The following interview was conducted via email in November 2007.
Interviewed By Ronny
1. Many of Kid Rock’s new fans may be unfamiliar with you. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and the time you spent in TBT?
Bob Ebeling: I am a music writer, performer, producer and engineer. I’ve had 2 recording contracts with 2 of my bands (Ebeling Hughes and Downtown). I’ve also produced and engineered hundreds of records including Remy Zero, Rufus Wainwright, Eminem, and Dead Meadow. You can check out some of my new music at myspace.com/bobbyebeling.
My time with TBT….In 1992 Kid and I hooked up for the first time since High School (we both went to Romeo). We shared an apartment in Sterling Heights. We we’re both working on our own music but soon started collaborating and recording on each others projects. I played drums on a bunch of his new songs and he sang on 3 of mine–mostly studio work together until 1994 when we organized a larger band (TBT version 1) to play out live. This band included two guitar players from Romeo (Jeff Hall and Andy Gould). Through the next few years we played out alot and continued to record alot. By the time Kid got signed to Atlantic I (Ebeling Hughes) had also gotten signed to Zero Hour, so we both were touring to the same cities in the fall of 1998, but in different bands.
2. How old were you when you first started playing the drums and how often did you practice?
Bob Ebeling: I started playing the drums at 6 years old, but not seriously with my own drumset ’til I was about 9. I practiced a hell of alot because when your young you want to be the best at what you do. I wanted to at least be as good as Neil Peart, so I used to play along to Rush records a few hours a day. When you get older your tastes mature and you realize there really is no ‘best’ drummer, there’s great players and I’m satisfied that I ended up being pretty damn good.
3. Who were your musical inspirations growing up?
Bob Ebeling: Electric Light Orchestra, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd. These bands are like the Sun and all other rock bands are planets that rotate around the suns. I went through different phases– punk, death metal, alternative, but always was rooted in those big ones.
4. How & where did you first meet Kid Rock and do you still remain good friends with him to this day?
Bob Ebeling: I first remember meeting Bobby Ritchie in at Romeo Junior High. We we’re both on the basketball teams (me in 8’th grade, him in 7’th). This was 1984 I guess. He was the first white kid who was really into rap music and break dancing. We did a concert in front of the whole school where I played the drums and he break danced. This was probably both of ours first big concert!
We haven’t talked in a few years, but if we bounced into each other somewhere I’m sure we’d have a beer or 6 and joke around like we always did.
5. Describe the band name “Twisted Brown Trucker” and how it was formed.
Bob Ebeling: Twisted Brown Trucker was our friend Charlie Valentines idea for a cool band name. I thought it was pretty cheesy but Kid loved it and ran with it. I think to him it just sounds weird and cool and demented.
6. What is your favorite memory of the late Joe C?
Bob Ebeling: My favorite Joe C memory is my friends asking me why Kid is using a child in his stage act. That question really answers itself.
7. What is your opinion of Kid Rock’s change of direction away from hip-hop?
Bob Ebeling: His direction change is inevitable to stay afloat in pop culture, but beyond that I always knew he would someday be a country singer. I think he knows that too.
8. At what point in your music career did you start writing and performing your own songs?
Bob Ebeling: I started writing and performing in high school. I was in a punk band and playing in clubs when I was 16.
9. How often do you play shows and where can fans watch you perform?
Bob Ebeling: I don’t do shows much these days, you can find me in a recording studio nearly everyday. My last tour was with my band Downtown in 2006, we toured the US. I enjoy playing out but not as much as writing and recording…the real creative process. There’s video of me playing at myspace.com/bobbyebeling.
10. What are some of your hobbies outside of music?
Bob Ebeling: My hobbies all kind of rotate around music. I like studying and using vintage recording equipment, listening to and collecting vinyl records– old music (the best stuff). I must sound boring! I’m really not, I swear.
11. What would you say has been your biggest challenge in life so far?
Bob Ebeling: My biggest challenge in life has probably been self control.
12. You are credited on the song “Jackson, Mississippi” on Kid Rock’s self-titled album. Can you tell us exactly what input you had on this song and how this came about?
Bob Ebeling : I believe I played drums on that song. I think it was a late-night recording session at Whiteroom Studios, after a gig at like 4 AM back in 1994 or 1995. My memories get mixed up sometimes though.
13. What do you think you will be doing 10 years from now?
Bob Ebeling: I’ll be making music and raising kids.
14. Name some musical artists you enjoy listening to today?
Bob Ebeling: The amount of music I work on and record keeps my ears quite busy. Three artists I’ve recently completed records with are Frankpollis, Jeff Brodnax, and Gypsy Kiss. You can find these bands on my myspace.
Bonus fact from Bob Ebeling on the “Early Mornin’ Stoned Pimp” name : One of my songs that Kid sang on was called Early Morning. One morning when we got up and we’re still kinda ‘high’ from the night before still, and were laughing about that, I just kind of rambling and laughing said ‘dude, you’re the early morning stoned pimp!’ So I guess he liked that nickname.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, we really appreciate it. We hope you have enjoyed answering them and wish you the best of luck in the future.
Bob Ebeling: Thanks Ronny!