Rockers “Drive-By Truckers” will bring a little of the South to the West when they play at the Rialto Theatre next week.
For those unfamiliar with the Athens, Ga., band’s sound, it has been described as a blend of rock ‘n’ roll, country, bluegrass and even incorporates gothic tones and melodies. Critics have likened the group to Southern rock legend Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Rolling Stones.
DBT consists of Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, Shonna Tucker, John Neff and Brad Morgan. Adding to the band’s distinctive sound is the fact that Hood, Cooley and Tucker all handle lead vocals in various songs.
In an e-mail interview lead vocalist Hood discusses the group’s latest CD, their secret to success and their special connection to the Ronstadt family.
Q. The band has had a decent shelf life as far as bands go. What is your secret to your longevity and keeping the fire stoked?
A: Being true to ourselves and being true to the songs. No egos and not being afraid to piss people off and say “no” from time to time.
What are the biggest differences, musically speaking, from your first full length album, “Gangsta Billy” to your latest, “Brighter Than Creations Dark”?
Twelve years of changing, growing and playing about 1,200 shows. I’m proud of all of our albums but the new one is by far our favorite.
Lyrics to some of the songs, such as “A World of Hurt” from 2006′s “Blessing and a Curse” and “The Three Great Alabama Icons” from “Southern Rock Opera” are spoken as opposed to sung. Are they performed that way because it feels more powerful or is it done because the song just calls for it?
It’s always an attempt to serve the song. If I could rap, I would have rapped “Three Great Alabama” icons, but I can’t. Or maybe I just rap really slow. The words to those two songs might sound stupid if sung.
What do you guys miss from the early days of the band?
Nothing. This is by far the best the band has ever been and the best time we’ve ever had. I’m proud of the early days as that was what we had to do to get where we are today, but no looking back.
How do you guys feel about the state of the music industry?
I think we’re outliving it as I see it crashing and burning all around us, but we’re having the best year of our lives. The price of diesel is killing us, though.
When you guys come to Tucson, what are your likes and dislikes about the town?
Really great Mexican food, and vibe are on the plus side. I don’t really have any negatives from where we’ve been. Isn’t Calexico based there? I love them. Linda Ronstadt was friends with my mom when I was a little boy and (she) used to come over to our house when she was down South touring. We actually first demoed songs for what became “Decoration Day” on an off-day in Tucson back in early 2002.
IF YOU GO
What: Drive-By Truckers with Dead Confederate in concert
When: Doors open at 7 p.m. June 19, show slated to begin at 8.
Where: Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St.
Price: general admission $17 in advance, $19 day of show
Info: 740-1000, www.rialtotheatre.com.