Interviews: White Cowbell Oklahoma

We have had the opportunity to interview the Stoner Rock/Rock/Psychedelic Rock band White Cowbell Oklahoma from Canada. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1.Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

Clem C. Clemsen: The original members of White Cowbell Oklahoma came up with the band concept and name while tripping mightily on mushrooms, somewhere around a campfire (we think) way up the Ottawa River, somewhere. It was a very weird night, with flashing stage lights pointed into the trees – I think The Blair Witch Project had just come out and we were screaming at the sky. It should be noted this also occurred before the famous SNL Cowbell sketch ran. The band name was to prevent us from running into problems with another theoretical band from, say, Duluth, who might also be called White Cowbell Oklahoma. The probabilities were thus low. But it's a dumbass name we've been stuck with for twenty years. It was also a reference to 70s bands like Black Oak Arkansas, who had too many guitarists, drummers, and state names in their band moniker. Also, there was a cool contemporary band from Hamilton, Ontario called Shallow North Dakota. We might be giving a nod to them too.

2.Why did you want to play this genre?

Clem C. Clemsen: Because everything in 1999 was overly-politically correct and kinda boring (sound familiar?). But the main reason is that we loved 70s KISS, ZZ Top, and those southern rock bands with too many of everything – and lots of cowbell. The late 90s were largely about electronic minimalism, which is great, but we just wanted to be maximalist. WCO's first gig featured two or three drummers and nine guitarists. We covered the entire soundtracks of both Almost Famous and Dazed & Confused.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Clem C. Clemsen: There was a kinda Bat Signal that went out in the sky over Toronto in early September 1999. And then about a dozen guitarists – some I knew, some I didn't – showed up at my place to have a sectional all at once. That's the only rehearsal we had for the first gig. I have the board tape, though, and it wasn't half bad!

4. Each band member favourite band?

Clem C. Clemsen: I wouldn't hazard to assume all the musical tastes of everyone. But we all like rock, roll, punk, the metal, but also blues, jazz, prog, krautrock, space rock... I am dunno. As long as it's somewhat weird, we're into it. In White Cowbell Oklahoma's music, you'll definitely hear the influence of the 70s – ZZ Top, Deep Purple, Frank Zappa. But there are other wee things coming and going you'll note.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Clem C. Clemsen: My quarterly SOCAN statement mostly inspires me to write songs. Just kidding. I think the aforementioned musical influences sum it up. It's also fun to go into fantasy land, lyrically. But every new song gets you closer to getting on the road again. We love hotel life. They have everything you need – little soaps, TV, entrances, exits. We love the simplicity.

6. Where was your last gig?

Clem C. Clemsen: White Cowbell Oklahoma's last proper live performance was at L'Escogriffe in Montreal, in February 2020. It seems insane it's been so long , because of the covids – we can't wait to get on the road again soon! But we were very happy that we finished the 2020 with such an amazing show, with such an amazing audience in Montreal. That lil venue is fantastic fun.

7. Where would you like to act?

Clem C. Clemsen: You mean, like an actor? Well, probably on the best-paid Hollywood set possible. I really don't care if it's porno or Hallmark Channel. 8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Clem C. Clemsen: Probably with a collection of well-known adult film actresses. And a reanimated Groucho Marx.

9. Whom not? 

Clem C. Clemsen: WCO is not exclusionary. Mel Gibson's may be a bit creepy. But if it's a Mad Max movie, count us in.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Clem C. Clemsen: Nah, we don't get stage fright. We feel as comfortable on stage as if we were watching Netflix in our underwear at home. But if you're new, don't drink too much or do drugs. You'll totally suck, and YouTube is forever. Put on a hat and go into character. Works like a charm. 

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Clem C. Clemsen: See above

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Clem C. Clemsen: I probably can't get into that, but let's just say it involved DNA and french fries.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Clem C. Clemsen: White Cowbell Oklahoma fans are rabid enthusiasts of the rock n roll, wherever we go – North America, Europe, and increasingly in Latin America. We love em! They sometimes get a bit messy in public, but who doesn't?

14. What do you think of our site?

Clem C. Clemsen: Keep up the good work! 15. Anything else? Clem C. Clemsen: White Cowbell Oklahoma will be coming to your town soon! Check out “Textos Raros Vol. 1: 2001-2011.” A new album will also be upon you soon! Get yer bowls filled in advance!

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