Chucks Wagon

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Chuck’s Wagon is all about blending Country Rock and American influences with an Australian voice that produces a unique synergy with echoes of Johnny Cash. The band shares their life as musicians as they make their way to the Manning in December.


> What genre would do you consider Chuck’s Wagon to be?

We’re categorised as all country rock, but we’re more along the lines of Lucinda Williams, Steve Earl, Wilco – they’re sort of our influences. And you could put Johnny Cash as a main influence as well.

> ‘Lipstick and Sin’ is your new album. What’s your inspiration behind that, and what can people expect to hear from the album?

This record was inspired by two tours over to Texas. Some songs on there are influenced environmentally by that place, but it’s still about relationships more than anything. I’m not writing about girls and beer and pick up trucks. I’m writing about people and places and their relationship to it.

> How do you fit personal relationships in with your music career?

Chuck Stokes

Chuck Stokes

I grew up out west but I’ve been living by the beach for a while, and there’s the concept that a lot of surfers have beach widows – the girls that are on the beach on their towels while the boys are out in the water for hours. There’s no doubt that in music relationships can be the casualty, and I’ve lost a few of those.

I don’t know if you’d call it a drug, but being a musician is not very romantic. There’s a fantastic song by Buddy Miller called ‘A Showman’s Life’, which perfectly sums up the life of a musician. It says: “You told me about the money and the wine and the pretty girls, but nobody told me about this.”

I think there’s a real loneliness about being a musician, especially as you travel. We are about to do 5 weeks in the States, and it’s never as romantic as it sounds. We’re not Keith Urban, we’re not doing stadiums, Nicole’s not following us around and we’re travelling in vans and station wagons.

We’re playing 6 nights a week and usually sleeping on the floors of people’s houses, and yet we’re covering the country from Texas to California and playing Aussie country rock. People come and see us and get blown away, thinking “What the hell are you guys doing here?”

I think that the thing that helps me is that the wild and woolly drug and alcohol days are in the past and when the show’s over, it’s actually over. There’s no waking up somewhere not knowing how you got there, and that makes it a bit easier!

> How were you received when you performed in the US?

They’re pretty impressed that we’re coming all that way, and we’re Australian! Australians are passionate and good at what we do, so they know that. If you can belt out a good quality song and entertain them, they love it!

> If you could sum up Chuck’s Wagon in one sentence, what would it be?

We’re definitely not a party band… we’re like listening to Johnny Cash on a long drive across the country.

> Thanks for your time Chuck

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