Exclusive Interview with Lyle E Style
Why country music ?
~ I’m not sure if there is such a thing as country music anymore. I know I don’t hear it on the radio in Canada. There’s the Country Music Awards and all that sort of stuff but I don’t consider any of those artists country that call themselves “country”. The artists I consider country aren’t invited to those sort of events, and there’s very few of them left, unfortunately. I’m talking about guys like Bobby Bare, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Dwight Yoakam, Marty Stuart, the list should be longer but most of my heroes are long gone.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ I’d say Roger Miller and Merle Haggard. They did one song together “I Won’t Give Up My Train”, I wish they would have done a box set together.
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ I’d have to say a song called “Ghost Story” written by Roger Miller. It means the most because I’m the first artist to ever release that track. During the process of writing the book on him, “Ain’t Got No Cigarettes: Memories of Music Legend Roger Miller”, I met a lot of great people and got my hands on some unreleased songs by Roger, Waylon Jennings, Roy Orbison and even Buddy Holly. I recorded all of those previously unreleased songs but I like the Roger Miller track the best because it’s the darkest. It’s about a guy who died in 1970 and he’s haunted by watching what his widow is up to while he’s gone. It’s genius, though few have heard it.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ There’s a ton, but they’re gone unfortunately: Dennis Linde, Roger Miller, Mickey Newbury or Johnny Cash. Alive wise though, I’d say it would be a tie between Merle Haggard and Alice Cooper.
Whisky wine beer or water?
~ Scotch, 10 year old minimum, single malt, and lots of it, straight.
What is the question interviewers never asked you while you were always hoping they would. (and give us your answer)?
~ If you only had one day left to live, what would you do?
I’d sleep in.
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ I think the best studio is one that doesn’t rush you, a place where you feel comfortable to be creative and take chances. When I met Tompall Glaser, he told me that he told Waylon Jennings when he recorded in his studio “there are no clocks”. It’s the smartest thing I’ve ever heard anyone say because it created an environment for Waylon to explore and be himself. If you listen to those records that he recorded at Tompall’s place, they are still unbelievable to listen to. I wish I were around back then to witness and experience that period of time in the music industry.
Johnny or June ?
~ Saint Johnny Cash. He had a presence like no other person I’ve ever met and pretty much everyone likes his music, I don’t know anyone else that crosses those boundaries of ages and cultures. His record was the first record my great grandmother bought in the 50s, my grandmother still loves his music, my parents do as well, myself and my three year old son. I’m pretty sure that’s a miracle therefore I refer to him as Saint Johnny Cash.
Give us your top 3 country songs ever.
~ Swiss Cottage Place – written by Mickey Newbury, the lyrics are unreal how they paint a picture and leave the listener able to interpret it any way they like as to what is happening in the story. It’s pure genius. Both Mickey’s version as well as Roger Miller’s version are unbelievable, and if you listen closely, the lyrics are slightly different which make it even that more fascinating to try to figure out.
Wish I Was – written and performed by Mickey Newbury, it’s absolutely the most amazing track, it blows my mind whenever I listen to it.
Until Next Time – written and performed by yours truly. I’m proud of the track because it’s a goodbye song, I think every artist should do it as their final song for every concert. I also sing it at a lot of funerals, unfortunately. I hope they play it at mine someday, far from now. The CD/ITunes version of the track also includes my grandparents arguing with each other well into their 80s, which is 100% real, and what is better in a country song than a couple who was married for 60+ years arguing.
We love to bring our readers exclusive scoops, so what would you like to
share with us ?
~ I spent a few years in the seminary, my family wanted me to become a Catholic priest but I lost the calling. In fact, I switched religions after reading all of St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. I decided instead of going to church every week, I’d just check my mail from letters from any Saints, so I’m officially a Corinthian. I’ll never be a priest but I do marry people in Canada as I’m a marriage commissioner, so I dabble in the craft.
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Answers given on August 25, 2011
Photos by Mike Sanders