The following interview was conducted via email in April 2005.
1. KIDROCKLUVRTBT asks: How did you get the name Jimmie Bones?
I was always real skinny and the sister of one of my old girlfriends started calling me that. I just assumed she was referring to my build but now that I think of it maybe she was hinting about something else. Hmmm.
2. BEASTCREW asks: What was the first song you remember playing on the piano/keyboard as a kid?
I think it was LET ME CALL YOU SWEETHEART or the National Anthem.
3. SUSAN asks: Assuming that you have been influenced by other keyboardists, whose talent has impressed you the most and why?
That would have to be Billy Preston thanks to my Dad. He brought home this record when I was about eleven years old with this guy just playing this wailing Hammond B-3 organ and that sound made me lose it. It was Billy Preston and he went on to work heavily with the Beatles and Rolling Stones. He is also a great writer and singer as evidenced by his solo recordings. On piano a lot of the blues pianists like Otis Spann, Johnnie Johnson, Pinetop Perkins plus Nicky Hopkins, Floyd Kramer, and of course Jerry Lee Lewis.
4. LYNETTE asks: Are you close to anyone in the band that you hang out with on a regular basis? Does everyone get along?
We are all real close and hang together pretty much on the road. Kenny and I do side stuff together and Krause lives the closest to me so I go over there and mess around in his studio too. We’re a family and do have quite a bit of fun especially on tour.
5. JOHN asks: What were your first impressions of Kid Rock the very first time you guys met? Have these changed much since?
I was recording with Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise at White Room Studios where we did Devil Without a Cause and Bob was working in the B room on Early Morning Stoned Pimp and what struck me was how hard working and focused he was while still having a great deal of fun with it. He’s still like that.
6. COORSROCKFAN asks: What is the best part about being on tour?
The crowd reaction we feel especially when we are just opening the show. It’s a real adrenaline shot. I love traveling and being in new places especially if we get a few days off. Catering and girls up front lifting their tops are up there too.
7. 6 PACK asks: What is your favorite song to play live at a show and why?
I love doing Where You At Rock. I love the groove and the aggressiveness of it. I get to control the bass line, do backing vocals, and play some Hammond stuff that’s real fun to do. Rock and Roll Pain Train and Only God Knows Why are up there too. I wish we would do Black Bob more.
8. FANFROMENGLAND asks: Why haven’t you toured in Europe more than just 1 gig in UK and 2 gigs in Germany? Are there any plans to tour Europe?
Actually we did do a whole month in Europe early on as well as the German festivals twice. We did the U.K., Glasgow, Paris, and Amsterdam. Personally I would love to tour Europe regularly but it’s not my call. Bob has been hanging out abroad a little more so maybe that’s a good sign. Keep bugging him and I will too.
9. PHIL MUNDAY asks: Kid Rock’s music has changed from rap to southern rock in just a few years. What kind of music do you think you will be making 3 or 5 years from now?
The thing with Kid Rock and T.B.T. is we break all the rules of the industry and for some reason it works for us. I think the reason is that we are just playing music and creating music based on what we are truly fans of. Rap, Country, Metal, Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Rock and Roll all fall under that list. It’s just real and that is why it works and funny thing is now some artists have followed that in recent years. I don’t think we have changed entirely to southern rock at all. So in 3 to 5 years we will be doing Kid Rock and T.B.T. music based on what we are feeling. We won’t be pigeonholed into a category. Good question.
10. MARK DELIK asks: What was the first instrument you began to learn (at what age) and what all instruments besides the piano and harmonica would you consider you have mastered?
My grandpa taught me to play harmonica real young but I don’t think I really have mastered either. I’m still learning and always will be. I always wanted to be a bass player for some reason.
11. BRANDON HODGES asks: When you play live or record do you compose your parts and solos before hand or do you improvise them? By the way I’m a huge fan of your chops as a musician.
Thanks Brandon. Bob usually likes spontaneity so I don’t get too much time to compose or develop my parts. I do improvise quite a bit but if I have an idea I want to take a little more time with i let him know. Examples of stuff I took a little more time with are the intros on You Aint Right and Drunk in the Morning.
12. LINDA HOTFERBOB asks: Do you ever wish you had a regular day job, wishing you could shut down, turn it off, and be just a regular guy?
I am a pretty regular guy. I’d raise cattle and farm if I wasn’t doing this. I know how to do a lot of building stuff too. Ceramic tile, hardwood floors, carpentry. Music is always calling though and I have so much to put
13. RACHEL IN TENNESSEE asks: Hey Jimmie, was wondering, besides playing at the venues in the Detroit area what would be your next favorite venue\state to play?
Oh they’are all cool. Of course we do real well in the south and when we do Nashville it’s like a homecoming again. I love playing in Texas too. It’s pretty hard to now like where you are at when you love what you are doing.
14. MELICIOUS asks: What’s your background? Have you always played rock keyboards? I’m a classical pianist trying to make the switch to rock and country, and the improvisation/soloing is tough! Any advice or experience you can share?
Forget about reading. Take all your technique and theory you have
learned and use it to figure out what is being done on records. This means your ears have to guide you not sheet music. I did have some formal training but I didn’t really start to want it until i started to listen to records and emulate what my favorite players were doing. You have a major head start though. Most everything I use to play Rock and Roll I learned from the blues and old Rhythm and Blues records.
15. GLAUTIER asks: What’s your opinion on the whole downloading music off the internet issue?
How ya gonna stop it? Nobody stopped us from taping it off the radio or records but then again the internet is huge so now you do have to pay for it. The effect unfortunately that it does have is the trend of not buying whole cd’s instead of just songs. Artists put out albums of material and if all you do is download whatever one song you get exposed to you miss all this other good stuff. I think the bigger issue is what is wrong with the labels and radio itself. There are too many people working for major labels who should be working in the fast food industry instead. Ahmet Artegun was a music fan not an accountant. The labels need more people like him and the radio needs more Mickey Shores and Wolfman Jacks instead of a conglomerate who owns and controls the whole shootin’ match. That’s dangerous and the voice of the fans doesn’t get heard. Or maybe it does and that’s why the labels are all crying about how poor sales are.
16. GAYLA asks: What music is in your car/ mp3 player right now?
Social Distortion’s new one, Howling Diablos “Car Wash”, Best of Jackson Brown, new Helmet, some New Orleans piano stuff by Champion Jack Dupree and Professor Longhair, ethnic Polish music
17. LARRY MEADOWS asks: What is Bob like as a boss? It appears as though he wants to make sure all of his performances are very much planned and prepared. Is that true?
He is demanding but fun. Of course things are rehearsed and planned but many times that day at soundcheck so it does keep you an your toes.
18. BARAK RUTLEDGE asks: Are there any old Twisted Brown Trucker songs from back between 1994-1997 that haven’t been released?
Oh yes and plenty after that too.
19. ROMEO1970 asks: Hey Jimmie! Was curious as to besides music, what are some of your other interests and hobbies?
I fish plenty. I love the country and I love being around farms. I’m into antiques. I love baseball and hockey.
20. KRACKERANDTHEKID asks: What is next from Kid Rock and Twisted Brown Trucker? When can we expect a new studio album?
Definitely another record and a tour. I can’t wait to get on the road again. Don’t know any specific time frames though.
Finally, do you have any final words for the fans? Any current projects you would like to mention?
I totally believe we have the best fans in the world. I see it on the faces and in the noise when we take the stage every night. Everybody is on their feet the whole night not sitting and that feeds back to us onstage. The Howling Diablos new record CAR WASH is real cool. They are very close friends of Kid Rock and T.B.T. and frontman Tino Gross produced the R.L. Burnside record A BOTHERED MIND that I did so much work on along with Kenny. Bob is a huge fan of theirs and loves the new one. I wrote some stuff in Nashville with Marcel Chagnon. Check out www.marcelmusic.com to find out about that and Marcel’s career. I’m just
anxious to get another record done and to tour again because that’s why I did start playing rock and roll in the first place. To play live and bring that to the fans whether in a club or in a stadium. It’s all a huge thrill.
Peace and Respect,