Continuing on with part 2 of what should be 4 entries in my Zombie week, I recently had the opportunity to interview Texas singer/songwriter Jesse Dayton. Dayton’s Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures will be opening for Rob Zombie on his tour, set to kick off today in Phoenix. Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures is the fictional band in Zombie’s Halloween II.
HardRockChick: Having lived in Austin for 7 years myself, what is it about the city that makes it such a haven for musicians? What are your favorite places there?
Jesse Dayton: Austin has always been a magnate for musicians, because it simply has always had more clubs to play than any other town you can name…Austin has bands everywhere all the time….I walked off an airplane the other day at the airport and there was a killer western swing band playing IN the airport…only in Austin…my fav joints? Antones, Broken Spoke & Continental Club are best for music and you can’t throw a stick without hittin a great BBQ or Mexican food joint!
HRC: You’ve been described as having a cult following…what does that mean to you?
JD: A “cult following” is kind of a weird concept these days, isn’t it? I mean, the whole business model has changed so drastically you have to go to alternative sources anyway to enjoy real music…I would like to think that by touring and making records all this time that I have fans who love what I do and no radio format or label can take that away…yep, it’s a hardcharger cult!
HRC: What makes you tick besides music?
JD: New experiences make me tick….I’ll try just about anything once….I’m a Gulf Coast paddle boarder…I love the smell of gasoline running through a flat-head Ford…I love the Astros….I love cooking gumbo and drinkin’ wine w/ my family….other cultures really do it for me as well, so I’m a travelin’ man…I’ve really been working a lot outside of music in the film scene lately…film is a whole new language to learn.
HRC: What is going on with country music right now?
JD: Country music doesn’t really exist on a popular level….I mean , the stuff they call country today is just bad pop music for soccer moms who like to have crushes on famous people….my grand-dad is rolling over in his honky-tonk dancin’ grave when people call it “country” music….there’s a lot of great contemporary folks, but you’re never gonna hear that on mainstream radio…I personally listen to Willies Place & Mojo Nixon shows on Sirrius/XM for better programming.
HRC: Were you a fan of Rob Zombie before entering into this collaboration?
JD: When I was younger I only remember the White Zombie songs on the radio…I always thought Rob was like Ozzy or Alice Cooper and ya know what? HE IS! Rob is the coolest….I mean, he listens to Otis Rush and Buck Owens just hanging out!
HRC: What served as your main inspiration for the Captain Clegg material created for H2?
JD: Rob and I talked at length about Clegg….he came up with the idea because he loves those old English horror movies….we had extensive conversations about the songs and the influences of the songs….in the end, he cut me a check and said now go to Austin and record whatever you want….he’s all about framing an idea and then letting people do what they do and leaving them alone…I wrote all the songs in suite #2 at the LaMothe Hotel on Esplinade St. in the French Quarter in New Orleans in 3 days…it was a very paranormal experience.
HRC: What is it about the horror genre that makes music such an important component?
JD: I’m 40 man…I came up w/ all the classic 70’s & 80’s horror stuff….of course I love Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series and really dig the Italian stuff like Black Sunday with Barbara Steele…but all that music from those early movies influenced all popular music….people like Iggy Pop and Roky Erickson we’re totally into it…even Buck Owens had a great song out called Monster’s Holiday…eventually it morphed into a genre…I’d like to think we’re doing something fresh in this genre….Fangoria seems to think so.
HRC: Regarding the upcoming tour with Rob Zombie, are you worried at all about the reaction of the fans that are more of the metal crowd?
JD: I’m not really worried about the reaction from the Rob’s metal crowd….I went out w/ Mike Ness of Social Distortion all last summer and we killed the audience….besides, this time I’m Clegg so we have license to rock those little bastards peckers off!
HRC: I’ve seen John 5 play some mean honky tonk tunes…any chance we’ll see any collaboration on that front?
JD: Hmmm….I know John 5 is a shredder, but never heard him play “honky-tonk”….would love to though….he’s a brilliant player by any stretch and we’ll be glad to get out on the road and hang out…we come from 2 totally different worlds….sometimes that makes for the best hang when you’re apples and oranges….gotta feeling we’ll be doin some genre bending guitar picking backstage.*
HRC: I’ll be going to the San Jose show and the LA Halloween show….should we expect something special for the holiday?
JD: Let me think, something special for the holidays. huh? The Night Creatures have been playing Hollywood Babylon by the Misfits, so we might have to break into that in LA….we’ve got a ton of weird covers worked up for this tour and wouldn’t you like to know what night we’re gonna shoot’em all over the crowd….beware: we’re killers…we wanna murder the first 5 rows of people** and at least mame the rest….all I can say is, get there EARLY to see the most white-trash guitar shredding rock n roll revival held under the Pentecost…let the conjuring begin!
*Um, HRC would LOVE to see this…..INVITE ME PLEASE!
**looks like I’m getting murdered!