Exclusive Interview with Stephen Simmons
Why country music ?
~ The easy answer is it's what I grew up listening to. But I also grew up listening to Rock N' Roll...but most of the radio stations played Country only in Tennessee when I was growing up. I also feel like it speaks to where I'm from. I grew up in a very small rural community in Southern Central Tennessee, and (Traditionally) Country Music "had" been written and sung by people from similar backgrounds to mine.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ Interesting question. My favorite combination is still George & Tammy. Having said that, I'd love to hear Charlie Rich (whom I think had the greatest voice) sing with anyone....and it would be great. Maybe Charlie / Patsy ?
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ Usually it's the one I Just finished. I don't have favorites....I write them the best I can and record them the best I can and then move on to trying to finish all the others floating around in my head. The process is the satisfaction.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ It's never occurred to me to have someone write for me. I've been writing since I was a teenager, so I never think about it from that angle. But Bob McDill wrote some amazing Country songs that were on the radio in the 80's when I was a kid, and I would sing anything he wrote for me. And likewise writer/artist Rodney Crowell has always been one of my favorite songwriters...and seems to be able to write beautiful songs for others as well as himself.
Whisky wine beer or water?
~ Whiskey (technically Bourbon) is my favorite...and it makes me want to write.
Wine is my second favorite...and it makes me want to dial old girlfriends.
Beer is my third favorite....and it just makes me want to go get into trouble.
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ People usually ask about what records I have out...but not what I'm currently working on. Most albums by the time you hear them have long been finished.
I am currently working on a project where I've put music to short stories by a West Virginia writer. I also have a "almost finished" very Country record that I did with my band a few years ago that needs getting back to. And I have a loud Rock N' Roll album I'm wanting to get in the studio this year to start with my band, with the hopes I can finally take them all to Europe with me on one of these tours.
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ Really just a nice old building with lots of wood and an old 70's API board and a 2" tape machine would do it for me.
Johnny or June ?
~ I gotta go Johnny. June was great, but Johnny was something special...in some ways, not even of this Earth.
Give us your top 3 country songs ever.
~ 1 Wedding Bells
2 Good Ole Boys Like Me
3 Dreaming My Dreams
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ Probably the Blue Highways Festival in Utrecht, NL back in April of 2007. It was my first time in Europe (on tour or otherwise) and that show in particular was a highlight of the entire trip. Luckily for me there are some videos of the show and Rounder Europe Records recorded and released my show as a live album, so I'm able to re-live it from time to time. But that was a great night.
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Answers given on September 7, 2011