One of Popklikk’s favorite bands back in the 80s, The Rainmakers, are touring Norway right now. We have talked to Bob Walkenhorst about their new album; «Cover Band», musical inspirations, the legendary concert at Sardine’s in ’86 and Dumdum Boys’ “Møkkamann”.
See you at;
19.Juni – Nøysom Gård, Fredrikstad
20.juni – John Dee, Oslo
21.juni – Arendal Kulturhus, Arendal
– What is it about Norway and The Rainmakers?
– We were lucky. Combination of great record company, strong endorsement from Beat magazine, good radio play, and word of mouth made Norway know who we were very quickly. And luckily, people liked what they heard.
– How would you describe your first concert at Sardine’s in Oslo?
– Sardine’s was the last show of our first European tour of ’86. 17 shows in 14 days. In the other countries, very few people came. At Sardine’s, it was packed, people knew the words to all the songs, and Christmas vacation just started, so it was a great party.
– Looking back; was it hard to make your first album, an album that got great reviews in Norway?
– The first album was great exciting fun to make. We were at legendary Ardent studios in Memphis, Terry Manning, great guy. great producer, and a record company that didn’t want to change anything about us.
– What, in your opinion, is best thing about that album?
– That album has the attitude of four young guys who want to go out and play for the world.
– Which of the songs you have written means the most to you and why?
– There is no one «favorite» song. It is knowing that people listened, and some song meant something to their life, that makes a band feel like you accomplished something.
– What is it about Dumdum Boys’ “Møkkamann” that you like so much?
– When recording «Cover Band» and choosing songs that we listened to as we were growing up, we also wanted to include a song that came from Norway. We thought Mokkamann fit us, could be angry and twangy and darkly humorous, and we were right.
– What is your favorite album with The Rainmakers?
– «Monster Movie» is my favorite Rainmakers album today. Our best songwriting, playing, engineering, mixing, and great fun to record.
– You have a unique writing style; how important are the lyrics to you?
– My songs almost always start with lyrics or title. The subject of the song always dictates the mood and the power of the song.
– Was there a defining moment in your relationship with music?
– Everyone starts out singing and making up songs when you are a child. My defining moment was the one that never happened. No one ever said «stop doing this.»
– Pick three albums that have inspired you and describe what it is about them that you like.
– Bob Dylan: “John Wesley Harding”; A masterpiece of spooky simple writing
Simon and Garfunkel: “Bookends”. How to make depressing songs about death and old age seem fun and attractive
The Carter Family: Wildwood Flower. The Bible of American folk music
– What kind of music did you listen to as a teenager?
– I listened mostly to commercial radio, which would play Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix back to back
– Pick between the following;
– Bob Dylan or Neil Young?
– Bob Dylan. Without Dylan, there is no Neil Young, or Springsteen, or me.
– Stan Ridgway or Los Lobos?
– Los Lobos. Great balanced band. They can do about anything.
– Grateful Dead or Patti Smith?
Patti Smith. A real poet, and a brave artist. The Dead only sounds good when you’re stoned. Which I never am.
– The Clash or The Ramones?
The Clash. Musically much more interesting.
– Dolly Parton or Emmylou Harris?
– That’s a hard choice. Emmylou has not been swept away by stardom like Dolly has. Emmylou keeps moving forward.
– Big Star or The Cars?
– Neither. I don’t care much for either one.
– Nirvana or The Replacements?
– The Replacements. I know Nirvana is important, but Replacements are more fun to listen to.
– Alice Cooper or Cheap Trick?
– Alice Cooper. Alice really raised the bar as to how theater and rock can work together. And those are good songs and a good band on the early records.
– Nick Cave or Bruce Springsteen?
– BRUUUUUCE! Nick who?