Randy Rogers is poised to be the next breakout star of Texas/Red Dirt music. With the songwriting chops of a young Steve Earle, the attitude of Waylon and the cool of Merle Haggard, Randy is charging fast down the road to major success. With a new album on the way in the coming months and a growing fan base, Randy reflects on coming so far so fast in this edition of 20 Questions. Among other things, Randy puts his P.R. degree to work on question 3, and my personal favorite is question 15. Enjoy!
1. What’s new in the world of RRB?
Just the new CD, that’s all I can think about. Recording in late February or early March with Radney Foster.
2. For those that don’t know, you graduated from SWT/TX State. What was your degree in and what was your favorite college memory?
I received a BA degree in Public Relations with a Business minor…hopefully I can put it to work in this crazy music business!
My favorite memory is all the nights on Crest Dr, just hanging out with an old guitar and a ton of friends. “Crest Fest” is one specific event that comes to mind. It was epic!
3. Word association…first thoughts that come to mind about the following people:
They’re all musicians…except Mattson.
4. Stories behind the following songs.
-“Like It Used to Be” – I wrote it on my buddies couch in Ft. Worth. I used to stay there for days after we played a gig in Ft. Worth. He never complained. I really didn’t have anywhere else to go. The girl I was dating lived in Dallas and so it was closer to her than San Marcos. I wrote it during those crazy few months after 9/11 when you didn’t know what was going to happen next. I just wanted to go out and forget about the world around us.
-“Can’t Slow Down” -I’d rather not until the new album comes out. Sorry.
-“Superman” -Same girl I wrote most of my songs on the live album about. She and I could talk for hours and it seemed like she wasn’t even there. I am over it now but for a while she had me by the juevos!
-“Disappear” – We all only want what we cant have. It’s the oldest lesson in the book of love.
-“One Thing I Know” – I was freaked about having to get a real job after college and the decision to play music full time. I had a panic attack.
-“Lost and Found” -18 years old. Townwood Apts. San Marcos, TX. I was in a failing relationship and she and I both knew it. When I showed it to her we were still together and we both cried.
5. In Tommy Jackson…is it true that you used the names “Pam” and “Tommy” and reference them having fun because of a certain Baywatch babe and her Motley ex-husband?
Maybe (laughs). I kind of realized what I had done after the fact. But maybe I did it on purpose without knowing I did it.
6. Is “Still Here” from the Live at Cheatham Street record a tongue in cheek song poking fun at other songs that name check and reference Lone Star Beer, Gruene Hall, Mexico et. al?
Yes and No. I believe I just wrote what I was living. And at that time we were getting drunk and floating the river and going to Gruene Hall all the time. Not my best song, but a true song. In retrospect, it probably is a statement on the cliche Texas songs.
7. Give us a favorite touring memory from the following towns/clubs?
-Stephenville -Sleeping on Jason Moore’s floor a thousand times.
-Ft. Worth – The first few shows at the Thirsty Armadillo when we didn’t know what we were doing.
-Houston – Friends. So many of my best friends live in Houston. Everytime we play there I get to hang with them.
-Corpus Christi – Naked Beach Volley Ball
-San Antonio – Gus and Woodrow’s when only Kirby Standley (Creager’s tour manager) and his girl Shannon were the only ones in the crowd.
-Gruene Hall – Virgin expierence – Ray Wylie opener. I played acoustic with my first guitar player Bret Noake and I was scared to death!
-Billy Bob’s – Virgin expierence – Ragweed opener. Sold out 6,000 people. It was pretty badass!
-Firehouse -Everytime is a good time.
8. Everybody has good and bad gigs, give us a quick story behind one great and one and one you’d like to forget.
Good one – October 3, 2000 my very first Cheatham St. gig. 400 people. 399 of them were friends.
Bad one – Gigs are like pizza, no matter how bad it’s still good.
9. Favorite late night fast food joint. What is it and what do you order?
Whataburger of course. Whatachicken…no mayo!
10. Top 5 influences on your music.
My dad, Steve Schick, The Beatles, Merle Haggard, and Waylon Jennings.
11. Did y’all ever name the new band van after the untimely death of the old suburban, “Peaches”?
Never agreed on a name. We figure she’ll earn it. A name is someting you can’t rush in to.
12. When y’all stop at a gas station or truck stop what are your must have items?
Boone’s Farm Wine. Cigs. Toys. Sunglasses. Swords.
13. Who’s your favorite Beatle?
14. You grew up a preacher’s son, what’s your favorite gospel hymn?
“Just As I Am”
15. Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera? And why?
Britney because years ago before she hit it big we met at church camp. We hit it off and remained “pen pals” for years. She still calls everynow and then.
16. I’ve known you for a long time now and I must say that the success hasn’t changed you, but when you go home to Cleburne, do people treat you differently than they did before your career started to take off?
Sure. They ask questions. They stare at me at lunch. In general all the assholes are nicer now that I might be able to sneak them into a show.
17. What artists have you not worked with that you’d like to?
Bruce Robison. Final answer.
18. Do you ever think you’ll replace the steel guitar in your band?
Fiddle suits me fine. Having a steel too could make things too muddy on stage.
19. Favorite George Strait Song.
“Fool Hearted Memory”
20. Compare/contrast the music you and your peers are making and the stuff that Nashville is pumping out.
There is good in both. Bad Nashville music and horrible Texas music. Great Texas music and good Nashville music.