Can you tell us a little bit about State Line Mob’s background?
Sure, my name is Phillip Crunk & I am the lead singer & songwriter for State Line Mob. S.L.M. was officially formed as a duo in 2007 between me & my wife Dana Crunk who accompanies me on co-vocals. If you want to go to the very beginning, I was a professional drummer for almost 10 years, first earning my dough at the ripe age of 14 playing gigs anywhere & with anyone I could.
I met Dana when I was 18, she was professionally singing & playing keyboards when we first met. My goal was to be a professional songwriter & to sing. I learned to play piano as a writing tool of choice. We both had the same goals in life & that was to pursue music as our career on a big stage & to eventually get out of the honky tonk dives that were allowing us to survive financially along with our day jobs. To make a long story short, State Line Mob has been in the making for 15 years, previously aka The Crunk Mob duo. The Crunk Mob fully consisted of my father who sings & plays drums, my uncle who played guitar & sang & of course me on drums & vocals and Dana on keys & vocals. We played a lot of gigs together throughout the years. Me and Dana have been in countless various bands throughout the years as well as hired studio musicians.
How would you describe the State Line Mob sound?
Both vocally & musically, you are hearing the influences of rock, country, & blues. That’s because we have lived our whole life here in the historic Muscle Shoals, Alabama area, where these 3 genres naturally collide. We both came from families who were musicians & were influenced by them growing up just as much as what we were hearing on main stream radio. Our sound is a unique blend of our individual taste of music that’s rooted deep in our veins.
Ruckus is definitely one of the finest albums that came out last year, can tell us about the recording process and your favourite songs on it?
Thank you! Unlike what many artists will say, we enjoy working in the studio. Writing & recording is the creative part so I will always enjoy making music. The song selections were tough picks but I feel I made a great choice. My favorite song from Ruckus is hooked & has always been hooked since the day I wrote it 8 years ago.
There is only two of you guys and you had studio musicians helping you record the new album, are you planning on adding any new permanent members to State Line Mob?
We have no plans to permanently add anyone as a state line mob member. State Line Mob is a duo & will always be a duo. Our musicians who perform for us are hired guns based on availability & dates of shows we have booked. We are looking for touring musicians who would love to stay with us on a continuous ongoing basis.
Ex-Honkette JoJo Billingsley has joined you on stage on several occasions, how did you ended up working with her?
I’ve always been a huge fan of JoJo. Her background vocals stand out over the rest of the Honkettes when you listen to the early original recordings of Lynyrd Skynyrd. I was very surprised to have found her on Myspace, so I wrote her a email. I invited her to sing with us on acoustic show & to be interviewed with us broadcasting live on the radio from the 3614 Jackson Highway Recording Studio located in Muscle Shoals. We refer to the Studio as the original Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. This studio is famed for countless recordings by artist & bands especially, Lynyrd Skynyrd.
JoJo had not stepped into this building since the long ago recording sessions of when Ronnie Van Zant was the lead singer for the band, 30 years to be exact, she said. So we performed a handful of our songs from Ruckus & performed a melody arrangement of 3 Skynyrd songs that she had sang on & recorded there at the studio with Skynyrd, which were, down south jukin, sweet home Alabama & cry for the bad man. It was a special night. JoJo personally got a ride with me in our General Lee to the Studio. That’s how we became friends. She is a very special lady.
Recording industry seems to be at turning point right now, how do you see that affecting State Line Mob?
Well with the current state of the economy everything is at a turning point right now. It has already affected State Line Mob. Worthy Labels are not signing as much & artist like us are left to defend for themselves. Creative control is a must for any recording artist as well as distribution & cd sales. But if the music isn’t getting out there like it should & being promoted main stream due to being a independent recording artist, then it’s not beneficial, at least for us in our current status.
And finally, what are your plans for this year?
Our plans are to keep moving forward promoting our Ruckus CD. We are currently signed with Nea sound booking & hope to see our fans out on the road with a ton of new shows. We are always writing new material & hope to have a new album in the works in the near future. We have a brand new website www.statelinemob.com and we invite everyone to go check it out & grab you a copy of Ruckus.