Saturday, August 13, 2011

10 Questions with Brian Cagle (of Coyote Teeth and Devil Christ)

Brian Cagle is a singer, songwriter, drummer extraordinaire who is the voice behind Coyote Teeth and the beat behind Devil Christ. 

This interview was conducted via email August 11-13, 2011.

For more information on Coyote Teeth check out their Facebook, MySpace, ReverbNation, and SoundClick pages.  For more information about Devil Christ check out their Facebook and ReverbNation pages.  And for more information on The Coyote Den check out their official blog.

Dave:  When did you first start playing and writing music?  How many different instruments can you play? 

Brian Cagle:  I started playing guitar when I was 7 or 8. I began to focus on writing in my 8th grade creative writing class. I play guitar, bass, drums.

Dave:  You are currently playing in Coyote Teeth and Devil Christ.  What’s the story behind these bands?  How would you describe the music of each to those who are new to your work? 

Brian:  Coyote Teeth is my singer songwriter project. I spent a few years isolating, focused on writing songs based on my perception of things going on around me in Enid, OK and other places I have lived. Internal conflicts, and reactions personally, to the world around me. I also wanted to make every note I strummed count. I'll quote Chris Steffen from the Norman Weekender: "The songs are anthemetic" That's what I hope to accomplish.

Devil Christ is the product of my philosophy on playing. Shilo Brown a.k.a. Bloody Ol Mule was warming up at one of my house shows in Enid, and I simply asked, "Can I jump on the drums?" "Jump on em" was Shilo's reaction. I am always willing to jump on a kit, and go to work. My first love was Blues, and Shilo was slamming these blues riffs out. I fell in line with what he was doing, and we have been pouring our hearts into it every since. This project is fueled by our passion for getting people to move. Recreating the whole Juke Joint atmosphere every time we fire up our set. Shilo plays two roles with me. First he is my peer, but much of the time he can be the teacher.

Dave:  As a musician, is it challenging playing in two different bands, playing different instrument? 

Brian:  I wouldn't say it's challenging. I'm in a good place when I play for people. I'm the type of musician that feels playing keeps me alive. I love every minute of it. That way I never get bored, or burned out. It also makes the spectrum that I can create in wider.

Dave:  What are your favorite places to play and favorite bands/artists to play with? 

Brian:  Hands down my favorite place to play has been Weber's Deck in French Lake, Minnesota. Casey Weber is the best promoter/organizer I have ever worked with. Casey is dedicated to the musician first. The venue is family & community friendly, and Casey stretches beyond hospitality when it comes to traveling musicians. Most places are concerned with their income. Casey is concerned with spreading the love & appreciation of good, true music.  Clarksdale, Mississippi is a good time as well. The New Roxy and the Juke Festival down there is a special experience. I'm about to try out the Muddy Roots festival in Cookeville, Tenn. which is heavily promoted by Hillgrass Bluebilly, and many of their artists. I believe several acts from Farmaggedon Records, including The Calamity Cubes will be there as well.

My favorite artists I like to play with, are Shilo Brown, and artists I meet traveling. I met Ryan Russel in Minnesota, and got to jump in on the drums with him. The Boomswagglers are a blast to play and hang out with. Willy Tea Taylor is a walking good time. The Good Luck Thrift Store is a blast to play with- and their knowledge of 80's metal band trivia is intimidating. Between them & Shilo Brown, I know more about 80's hair metal now than I care to admit.

Dave:  As a songwriter do you have any type of songwriting process?  What inspirers you to write? 

Brian:  I write many of my songs in the car or van. I get a big amount of windshield time, so much of it happens there. Otherwise it pops in my head, and I always keep paper handy.

Dave:  Devil Christ just released their debut.  What are your future plans for recording/releasing material with Coyote Teeth?  Are there any record labels that you’d like to work with (either band)? 

Brian:  I am in the process this weekend of recording the next Coyote Teeth album. I am taking a D.I.Y. approach and recording it under Coyote Den Records. I'm keeping options open on labels. You never know when an opportunity will arise.

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in Oklahoma?

Brian:  I'd rather travel.

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question.  What are your top five favorite bands/musical artists, albums, movies, TV shows, books/authors? 

Brian:  -Jimi Hendrix, Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley, The Band, The Kinks
Golden Road
, Siamese Dream, Stand by Your Van, From a Basement on a Hill, Electric Ladyland
-Dune, Altered States, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Full Metal Jacket, The Boondock Saints
-WWII in HD, Sealab 2021, Squidbillies, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken
-Das Energi, Be Here Now, Ham on Rye, The Stranger, Lord of the Flies

Dave:  What’s next for you?

Brian:  Touring, Recording, Merch. Writing, networking, meeting new friends

Dave:  Any final thoughts?

Brian:  Be and appreciate who you are. If you only have one life, make the best of it. Do what you do for the right reasons.

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