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That rockabilly sound wasn't as simple as I thought it was.
I called it Rockabilly 'cause I was rocking the strums, which you're not supposed to do.
I was a hop-around. I hung out with the rockabilly crew, the guys who were trying to be rappers, the funny kids.
I was born in San Francisco. I was raised in Oakland, so I'm, like, super Bay Area born, and, you know, it's just really multicultural up there, and there's a lot of subcultures just from, like, anything, like from rockabilly to, like, crazy punk scenes to, you know, a huge rap scene, and there's just all kinds of things you can do out there.
To me, rockabilly music paralleled punk's energy and feeling, but the players were much better.
I didn't realize how many true Rockabilly fans there were here in America.
With the Stray Cats at least, we really took the music somewhere else. First, we wrote our own songs. That's a real weak point in modern classics if you do rockabilly or blues.
I obviously had my reggae, but I got quite into rockabilly when I was a kid, because I was trying to find something that represented me as a white person.
For every rockabilly festival staged here, there are 10 held overseas.
For me, rockabilly is very, very exciting music. It's electric and kind of wild, you know? It's 'make your hairs stand up on the back of your neck' kind of music.
I'm not God's gift to rockabilly. There's great players out there, and some of them deserve a lot more than they've gotten.
I guess my favorite artists are The White Stripes or Tom Waits. The more theatrical the music is, the more I get into it. I also like the quieter folk music, that kind of old-school rockabilly or country. I'm not really picky when it comes to music, as long as it's honest.
If you went to school in Nashville, you were aware of all those '60s rockabilly people.
I didn't say I wasn't gonna do rockabilly. I just said I ain't gonna sing no song that ain't a country song. I won't be known as anything but a country singer.
Everybody told me that if I insisted on doing rockabilly music, I'd never have a chance of selling any records. In fact, I lost count of how many people told me to ditch it all together, in favour, I guess, of sounding like everybody else.
If you ask me, rockabilly has had a raw deal for far too long. People never shunned the blues or jazz the way they do rockabilly. But it's the original punk-rock, and it changed the way people looked at music for ever.
Ireland and America, music-wise, are very closely related. The Irish came over with their fiddles in hand, and you can hear it in the bluegrass and rockabilly. I love it when music from different countries combine.
We weren't afraid to mix some crazy styles into the standard rockabilly look. We also took a lot of different musical influences that were part of that era.
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