Formed in Nashville, Tennessee by friends Jaren Johnston (vocals, guitar), Kelby Ray (bass) and Neil Mason (drums) The Cadillac Three are southern rockers born and bred. Two albums into a career that has taken them from the USA, to playing all over Europe and beyond, the three-piece show no signs of slowing down. Readying a winter tour in support of forthcoming album ‘Legacy’, we caught up with the boys after playing to their biggest crowd to date at Download festival. Peace, Love & Dixie; Eamon O’Neill.
Hi guys, how are you today?
Jaren Johnston: We’re good, fantastic.
Kelby Ray: Very well - we just kicked ass on the main stage.
Neil Mason: Yeah, we just had a blast up there, man.
What was it like to play on the main stage at Download festival?
JJ: We just feel the love, man. It’s amazing, we’ve been coming here for three and a half or four years, and to see it get to this level is very exciting.
KR: We were here two years ago on the second stage, and now we’re main stage.
It’s been a while since the release of ‘Bury Me In My Boots’; have you any plans to follow it up?
JJ: It came out in August last year, and we’ve got a new one coming out in August this year.
KR: It’s done, and it comes out August 25th, worldwide.
JJ: It’s called ‘Legacy’; it’s eleven tracks, all brand new shit.
KR: We produced it ourselves and recorded it ourselves.
The band hails from Nashville; what’s the best thing about the city?
JJ: All the music, and the food.
KR: The way it’s growing is just absolutely crazy. We’ve been there since we were born, and now it’s turning into this New York or L.A. type place, that kind of a mecca, so it’s exciting.
Is important for you for fly the flag for rock music, coming from the country music capital of the world?
NM: We just do what we do. We’re naturally country, but we’re also naturally rock, so it’s a perfect place for us to come out of.
Is it a bit of a culture shock coming from there, to playing in large fields in Europe?
KR: Yeah. We’ve been confused the whole time. We don’t understand why everybody likes us, but they do! We’re just kind of taking it in.
How was the crowd for you today?
JJ: That was massive. That was one of the biggest crowds we’ve ever played for. It was great.
KR: We’d be lying if we said we did not get nervous. But we all grew up together, so we’ve been doing this pretty much in every setting you can be in since we were kids, so this is what you work for.
Do you notice your own hard core fans singing along in a crowd that big?
JJ: Oh yeah. We saw a bunch of Tennessee flags out there. It was awesome, because we’re a long way from the house, so it’s really cool.
How long are you out on the road for on this run?
JJ: We’re going home tomorrow, actually, but we’ll be back in November. It’s a full UK tour, but we’re also going to Germany, and a lot of other spots.
KR: I think we’re starting in Ireland, actually; Belfast and Dublin.
NM: In those places, I can’t understand a damn word any of those people are saying! Glasgow is thicker, the accent. We have a hard time understanding.
JJ: But the more we come over, the easier it gets.
Are you looking forward to getting some time at home before that?
JJ: We’ve to stay on the road. We go home for a couple of days, and then we’re back out in the states. We’re doing a lot of festivals.
KR: We’ve got LakeShake in Chicago, and we’re kind of all over.
Where’s your favourite place to play in the States?
JJ: *Without hesitation* The Ryman, August 31st, in Nashville muthafuckin’ Tennessee!
KR: It’s the number one. It’s the top. That’s the dream. That’s the reason we built this band, to do that night.
Why do you think you’ve made it there?
KR: You’ve got three guys that just don’t give a shit about anything and just want to play music, and we’ve built it up from the bottom.
Isn’t that what’s needed in today’s world?
JJ: Yeah, man. We provide the rock and roll. There you go; the escapism of rock and roll.
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The Cadillac Three release ‘Legacy’ on 25th August via Big Machine Records. Pre-order the album here.
The Cadillac Three 2017 UK Dates:
9 Nov – Belfast, Mandela Hall
10 Nov – Dublin, Whelans
12 Nov – Cardiff, Y Plas
13 Nov – Nottingham, Rock City
14 Nov – London, O2 Kentish Town Forum
15 Nov – Norwich, UEA
17 Nov – Birmingham, O2 Academy
18 Nov – Manchester, O2 Academy
19 Nov – Newcastle, O2 Academy
20 Nov – Glasgow, O2 ABC