An interview under bad circumstances
I was lucky to meet Chuck Ragan for a little talk at the Festa di Radio Onda d’Urto in Italy when Hot Water Music were on the line up. Half relaxed in the backstage area we sat down and the problems started. After a few questions I found out that my recording tool was broken. Chuck offered me to record the interview on his mobile and to mail me the file, cool, so I did not need to write down anything and of the interview went. Almost at the end Chuck noticed that somehow the recording did not work and happy me and happy you, here are some parts which I still remember: Shit!!!
My lovely opening question “Where does it all ends?” was answered like this.
CR: I don’t know, we talk about that a lot, no matter if people are listening to us or not, we do what we have to do and we try to go our way.
RTC: Can you make a living from your music?
CR: It is a tough life; it is living with your hand in the mouth. You have little security but I am my own boss and that feels good, it is my self-chosen independent life. If all would not work out I might be doing a job where I am working with my hands. When I was young, me and my brother were building skate ramps and that was lots of fun, shaping wood and creating something useful, it was a good thing.
Back then when I went for my music life my grandfather always encouraged me, he kept me going.
I wanted to do it at an earlier age but was discouraged by a lot of things like parents, school and church. All said what I wanted to do was the wrong way to go. I just wanted to do it cause it felt good. It was my grandfather on my father’s side who told me if you love what you are doing, you are a fool if you ever put it down, keep going no matter what anybody says – go your way. This always stuck on me and now I am musician (smiling)
I remember some topic changes (talked about sport and yoga – how Punk is this?) and another question.
RTC: Hot Water Music – how much did Bukowski influenced you?
CR: Oh, it was a real bad influence on me, I was very depressed and drinking heavenly, so the books dragged me down even further. Once I sold them all for 10 $ and found out I should have done that earlier!
RTC: Best song which you would like to have written?
CR: „Hold On“ by Tom Waits
But I must confess I do not remember the reason why, he explained it, but it is gone.
RTC: How much control do you have as a band about your band (releases, design, bookings)?
CR: We have full control on that, of course we have to give things out of hand, but just to people that we trust. For example a record design, we know the artist, he does the work and we trust him.
RTC: Last one, imagine you are god and you are able to set up a festival of your choice (even dead people or dissolved bands can be on the list), please name the five headliners?
CR: OK, the line up should read like this:
1) Creedence Clearwater Revival
2) The Police
3) Woody Guthrie
4) Bob Dylan
5) Blaze Foley
I must confess, all in all there is not so much that is left from the conversation, but it is far better than nothing and here you can check out the Hot Water Music concert pictures from Brescia / Italy. Here everything worked out fine, click – sit back – enjoy!