Interview with Bobby Thompson of Job for a Cowboy
Band Photo: Job For A Cowboy (?)
These cowboys sure know how to save the day! Job for a Cowboy has been rustling and wrangling naysayers to the ground, branding them with their logo and releasing them with a new found respect for an amazing band. I got a chance to hop on their mobile ranch and talk to guitarist Bobby Thompson about their latest album and what he thinks about people downloading it. A transcibed version follows.
Buick Mckane: Welcome to New Orleans. You just released your second studio album “Ruination” this summer. How successful has it been?
Bobby Thompson: It’s been doing really well. For us, I think we’re really happy with how it’s been doing. It seems like its being received pretty well when we play the new songs live. So it’s been pretty cool. It’s cool to write a record we really love and care about, then have people be into it too. We’ve been happy with how it’s been going.
Buick: I really like the cover art you have which is a man with a ram’s skull, and he’s gesturing like this (index and middle finger up, ring and pinky finger down) which I found out means benediction or in Roman times, speaking. If somebody was speaking in a painting they make they gesture. Can you tell me more about the art?
Bobby: [Gesturing ] like he’s dictating? It’s not really a concept record, but Johnny sent the basic ideas behind the lyrics of the album to the artist Brent Elliot White and he told him kind of what he was looking for. Brent gave us the first draft of the cover, and it was awesome. Then he made a couple of improvements. He really captured what Johnny was going for with the idea and theme of the record. It was cool; I like it a lot. It’s our backdrop now, and it’s looks really cool all blow-up and huge. You’ll see it tonight, it’s on stage.
Buick: How does it correlate to the album itself?
Bobby: The majority of the album is about current political situations. Like certain things that are happening in other countries, tensions that are going on and genocidal governments, a lot of the messed up things that are going on in the world. I didn’t write the lyrics, so it’s always hard for me to answer this question, but it’s kind of like that figure is encompassing all the things that are happening that are wrong. That’s the way I look at it. It’s a figure that is representing the downfall of certain civilizations. Kind of like, if you would consider it to be an antichrist-type figure. I think it’s kind of cool; it has all of the chaos in the background. It really sums up what the album is about.
Buick: You’ve gotten a lot of criticism in the past because people thought you were just famous because of Myspace. But everyone seems to be warming up to yall so much lately. Why do you think that is?
Bobby: We had a really great jumpstart with our career because of Myspace. I can’t lie; it definitely has helped the band out a lot by getting our music out there. Myspace was definitely a great platform for the band to make it’s big jump. We worked a lot. We worked really hard, toured a ton, and just kept shoving it down everyone’s throat, I guess. We’re trying to establish ourselves as a real band. We want to prove to everybody that we’re not just a Myspace-type band. Because there are a lot of bands that do really well online for a while, and then that’s all it really was; online hype. So we wanted to make sure that wasn’t going to happen with our band. We worked as hard as we could to build a real fan base. I think that now after years of touring our asses off, it’s kind of cool when people come to shows and say, “I’ve never heard of you guys a year and a half ago, then I went and saw you and I’m into it.” That’s always really cool to hear. We’re still working on it. We’re always going to be trying to grow as a band. But it’s definitely cool. We’ve been really happy and lucky with a lot of the things that we’ve had the opportunity to do because people have been into us, so it’s pretty cool. I’m really grateful to everyone who’s been supportive of the band. There are a lot of people that are haters, but that’s okay. Makes the world go round.
Buick: The band you’re touring with now, Gwar, is, of course, known for elaborate stage shows. Has this tour been different than any others?
Bobby: No. They’re absolutely doing they’re elaborate stage shows, and it’s awesome. They have a really good show on this tour. It’s really fun to watch. I’ve watched it a few times now in its entirety. It’s rad.
Buick: Can you give me a hint about what it is?
Bobby: No, I really don’t want to ruin anything for you. The King of Pop makes an appearance.
Buick: That’s interesting. I wouldn’t have thought of that. You’ve played with some great bands in your career already like Gojira, who was here a few days ago..
Bobby: I love Gojira.
Buick: …and Megadeth and Behemoth. Who’s been your favorite to tour with?
Bobby: It’s kind of hard to pick one, but Behemoth is definitely a great time, really good dudes. Red Chord is definitely up there, one of our favorite bands to tour with. Gwar is definitely becoming on of our favorites, definitely one of my favorite, bands to tour with. Everyone’s really cool, accommodating and super fun. And there’s been a lot of bands; Megadeth was one of our favorites too. We had a lot of fun with those guys. Got to hang out with Shawn Drover a lot, the drummer. He’s a really cool dude. He had a lot of good advice and words of encouragement for us. If you’re lucky…every once in a while you hear about a band that sucks to tour with, but we’ve been pretty lucky and haven’t had to deal with a lot of jerks.
Buick: Who would you like to tour with in the future?
Bobby: I’d like to do an American tour with Black Dahlia Murder. I just think an entire United States tour would be fun. I’d like to tour with Goatwhore again. We have in the past; it was a part of the Sounds of the Underground thing. I’d like to do a proper tour; Black Dahlia Murder, us and Goatwhore, something like that.
Buick: That’s one of [New Orleans’] bands. I love when people say that.
Bobby: Yeah, love those guys. Their new album is incredible.
Buick: You’ve played some big festivals, you were saying Sounds of the Underground, already. You haven’t been around very long, but you’ve gotten so popular…
Bobby: We’re trying! We’re working on it.
Buick: Do you prefer large festivals or small clubs like tonight?
Bobby: I like the small club tours a lot. The festivals are always fun because you can hang out all day. You get done at four. The club tours are fun because you’re in the heart of a city, and you get to go around and do things. When you do big festivals…we just did that Rockstar Mayhem Tour and we were in a parking lot. It’s basically just the same thing every day; giant parking lot, nothing around us and every day was like that. It was like Groundhog Day, you wake up and it’s the same exact surroundings. It’s still a lot of fun, but, for me, one of my favorite things about touring is getting to travel and check out stuff. We walked around a lot today. I like to see the city, so I like these tours a lot. The club tours are cool too because it’s more intimate with the fans.
Buick: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Bobby: If you haven’t gotten the new Goatwhore record (Carving Out the Eyes of God) you should pick it up. It’s definitely amazing. It’s one of my favorite records that has come out in the last few years. That records awesome, so buy that. And if you have any money left, buy ours or download ours. As long as you hear it, it’s cool. Record sales are whatever. That’s not really what it’s about.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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