US: 23 Sep 2008
US: 21 Feb 2006
UK: 20 Mar 2006
US: 29 Jul 2003
Cowboy Mouth is the quintessential New Orleans rock band and the ultimate live show. “Cowboy Mouth is about pretending that you’re five years old, naked as a jaybird and about to turn the hose on your parents, and there’s not a damn thing they can do about it,” says drummer and lead singer, Fred LeBlanc. Their touring for their latest CD, Fearless in cities such as New York, Chicago, Boston and New Orleans for Voodoo Fest. Fred settles down for a moment, but just a moment, to answer PopMatters 20 Questions.
1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
Wall-E. The scene at the beginning where Wall-e is setting up his own little world just absolutely killed me.
2. The fictional character most like you?
Its a toss up between Jay Gatsby of The Great Gatsby (I wish) and Animal from The Muppet Show. I like to think I’m somewhere in the middle. But what do I know? I’m too busy being a character…
3. The greatest album, ever?
It’s a toss up between Revolver by the Beatles, 40 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams, Sr. and/or From Here To Eternity by The Clash.
4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
I do a killer Chewbacca imitation.
5. Your ideal brain food?
6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?
Being a lead singer and drummer for a kicking rock ‘n’ roll band. The main reason that I’m proud of it is that what my band and I do is very different, but still very accessible. And although I’ve been told by countless industry types that the drummer/singer thing would never fly, all of them have lost their jobs/companies while Cowboy Mouth is still kickin’ ass.
7. You want to be remembered for…?
Making people smile.
8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?
Waytoo many to count. This might sound corny, but the trick is to find inspiration every single day.
9. The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
Can you imagine being the guy who wrote and/or sang “Baba O’Reily” by the Who? Yes, I know that they were two different people (Townshend wrote it, Daltry sang it). That’s how awesome that song/recording is. It took two toweringly talented people to realize that song to perfection ... and that’s what that song is, perfection.
10. Your hidden talents…?
I’m a very talented slob. Oscar the Grouch was a major influence. I wish I was kidding.
11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?
Bo Diddley told me once when Cowboy Mouth opened for him years ago, that all anyone really needed to do to live a quality life was to ‘keep it simple, and think of church.’ I try. I don’t always succeed, but I try.
12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?
There’s a Solomon Burke live album I had when I was a boy where, during the middle of one of his speeches to the audience he asks them, “Are you with me?” I never meant to borrow or steal it at all. But I relistened to that album many years later and heard that phrase. It must’ve stuck in my subconscious because I got a lot of miles out of it.
13. You feel best in Armani or Levis or…?
Photo of Cowboy Mouth courtesy of Valley Entertainment
14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
Too many to count, but I’ll give it a whirl. Harry Truman. Although we might not agree on everything, he at least had some balls and strength of character. That would be a great conversation. Lincoln, to pick his brain. Elvis, just to say thanks.
15. Time travel: where, when and why?
Anytime before January 2004, so I could talk to my mother again.
16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?
17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or…?
A good mental attitude. It’s the way you see the world that determines the way that, ultimately, the world sees you.
18. Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
Southeastern USA. Preferably the country, with no more than a 30 mile distance to New Orleans. Its my home, and it feeds my soul.
19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
Man, I wouldn’t want your job! Its hard enough being the leader of a rock band.
20. Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
We have a brand new album called Fearless (Valley, September 2008). I think it is one of the very best things we have ever done, and we are all stoked to be touring behind it. See ya out on the road!
// Notes from the Road
"Powerful Chicago soul-singer dips into the '60s and '70s while dabbling in Urdu, Punjabi and Italian.READ the article