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Gabbin' with the Southern Rock Allstars
By Ben Ohmart
(more articles from this author)
2001-10-19
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Here I am, intimidated by what the hell I can I ask legends like Jay Johnson (The Rossington Band), Dave Hlubek (Molly Hatchet), Jakson Spires (Blackfoot), and Charles Hart (Lynyrd Skynyrd engineer) who make up the Southern Rock Allstars. Here's what I managed:

[Ben Ohmart] Collectively, you guys bring decades worth of skill and hits to the lineup. How do you manage it? How do you keep out of each other's hair and guitar strings?

Jay Johnson We don't get in each other's hair much at all. Strange as it may seem, we all get along really well. We're not like many of our contemporaries out there, who are in bands yet can't stand each other. We actually like hanging out together, even after all this time. That doesn't mean we never bitch at each other though! Case in point: DAVE HLUBEK!! By the way, it's pronounced "LOOBEK", it rhymes with "loose deck." As in "synonymous with."

Jakson Spires Where there's a will, there's a Dave. And with his many personalities!

Charles Hart We just choose to pick on Dave, then everyone's happy.

Dave Hlubek I like to think of myself as an 89% kinda guy. 2% perfection, 1% luck and the rest, clerical errors.

[Ben Ohmart] With the new cd out, do you see yourselves as living a long-wanted dream? How long have you guys wanted to work together?

Jay Johnson I don't think that any of us really thought much about wanting to work with each other. I mean it just happened. Jakson and Dave paired up, then I jumped on the train. We all knew each other and played on the same stages while all in different bands but we really didn't set out to come together. We just fell in like osmosis. I guess the only person we actually planned on getting in the group was Charles.

Jakson Spires We've known each other for so long it just came naturally. We actually enjoy playing. If we were only in it for the money we'd have quit years ago.

Dave Hlubek Well my dream is to get up in the morning without having drool all over my face and fumbling around for my Geritol and my AARP card.

Charles Hart Jay and myself have been playing together for 13 years so that dream is shot. A lot of my friends can't believe I'm playing in a band with Dave Hlubek. They're all big fans of his. Personally I always wanted to be the 5th member of Blackfoot so playing with Jakson is a dream come true. Collectively making this new CD and touring is what it's all about for me.

[Ben Ohmart] Because of the new stuff, and all the old classics you bring to the tour, it must be quite a job figuring what to leave out of the set. Do y'all have favorites you like to play?

Jay Johnson Yeah! Side one of KISS: ALIVE and side two of RUSH: HEMISPHERES!!! Oh shit--I guess you mean the stuff in OUR set, huh??

Jakson Spires We change the set around so much it's hard to say.

Dave Hlubek As for me, I'm playing whatever Jay calls out and I hope that I can stumble though it. All in all it's a most enjoyable evening. I like walking off the stage, wiping the sweat from my brow, scratching my crotch and asking myself "what the fuck was THAT???"

Charles Hart We all have favorites but we don't play any of mine.

[Ben Ohmart] You're doing a lot of touring. But what are you guys doing on your time off?

Jay Johnson Dave watches TV.

Jakson Spires Writing songs, working on the new stuff, pretty much.

Dave Hlubek (as Peter Sellers) I like to watch TV.

Charles Hart writing songs, doing genealogy work, just goofing off.

[Ben Ohmart] You MUST by now have some good backstage stories to tell. Come on. Out with 'em.

Jay Johnson We dragged Dave thru the lobby of a hotel naked on a luggage cart one day after he spent eight hours with his derriere stuck in a toilet seat. That good enough for ya??? If not, it gets better.

Jakson Spires His legs were numb from lack of circulation. And one must not forget the time he knocked himself out with his own stun gun.

Dave Hlubek It's time for Fractured Fairy Tales. Once upon a time there was a moron named Dave. It started when his mother laid eyes on him, her firstborn, and said "Take that ugly fucking baby back and get MY baby! There's been a mistake made!" Right after that, the condom was invented.

Charles Hart There's just TOO MANY Dave stories to tell.

[Ben Ohmart] I notice you're on the Thin Lizzy tribute cd. In 20 years, what do you expect to show up on the Southern Rock Allstars tribute cd?

Jay Johnson Limp Bizkit doing "Ship of Tears" or better yet, P Diddy covering "Better Off Alone." That would really suck! HEEHEEHEEHEE

Jakson Spires Alien Ant Farm doing "See You in Your Dreams."

Dave Hlubek Probably the fifteenth release of "Flirtin' With Disaster" revisited, wondering just how many compilations can you put that song on.

Charles Hart "Stump Jumping" done by Culture Club

[Ben Ohmart] Are you beyond the need to succeed? What's the aim of the music?

Jay Johnson If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking 'till you do succeed. Curly Howard, 1942.

Jakson Spires We all want to succeed in what we love to do and this is what we do for a living. We all have families though we hardly get to see 'em.

Dave Hlubek (as Steve Martin) (slowly) It was never easy for me---remember how I wanted that matching set of zebra striped three-legged chairs with the interwoven bidet jets and pulsating booty cushion?

Charles Hart Not me!! Succeeding is why you try. The aim of the music is to make people happy and to make ourselves happy

[Ben Ohmart] You're also on mp3.com and there are downloads on your own website. How has the internet helped in spreading the word about the new band?

Jay Johnson Lots--our website has made the impossible possible. Thanks to MIS for all of their hard work!

Jakson Spires It's helped us do what WE want to do, not what a record company wants us to do. To be honest, we all love the success we had in our previous bands, but we still have to work for a living, and for some reason the people from our old record companies don't, so I guess you see where I'm coming from.

Dave Hlubek I agree with Jak on that!

Charles Hart Without the internet independent acts would be dead in the water. BTW, our website is www.southernrock.com

[Ben Ohmart] Are there others you'd like to induct into the ranks, or are you pretty satisfied with the group as is? Just dreamin' a second, who would you Love to join?

Jay Johnson Mike Estes is the George Jones of SRA......always will be.

Jakson Spires Ditto. Nothing I can add to that!! Case in point, September 30th, 2001, Red Cross Benefit, Little Sands, Tennessee!!

Dave Hlubek Absolutely! The Wandering Minstrel!

Charles Hart (as Mike Estes) Well, dang, Ah dawn't rahtly know!

[Ben Ohmart] What's your musical philosophy? Just what IS southern rock?

Jay Johnson A common question, so here's my generic response: Southern Rock is well-played music served with a side of grits & corned beef hash, washed down with a double shot of Gentleman Jack, chased with a bag of gummy worms.

Jakson Spires Jeez, I dunno what it is. I never started out to write southern rock, but everybody says that's what it is.

Dave Hlubek My philosophy on it is this question: Where's the volume knob???

Charles Hart It's MUSIC!!!! Why does it have to have a label? Take it, put it in a blender, throw in a confederate flag, and there ya go.

[Ben Ohmart] What are your goals as a band? Is everyone wanting to go in the same direction?

Jay Johnson Any way other than down works for me.

Jakson Spires To take my Norelco to all the unmown lands.

Dave Hlubek I wanna go anywhere where there's no load restrictions.

Charles Hart Yeah! To the gig! Goals, to stay alive, to make money, music.

[Ben Ohmart] Where can we catch the next concert?

Jay Johnson I don't know--check the website. They always know before I do and Dave only finds out two hours after we get there!

Jakson Spires I however know everything.

Dave Hlubek Please tell me where we're playing. I'll meet ya there two hours after the show.

Jay Johnson He'll be at the gym standing next to the dumbbells. You'll know him, he'll be wearing a hat.

Charles Hart Check the website! The website knows all!

[Ben Ohmart] Anything else you wanna add?

Jay Johnson OOOOOOH yeah. You folks ever seen Dave eat an ice cream cone?? Nothing like it!! Absolutely RIVETING!!! Primo entertainment! Totally titillating!

Jakson Spires Dave has worked himself into a well-oiled moneymaking machine. Now if we can only get him away from the television.

Dave Hlubek I'm hoping that my midterm television ratings boost my I.Q. We can only hope!

Charles Hart Come see us play! Four incredible dancing bears wandering aimlessly through YOUR town, SOON!

Our next CD "Danger Road" will be out soon! It's going to be great!

www.southernrock.com

Related MusicDish e-Journal Articles:
» Southern Rock Allstars - Crazy Again (2001-09-25)


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