- Posted on Mar 7th 2011 6:30PM by Dan Reilly
Gino DePinto, AOL
How did growing up in Tennessee influence you musically?
Maybe there's a better place to join a band. Growing up, I didn't know anybody in a band and in England, everyone knows someone in a band. I don't know if it's because it's smaller or there's a richer tradition of that kind of thing or what. In east Tennessee, there are not a lot of people that are trying to break out and write music. It's quite conservative. It's a great place to grow up, I had a great time, but I don't think it influenced me musically.
I was more influenced by my parents' record collections or what I was hearing from England than I was by what was around me in Tennessee. It's the quintessential place where there's a rock station but they haven't added anything to the playlist since 1995: It's like Soundgarden and Nirvana and Pearl Jam and they'll throw in some Creedence every now and again. The music I was into in Tennessee has a much richer tradition in bluegrass and country music, which is excellent but it wasn't what I was into when I was 15.
What kind of music did your parents listen to?
The Beach Boys and the Beatles and stuff like that, stuff with really good melodies. My dad's really into his blues as well, like Stevie Ray Vaughan. While that hasn't directly influenced me I guess it's inspired me because it's good music.
When did you start playing music, and when did you feel like it was what you wanted to do with your life?
I started really trying to play guitar and write when I was about 16 or 17. That's when I really started, my little pipe dream. Certainly when I moved over to England and Todd [Howe, guitarist] and I met, it was pretty soon after that that we really wanted to go for it and try to write music and somehow make a living out of it. It took us a long time but the desire was there.
Were there any artists that imbued you with that passion for music?
For me, when I was 16, it was Oasis. Their first two albums especially were really big for me. Melodically, they were great. I got into their influences like the Stone Roses and Smiths and T. Rex and the Beatles and the Stones. It started from there.
What's your favorite Oasis song?
The song that got me into them was 'Wonderwall' as it probably did for like 15 million other people. That was the first song I learned [on guitar].
Do you have any musical heroes that you would love to meet?
Usually, I would say no in the sense that I don't want to be disappointed by people. I've gotten to meet some cool people, but it was very quickly, like I met Robert Plant a few years ago and that was kind of cool.
After our first album came out, I worked in a shoe shop for a couple of years when we were recording 'Union' and one night, some guy needed help. I had my back turned, I turned around and it was Noel Gallagher. I started helping him with his shoes and he wasn't very nice. Maybe that's just the way he is. That kind of shattered the dream a little for me.
Was he being rude?
Well, there was no one in the shop and he was walking around and I was just being stupid. Instead of saying something like "We were signed by Alan McGee and you were signed by Alan McGee, isn't that cool?" or "I'm in a band" or something like "I like your music," I said "Busy, isn't it?" meaning the shop. He said, "What, me?" and I said, "No, the shop," and he said, "No, it isn't." That was the extent of our conversation. The man who got me inspired by music and I just said that [laughs].
Were you just kicking yourself after?
Yeah. Yeah, I was.
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