Interview: The NoBS
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Music captured my soul as a toddler. So did the fine arts. So did great literature. I pursued the fine arts until I was 15 and realized that my next youngest brother, Bill, was much better than me. I love his work. In fact, he designed all of our silkscreen posters that will be part of our merch later this year. Then I switched to music as my leading art form. I began playing clarinet at 8. It was handed down to me from my oldest brother, Scot, who is still playing wind instruments, the blues harp, as well as bass, guitar & singing. BTW, our youngest brother, David, always had a great singing voice so he does that in the band as well as guitar & bass. Reading led writing and I am a prolific writer of songs, short stories and progressive politics.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Besides a very full family life, my wife, Deb Greco, who manages the NoBS, and I travel the world for her job and mine. The influences are huge. Mainly, I practice. You can never practice too much, perform too much or learn too much music.
How long has your band been around?
We began the NoBS in 1980.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
California is our home. The open free spirit of the state encourages everyone to let their freak flags fly and just… do it!
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
The name of the band is, No Bullshit. No venue would put that on a marquee or an ad so, we went to No BS. People would see that and say, “Oh, it’s the NOBS.” It all means that we wanted to remain true to all the original American forms of music, which all come from the Blues & Celtic Folk music, but mainly the Blues. And then we do it our way.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Honestly, best and worst do not apply to what we do. It’s a meditation to us, treating all gigs the same, with the same intensity. Some are dangerous, people pulling out guns, some are pleasant, playing in the park on a sunny day.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Our current fave venue is Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, near Joshua Tree, California…Yet to play? Madison Square Garden… LOL
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
The Rolling Stones
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Never Give Up on yourself… even when your band falls apart, put together a new band… play solo for awhile… just keep going… look at the NoBS: formed in 1980, disbanded in 1985, reformed in 2017… never stop dreaming and playing!
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Listen to your heart.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Mystic Eyes… it was our first college radio hit, followed by the other side of the 45, Fever/Fire…
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
We are at the point where it’s all one big fiesta of the blues and we dig it!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Life gives us all we need to write. One member gets inspired, brings it to the band and we work it up… then the fans decide...
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Social, political & romantic.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Have a disagreement — Take off 30 years --- and call me in the morning…
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Sell a bunch more of our recordings and tour the world…