When I first started this feature five years ago, Cody Canada and the entire Ragweed crew were some of the first people I wanted to participate. Well, it took five years and I finally nailed Cody down for a few minutes to work his way through our 20 Questions. At times his answers are brief, many times they are humorous, yet they are always thoughtful. I think this interview showcases exactly what I’d hoped this series would. I try to present candid questions that the artists don’t hear with every radio show or newspaper article. These interviews are to be true snapshots of an artist’s personality. Cody’s 20 Questions, more than any other in our history captures his personality in great detail without mincing words. Enjoy.
1. What’s on the horizon for Cross Canadian Ragweed in 2009? New record? Special tour?
No special tour to speak of, but we do have a lot of dates that are on the books, and we look forward to another great year out on the road. Also, we have a new record in the works right now…so stay tuned!
2. More than other bands, y’all seem to be a band of brothers. By all accounts, we will never see you in a Cross Canadian Ragweed: Some Kind of Monster type of documentary. With that in mind, what do you admire most about each of the other guys in the band?
I like Randy’s eyes, Plato’s butt and Grady’s guitar. (laughs)
3. Name association:
-Ryan Bingham – Proud.
-Mike McClure – Brother and mentor.
-Dierks Bentley -Brother.
-Randy Rogers -Little buddy.
-Doug Moreland – Funny bastard.
-Jason Boland -Brother.
-Brandon Jenkins -Tattooed, white-trash, Hill Country, first-class everything.
-Wade Bowen -Brother-in-law and driver of the get away car!
4. You write the majority of the songs for the band, yet the other guys contribute a great deal and you still include a few select covers on the albums. What is your process like when putting together a record? What do you look for in a song to measure it good enough for inclusion on an album, be it from your pen or someone else’s?
Nothing grand. If we love it, it’s on the record. Simple as that.
5. On the Garage album, you wrote an amazing tune, “Dimebag”
that detailed sort of how everyone was feeling after Darrell Abbot’s terrible murder. Has Vinnie Paul or anyone from the Pantera reached out to you in the aftermath of that song?
Yeah! Vinnie played drums on that song live. He signed my Dimebag guitar and I retired it.
6. Young bands are constantly coming out and trying to rip off your sound and style. Does that offend or flatter you?
It’s definitely flattering.
7. Favorite touring memory of the following towns:
-Houston – Firehouse.
-Austin -I don’t remember much…oh yeah, it was Lucy’s fault. (laughs)
-Dallas -House of Blues on New Years Eve.
-Lubbock – Blue Light back in the day.
-College Station -The Tap days.
-Stillwater -Wormy Dog Saloon in the early days.
-Oklahoma City -Wormy Dog Saloon now.
-Tulsa -Cain’s, in the rain.
-Baton Rouge -I told the crowd to kick a guy’s ass because he was talking shit…and they did. (laughs)
8. What is the hardest thing about being the lead singer and lead guitar player? And, the coolest thing?
The answer to both is I stay busy onstage!
9. So much lore and legend has sprung from the days at the infamous “Yellow House”. When y’all were first living at the Yellow House and playing the Wormy Dog, did you ever imagine what would grow out of there? Kids just starting out now look at that place like a Grand Ol’ Opry of Red Dirt.
Mushrooms grew there, I’m not sure about the other things that grew out of there. (laughs)
10. Stories behind the following songs you’ve written or chosen to cover:
-Fightin’ For -Meaningless feuds in a relationship.
-Record Exec -Pretty straight forward message here.
-Alabama -A road trip a long time ago.
-Lonely Girl -Wrote this for my sister, Shelby.
-I Believe You -Great message from Todd Snider.
-17 -Hanging around the old hometown.
-Anywhere But Here -Same thing as 17, just a different perspective.
-Constantly -A simple little love song.
-42 Miles -Just that, 42 miles from where I needed to be.
11. If you could create a musical Mount Rushmore, who would you put on it, and why?
Willie, Merle, Bruce Willis and Peter Griffin
12. With so much good and bad coming from both the Texas/Red Dirt scene and the mainstream Nashville scene, what is your personal barometer for weeding out the bullshit music and searching for the real and true artists? What are you listening to these days that you are really digging?
I listen to what my friends say is cool and then I judge it for myself. Right now, I’ve been listening to Jakob Dylan’s new record nonstop!
13. Tell me your favorite thing about the style each of the following guitar players:
-Gary Wooten -Great tone.
-Geoff Hill -Best riffs in the scene.
-Matt Powell -Soul with a capital S.
-Rodney Pyeatt -Fast as f*ck!
14. Related to that question, how many guitars do you own? What is your stage rig comprised of these days?
I probably own about 30. Right now onstage, I’m using I-91 VOX AC/30 and I-02 VOX AC/30.
15. You’re based out of New Braunfels, as are many acts. What makes New Braunfels work for you?
It’s a river town and river people are one in a million.
16. You’ve been playing or attending Larry Joe Taylor’s Music Festival for a long time. Can you describe what you dig the most about that particular music festival? And, what’s the most memorable moment you’ve had or witnessed there?
It’s just old friends there and Larry Joe’s festival kicks ass! I saw a 75 year old man make out with an 18 year old girl…you don’t see that other places(laughs).
17. Your musical style really combines elements of rock and country better than most. You are able to incorporate different flavors of both, be it grunge with honky-tonk or blues with folk. To what do you attribute your eclectic influence and the impact it has had on your own music?
Thanks for the compliment. I grew up with all kinds of great music. Old country, British rock, Southern rock, Seattle rock. I think it just all sort of naturally comes out in our songs.
18. Rapid fire:
-Favorite Skynyrd song? “Needle and the Spoon”
-Favorite state to tour in outside of TX and OK? California
-Colt 45 or Mad Dog? Colt 45 bitch! (laughs)
-Garth or Trisha? Neither!
-Zeppelin or Sabbath? Zeppelin
19. Favorite George Strait song and why?
“Marina Del Ray” because it kicks some serious ass.
20. You’ve had your fair share of battling suits in Nashville. What do you think are the key ingredients they don’t sometimes see that separates your music from that of the mainstream?
The most simple answer I can give is that we mean it. We know what we stand for, and stand for it.