We met up with The Django Riders at their recent show in downtown Nashville. TDR combine blues, rock and soul to come up with their own sound, and they certainly entertained the crowd that night. They also entertained us with this interview!
The Fan Connection (TFC): Hey guys! It was great meeting up with you at your show in Nashville! We're always impressed by the live talent of our TFC artists when we get the opportunity to go out and see shows!
The Django Riders: It was great seeing you too. We always welcome our friends from The Fan Connection.
TFC: Let's get the readers acquainted. What's everyone's name and who plays what?
The Django Riders: Jay Cathcart, Lead Singer/Rhythm Guitar; Josh Gentry, Drums; Tim Cathcart, Lead Guitar; Daniel Raymond, Bass
Jay: I also get down on the sitar, but you don’t know nothing 'bout that.
Tim: My real passion is stripping involving full frontal male nudity.
Josh: Lately I have been thinking about switching to ostrich farming. Good money in that.
TFC: (Snickering like mad...) You guys have a great energy onstage. I was hearing killer blues with a country undertone. Would you say that's a good description? Or who knows, maybe we should just stick to doing interviews...but regardless it was great!
The Django Riders:
Jay: A lot of what we do comes from the core of those two genres. When I first started writing for this project years ago, it was a completely different feeling as far as the music goes. We originally started as an Americana/Folk/Blues band. I was playing a classical (guitar) and we were walking a very strange line playing a set that involved blues and folk music.
Josh: We were playing blues and rock songs with a classical rhythm. It actually worked pretty well. As the years progressed and we started to advance with our music, the Folk and Americana just got left behind. It was when we added our new bass player Daniel that we finally got Jay to step out of his comfort zone and switch to all electric.
Jay: I aggressively started writing new music with the electric and it was like opening up a whole different world for me. Almost all of my writing, and the band's, started leaning towards more soul and blues music, and you could tell the change in energy almost immediately with everyone. Since then we honestly haven’t looked back, but a lot of it still stems from our original writing process. I still like breaking out the classical (guitar) and writing on it. It’s just funny the shape the music takes from being written on a classical to then being thrown to a full band with electric guitars and boogie on their mind. We scrapped almost 3 years worth of music and started fresh. It took 4 years and a member change, but I believe we have found our identity.
Tim: Yeah, I’d say that’s pretty spot-on. We once referred to our music as 'Folk-N-Blues' so I see how you get that vibe.
Daniel: I would agree with that. I would also say sometimes it’s hard to pin down our sound. I think our bio does a pretty good job of describing it. It’s too long to incorporate in this, but you can check it out pretty much anywhere you can find us online.
TFC: Thank you Daniel! We feel like professional music reviewers now. Your hometown is listed on social media as Portland. Are all of you from Portland? If not, where's everyone from?
Jay: I was born in Gallatin and raised in Portland. Tim is from Iowa and I think Dan was born behind a Burger King dumpster somewhere. You will have to fact check me on Tim being from Iowa, but I am 100% sure Dan is from a dumpster.
Tim: Knoxville, Iowa...sprint car racing capitol of the world.
Daniel: I’m from San Diego, CA.
Josh: I was born in Gallatin and raised in Portland. Some might say it’s not the most spectacular place, but it’s better than a dumpster which is most defiantly where Dan is from.
TFC: Daniel, we'd still come for dinner...don't worry! Where are you based out of currently?
The Django Riders: Josh, Jay, and Tim all currently reside in Portland, TN, and Daniel is in Hendersonville. Both are great cities to live in considering what we do. We are about 40 minutes from Nashville, so getting to and from shows is no problem. Once the show is done we can hang around, have a good time, and be back home in our quiet, warm beds before the murderers come out. It’s a known fact that murderers come out around 3 AM in Nashville, or is that suppose to be ghosts?
"It’s still so cool to meet fans and I honestly don’t know if I will ever get tired of it. When you see someone who says they have been looking out for your next show or really enjoyed a set, there is no better feeling in the world to me."
TFC: Honestly, maybe both? But we don't stick around to find out either. Better safe than sorry! Anything before that is just FUN though! Most bands have a favorite or most memorable show. What would yours be?
Jay: We always had such a groovy time at MusicTree Fest. It was a festival they would hold the week before Bonnaroo in Manchester. You always got a lot of festival enthusiasts trickling in to the shows, and by the end you would usually have a full room of people just kind of vibing to the music. Those are always the best crowds to play for, the ones who really don't even care if they know the music, just as long as it sounds good and they can move to it. That’s what the entire environment was like...plus tons of great free food and alcohol.
Tim: Catalina Wine Mixer…. LOL!!! Given I’m the oldest member of the band, my most memorable gig is usually the last one we played, but we have played some very eclectic and diverse places. We played a fall festival in a corn field with all the free hot dogs we could eat. We also rocked a church of Scientology fellowship hall...they even invited us back. The most memorable show would be The Basement in Nashville...one of our best crowds ever, great energy and an awesome party. There are videos circulating of the show but not of the after party, at least I hope not.
Daniel: I’ve been with the band for about 5 months so I don’t have many yet. I did convince them to play this church gig that we weren’t aware was a church until we got there. I figured we were already there so might as well get some practice.
Jay: (laughing) Yea we ,hhad to change a few lyrics and moral values to get through it, but it ended up to be a good time.
Josh: Mine has to be The Basement. Just how hot the atmosphere felt and how reactive the fans were. It was a hell of a time.
TFC: (laughing again) These answers are great. You guys have a pretty good following. In what way would you say your fan base has helped you grow into the band you are now?
Jay: It’s funny because at this level you never really think about having fans. You first start and you have your friends and family and of course they are going to like you. It’s still so cool to meet fans and I honestly don’t know if I will ever get tired of it. When you see someone who says they have been looking out for your next show or really enjoyed a set, there is no better feeling in the world to me. Our fans are constantly sharing our posts and merch, and I don’t think I could love them anymore than I do. That’s why I am personally inviting each fan to our next show for a big hug and kiss. I can do more, but it will cost you.
Tim: We bring the instruments...they bring the party. Everything else takes care of itself.
Josh: I’m going to have to go with Tim on that one. Also we are accepting pre-pay for Jay’s kissing booth.
TFC: Are you taking a percentage too? Stories from the road. We love them. Tell us one.
Jay: We have been pretty lucky so far to not have many horror stories. The one thing that comes to mind is when we were playing the Harley Davidson 110th Birthday Bash in Kentucky. For some reason at the time we weren’t able to take Josh, Tim’s, or my car. We ended up packing all of our gear into our bass player's (at the time) Delta 88. It was a solid 100 degrees outside and his air had just stopped working along with his brakes. There were 4 people packed into a Delta 88 with all of our equipment and zero circulation. To come to a stop you had to hit the brakes 10 or 15 seconds before you wanted to start slowing down. I remember coasting back into town coming off the ramp at an unacceptable amount of speed.
Tim: I have no recollection
Josh: Basically every ride in the Delta 88 was a memory. We went to a good amount of shows in it. Also had a night where we drove straight into a one-way and we were going the wrong direction. Jay didn’t have any breaks to slam on so he just kind of spun it around at whatever speed we were going.
TFC: Take note. Never drive with Jay. Are there any upcoming releases we should be on the lookout for?
The Django Riders: Absolutely! We will be in the studio in the upcoming months working on our EP along with some very exciting shows coming up. You can keep up with everything we’re doing at our website www.TheDjangoRiders.com. Also I hear Josh is dropping a poetic spoken word mix tape about his troubled childhood with ceramic dolls.
TFC: We hope you'll keep everyone informed here on your TFC page also! What do you have on your "to do" list for 2016?
Jay: The number one thing on my list is the EP. We have been writing music and performing for around 3 years now. We have released a single and a few live studio recordings, but we haven’t released anything yet saying “Here we are. This is what you’re going to get.” It’s time we release something for our fans to listen to, enjoy, and maybe make a few bad decisions to. Also, we are going to hop on a few festivals this summer and hopefully get me my first face tattoo.
Tim: Play more, work less.
Daniel: Record and get some more shows under my belt.
Josh: It’s no question an EP first, push our music and ourselves harder then we have yet, and continue to grow as musicians and a band.
TFC: As everyone in this industry knows, fans are the biggest driving force for success. If there was one thing you could ask of your fans this year to help you on your journey, what would it be?
Jay: Just to continue to share our music and spread the word. We don’t care how you get it, where you got it, or how you like to use it. Just share it.
Tim: Thanks for your support in the past, and we can’t wait to see you in 2016.
Daniel: Just continue to show the wonderful support you already have.
Josh: Please keep that support and encouragement coming. You guys make us love doing what we do even more.
TFC: Who's the resident mom? (every band has one)
Jay: Our photographer Tori Cathcart at Tori Cathcart Photography. I don’t think it’s even a question. She comes to every show, and always takes kick-ass pictures. At the same time, she brings us drinks on stage and sells our merch. She deals with a lot of our awfulness. Plus I hear her and the lead singer have gone all the way one time.
Tim: Isn’t it always the bass player?
TFC: At least SOMEONE is watching out for this crew. Now, I know you guys are a little more familiar with TFC than some of the newer bands, because you've been around with us for a while since the first beta launch over a year ago, I believe. There's a lot of new features we'll be rolling out through 2016, like a new music player with a radio-like format and promotion for our bands, professionally run Fan Clubs, contests for artists and fans, merch stores with on-demand capability for your fans, private chat rooms and live streaming. Of those listed, which one do you think would be most beneficial for The Django Riders and why?
The Django Riders: Yeah, The Fan Connection has been great to us since the day we signed up. Honestly, everything you have mentioned will be great because you guys have never delivered anything but a top quality product for bands and fans alike. Love the idea of a radio player, would be great to have a station full of nothing but new music. I’m sure by the end we will end up using all of it.
TFC: We hope you do! Thank you guys so much for your continued support of TFC and sticking with us! We are super-excited to keep up with The Django Riders and we'll DEFINITELY see you out at another show!
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