A/S/L: An online chat with Shotgun Jimmie

by Josiah Hughes

April 22, 2013






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A/S/L features online chat interviews with musicians. Get it? The internet.

When setting up these A/S/L stories, there’s always a concern about just how internetty a subject might be. After all, you don’t want to end up talking to a slow-typer or, worse yet, a Luddite who still handwrites letters.

In the case of Shotgun Jimmie, I didn’t know what to expect. Sure, he has a website and a Twitter account, but he doesn’t have a Facebook page or even a Gmail account. (Yahoo mail? F’real?)

Thankfully, my fears that he’d be a clueless webchat virgin were quelled when I put on his new record Everything Everything. Another collection of highly addictive, well-crafted indie rock, it solidifies Jimmie’s reputation as an endlessly charming performer with a laid back delivery. Think hard-working slacker. But most importantly, there’s a song called “Skype Date.”

As such, we set up a Skype date of our own, where we talked about shotgunning beers, making coffee on the road, and why Texas really is forever.

Josiah Hughes: Hey Jimmie! How are you doing?

Shotgun Jimmie: (cake) (star) (flexing muscle) (flower) (coffee) (sun)

Josiah Hughes: Whoa! I have never used Skype chat. Those are some

Shotgun Jimmie in Austin. Courtesy of Jimmie.

Josiah Hughes: No kidding! Have you got a ton of plans once the record comes out?

Shotgun Jimmie: Yeah. Things are shaping up well. We are announcing a ton of tour dates tomorrow I think.

Josiah Hughes: Do you enjoy touring or does it take its toll on you after a while? Could you stay on the road indefinitely?

Shotgun Jimmie: I love touring! It’s a great way to see the world. It doesn’t really seem to take a toll on me. I take care of my self on the road. If you make the right choices it’s sustainable (y)

Josiah Hughes: What are some of the right choices to make? I assume it’s not gorging on fast food and heroin… and maybe lots of Skype dates?

Shotgun Jimmie: Precisely, and sleep and exercise are key too. (flex) I run and hike regularly. It’s also fun to rent bikes or canoes. I think I play better when I’m feeling happy and healthy. I also feel like touring is such a great opportunity that it’s foolish to not take the steps to ensure that I do the best I can.

Josiah Hughes: Something weird just happened where the chat cut out! I just got your reply now.

Shotgun Jimmie: Sweet! I’m still here!

Josiah Hughes: Okay phewf!

Shotgun Jimmie: still jimmie

Josiah Hughes: hahaha

Shotgun Jimmie: Where are you? Toronto?

Josiah Hughes: No I live in Calgary. I saw you play at the Area last summer for Sled Island. It ruled!

Shotgun Jimmie: Texas of north! Thanks man.

Josiah Hughes: How did you get the name Shotgun Jimmie? Did you kill a man?

Shotgun Jimmie: High school. Contest to ride in the shotgun seat.

Josiah Hughes: OH YEAH! What were some of the rules you had? Ours were that you couldn’t call shotgun until you could see the car. I used to get in some legit fights with my friends.

Shotgun Jimmie: I was the fastest draw east of Toronto city. Ours was a race to touch the hood and say “shotgun.” And I killed a guy once.

Josiah Hughes: Hahahahahahha

Shotgun Jimmie: That’s not true.

Josiah Hughes: Do you insist on riding shotgun when you’re on tour now?

Shotgun Jimmie: No but it’s often joked about

Josiah Hughes: Ugh I bet, I’m so lame for bringing it up! 😐

Shotgun Jimmie: Not at all. We are just a couple guys chatting on Skype

Josiah Hughes: ahahahahaha. Shooting the breeze. Do people also insist that you shotgun beers a lot?

Shotgun Jimmie: There was one time in Saint John, NB that got a bit out of hand.

Josiah Hughes: Care to elaborate?

Shotgun Jimmie: I was peer pressured into doing it on stage. Not my proudest moment. The woman responsible had been taught by her father how to open the can by biting a hole in it with her bare teeth!! While shotgunning! (Do not try at home)

Josiah Hughes: I have tried that! It’s so hard and I always make such a mess.

Shotgun Jimmie: I will admit it was kinda the most amazing thing at the time. She also gave me a raincoat to wear.

Josiah Hughes: Oh wow! Honestly, it sounds like you were in the care of some real pros.

Shotgun Jimmie: Only in New Brunny… Do you play music yourself?

Josiah Hughes: Yeah I do! I play in a punk band with my wife and my friend called Grown-Ups.

Shotgun Jimmie: Love it.

Josiah Hughes: Also my younger brother plays electronic music in Langley, BC and probably like six years ago he played a show with Shotgun and Jaybird. That’s the first time I saw you play! It was in like a barn or a classroom or something weird.

Shotgun Jimmie: Yeah yeah. Near the five corner intersection w/ Jonathan Inc.!

Josiah Hughes: Yeah! Wow you remember Langley well! I had to leave that show early to go to Blackalicious in Vancouver because I was reviewing it and then my car got broken into, so I really shouldn’t have left!

Shotgun Jimmie: Love that Langley Schools record too. Best version of “Desperado.”

Josiah Hughes: Oh man yeah! That record is incredible. Do you book your own tours or do you have a booker?

Shotgun Jimmie: I book them myself and I prefer it that way. I find it super interesting. Most people that put on the kind of shows I play are dedicated music fans/culture-making go-getters. I love working with these types of people and find it very reassuring and inspiring most of the time.

Josiah Hughes: Absolutely! So then do you intentionally try to play small places like Langley as much as possible?

Shotgun Jimmie: Playing in smaller communities is great and I love discovering little creative art pockets. I was just in Marfa, Texas and had my mind blown by how vibrant their scene is there. Considering the size and population of that town. You should check it out.

Josiah Hughes: I’ve heard amazing things about Marfa! You were there on this trip?

Shotgun Jimmie: Yeah last week. It was a lot of fun. It’s my first time in Texas and I’m falling in love with this place.

Josiah Hughes: It’s pretty incredible! Have you ever seen the show Friday Night Lights?

Shotgun Jimmie: No! But I’ve heard lots about it. It’s on the list.

Josiah Hughes: Oh man, it’ll make you love Texas even more. Where do you live when you’re not on the road, by the way?

Shotgun Jimmie: Brandon, Manitoba!!!

Josiah Hughes: Oh man! I was born in Winnipeg 😉

Shotgun Jimmie: Wpg!

Josiah Hughes: When I was on a cross-Canada tour a few years ago we ate at the Tim Hortons in Brandon but we were so tired that we all accidentally slept for three hours in the parking lot after we ate. Also on that same trip I got a $480 speeding ticket near Brandon.

Shotgun Jimmie: Classic!

Josiah Hughes: Haha yeah! Do you ever visit a town and think “I could definitely live here” or do you always wanna go back to MB?

Shotgun Jimmie: Marfa, Dawson City, Sackville, San Fran, Berlin, Big Sur. I get attached pretty easily.

Josiah Hughes: Is there a common thread through all those cities?

Shotgun Jimmie: Good coffee? Just kidding. I think I’m a fan of a really really big city or a really really small town.

Josiah Hughes: Are you a coffee snob?

Shotgun Jimmie: Yeah I love coffee.

Josiah Hughes: Do you fuck with, like, gas station coffee or are you into fancy boutique coffee, or both?

Shotgun Jimmie: John K Samson has shown me the light and there is no turning back.

Josiah Hughes: Where’s the best cup of coffee?

Shotgun Jimmie: I travel with all the equips to make my own—hand grinder and Aeropress, etc. Blue Bottle in San Fran is the best I’ve had. Stumptown in Portland, Grumpys in NYC.

Josiah Hughes: I’ve had Stumptown, it rules for sure. That’s a great idea to travel with coffee equipment! What kind of beans to you use?

Shotgun Jimmie: I generally try new roasts from whatever region I’m traveling through. I’m into medium roast.

Josiah Hughes: What do you generally eat on tour? Do you buy a lot of groceries?

Shotgun Jimmie: I buy groceries for driving snacks but I love trying new restaurants. Sushi is my go to pre show meal.

Josiah Hughes: Oh good call! Not too filling right? I thought I hated sushi for my whole life but then I tried it the other week and realized it’s amazing.

Shotgun Jimmie: There is nothing like it! You stay light on your feet and you get a fish high!

This article originally appeared in the April 2013 Issue of AUX Magazine.

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Tags: Music, Cancon, Interviews, AUX Magazine, shotgun jimmie






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