This amazing interview was done with Tank, the lead singer and guitarist from Lucky Bullets right after their gig in Finland. Very seldom you can get out from anyone such honest and inspiring text. If you have change to catch these guys at Rockabilly Rave or any other place I highly recommend to do it. It will change your life! If not, get their new record "Dead Man's Shoes" and play it real loud. It will change your neighbors :)
with lot's of rockin'
1) I know The Lucky Bullets come from Norway. Who are the Lucky Bullets and what do they bring to the band?
Jimmy Dapper (Drums, backing vocals) does most of the graphic layouts, web etc apart from banging his drum and smoking his pipe.
Butch Comet (Lead Guitar, Backing vocals) puts the B in bullets with his lead guitar magic. Provides the band with excellent food on tour, been the master chef that he is.
Ace Dynamite (Bass, Leading vocals) is the doghouse maestro, takes bands photos. Shares from his endless knowledge of old school music.
Tank Harvey (Vocals and rhythm guitar) writes most of the music. He does some graphics too and provides energy (good and bad). Holds stuff together when he’s not in trouble.
2) How did it all started?
We have played together 7 years now and started out as a trio. Butch (guitarist) joined 2009. I met Ace at art-college in England. He was a photography student and took some pictures of me at front of an old gas-station. We became good friends and soon started jamming on some guitars that lied around my house. We moved to Oslo a few years later and met up with Dapper (drums). He was hanging out at a cocktail bar where I used to work. Over too many "Negronis" Dapper revealed that he was a drummer and a week later the trio did their first TV appearance.
3) Where do you get your inspirations and ideas for music, videos and other material the band produces?
I guess we are a bunch of lively, dapper, creative, artyfarty lads. But not as strange as we come across when you get to know us. Being that we actually met trough a common interest in art and design, I guess we have a lot of other interest apart from the music in general.
When it comes to musical interest we are into lot of stuff. But it tends to be old music in general that we discuss among us, that fuels us, inspire us. It could also be movies, books or a piece of writing - new and old. But also the moves etc. that we show an interest to tends to have references, at least to something old, from another time. Or something classic.
Clothes, furniture and decoration matter a great deal to us as well. We admit it. We can sit around the rehearsal studio talking about kitchen designs, and flower arrangements…. At the same time we chase skirts (don´t tell our wives), drive big badass American cars and watch sports (boxing) on telly while smoking our pipes.
4) From where does the band get the energy onstage? Booze, energy drinks, joy of playing, something else?
With a ADHD diagnoses (seriously) on yours truly, the singer. The rest of the cats are just stoked by standing on the stage performing. Joy of playing I guess!
We try to go easy on the booze (before) we play. After having learned the hard way: thinking you had a really great show last night, just not remembering it. Until some schmuck shoes you his iPhone video he just posted on Facebook. And you see that you really just come across as a self indulgent drunk twat, with no talent…Not such a good idea either to booze up yours truly, the lead singer too much since at times will carry around a box of prescription pills worthy a full sized drug store on most nervrotic periods. But what the hell. That’s in the past now.
In short, there is nothing more boring than a concert with a bunch of stoned or drunk guys playing their own songs - inaccurate. So we go for joy of playing.
5) Why Eurovision song contest? How did you end up there? Was this good for publicity? Did you get more gigs after that? How did it affect to the band or did it affect at all?
Well, why not? After all it is just a show on telly, a competition, and a hell of a party. We joined it just for a laugh really, not realizing that it would go so far as it did. We ended up doing it by chance. A friend of us knew some people from the big bad commercial record industry, and it was simply suggested to us. First we thought “what the fuck??” but on second thought: “Hell Yeah! Lets at least have the free booze “
We still had to get trough a jury and everything. Recalling that this was far from easy. They surprisingly liked “Fire Below” and all of a sudden we where all over the news. It seemed that our friends and fans only thought it was a cool thing to do.
In the aftermath we have realized that it contributed to change the game and name of Norwegian Eurovision for the future. Now all sorts of bands attend, or try to attend to it here in Norway. It seems that our appearance on the show made it “ok” for everybody.
For us it meant a lot business wise. A lot of people want to book us everywhere. “Normal” people are getting aware that there is something called rockabilly. That it is more than Elvis, Grease and milkshakes. And that Norway actually has her own ambassadors with in this strange and parallel world.
As for affecting us, of course it did in many ways. But not musically or creatively. It just put us and the sub genre we represent on the map. At least in Norway. Would we do it again? Hell Yeah!
6) Where is Lucky Bullets booked to play in the future?
A lot of shows in Norway. We also have a lot of offers in, Germany, Italy, UK, Ireland, Sweden and so forth. But none of these are booked as I am writing this.
What we are looking forward now is the Rockabilly Rave gig in the UK. It will be our first appearance on English stage!!!
5) Best and worst moment of the band?
We played for 2 people in a Norwegian village. Gave them “hell” from stage for 2 hours as if it was a fully booked Wembley Stadium. Outside it was nightfall, and the promoter had not arranged for transport, so we walked drunk and sweaty back to the hotel carrying all the stuff with us. It was minus 36 degrees, 1 kilometer and we where dressed in silky western shirts, wet ones. When we got there half dead, we realized that it was only us at the hotel apart from an old weird lady who refused to give us food or making up a fire. Not going back there.
Good moments…Got an email from some kids who wanted the chords and lyrics for “Saturday Night” so they could have a go at playing it in their newly started rockabilly band, inspired by us. I cried in pride.
6) What challenges you have met being a "newcomer" at international rockabilly scene? Does music speak for itself or is the videos or promotion needed to get gigs at the big events?
I guess now the biggest challenge is actually to find time answering interviews like this etc. And finding time to do all the abroad gigs that we are lucky and thankful to be asked to do. Not pissing people off by not replying, mails and turning down concert opportunities. It’s hard for us to survive as Norwegian musicians. For example touring abroad for a week, means missing out on a lot of income. And we simply have problems with affording it, considering the fact that we have to go back and live in the most expensive country in the world on the money we make from the tour etc.
When it comes to the music, I think it speaks for itself to a bigger degree than we thought. It seems that “Gold Digger” from 2009 has taken on a life of its own, and that it is this low-fi, first demo record that seems to have hit people with out us actually promoting it. Most people in Finland on our last tour there that I spoke to didn't even know we had attended Eurovision.
7) Who have inspired you music wise? What has rockabilly music given to you? Why it is important to you? Why you play it and not something else?
It is hard to start mentioning names on specific musicians and artists. The list would be too long, and if I mention two or three I´d feel like I left out others. I guess a lot of these are either dead or old, but at the same time we get inspired by contemporary artist as well, other “rockabilly” bands and commercial artists too.
Rockabilly was the motivation for starting the band, and of course we owe everything to that. But we are as mentioned earlier inspired by many things, soul, country western, even jazz and more. I think we already play a lot of “something else”. You will hear what I mean when “Dead Man’s Shoes” comes out… But having the genre as the cornerstones in the songwriting, sound and image, gives us a clear direction of where we want to go with the band. It is simply what we are about.
9) Tell a bit about your new record. What it is like?
It is a darker record. There are some western, blues, some rockabilly, some sad tunes, some cabaret, some gunfighter songs. I think one thing we do that one might could say that other don’t as much is singing. All four of us sing, and we pay a lot of attention to the backing vocals as well as the instrumental parts. The songwriting on Dead Man’s Shoes has also taken a deeper and more sinister turn than earlier. Some “old” fans might be surprised that there are some songs on it that we have had on earlier recordings, but this is because it is actually our debut. This is the first properly signed on a label distributed record for us. And it will be completely new to most people.
Most of it is written by me and one of the tunes “Devil Behind” is collaboration. We also like to pick out “forgotten” songs from other artist. We hope we are able to give them new life and carry them into the future. We got “The Bosses Daughter” by Gene Pitney that some people have heard, but most people get surprised that the song is actually by him. We have done our version of it, our interpretation. I think interpretation of songs like this belong at this type of record. Another one we are doing is “Mexico Joe” by our friend Arnie “Skiffle Joe” Norse. This man is 87 years old and still alive. He is one of Norway’s very few country western singers from the 50s and one of our most dedicated fans. This song was a hit for him back then but has since been forgotten. He was so touched by the fact that we recorded this that he said the song now is mine... I have inherited it so to speak.
Ideas for lyrics could come from stories, old western movies, folklore, nightmares, stuff that happens.
10) What are your goals? Is there something Lucky Bullets wants to accomplish?
I think the goal is to stick together and make good records over the years. Hopefully we’ll be able to tour more abroad than what we do now. We also want to show this type of music to as much people as possible while keeping it as real as possible. The period we live in has been a really depressing one music wise, and we want to bring back the style, the party, the suits, the madness, the danger, the magic, the laughter as well as tears....