“We are playing some of our best concerts of all time”

Back on the road, Drive-By Truckers will return to Mendizabala on June 17 to be one of the protagonists of the second day of Azkena Rock

Victory – One of the great exclusives that the Azkena Rock Festival is going to have in this edition of its twentieth anniversary is the return of Drive-By Truckers. With more than a quarter of a century of experience and a new album in sight, the North Americans return to Mendizabal, “a place where I can’t wait any longer to play again”, according to Patterson Hood.

In 2020, Drive By-Truckers participated in the ‘online’ edition of the Azkena Rock Festival. How have you experienced this difficult time for everyone?

“I’ve done my best to keep my head above water. Not always successful, but I guess our family has survived just fine. I would have loved to have written more during lockdown, but I spent a lot of time mentally in a pretty bad place. Towards the end though, the floodgates opened and I wrote most of my songs for our new album, Welcome 2 Club XIII. The band has definitely come back strong and right now we are playing some of our best shows of all time.

In early 2020 ‘The Unraveling’ was published. Do you have the feeling that it is a lost album, that it has not been able to have the tour it deserved due to health circumstances?

–To a certain extent, I consider it a bit like a lost album. We played some songs from it live, but we were never able to go out and work it as a new album when it came out. And when we got back to work, we had a new album in the works and wanted to move forward instead of spending too much time looking back.

They are immersed again in a long tour. For a band that likes live so much, how is it being to recover sensations?

–We all live to play our live shows and as I said before, the current shows are being some of the best we’ve played in our 26+ years together. I think the time away from the stage really made us focus our energies in a very productive way.

Fortunately, we have been able to see them at the Azkena Rock Festival before. Surely they do not remember that first performance in 2005 in full sun. Or if?

“In fact, I remember that day very vividly. We hung out with Wilco all day and then saw them play a very momentous concert. Later I got drunk and saw Deep Purple. It was a great moment. I can’t wait to play there again.

His new album will be released on June 3. What can you tell about ‘Wellcome 2 Club XIII’?

–It is the most personal album we have done since Decoration Day, in 2003. It’s a look back at earlier times in our lives, at those crazy days of youth and the things you do that make you feel alive, but can also kill you, if you’re not careful. And often we didn’t. But, it’s also a forward-looking record, as we’re all parents and a lot of our kids are now that exact age and dealing with some of those same things. You want them to spread their wings and fly, but you also want them to survive and live to tell the tale. All of that is definitely a recurring theme on the album. In addition, the album deals with some of the losses that occurred during the years of the pandemic. At the same time, it’s rock and roll and it’s a cathartic record and sometimes also fun. I am very proud of this record.

It is already the album number 14. How do you not repeat yourself but not lose the essence of the band after so many albums?

I guess it’s done by always pushing forward and, above all, resisting the temptation to spend too much time looking back as a band. I’m proud of what we’ve done, but I’m even more proud of what we’re doing now. This is literally my favorite moment of all time in this band.

Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the birth of the band. What is the best of everything you have experienced in this time?

–Making this album was a really incredible experience. We had been locked up for a year and a half and we had not even been able to see each other or be in the same room. We got together in the studio for three days to jam and demo our new songs and ended up making the album in three and a half days without stopping. Most of the songs are takes one or two, and the joy in the performances really offsets the sometimes dark content of some of the songs in a way that I’m really proud of.

For another 25 years?

-Well, I hope I’m the one who can have another 25 years. We will have to see. I want to play in this band as long as we can do it at the level it requires. Until now we all have our health and we can do the show the way it has to be done.

Music has changed a lot in this time. Do you think that young people today are attracted to rock, that rock can appeal to the new generations?

–I know that rock and roll is not necessarily in the spirit of our culture as it was in the 50s, 60s and 70s (or even in the 80s), but there are still people who fall in love with it and live with it as a band sound of their lives. I know we have one of the best rock and roll bands on the planet and I agree with our place in the grand design of it all. I know it keeps me alive and well, and we have a large and loyal fan base that still wants to hear what we do next. I can’t complain about that.

Also today music depends a lot on social networks and these things. How are they doing in this field? Wasn’t everything easier before?

-I see all that as part of the necessary evil that is needed to continue advancing these days. I try not to take all of that too seriously other than doing what I have to do to keep moving my band forward in the world of 2022 and beyond. he

“I remember the first time we went to Azkena, all day with Wilco. Then I got drunk and saw Deep Purple”

“Our new album is a look back at earlier times in our lives, at those crazy days of youth”

“I know that rock is not in the spirit of our culture like it used to be, but there are still people who fall in love with it”

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“We are playing some of our best concerts of all time”


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