"My favorite toys are guitars & guns,and
I can get my dinner with either one." - CuzN Wildweed
I know some of y'all might be wondering what yr CuzN Wildweed has been huffin'.
I can answer that in a cinch: Pure unadulterated double D unbonded Grade A art brut genius hooch. An autodidactic and erudite renaissance man of the new south who understands that the south has in fact risen again and rather than tappin' on your front door and askin' by yr leave might I enter to prove it has, rather, kicked in the back door of your culture and stomped his durty south boots all across yr mama's nice clean yankee floor. A friend of everyone who is anyone (and that includes you) Cuz has been known to enjoy the society of such close personal friends as The Hunch Master himself aka the late Hasil Adkins, The Dancing Outlaw Mr.Jesco White, Hank III, Joe Buck, Johnny Lowebow and so many more. Mr. Wildweed came to us at The Deep Blues Festival originally b'cuz he is putting together, with the assistance of artist Joe Coleman and other chicken walkin' fans from around the world, what should prove to be the ultimate Hasil documentary titled My Blue Star- The Life and Times of Hasil Adkins. But after talking with CuzN and seeing and hearing his own work we knew that, not only did we want to screen his film we knew he was the right man to open the DBF and like Johnny Lowebow did at the 2007 DBF set the tone and the bar for this years festivities.
I called Cuz recently at his HQ in Virginia and didn't do this interview with him:
***Brief interview with CuzN Wildweed for Rick Saunders and DEEP BLUES FEST 2008***
Q: What's a "sonic gutpile"?
Cuz: That's how someone described my guitar sound when I played Jescofest.
I took it as a huge compliment. To me a gutpile is a very primal, cosmic and beautiful thing.
Q: Is it true that Jescofest 2006 was the first time you ever performed as a One Man Band?
Cuz: Yeah, that's true, but I don't really consider myself a "one man band".
I'm just a guy that likes to play with himself onstage. The whole solo thing I'm doing now was literally an accident. It wasn't something I sat down and planned to do. I was helping my friend Tomi-O at Jescofest and we needed to soundcheck the PA system. So as a goof I just went up and played some weird stuff to get all the sound levels dialed in and while I was doing it, a kid in the crowd named Casey taped it with his camcorder and posted it on YouTube and two weeks later I started getting gig offers. It was a total accident. The "musical career" of CuzN Wildweed was a complete accident based on a soundcheck joke gone bad. God, doncha just love Rock & Roll! ...and I didn't even have to sell my soul to the Devil down at the crossroads!
Q: But I've heard that you also played music with the late Hasil Adkins and Jesco White the Dancing Outlaw.
Cuz: Well yeah, but that was always mostly just hanging out stuff. You know, just playing for fun. I've played music my entire life, but aside from a few garage bands it's always been just for fun. Hell, you couldn't be around Hasil long without him trying to get you to jam and play, that's just how he was. He did that to everybody, if you were around him he was gonna get you playing music. It came as natural to him as breathing and he was always very encouraging of others. Jesco's like that a lot too, we just sit around and play music for our own enjoyment. It's never been something where I sat down and said to myself I'm gonna be a performer. It's just kind of evolved on it's own, as much to my surprise and amazement as anyone's.
Q: How do you describe your music and what you do?
Cuz: I don't. "Res ipsa loquitur" (Latin for: "The thing speaks for itself")
Q: But you don't consider what you do just a joke do you?
Cuz: No, I'm an artist and I can rock your ass, but I don't like to try and dissect or break down the artistic process to much. I'm afraid that if started trying to analyze or unravel it too much, it'll just mess it up and scare away the muses.
I take a pretty visceral approach to Rock, I like to just plug in, crank it up and RAGE! For me it's all about energy and release and making some kind of connection with whoever is listening at the time. The worst thing I could ever do is to start taking what I do too seriously. That would really suck.
Q: I saw a portrait of you recently by German artist Christoph Mueller.
You seem to have a growing European fan base.
Cuz: Well, mostly Germany, Amsterdam, Switzerland and the Netherlands. I don't really know why that is except for the internet. For some reason they seem to like me over there and in Appalachia. My core fan base, if you can call it that, is over there and in Appalachia and the deep South. Those are my people, the ones I seem to
connect with the best. Don't ask me why though, I have no idea.
Q: You've done some shows with Joe Buck from Hank III's band and I see you're also going to be playing some with The Pack A.D. and Gravelroad. How did you get mixed up with DEEP BLUES, "the world's first Punk Blues festival"?
Cuz: I'm not really sure but my friend Johnny Lowebow kicked off the festival last year and I'm just really happy to be able to be a part of it. I think it's a totally awesome event and I'm really pumped to get to rock out at DEEP BLUES. Hell, I'd pay to be there even if I wasn't playing, they've got the best band line-up for a 3 day festival I've ever seen. Without question DEEP BLUES is the best summer rock festival going! There's nothing else even close to it. Hell, I look at all the great bands playing and I kinda shake me head and wonder how I even got included?
There's a part of me that keeps expecting to hear from the Devil saying "Remember that night we were drinking tequila and you traded your soul to briefly be an internationally-known cult rock figure? ...well, I'm here to collect!" Ha! ...I gotta tell ya, it kinda feels a little like that sometimes, but hey, I'm not complaining. If that's my cosmic calling I'll take it! That's me, CuzN Wildweed ...doing the Lord's work and the Devil's sub-contracting!
"The psycho gutbucket Blues Metal savagery of Cousin Wildweed's vicious lo-fi guitar and demonic exorcism-like vocals are a primal trainwreck somewhere between the cruel sounds of love gone bad and a tormented animal crying out in pain, desperation and fury." - Throttle magazine
"If Ian MacKaye had been born a chemically imbalanced hillbilly and grew up in a remote Appalachian trailer park reading Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson & ZAP comix, and listening to punk rock, delta blues, country murder ballads and Mojo Nixon, he might sound something like the manic caterwauling sonic gutpile rock of Cousin Wildweed." - METAL HAMMER, Seattle
"Cuz sounds like "Metallic K.O." era Stooges meets ZZTop with an anger management problem." - J. Butner Creedmoor, Carrboro Music Journal
"The first time I met CuzN Wildweed was at a cabin on a remote mountain top in West Virginia. He had Hasil Adkins' tombstone in the back of his truck and was on his way to install it on Hasil's grave, himself. - Memphis Johnny Lowebow
"CuzN Wildweed is the Hillbilly Hendrix!" - Dancing Outlaw Jesco White
CUZN WiLDWEED(with special guest Jesco White on the spoons)- Gasoline Rag Boogie MP3
CuzN Wildweed on MySpace