RAYGUN COWBOYS (Canada). Jon Christopherson
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: Bop Cats, Edmonton, Jon Christopherson, Mike Johnson, Nathan Conelly, Raygun Cowboys, Underworld Boogie
CZB: What made you decide to start a band in this direction in 2000? Did you have another band before this one?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): This is my first band, I wanted to do a rockabilly band at the time but coming out of the punk scene it turned out a little more psychobilly. I'm such a big fan of the Misfits that songs I wanted to write about hotrods turned out to be about zombies.
CZB: Why Raygun? Do you enjoy Ray Harryhausen movies?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): I was reading an article and saw the word Raygun and it just came to me "Raygun Cowboys".
I just thought it was a cool name and I like the space imagery.
CZB: What influence has The Pogues had on you?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): I've always liked the Pogues but really the drummer is the big fan in the band. They weren't much of an influence on me personally.
CZB: What influence has Mano Negra or Manu Chau had on you?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): Never heard of them
CZB: What was it like meeting and getting to know Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats? What is he like?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): It was awesome meeting Lee Rocker, he was a really nice guy and it's still one of my favourite shows
The Stray Cats are my biggest influence so it was great, We got pictures with him and he told me
'you guys fuckin Rock'
CZB: Did you start out as a cover band, or did you have a different style of songwriting during the first couple of years? Who did you cover?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): We started out doing Frantic Flintstones and Meteors covers and gradually started writing our own material.
CZB: What would you consider major differences between your first two albums, Underworld Boogie (2006) and Raygun Cowboys (2008)?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): The major difference is the horn section but I think the song writing got better as well.
We were also better as players, so I think the combination of our improved performance with the addition of the horn section and getting better as writers made the difference.
CZB: What made you decide to add a horn section to the band? How did you meet the guys: Mike Johnson (trumpet) and Nathan Conelly (trombone)?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): We wanted to do something a little different and expand our sound as a band so we thought a horn section would work. I've known Mike for years, he and Nate played in a ska band from Edmonton that we did some shows with. When that band went on hiatus I saw Mike at the pub one night and we talked about the idea of he and Nate joining the band and after the first jam we new we had hit something good.
CZB: What do you consider the difference between your being considered a rockabilly band with a horn section and ska punk style bands?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): Well we don't do any ska at all and all our songs are rockabilly or psychobilly oriented.
The horn section just adds power to that sound but we do have some punk rock in us.
We all came out of the Edmonton punk scene so that is part of what we do.
CZB: What is the club scene like in Edmonton, Alberta?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): The scene in Edmonton is good, there are quite a few places to play but we stick to the 3 main underground clubs. There are all kinds of bands playing every weekend.
CZB: Is there a group of bands like yours locally in Edmonton and how do you get along? Do you work together on larger projects/small tours?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): There are other bands doing the rockabilly/ psychobilly thing and we do shows together but we're kind of top of the heap and really the only touring act - but we all get along good.
CZB: How has the music scene developed in Edmonton during the past decade? Are there a lot of up and coming acts or have teens lost some of the enthusiasm there was a while back for playing in live acts?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): The scene has changed a lot, for rockabilly bands it's kind of gone up and down.
We're the only rockabilly band in Edmonton from when we started that's still around; all the others broke up but new bands start all the time - and besides rockabilly - the music scene as a whole is pretty healthy.
CZB: What is the rockabilly/ psychobilly music scene like in Canada? Who are the pioneers of this genre there and how did this scene develop in Canada?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): Back in the early 80's there was a band called the Bop Cats, They were Canada's Stray Cats - then there were a couple of bands in the late eighties called the Razor Backs and the Nervous Fellas.
These were the real pioneers in Canada and the first Canadian Psychobilly band was the Dead Cats.
There have been good bands over the years, These days theres the Creepshow, the Matadors... and Gutter Demons who broke up last year.
CZB: Are all of you Canadian / are there any difficulties in trying to play south of the border - are there certain limits for a new Canadian act trying to play and promote itself in the States?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): It's really hard for Canadian bands to play the States, the work permits are 500 dollars per band member so for my band to go there it would cost us 3.000 bucks with taxes and then clubs don't want to pay enough to make it worth while.
CZB: What are people at club gigs like in Nova Scotia, compared to Yellowknife, NW Territories?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): We've played Yellowknife but not Nova Scotia. People up north go crazy since there isn't a lot of entertainment up there.
CZB: How do you find West and East Europe - or is this the first time you're coming to our part of the World?
Jon Christopherson (Raygun Cowboys): This is Our First Time over there so we're really exited and hope it all goes well.
Interview conceived by RiCo
First posted: 20.SEP.2010
Upcoming 2010 Shows
- 10 Sep New city Edmonton, AB, CANADA
- 17 Sep Hectors House Brighton, United Kingdom, UNITED KINGDOM
- 18 Sep Bacchus Cafe Geel, BELGIUM
- 19 Sep Logo Hamburg, GERMANY
- 21 Sep Wild At Heart Berlin, GERMANY
- 22 Sep Od Zmierzchu do switu Rzeszow, POLAND
- 23 Sep Cross club Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
- 24 Sep Club Daos Timisoara, ROMANIA
- 25 Sep Flying Circus Cluj Napoca, NA, ROMANIA
- 26 Sep AKC Medika Zagreb, CROATIA (local name: Hrvatska)
- 27 Sep For Sale Club Piacenza, NA, ITALY
- 29 Sep TBA New Castle, UNITED KINGDOM
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- 1 Oct TBA Bristol, UNITED KINGDOM
- 2 Oct GULLIVERS MANCHESTER, LANCASHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM Find Tickets
- 2 Oct Satans Hollow Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM
- 3 Oct The Gaff London, UNITED KINGDOM
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