time to time, you know? I had a gig recently in Germany where the mic stand just kept bending over no matter what. My back was fucked by the end of the night. Also, just by rule of thumb, when you see ketchup or condiment bottles on the tables at your gig, it's not going to be the best of times.

Scene Point Blank: Looking back at your previous records, which songs are still a blast for you to play live?

Tim Easton: "Just Like Home," "Carry Me," "All The Pretty Girls Leave Town." Some of the rocking ones when I have a band.

Scene Point Blank: Any new artists you are listening to in the tour van?

Tim Easton: Cat Power, Gillian Welch, Elliott Smith?wait they aren't new. I really dig the new Amy Winehouse record. Such an old sounding, new record.

Scene Point Blank: What plans do you have for the next record?

Tim Easton: Going back to Special 20/ Haynes Boys territory at Alex The Great in Nashville. But then there is the weird folk album I am making at the Integratron (Google it) in Landers, CA. I may have to invent an alter ego for that release. His name will be Dark Watson.

Scene Point Blank: What do you do for fun when you're off tour?

Tim Easton: Go on long walks around Joshua Tree with my dog. Play with The Thrift Store All-Stars at Pappy and Harriet's in Pioneertown every Sunday night. And sleep. I sleep for fun.

Scene Point Blank: What make being a musician still a cool gig?

Tim Easton: Are you kidding? As opposed to being an accountant?

Scene Point Blank: What band would you like to see reunite that hasn't yet?

Tim Easton: I want the old Kinks back. And whatever is left of The Faces. And if the Haynes Boys could manage it, that would be cool too.

Selected Discography:

  • The Haynes Boys - Guardian Angel (1996)
  • Tim Easton - Special 20 (1998)
  • Tim Easton - The Truth About Us (2001)
  • Tim Easton - Break Your Mother's Heart (2003)
  • Tim Easton - Ammunition (2006)
  • Easton Stagger Phillips - One for the Ditch (2008)
  • Tim Easton - Porcupine (2009)

Words: Sean K. | Photographs: New West Records | Graphics: Matt

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Words by Sean K. on Oct. 16, 2010, 11:05 a.m.

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Posted by Sean K. on Oct. 16, 2010, 11:05 a.m.

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