He’s: 100% Texan, Hell Raisin’ Redneck, Nice Guy, One Helluva Musician/Songwriter. He’s Kevin Fowler. Fowler has been tearing up the highways and dancehalls for several years now starting with the release of his first record “One For the Road”. He followed that up with his his career defining single/album “Beer, Bait and Ammo”. His third album came to us in the form of “High on the Hog” and as he readies his first major label project to be released this summer, Fowler joins us for 20 Questions.
1. What’s new with the Kevin Fowler Band?
New single to be released in June. New cd on Equity Records to be released in August.
2. You have a very healthy and varied merchandise catalog. Do you have a hand in designing and creating all the items y’all have for sale?
Everybody in my camp contributes ideas for merch designs. We try to change our merchandise on a regular basis to keep it interesting. All of our merchandise can be purchased through: www.kfmerch.com.
3. Name association:
-Clay Blaker-Hot tubs and cold beer.
-Jason Boland-Drinkin’ buddy.
-Cory Morrow-Crazy S.O.B.
-Willie Nelson-Good smoke.
-Peter Dawson-The best voice in the state. I’ve always said that about Peter.
-Rusty Wier-A true original.
-Roger Creager-Going fishin’.
-Charlie Robison-Hell raiser.
-Jack Ingram-A really cool guy. I really dig Jack’s tunes.
4. You write and play a lot of songs that are great to dance to. Are you a good dancer?
I’m a horrible dancer. People find it hard to believe that I spend so much time in dancehalls and can’t dance very well.
5. You covered Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” on your last album, “High on the Hog”. Why didn’t you just go all out and do “Bohemian Rhapsody”?
We’re not that good of musicians and I can’t sing that well. That’s an incredible song.
6. A few years ago you played lead guitar during your shows. You have since added a guitarist so all the burden’s not on you anymore. Do you miss being the lone guitar on stage? Also, how long have you been playing? And what kind of rig do you use onstage?
I’ve found myself wearing too many hats on stage in the past. So, we’ve added a lead guitarist. I love playing guitar. I was originally just a guitar player.
I’ve been playing guitar for about 13 years. I don’t have the time to dedicate to it anymore so I just let somebody else do it. I use Tom Anderson guitars and Matchless and Sewell Amps.
7. Stories behind the following songs:
-Not Loving Anymore-I got burned by a girl and wrote a song about it.
-Beer, Bait & Ammo-It all started with a store I saw out in the Texas hill country.
-Lord Loves a Drinkin’ Man-It’s just the way I feel about drinkin’ and what I think about people who try to tell others how to live their lives.
-100% Texan-A song about all the things I love about Texas. And about the pride in being from Texas.
-High on the Hog-A song about that feeling of being in love. Blah, blah, blah.
-Speak of the Devil-An ex-girlfriend inspired this one. No names mentioned.
-Drinkin’ Days-Turning over a new leaf and changing your ways.
-J.O.B.-An autobiographical song about my hate of having an hourly job. I never was a very good employee.
-All the Tequila in Tijuana-Tryin’ to drink a women off your mind.
8. I read an article somewhere that called Cory Morrow the Hugh Hefner of the Hill Country. What does that make you?
Clay Blaker was the original “Hugh Hefner of the Hill Country”. When Clay moved to Panama, Cory took the title and ran with it. I think I would like to be the “Hank Williams of the Hill Country”.
9. From time to time, a few “naughty” girls hop onstage with you and the band. I seem to remember at Willie’s Day Off (the show you reference on Cory’s dvd) things getting a little wild. Has there ever been a time when things got beyond your control onstage?
In the early days things used to get really crazy from time to time. I’ve gotten better at controlling the stage. But I could tell you some wild stories. Nothing we’d want to print!!!
10. Favorite touring memory from the following towns/clubs:
-Houston-Fall Fandango at The Woodlands.
-Huntsville-Getting’ crazy at the Jolly Fox.
-Austin-Playing the Backyard last summer with Pat Green. We had a blast. Midnight Rodeo is also a good place to get stupid.
New Braunfels-Gruene Hall and RiverRoad Icehouse are both great places to play. Selling out Gruene Hall for the first time was a great milestone.
-Ft. Worth-Recording our “Live at Billy Bobs” record was a great time. Jason Boland and I recorded both of our records on the same night. It was a blast.
-San Angelo-Playing Blaines Picnic last year was nuts. I can’t remember ever hangin’ with Blaine and not having a great time.
-Waco-This year’s “Zach and Jim’s Party” thrown by WACO 100 was huge. 6,000 rowdy drunks in one building. Fun for the whole family.
-Corpus Christi-This year we’re finally playing Robert Earl Keen’s Uprising in Corpus. I’m really looking forward to that show.
-Billy Bob’s-Best honky tonk on the planet.
-Blaine’s-Best place to get a really bad hang over.
-River Road Icehouse-Best place to see a summertime show because all the girls are wearing bikinis. Ya gotta love it.
11. You have several sponsorships. What’s one thing you’d like to endorse that you don’t already?
We’re already sponsored by Dodge and Budweiser. I don’t know what else we could ask for.
12. You were in Dangerous Toys at the peak of the “hair-metal” scene. What are your top five favorite hair metal bands?
Guns and Roses; Cinderella; Spinal Tap; Dio; Aerosmith, I don’t know I would classify them as hair metal, but they rock.
13. Related to that last question, the rise of the L.A. hair metal scene of the 80’s is very similar to the rise of Texas music in the late 90’s. What, if any, similarities do you see in the two?
Anytime a scene is hot you’ll have a millions bands trying to copy whoever is hot at the time. The ones that do really well are the ones that create their own sound and not follow the pack.
14. Is it really a good idea to be up early in the morning with a loaded shotgun, a bottle of booze and a 12 pack of beer? I mean that’s how I go to work every morning but I didn’t know if that was normal for everyone else.
Nothin’ says redneck like liquor and firearms.
15. Who would be your ideal co-writing partner? And your ideal duet partner?
I’d love to write with Merle Haggard someday. I did a duet with Mark Chesnutt on my new record. It turned out really cool. I’m a big Chesnutt fan.
16. Where would you like your career to be in 20 years?
I like to still be touring but not as much. I’d like to have more time to write songs. I’d love to slow down someday and just write for a while.
17. There is a lot wrong with mainstream country music right now. I think you getting a major label record out is a start, but how would you fix country music?
I believe labels need to give the artist total artistic control over their records. When you have the same group of producers, songwriters and musicians on every record you end up with a bunch of “cookie cutter” sounding crap. That’s the reason I went with Equity Records. They understand this. I call the shots on my records, not some bonehead that knows nothing about my music.
18. Rapid fire:
-David Lee Roth or Sammy Haggar-David Lee Roth
-Neil Young or Neil Diamond-Neil Young
-Gruene Hall or The Broken Spoke-It’s a tie.
-6th Street or Bourbon Street-Bourbon Street
-Austin Traffic or Houston Traffic-They both suck.
-Hank Williams Sr or Hank Williams Jr or Hank Williams III -Bocephus
19. Favorite George Strait song.
“Right or Wrong”. It’s actually a Bob Wills song but I love George’s version.
20. Compare/contrast the grassroots stuff you and your peers are making here in Texas with the stuff mainstream artists are making.
I think we’re very lucky as Texas artist to be able to create original music without anybody looking over our shoulder. That’s the only way that new and original sounding music will ever be born. If you think about it, most new revolutions in country music have always started in Texas. Whether it’s the Texas Swing movement or the Outlaw movement. Texas is the only place where country artists are allowed to be different and try something new. Originality is definitely not encouraged in Nashville. It’s all about following trends. You don’t become a Willie, Merle, or a Waylon by following the pack.