Writer’s Note: I had every intention of writing my own band description/intro for this piece, but Ann Ravanos, a former writer for California music staple The Owl Mag and friend of the band kind of nailed it:
“Banditos are reminiscent of Creedence Clearwater Revival and Johnny Cash if they got into a brawl with the Rolling Stones and Janis Joplin. Banditos is the honky tonk, two steppin’ force field that the music industry needs. Staying away from anything electro, indie, or computerized, Banditos goes back to the roots of rock ‘n roll with their roughneck attitudes and raunchy instruments.”
Responder’s Note: This is Corey Parsons answering for the rest of the band after a sixer and four gin martinis. That’s right, martinis.
KS: So Banditos, in honor of Johnny Cash (who I’ve always thought of as an influence on the band), how would you describe your sound if it were the last ten words out of your mouth before you died and parked the tour van at the pearly gates?
CP: I believe the first ten words out of my mouth after dying and approaching some gates made of pearl would probably be an incoherent string of curse words and apologies, but for the sake of the interview, I’ll see if I can do this. Honest, Dirty, Southern, American, Honky-Tonk, Soul, Country, Blues, Folk, Rock-n-Roll… tide.
KS: This month (September 2011) marks your one-year anniversary of forming the band, right? I understand that you’ve accomplished a lot in that time. From recording albums to opening for Zach Brown Band in an amphitheater to creating a following in towns away from home like Mobile, how do you plan on following that up in the next two years?
CP: September 2011 is actually our one-year anniversary of having our current and final line-up. Although, Stephen and I have been playing together since around February 2010. How do we follow this past year up? I don’t know, man. It’s kind of day-to-day for us. I can promise you that we’re gonna continue to write music and play wherever there’s a person to listen. We’ve got some new tunes that I personally believe are the best we’ve ever written, and we’ll record them as soon as we feel they’re completely ready. We just got a new big-ass van that’s ready to take us wherever they’ll have us. Basically, we’re gonna keep on trying.
KS: If you could open for any band alive today, who would it be and why?
CP: These guys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNEraxj559Y&feature=youtu.be (The Aristocats)
KS: What band (or bands) can you guys not stand to listen to?
CP: Too many to name. To each their own, though.
KS: Did Justin Timberlake really “bring sexy back”? If so, where was it?
CP: I never knew sexy went missing, but I don’t watch the news.
KS: Was there a certain album or song any of you heard that made you say, “yep, I’ve got to play music”?
CP: All of it for one reason or another, but play “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” at my funeral.
KS: Ever gotten into any trouble because of your name? (Note: there is a biker gang called “Bandidos”, but I feel like they might actually dig Banditos.)
CP: No trouble yet, luckily. We’ve even played at a Harley dealership. The only time we’ve had any problem being named similar to a biker gang was when we had an idea for stickers. We were going to have the classic image of Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) pissing on “Banditos”, but we figured if someone from “Bandidos” saw that sticker on someone’s car they probably wouldn’t take too kindly to it. I still think that’s a funny idea for a sticker, though.
KS: Lyrically, do you guys tend to write about things that have happened to you or do you come from a more fictional place?
CP: It’s mostly pretty personal stuff, although sometimes it’s put into different context.
KS: Your new album “The Filthy Sessions” (featuring usual show closer “Filthy Havin’ Fun”) is filthy brilliant. Will the next CD be called “CrazyFilthyCool? If not, what do you have against TLC? And lastly, what does it mean to be “Filthy Havin’ Fun”?
CP: Thank you, sir. Yes, our second album will be a TLC cover album. Filthy Havin’ Fun? I’ll let you know when I figure it out. I wanted to name it “Filthy Habit Fund”.
KS: One last question, and yes, it is the hard one. If you could be any character/dinosaur from Jurassic Park, which would it be and why?
CP: I’ll assign characters to each band member:
Stephen – Jeff Goldblum
Jeff – the grandson
Randy – the dude who gets chomped by the T. Rex while he’s taking a poop or the grandpa
Danny – Samuel L. Jackson
Mary – one of the girls or the sickly Triceratops
Me – Mr. DNA
No explanation necessary.