The Gin Blossoms' Robin Wilson On Touring With Sugar Ray, Long Island, July 8th, KISS & More

The Gin Blossoms' Robin Wilson On Touring With Sugar Ray, Long Island,  July 8th, KISS & More

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[Music] about true cats now  with their Bell draw Blitz   get ready to listen to your favorite art artists [Music] well Robin where are you dialing in from  I know Arizona guy lived on Long Island but where   you at now uh I'm in Wichita Kansas uh we are  performing tonight at the Wichita River Fest   and I'm coming to you live from The Drury Hotel um workout gym Health Center yeah keep them at  the healthy for the masses the those 12 15   000 people tonight they're seeing  a healthy lead singer that's right that's right good day too Darren thank you very  much Robin long long long long long time fan over   here because I loved the Gin Blossoms in the early  90s I loved the records that came since then and   one thing that I'm super curious about is when  you kind of realize that this was going to be   forever for the rest of your life career because  I remember there was The Detour at the gas giants   there's been some side practice projects along the  years but these days you're playing the biggest   crowds that you ever have in my opinion we are  we sell more tickets now than we ever did yeah I   I suppose it came to realize probably about somewhere in the 2000s which were a grim time  for us uh when we reunited in the early 2000s   we had to start like rebuilding our fan base and  rebuilding our our business and um about to do a   lot of shitty gigs a lot of a lot of shitty gigs  and it was uh it was uh depressing sometimes you   know I heard I heard people ask this question is  it something you just never you never want to be   asked by your fans but they people used to come  up to me all the time and say why are you playing   here you know it's just something you really never  want to hear and um but it was sometime in the   late 2000s where things started getting slowly  better and better for us like we started getting   paid paid more we started selling more tickets  getting bigger better festivals and things started   coming around and then by time we did uh the  Summerland tour in 2012 with Everclear Sugar Ray   um who else was on that um Marcy Playground  and um lit um and we really shined on that   on that tour and we we consistently got  the best reviews and the local papers and   that's kind of when I realized uh we were gonna  be able to just keep going for as long as we   wanted you know we'd be able to just keep playing  and things were getting better and better and it   was also amazing to me on that tour was that  we were the most like organized banned on the   tour you know we we look at you know we'd look  around and it seemed like we kind of had our   [ __ ] together and the other bands on that bill  seemed to look to us as uh uh sort of the standard   and uh at least that's the impression I got and  from just from things to they would say to me   and so I guess it was somewhere around  2012 that I knew for sure that we were   uh going to be able to just keep going until uh  until we can't anymore you know I would have to   imagine this point in time and tell me if I'm  wrong that the Gin Blossoms have basically two   sets they can do they have the like here are  the eight to ten massive hits that you know   and then you have the 90 to 100 minute here's  the hits but here's the stuff that we really   want to play and the one or two things from the  latest record too like you have those two sets   yeah pretty much yeah it's a good good way to  put it we also have a third set if we go to   uh we do a lot of private parties these days yeah  and uh private like corporate functions that sort   of thing yeah and we learned uh we learned several  years ago that we need to toss in a bunch of cover   songs when we do those things because when you're  playing for a corporate event um for an audience   that maybe didn't even know you were gonna be  there uh you know at some convention or something   they they want the hits but they don't want  to it's hard to get people on the dance floor   when you're playing songs like competition smile  and uh you know just the B the B-side stuff so   several it's probably about six years ago I  remember saying to the band if we're going   to do these corporate gigs we gotta we  gotta toss in some really fun cover songs   uh just to keep people on the dance floor so  um so we've got a third set where we we have a   bunch of covers in there you know does the covers  list ever include Christine 16 because that was   a great Letterman appearance that the band had  back in the day thank you thank you yeah that   was pretty cool hub of no it does it doesn't no  um and you know there's a faction within the band   that doesn't like doing cover songs at all and  it's that is extremely bothered by it right and   I don't I don't understand that uh you know I  mean I didn't write every song that we do right   um and certainly this member of the group uh you  know didn't write a whole hell of a lot of the   songs so I asked him once he's like what's the  difference to you it's like you didn't write any   of this material anyway you know so why what's  what's the big problem with doing covers and   for whatever reason he just has this thing if  it's like a a point of Pride personal Integrity   wants to play original music only and he gets  really really really hates playing covers so uh   anyway you know you can't that's just part of  being in a band is you gotta deal with different   opinions personalities objectives you know um  we're we're lucky we've been able to work through   most of that stuff and still be together after 35  years you know chalk that up to the gym blossoms   being one of the most punk rock bands that people  don't know is a punk rock band because one of   the times I interviewed you I had the pleasure of  asking about why you use particular producers and   you admitted well there was Replacements influence  the whole thing so in other words this band   putting out this radio friendly stuff but there's  humor and there's attitude behind the whole thing   that's how I always looked at the gym Blossom  so one of the reasons I really like the band   well I appreciate that thank  you that's that's nice to hear   so with kiss was Kiss an influence on the band  or at that time was that like a hey do you want   to do this and here's an advance and you'll be  on TV for the promo tour huh well for most of   the band that's what it was it was just uh just  a promotional opportunity but for me it was a   lifelong dream come true I I literally would  dream about being in kiss when I was like in   the sixth grade I spent my entire the entire year  of the sixth grade in my best friend's basement   pretending we were in Kiss just we would put on  kiss records and he would be Peter Chris and I was   Paul Stanley and we would just stand at the foot  of his bed pretending we were doing kiss shows and   um so for me it was a lifelong dream and they  were a huge influence on me as a performer   as a songwriter and um so when the opportunity  came up to participate in the kiss trivia record   I was very enthusiastic and uh was able  to you know somewhat easily convince   my bandmates to go along with it and then  you know I had to look through the catalog   to figure out like what song  would work for us as a band   and you know we couldn't really do some of the you  know more metallic things like uh almost human or   God of Thunder Firehouse or whatever you know we  had to had to look towards the poppier stuff and   um Hard Luck Woman was already taken right I think  Garth Brooks did that one on the on the tribute   record so yeah uh I thought I I've suggested  Christine 16 because it's a real pop song and   oh yeah we were able to uh to get that recorded  I spent a a whole day in the studio hanging out   with Gene and Paul when we mixed that record  and uh it was it was a huge thrill for me   I got to bring my kiss lunchbox and get him  to sign it and my best friend from the sixth   grade I brought his copy of love gun and got  it autographed and now that's framed on his   on his wall and I actually I lived with him  part-time when I'm in Arizona I live with my   best friend Paul Paul his kids have moved away  and so now I've got a room at his house and that   uh autographed copy of love gun is there on the  wall every time I go down the hallway nice and uh   yeah I was really really happy that I could make  that opportunity you know opportunity for him   and then I was super proud to  go on television with kiss and   brunt kiss on Letterman and I'll tell you as a  musician when I'm hanging out with other musicians   and we're just chatting uh you know if it comes  up and I say I got to front kiss on Letterman   you know my my peers go holy [ __ ] are you  serious you know like you you did what you know   and so uh it's a lot of a lot of credibility to be  able to think it goes It goes both ways I I have   to add that half the people I interview play music  partially in some way because of kiss and the   other half of people use it as a punching bag kind  of band like the other day when I was interviewing   the singer of Sparta who's in that the drive-in  the one band that he uses his punching bag out of   nowhere unsolicited was Kiss so you never know if  you're gonna meet a friend for life because they   love kiss or the tractor I mean Van Halen yeah one  of those yeah well yeah I suppose you're right I   mean some people that you know never really were  able to get into kiss you know the uh the whole   thing with all the the makeup and just the wacky  personalities and then you know the music itself   it's uh you know a lot of it comes dangerously  close to spinal tap like parody of rock and   roll you know and so a lot of people just don't  get it but uh I've always admired them they're   they're fine Craftsmen as songwriters um they're  they're the screwedest businessmen in the history   of the music industry yeah and uh yeah and I love  the music I absolutely love it you know another   band that people that people don't understand  is uh one of my favorite favorite bands in the   world who I consider one of the greatest rock  bands of all time is the darkness oh a lot of   people a lot of people just don't don't get the  darkness and they think it's some kind of a joke   um and it's just nothing could be further  from the truth there one of the most serious   uh and uh uh and strongest rock bands in history  and um it's but it's done some of the music is   done very tongue-in-cheek totally and a lot  of people people can't get it you know I mean   I love how Fearless they are you know and  it works for them I mean I could never sing   I could never write a song about  Vikings and make it work or   you know these are these are the kind of songs  I was trying to write when I was like in the   fifth grade songs about you know Vikings and  UFOs and stuff uh but uh the darkness that can   do that and then at the same time they know  how to write like a a universally understood   uh love song or just anthemic rock tune um  there's no nobody better the darkness have   you heard his podcast by the way before I  asked my last question the Justin yeah yeah   Justin's Justin spread he's he's one of my heroes  and uh as a rock singer I think of him as like uh   an Olympian God you know I um I usually think that  I'm I I know I'm a pretty good singer and I I'd   like to think I'm somewhere in maybe the top 500  all-time greatest rock singers maybe one of the   top 200 living and working rock singers right now  Justin is number one number one living rock singer   on planet Earth We're living working current  rock star Justin Hawkins and a lead guitarist   on top of that which you know he needed more to  do but but absolutely on this and the songwriting   Vision you know just the the vision of of the uh  of a band leader just you know so there's none   better totally well my last question before  I let you go I'm dialing in from Long Beach   Long Island New York New York I guess the skies  are yellow oh my God the skies are yellow right   now indeed and uh you've spent a lot of time in  Valley Stream and when you speak to people who   live in value stream they have their favorite  pizza place the central the South and the north   people which is your go-to pizza place out there  well uh I still live there in Valley Stream nice   uh yeah and my my ex-wife just sent me a picture  of this guy uh [ __ ] that's where she's from   um and yeah God it looks you know downright  apocalyptic it is right now so so uh you know   my heart goes out to you and everybody else  thank you you're dealing with that right now   um so my favorite pizza place in Valley Stream  without a doubt is Ancona oh that and and Kona   it's spelled a-n-c-o-n-a and Kona oh that's  on uh it's on Rockaway downtown Valley Stream   far and away so it's the best uh best pizza and  you know every other pizza joint in Valley Stream   or on Long Island is is great you can't throw a  rock without hitting a great world-class Pizza   Joint totally uh but and Kona stands out there's  something about like their Grandma's Pie has a   sort of a pastry sort of feel to the crust it's  really light and Airy crispy um they use the best   pepperonis those little pepperonis that like curl  up into little cups full of grease it's so good   so good and uh you know it's fun uh the uh  one of the owners uh his name is Wilson and   so every time I walk in it's like hey Mr Wilson  and I'm like hey Mr Wilson you know uh so I like   that place and then not too far from my house  is another place called Genovese Pizzeria and   I like Genevieve they have a bigger menu you know  so you can get like lasagna or a chicken parm hero   and um they deliver Genovese deliver so I I get  them a lot so I don't have to leave the house   um but uh yeah I uh you know it  took me a long time to become   to to really start to enjoy living on Long  Island it wasn't really until the pandemic   uh and I then I finally met all my neighbors  because I spent most of the pandemic sitting on   my front steps smoking pot and drinking and yeah  uh so you know people come by walking their dogs   and right at the beginning of the pandemic I would  I bought an Arizona flag and so I'm the only guy   on Long Island that flies a Arizona flag from my  front porch and the neighbors have come by walking   their dogs and then be like uh what flag is that  you know oh my God Arizona the 48th state you   know they're like Arizona you know one guy thought  it was like like a Chinese flag or something huh   But Eric it's sad to me because Arizona's got the  maybe the best flag in the country uh it's right   up there one of the best flags and you know if  most people from New York have not been to Arizona   and don't know much about it but umasso the next  time I go to El Paso we'll go to Arizona that is a   promise but you're right they have not Robin yeah  yeah so I I've been able to uh spread the Arizona   love a little bit on Long Island certainly  when I when I first got married in the 90s   my ex-wife I remember being on the phone with her  the first time and I was I was back in Arizona   calling her you know trying to woo her in the  early days of our courtship sure and she was she   was asking about Arizona and she says don't you  get sand in your house and I was like what sand   don't you get sand all over your house like  she literally thought that Arizona was like   the Sahara Desert you know or planted arrakis or  whatever um so I've been able to educate a lot of   people in New York about Arizona and also I want  to mention that I during the pandemic I started   immediately as soon as the pandemic hit we all  went into lockdown I had I had the Good Fortune of   having my own home recording studio and I started  doing live stream broadcasts like right away and   um eventually when it got warm enough I started  doing live streams I started doing concerts out   in my front yard for The Neighbors uh and it  was a it was a great great experience for me to   you know be able to entertain all my neighbors  during the pandemic these were the only people   in America getting quality live music in the  summer of 2020 and then in um in the winter of 21   uh my house burned down uh there was an electrical  fire the porch went up so one whole side of the   house caught fire and I was standing out in  the snow two feet of snow in my bare feet   because I was in the shower when when the house  caught on fire and so I had barely had enough   time to grab my phone and a robe and then I  was out in the snow watching the House burn   and my first thought was well I have right  after I called 9-1-1 and then I called my ex   and then um uh I uh I was standing there watching  the House burn and my first thought was my guitars   oh God it was just such a terrifying  thought the idea of my guitar is burning   uh we were able to save the guitars and anyway  it took us about a year and a half to rebuild   the house I moved back in and as soon as  I moved back in you know the neighbors   were all coming over to shake my hand and  welcome me back and the first question is   when are you going to do another concert for  the neighborhood and so I've been looking for   an opportunity and I finally found one and  so I'm gonna be live streaming for my front   yard on Saturday July 8th okay coming up  coming up this summer Saturday July 8th   um I will be streaming live you're welcome to come  bring a couple of lawn chairs a bottle of wine   uh some white claw whatever it is do you like to  drink and uh I'm looking forward to doing uh doing   the show for my front yard I'm pretty excited that  my one of my son is in a couple of bands his one   of those bands is going to perform I'm going  to perform with them and the little acoustic   and then also I have uh from New York City uh  legendary singer-songwriter Willie Nile all of you   joining us yeah so Willy's going to be performing  as well so we're going to be live streaming this   from my front yard Saturday July 8th approximately  3 30 in the afternoon I haven't really pinned down   the exact time yet it's going to depend  upon when what time the Sun is going down   but we'll we'll try and start about two hours  before two and a half hours before sundown I and   uh I'm putting that on the calendar in the article  Etc and when you get along with Willie Nile you   know you're good people I mean let's face it how  many people on this planet just Pete Townsend like   and uh likes Whitley Niles so yeah yeah he's  pretty he's pretty incredible as a songwriter   a performer Willie's Willy's is awesome and he's  a he's a friend of my ex-wife and I went to see   him recently he performed on Long Island and I was  at the show and uh who I had a great great time so   um yeah so anyway and my my son is in a band  called uh Theo in the London outfit they play   around Long Island Brooklyn Queens and whatnot  they're going to be on the bill Willie and I all   hand myself Saturday July 8th approximately 3 30  in the afternoon live stream well thank you for   that info Robin thank you for your time welcome  for the years of great great music and looking   forward to everything that's um including this  upcoming tour at Sugar Ray all right yeah yeah   we should mention that yeah fastball tonic and  Sugar Ray these are my three favorite bands to   tour with uh so a good good friends with all  of them we've got a lot of history with all   three of these fans it's a fantastic Bill even  if nobody shows up I would want to I would want   to do that you know I just it's so going to be  so much fun and so I'm looking forward to that   and then we're playing at the Paramount on  Long Island uh I believe it's September 3rd

2023-06-17 03:02

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