Interview with Texas Terri
July 11, 2010
Interview by: Dod M
Big Wheel Overseas Correspondent
Did you listen to Punk before you started your band?
Texas Terri: Yep. I grew up in Austin, Texas. The local bands that I loved the most during that time were The Dicks, The Next, Sharon Tate's Baby, The Droogs, and I always loved anything Biscuit of the Big Boys did. I eventually started a punk band there called The Other Guys. We actually covered "Pure Mania" by the Vibrators. I don't remember what year that was or how long that lasted cuz I was too fucked up on drugs and alcohol. Then before I moved to Los Angeles, I did a one off show as Puss 'n Boots with the local band The Droogs backing me up. It was fabulous.
How did the name Texas Terri Bomb come about?
At one point in time, I had to change the name of my band because my guitar playing partner was no longer in the band so it didn't feel right to continue under Texas Terri & the Stiff Ones. Besides, I needed my total independence and I was recording a new record so needed a new name/band name for myself. That was in 2004.
I actually wanted to call myself TxT Dynomite! But after running it by quite a few people, they suggested it would be better to keep Texas Terri as part of the name since that is what I'd been going by for so long and that's what people knew me by. I kind of wanted to get rid of the Texas Terri thing. Too much confusion caused by it. For instance, a lot of people think i do country or psychobilly because of the name.
So I figured I'd go ahead and keep the Texas Terri part against my better judgement.....it became Texas Terri Bomb! kind of in the honor of the song Cherry Bomb by The Runaways. I could live with that.
Was it hard being a woman in the music business when you started?
Hahahaha! Well, when you are a woman like me, yes, it can make things hard. I have always taken care of the bizness side of things and I wish I hadn't had to be the one. I read all these books about bands from the old days that had managers and I truly believe things would have gone better for me had I had the proper manager handling things for me. It's better for me to just be the entertainer I think. And I love being the entertainer.
Who influenced and made you want to sing?
Nancy Sinatra, James Brown, The Rolling Stones.
How much do you think the Punk scene has changed in the last 30 years?
That's a loaded question. As far as I can remember, in the beginning of it, the hair and the clothes and the attitude really scared the general public. Everyone stood out making a statement by just being there. It was kind of dangerous back then because you could get beat up or worse from just being seen by someone that didn't like the way you looked. It still amazes me how upset people could and would get just by seeing the early Punks.
And now the hair and clothes are a fashion being worn by the general public. The look is no longer dangerous. Kind of weird. And there are so many bands that have taken on "the look" that are anything but punk. Now that's scary! Although they cannot buy the attitude at the trendy store so some things are still sacred.
What originally attracted you to the music scene?
The music and the feeling it gave me. Music can be like a drug. And to be honest, I loved drinking and doing drugs and going to bars to hear bands. I had to give up drinking and drugs 19 years ago, but it was fun while it lasted.
Who writes the songs?
On "Eat Shit!", the guitar player and I wrote most of them. On "Your Lips...My Ass!", the guitar player from TxT/SO and I wrote some, I wrote a couple by myself, and I wrote a couple with some other people outside of the band. I usually cover a few of my favorite band's songs on my records. That's one thing I always loved about The Rolling Stones is that they did a lot of cover versions of blues musicians and it introduced me to a lot of really great blues guys and their music. So I try to do the same by doing some songs by musicians/bands that influenced me, that I totally love.
What's your favourite song to play?
The song "Oh Yeah!". That has been my favorite song since it was written 15 years or so ago. I never get tired of doing it and I don't think I could do a TxT set without it.
Are you still fans and of Who?
Oh yeah, I am still fans of many, many bands. Too many to list.
Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues?
I have performed in the U.S. and Europe. I would have to say doing festivals are my favorite. As far as small clubs go, Wild at Heart in Berlin, The Continental in NYC, and Al's Bar in L.A. (may it R.I.P.) are among my top favorite.
I was lucky enough to meet you Rebellion, do you enjoy playing there?
I love playing Rebellion! It's probably the highlight of the year for me and loads of other people. It feels like a reunion every year getting to see all of the old pals and making new pals. Jenny booked me years ago for Wasted when it was in Morecomb (sp?). I love and salute Daz and Jenny for keeping this thing going and having me play each year. It feels like family.
Any funny band stories ?
The first time I toured Europe was in 2000. At that time I was pals with Angelina Jolie and she was kind enough to sponsor my band. That is how I was able to do my first Euro Tour. So everyone has her to thank for me coming to Europe. i am so grateful for all the help she gave me. Anyway, she was in London training for the Laura Croft movie at the same time I would be there on tour. It was a great coincident that it worked out this way and we were really excited that we could hang out in London together.
Our first show ever in London was at the Underworld. When I handed in the guest list with Angelina Jolie's name on it, John, the promoter thought I was either deranged, full of myself, or just plain insane. He thought I was a total joke for thinking Angelina Jolie was going to be coming to my show. Well, when she arrived at the door, he just about shit his pants! I would have loved to have seen his face! Hahahha!
Also, at sound check, all of the bands that were to play that night were arguing over who would go on first and who would go on last. So I told them that TxT would go on last. I had no idea that that would be considered the headliner spot. Hahaha! So as it turns out, TxT got the write up in the Kerrang with a big picture of me topless with the tape across my breasts. The funny part of this story is that the editor called the writer to find out if I was a man or a woman. To this day, even with my shirt on people seem to be confused about what sex I am.
What do you think about downloading music online?
I think people are going to do what they are going to do. I'm not at the level that it really affects me as far as I know but I'm sure there are many bands that it does affect and I believe that people should support the arts. It is nicer when people pay for the songs so the artist gets paid a little bit.
What's your outlook on the record industry today?
I try not to think about it. I consider myself more of a "door to door sales person" that's why touring is so cool. It makes everything a lot more personal with the fans. I hear all of the time that people cannot find my records in the stores. Isn't that the record labels' job?
What makes a good crowd?
Positive, fun, passionate people!
What music do you listen to chill out?
I usually watch movies to chill out.
Finally any last thoughts?
I want to thank all my fans and friends for helping keep me passionate and alive for the past years. I couldn't do it without you. Without you, I am nothing.
People are wondering if I will ever write new songs and put out another record. The answer is yes. I'm working on songs currently and hope to figure out how to put everything together within this year. I did do a split record/cd with my friend Kevin K. It's called "Firestorm". He sang 4 songs and I sang 4 songs. It turned out really cool. It came out March 2010. Check it out! I might have some for sale at Rebellion.
Thanks so much for the interview. Lot's of love and magic to everyone.
Texas Terri MySpace: www.myspace.com/texasterri