At the Long Road Festival this weekend I got to chat with Cadillac Three. I was really nervous and felt quite intimidated as they were one of the headline acts, but they were lovely!
CL : Welcome back to the UK, you have been over a few times now, you are regular visitors, are you surprised at how much your following is growing over here?
TC3 : Thank you, yeah, every time.
Jaren : We first came in 2013 with Eric Church. We had a blast, but didn’t know how it was going to translate with our own crowd, but every time we have come back the crowd has just got bigger and bigger, it is really good.
CL ; You are over now for a week aren’t you?
TC3 ; Two weeks.
CL ; Do you think you will be able to do any sight seeing or will you be working?
Jaren ; We do have a couple of days off.
Kelby ; We will be in Newcastle tomorrow, we were in Manchester yesterday and did a little walking around, weather was really great, like this (it was hot and sunny!)
Jaren ; We get there in the morning, so when we get off the bus we don’t have to do anything until that night so we have plenty of time.
CL ; Do you consider yourself more rock or more country or just country rock?
Jaren ; Jazz!
CL ; Jazz doesn’t come into it at all!
Laughter (I think actually Jaren is tired of this question which was kinda confirmed by the rest of his answer!)
Jaren ; People are trying to pinpoint that all the time, I think that is what is neat about our band, getting people wondering what it is.
CL ; A bit genre busting.
Jaren ; Yeah, but they like it so that is the main thing.
CL ; So as we have said before, you have been over here a few times, 2015 didn’t you drop in just for a single festival appearance?
TC3 ; Yeah, that was …
CL ; Download wasn’t it?
Jaren ; Yeah, we did CMA Fest on the Friday, went from the stage to the airport, flew over here. None of my guitars made it, my boots didn’t make it, I had to borrow boots and guitars!
CL ; Oh I knew you had to borrow equipment, but you had to borrow boots as well?
Jaren ; Yeah, I had to wear a sound guys Doc Martens! It was an awkward show!
Kelby ; A lot of people though!
CL ; You must have been absolutely shattered though as you performed at CMA fest, flew in performed at Download, then flew back and performed somewhere else?
Kelby ; We Should have done yeah!
Jaren ; We flew to Indiana, the bus picked us up, we got to Detroit to find there were cars stranded in the mud and the festival had been rained out! So we ate there, got back on the bus and went home! Which was fine.
Kelby ; Yeah, we got a free lunch! I will do anything for a free lunch!
CL ; You were due to perform at C2C in 2020 as well weren’t you? Had you actually left America?
Kelby ; Yeah, we played the European shows, so we had started.
Jaren ; We worked our way down through Amsterdam and Germany and then we got to London, we were in London when the show got cancelled so we went home!
CL ; So hit the floor, turned round and went home?
Kelby ; Yeah, we got another free lunch!
CL ; So you don’t mind too much as long as you are fed?
Jaren ; Lunch and beer and we are good!
CL ; Songwriting, Jaren, I know you are a prolific songwriter.
Jaren ; Thanks I appreciate it!
CL ; Every time I have spoken to someone this whole weekend and I have said I am interviewing TC3, they have always said you are a prolific songwriter. I presume you all write together for your own stuff?
Jaren ; Yeah a lot, we have done, but it is always different, sometimes it is just Neil, sometimes it is all of us, sometimes it is just me, sometimes it is somebody else’s song that we like, that has only happened one time in the history of our band, but I mean that is the cool thing about Nashville, the songwriting is such a thing. It is something I grew up with, loving the idea of just me sitting down and writing it down and somebody, Keith Urban or somebody singing it and then hearing it on the radio and I am like I didn’t have to do anything, I don’t have to do the interview or anything!
I wondered whether or not to take offense at this comment, but before I had decided –
Jaren ; Not that I am not enjoying this interview, but it is such a cool thing about Nashville, you get to hear your songs come to life. Sara Evans is here, I wrote a song for her. I talked to her a couple of weeks ago, I ran into her in an elevator, I said “Hey, I am Jaren, I wrote ‘Anywhere’ with your brother a long time ago.” She said “Oh my god!” We talked about that and hugged it out and so today we will hopefully get to hear that.
CL ; That would be quite cool!
Jaren ; Yeah and she is not bad to look at!
CL ; How old were you when you started songwriting?
Kelby ; You were about 19 weren’t you?
Jaren ; Yeah, probably about 19, but I really started taking it seriously when I was about 23.
Kelby ; So about two years ago!
Jaren ; Yeah, so about two years ago, I am not 41 or anything … no, yeah I am 41!
CL ; So you have been together a long time , it is over ten years isn’t it?
Jaren ; We grew up together, so we were playing in High school one way or another.
CL ; So how do you settle arguments?
Jaren ; We don’t! We just let it lie and never bring it up again!
Kelby ; We quit having them!
Neil ; We don’t really argue, we get on really well!
Kelby ; We are never going to see eye to eye on everything.
Jaren ; The only thing we really argue about is what song we are starting the set with
Kelby ; And that isn’t really an argument it is just that we are complacent about timings.
Neil ; We have been married a long time!
Jaren ; There is a rumour that we all came out of the same womb, three headed long haired baby! We were split at birth in the room!
CL ; Hopefully not with an axe!
Jaren ; I dunno, with something!
Neil ; An axe is the best response I have heard to that!
CL ; I am going to come back to the songwriting, you have just mentioned Sara Evans and also Keith Urban, there is also Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney amongst others, which song are you the most proud of, not one of TC3’s?
Jaren ; ‘Raise ‘Em Up’, Keith Urban and then ‘Meanwhile Back At Mama’s’ Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. They are my favourites. He (pointing to Neil) wrote ‘Old Shit’ for Miranda Lambert.
CL ; I love that song!
Jaren ; Yeah, it is a great song.
CL ; When do you sleep?
Jaren ; About 40 minutes from now when we get done with this!
CL ; It is on the bus tomorrow when you go up to Newcastle!
Kelby ; We have got the day off tomorrow so we can relax.
Jaren ; Bus sleep to music is pretty good, we are still getting used to the jet lag from coming over here, normally you have two or three days of that, tomorrow should be my normal day hopefully!
CL ; You are producing now as well aren’t you? Kip Moore?
Jaren ; Yeah.
CL ; As if you haven’t got enough to do!
Jaren ; I also have a five year old and a wife, it is a lot. He (Neil) has got two kids, he has just had a brand new baby, he (Kelby) has got two cats and a dog.
Kelby ; Four cats actually.
Jaren ; It is four now?
Kelby ; Yeah!
Jaren ; What the hell is wrong with you?
CL ; And as if that isn’t enough, you are very much behind the project #SaveOurStages.
TC3 ; Yup.
CL : Your song Long After Last Call was part of that campaign.
TC3 ; Yup
CL ; Is that still going now things are picking back up again?
Jaren ; Well you know, he – Neil, headed that whole thing up. We came up in Nashville, playing these places and it was obvious they weren’t going to survive the pandemic. So we were trying to create live streams and trying to do things for the venues that brought us up. Now shows are packed again. Some of them are still feeling the pain of that whole time. We thought we could do as much as we could do to help.
Neil ; Independent venues are really important, every act here doesn’t get to play here unless they play independent venues. During Covid, everything was shut down, we were back in Nashville, spending more time in Nashville than we had in years so we were reconnecting with our friends and the Nashville community, people that own the Exit/In, the Basement and these really famous venues in Nashville. They were really struggling so it was an opportunity for us to try to help out along with a number of other acts in Nashville and support the community. It also gave us an excuse to play some shows and live streams at a time when we weren’t otherwise going to. It was good. Not all of those venues survived, but a lot of them did and it was because everybody came together and worked on it. We were glad to help out with it where we could.
CL ; Do you enjoy making videos?
TC3 ; Uh uh (as in no!)
Kelby ; We like making videos, we just don’t like being in them!
Jaren ; It is a long day!
Kelby ; We try to come up with ideas and music concepts where we are not in them
Jaren ; Cartoons, other characters that look like us, dogs, puppets.
CL ; You need to team up with Brad (Paisley) and his back drops when he performs, he has great big cartoons on screen behind him.
Neil ; He has had us up on one of those before!
Jaren ; If his guitar playing didn’t annoy the dog s**t out of me I would probably think about that!
CL ; I won’t include that bit!
Jaren ; Oh you can, he knows what I think!
There was laughter during this part, so I am sure this is fairly light hearted!
CL ; When I said earlier that you are here for the week, I was wondering if you were going to be doing any writing while you were all together and you haven’t got any other distractions. Any other distractions!! You are playing live, I didn’t mean that!
Kelby ; There are always windows of time.
Jaren ; I brought a little video set up for the bus.
CL ; Oh so you are planning to write.
Jaren ; We kinda treat this as a little vacation as we get to see things we don’t see every day.
CL ; That is what I was thinking, you have got to time it right so you do a little bit of both, you have got to have some down time.
Neil ; Sometimes this is the kinda stuff where writing comes from, we may not even write while we are out here, but we might get some ideas, then when we get back home we are inspired because of these travels, it is all a part of the process. The inspiration comes from wherever it does.
CL ; So have you got anything in the pipeline at the moment?
Jaren ; Yup, half a record and we are planning on going back in when we get home.
CL ; I have run over a little bit, so one last quick fire question, cartoon character for 24 hours, who would you be?
Neil ; When I was a kid I would have said He-Man, so I will stick with that!
Jaren ; I am going to go with Batman because the money, the cool gadgets and he occasionally gets to hook up with Catwoman!
Kelby ; A Ninja Turtle.
Jaren ; Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael or Michelangelo?
Kelby ; Any of them.
Jaren ; Depends on what weapon you want and what colour you want!
This ended the interview as I had slightly run over time. I did then ask the guys a favour though. I told them that friends of mine Denise and David Parcell had won Meet and Greets with them for C2C in London in 2020, obviously it didn’t happen. Denise had made a little laminate picture of the three of them and she asked me if I could ask them to sign it. They happily did so. While they were signing I told them that Denise and David had had a trip round London after C2C was cancelled (many of us were already in London and had checked into our hotels when it was cancelled, although we had a suspicion it was going to be cancelled!) While they were on this trip, they took the laminate picture with them and took photos of it during their visit. I told TC3 they had been to the theatre, Leicester Square, ridden in a black cab and even been to Buckingham Palace. They thought the story was funny! In asking for their autograph I forgot to get a photograph of them and then didn’t like to go back and ask as their next interview had arrived!
Catch The Cadillac Three in the UK at the following venues :
31st August – O2 Academy, Leeds
2nd September – The Great Hall, Cardiff
3rd September – O2 Institute, Birmingham
5th September – Rock City, Nottingham
6th September – Roundhouse, London