Despite its ever-growing popularity in the mainstream, the integrity of country music has taken a nosedive over the past two decades. The genre has seemingly left Nashville in favor of Margaritaville and no song seems complete without a reference to Jesus, dirt roads and a pickup truck/sexy green tractor.
This is what sets Rosco Bandana apart. In an industry where originality and uniqueness have become scarce, this seven-piece Gulfport, Miss., band has a created its own brand of country music that borrows from a wide variety of genres.
The band rolled into Gypsy Sally's in Washington, D.C., Thursday evening. Before taking the stage, Patrick Mooney, Jackson Weldon, Josh Smith and Barry Pribyl Jr. took a few minutes to talk about the band, its influences and how they feel about country music.
Time To Begin turned one year old this month. How has the band grown since then?
Jackson: We’ve gotten a lot tighter. We’re more comfortable playing together on stage. I think we’re able to communicate non-verbally a lot better than when we first started.
How long have you guys been playing together?
Patrick: Since the record came out. We were in the studio around April of last year, the band existed before then, but we didn’t really have anything recorded.
Are you working on a new record?
Patrick: There’s going to be a couple of tracks that come out after the new year.
The songs on Time To Begin reach such a wide variety of people, is that something you guys intended?
Josh: It’s really jsut the identity of the band, I feel like. Our live show—I think when you hear some of the new material tonight—you’ll see that we all come from different musical backgrounds, and you can hear it when we’re on stage. It’s like a melting pot.
Jackson: We all have our tastes and it is very much broad in what we all like. We all share some core music though.
I've read some interviews where you guys cite a lot of indie bands as influences. That's rare for a country band.
Patrick: I mean, we’re indie, but we are mainstream too. Our interests are as varied as the states we’ve traveled in. Everybody listens to just about everything.
So, whats your take on the mainstream country scene?
Patrick: Man… They need to go back to about 1991 and leave it right there. There’s some good stuff coming out but…
Jackson: I could go back even further.
Patrick: Yeah, but there’s some really great guys out there. Dierks Bentley for sure, he’s got some good country music under his belt. Joe Nichols, he’s another good one. I really like where Jason Aldean is taking it too, like that heavy rock and roll with the country sound. Mainstream isn’t all lost, it’s still hanging on for sure.
So you guys would be down to do a song with Nelly and Ludacris?
Patrick: Any day of the week.
How long have you guys beens on the road?
Patrick: We started touring late September of last year. We’ve had some time home, but we’ve been out a lot.
Any good war stories?
Patrick: Tons, yeah. In Atlanta, parking with a trailer can be tricky, in residential neighborhoods.
Jackson: We almost had a wheel fall completely off of the trailer.
Patrick: Yeah, a few blowouts. Typical stuff, we haven’t experienced any true wildness.
You guys are touring with .fun next month. How do you feel about leaving the club circuit for the big stages?
Patrick: It’s going to be rewarding. Very rewarding. We get to be in front of big crowds and I know they’re going to love it.
Jackson: Yeah, we are super grateful for the opportunity.
Josh: It’s awesome. We love playing for big crowds and having an opportunity to have a huge audience feed its energy to us.
Patrick: When the lights go down and the voices come up, it’s going to be amazing. I’ve been on the other side a whole lot, but I’m ready to be the one on stage.