Puresouthernrock.com had a change to interview Blackberry Smoke drummer, Brit Turner about their roots and up ‘n coming tour with David Allan Coe…
For those, who aren’t familiar with Blackberry Smoke, how did the band came together?
Brit & Richard are brothers and have played together since they could hold ukuleles. Growing up in Smyrna, Georgia they ran across all types of people and all kinds of music. At one point early 2000 Brit and Richard were asked to play on some recordings with a singer and guitar player. That guitar player happened to be Charlie Starr of Valley, Alabama. We ended up in New York doing a record for Universal and it wasn’t quite the experience we dreamed about as kids. So… 3 of us decided to leave and find an extra guitar player (this is where Paul Jackson of Pensacola, Florida enters) and continue searching for artistic freedom combined with a white limo full of money.
What’s the story behind Blackberry Smoke name?
We were at the end of our rope trying our damnedest to come up with a name that was cool and most importantly hadn’t been taken. We thought of everything and thought before we settled with calling the band 12345678? (which by the way isn’t taken), we asked friends in bands that were established if since they became famous, had they thought of a better or different name. Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes thought we should name the band, “RICHARD TURNER EXPLODES”. Chris Robinson gave us several ideas and then said… “what about BLACKBERRY SMOKE?” We loved it and still owe him 10 thousand or 10 million for the name, cant remember which.
In January, you guys played in Simple Man Cruise, tell us little about that?
It is the most kick ass experience any band can have with their fans or vice-versa and truly where bands and fans just become fast friends. There is also a lot of jamming among bands and a strip club on the boat. (Just kidding about the strip club, turns out that party doesn’t need one). Go to simplemancruise.com and see you there in 2010!
What has been most defining moment in career of Blackberry Smoke so far?
Gaining the acceptance of our musical idols like Lynyrd Skynyrd and ZZ top. Having them invite us along on tours, give us advice and sit down to dinner.
I have understood that your latest ‘Little Piece of Dixie’ EP, is prologue to new full length CD? Do you have a release date for that one?
June 9th 2009 (if it doesn’t come out then we ARE changing the name to “RICHARD TURNER EXPLODES”
One of your songs, “Up in Smoke,” can be heard on EA Sports NASCAR 08 video game. How did that deal came together?
We worked with a great publishing outfit called Crosstown Songs in Nashville, TN and they hooked it up while at one of their 10 vacations they take every year.
You have toured with lot of different bands, have you seen an upswing in interest for southern rock over the past couple of years?
If you are a parent, would you take your kid to see Lynyrd Skynyrd or Papa Roach? Southern rock is the music you hand down to the next generation. It is just growing with the population.
I noticed you’re doing a tour with David Allan Coe… nervous yet?
We love DAC’S music. We would love to hang out with him, but He shows up to the venue about an hour and a half after we are off the stage. That’s how he does it and that’s ok by us.
We love David here as well, hope you guys have a successful 2009 and would like to thank you for this interview. You can find Blackberry Smoke‘s profile from our Southern rock bands – section.