Exclusive Interview with James Barker
Why country music ?
~ I was raised on a farm, and country music was literally always on in the background, wether it be in the kitchen, the tractor or the barn. I spent a lot of my teenage years playing all kinds of music, but whenever I wrote it was always country that came out. It was just instinctive for me I guess!
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ I think the ultimate country duet, hands down, would have to be Patsy Cline and George Strait. The two, smoothest voices in country music. Could you just image those two singing "Carrying Your Love With Me"??
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ Out of every song, I think I have to say "Momma's Cookin'". It's a song a wrote a few years ago with a buddy of mine, Micheal Hardy, and it's all about how sometimes you just wish you could go back and sit at the kitchen table with your family the way you did when you were young.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ That's a really cool question. I feel like the only right answer to this is Chris Stapleton because he always finds the happy medium between beautiful and manly when it comes to writing, and that's exactly what I would want a song about me to be like hahah
How would you spend a day if you were not allowed to make music
or talk about music?
~ Definitely on the farm. We're so unbelievably lucky to be able to make music for a living, but if there is one this I really miss it's working on the farm. If I had one day it would be spent out in the fields.
Give us one country song you never want to hear on radio anymore and tell us why.
~ Hmmmmm, I don't think we could ever pick that. We're very open minded when it comes to music, and I think that every song has it's place somewhere.
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ We rarely get asked about what it was like coming up through the ranks in the cover band circuit and I think that's been one of the most important learning processes of our career. We spent a lot of nights in dive bars and staying in crummy hotels, even sleeping in the attic at bars if we had to. It honestly shaped who we are and solidified our ideology, which is "do what ever we have to do to make this work".
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ The ultimate recording studio would be one where every kind of instrument and gear is set up all the time, so when inspiration strikes you can instantly get it on tape. There is nothing more frustrating then being excited about an idea, then spending a half hour getting things organized, so by the time you actually get to record you've lost you excitement and inspiration.
Johnny or June ?
~ Johnny. I love June, but Johnny Cash is one of those iconic figures that would could stack against pretty much any artist in history and make a case that he's the most influential.
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any "rituals" to calm you nerves.
~ We rarely get nervous before going on stage, we often get antsy because we just want to get out there and start playing. We do have a ritual that we make sure to do before every show. It's a little thing we like to call "Feeding The Chicken". One member puts out there hand as though they are feeding an animal, and another member will peck at it with their hand like it's a chicken. Each member has to feed every other members chicken in order for the process to be complete.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ The most memorable day in our musical careers has to be playing as Dierks Bentley's backing band in a little Toronto bar. It was the most fun I think we've ever had on stage. Such a surreal moment that it's really impossible to accurately describe in words. It was just one of those moments that you could never even imagine happening until it does.
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Answers given on August 11, 2017