4/15/95 Interview with Jojo Hermann

Rochester, NY on April 15, 1995
Interview Conducted by Christopher Antola

Q: You guys are known as one of the best jamming bands in America. Can you
tell us how you found a band that plays so well together?
A: Wow! That's good to hear I did not know that. Well, I think that if you
take any group of guys and stick them in a van and buses for years and
years, and play 200 dates a year, you are going to get pretty tight. But
then again, some nights we surprise ourselves and mess everything up. So
that never ends either. I think it just comes with playing a lot.

Q: Well, since you are such a jamming band, what was it like playing on TV
which is a really structured environment?
A: That was great, they were all super nice. They just made everyone feel
at ease, and you know, we had the horns there, and they were really cool...

Q: Were those your horns, or his [Conan's] horns?
A: It was Jerry and The Gang, and they were Max Weinberg's Band's horn
section. So we were just hanging and they were also easy going and cool.
It was no big deal at all. Yea, it was nothing.

Q: Did you guys choose "Can't Get High" or was that a record label thing?
A: Well, when you go on these things, I think they gave us a certain amount
of time, and 90% of our songs go over that time limit, so our choices were
limited time wise. Since "Can't Get High" was the single and all that
stuff, you know. I love it, I think it is a great song, and the band really
liked it. They really liked it on the disc, and with the horn section, they
really said, "Man, I'd really like to do that on horns." So, it just kind
of came together.

Q: Out of all the places you play, you play large and small theaters and
auditoriums all over the country, which is your favorite place to play and
A: Oh, well, since you are asking me now, I'd have to say The Irving Plaza
in New York City. Since we did that last week, those were just great shows.
The Fox Theater in Atlanta is also good, but my favorite place to play is
Proud Larry's in Oxford, Mississippi...

Q: Why is that?
A: Oh, it is just the best club there is. You have to go there to know why.
You have to be there.

Q: I read in the Moon Times, your official newsletter, that you are now
venturing in to Cyberspace, and posting things such as a special Christmas
acoustic version of "Papa's Home." How did you get involved with the
internet? Did it have anything to do with Phish and other bands being on
A: I do not know too much about the computer stuff. It is real cool. I
have read some of the stuff that has come over that, and it is really cool.
It is a lot of fun. I love seeing the set lists. It is the day after, you
know, and we'll punch it in and get the set lists, and it is like, wow, we
did that? Well, yea it is a great thing. I am basically lost around the
whole technical revolution here, but it is a lot of fun and the people are
really cool.

Q: I was reading some of the posts from some of the Canadian fans north of
the boarder, and they are wondering why you never go up there.
A: Well, let's see, we played Canada, like Vancouver, British Columbia a few
years ago, but we are going to play up there. Toronto we definitely gotta
hit. You know, we are working on it. Going way up north, you know, we are
from the deep south, so we just kind of inch our way up. We don't just kind
of attack, we just kind of inch our way up north.

Q: Do you find you have as big a following in Canada as you do in the
A: I don't know because we haven't really gone up there a whole lot. I hope
in the next year that we definitely go up there. Toronto, and Montreal is a
great city too, but I know that Toronto is a town we definitely gotta hit.
Everybody has been telling me. Every time we go to Vermont and that area,
everybody is like, "Man, you've gotta go to Toronto."

Q: The fans have been noticing changes in your playing, for instance, you
are playing out of this world second sets. Are you trying extra hard, or do
you have an enthusiasm that was not there before?
A: Well, we have always been enthusiastic. I don't know. What happened was
that we have so many songs now, that we kind of lost track in our heads. So
now we just kind of think a little more. We are digging up a lot of old
songs that we did not consciously forget about, but we are being a little
more conscious of how many songs we have, and trying to play them all. You
know, when you don't repeat songs, it is a lot more fun.

Q: Have you ever been jamming on one song, and find that you just go into
another one? Has someone started playing a riff from another song in the
middle of one song, and you just go into that other song?
A: Yea, I mean, that is how it works with us. We'll be playing a jam in one
key, and if one person ignites a riff from another song, everybody will
follow. It can be anybody. It can be Todd [Nance the drummer] doing a drum
lick, or a guitar lick, or a keyboard lick, whatever. It is kind of a chain
reaction kind of thing...

Q: Hey it works well!
A: Yea sometimes. Sometimes you get that train wreck, but that is part of
the game.

Q: Do you plan on starting a mail order service for tickets like Phish and
other bands?
A: Mail order tickets? Well, I don't know. Do we not have that?

Q: No, some of the fans on the internet actually we wondering if you are
going to start up a mail order service.
A: Well, I'll mention it to the powers that be, I don't know. I'll say

Q: Just out of curiosity, it says on your disc, "In Memory of Brown Cat,"
and your fan club address is to Brown Cat Inc. Who is Brown Cat?
A: Well, Brown Cat is a cat who died about a year ago. Brown Cat was just a
very good friend of the band who was there from the very beginning, and
stuck all the way through. I guess Brown Cat is just one of those things.

Q: Well, you guys are definitely on a role. You are playing all over the
A: Well, we are having a good time.

Q: What are your plans for the future?
A: Well, the immediate future, is that we are doing this tour until June
3rd. And then we are going to start fiddling around in the studio for the
next album...

Q: Do you have an idea of when that would be released?
A: Oh, I don't think it will be out until the winter. Well, actually, we'll
probably record it in the winter. It probably won't be out until the spring
after that...

Q: Are you writing on the road?
A: Yea, we have been writing a lot of songs recently. I think that any band
can say that it is an adrenaline thing to keep writing this new material.

Q: Well, it sound like you guys are doing great.
A: Well, we are having a really good time, everything is going really well.

Q: Well, that is great. Thanks for the interview.