Q & A with band Drive-By Truckers

Chris Rutledge

Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers will play a two-night stand at the Cannery Ballroom in Nashville this weekend. Singer and guitarist Mike Cooley sat down with The Herald to talk about the shows and the funniest thing that ever happened to the band in Kentucky.

Q:  Why a two-night stand and why Nashville?

A:  Uh, I don’t know (chuckles). Ask the people that book the shows. It’s my job, it’s what I do. We’re doing a lot of two-night stands now instead of going on to a different venue. I don’t know what the next step up would be in Nashville from The Cannery, but it’s probably really big. You get into a lot higher production cost. It’s just business. If you can sellout two nights at a smaller place, it’s best to just stay there.

Q:  Do you prefer playing two-night stands?

A:  I like it. We all like it, obviously the crew likes it. That makes at least one day a lot less labor. But it saves money too, if we’re on the road that’s a day we’re not traveling. But it’s fun. If you’re in a cool town that you like too, you get a little more free time to go [expletive] around, maybe go eat somewhere nice, not do a sound check the next day.

Q:  Do you try to change up the songs for people that go to both shows?

A:  Hell, we still never make up a setlist. But usually that works itself out. It will usually wind up being pretty different on its own. Just make sure you don’t open with the same thing and then everything else will be cool.

Q:  Do you have any good Kentucky stories?

A:  We’ve played Louisville several times over the years and that’s really crazy stuff. There was one time that our bus was parked, we had a night off in Louisville and that guy, what was his name? He was married to Jessica Simpson for a little while and he…. Nick Lachey? Was that his name? I can’t remember, but anyhow, he had a show doing whatever the hell he does at a bigger theatre. And we’re looking at all these teenage girls piling down the road, like “What the hell is going on?” and that guy was there. But of course they’re walking by pointing at our bus. It’s like “Hey, we can have some fun, they think we’re him.” Well I didn’t do anything, I thought ‘Well, I’m getting older, they’re young girls, this might really get me up [expletive] creek.’ But yeah, that was probably the funniest thing that’s ever happened in Kentucky.

Q:  What does 2012 have in store for the Drive-By Truckers?

A:  We’re always working on new stuff as much as we can. I’m trying to write in my off time. But this year we’re going to play, but we’re not going to do a lot of heavy touring. We’re trying to lay low. I’d like to get back in the studio this year, but I’m not really in any hurry to bust out another record. We kind of want to take it a little easy this year and be creative.

Q:  What can Nashville expect from the DBTs?

A:  Ah, I don’t know, two shows. Buy a t-shirt.