B&L: What animal do you associate yourself with (given our ties to oxen)?
Fullbright: The raccoon is my spirit animal. I manically tinker with stuff and scurry away at the first sign of trouble. I used to think it was the majestic Heron, or possibly a raccoon RIDING a Heron but I don’t feel as majestic as I used to.
B&L: Why music? Why do you seek it? Why do you create it? How’d it come calling to you?
Fullbright: Music is an experience you create. I started out doing it just for me, to give definition to some overwhelming questions and conundrums that life handed me. Turns out everybody was asking me those questions. I wouldn’t have learned that so quickly if I didn’t try to put those songs out into the world. I’m glad I get to.
B&L: Was there a moment or experience that led you to try your hand at making this your life? What keeps you inspired to keep going?
Fullbright: I never gave myself any other option. My dad would say, “what’s gonna happen when you break your arm and can’t play guitar?” And I’d say, “Improve my harmonica playing.” I still get a lot out of it. It can be rough but it’s rough on my terms. Like that Gillian Welch line, “never minded working hard, it’s who I’m working for…”
B&L: What’s the making of a great show? What do you look or hope for as you step foot on that stage?
Fullbright: An audience that’s as happy to be there as I am.
B&L: Let’s talk about “Songs.” What were your goals when you set out to make that record?
Fullbright: To tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help me, Bob.
B&L: Let’s talk about songs as they pertain to the act of actually writing them. Is that an easy or arduous task for you? Is there a new album in the works?
Fullbright: It’s like pulling teeth and hoping the tooth fairy exists. Nothing about it is easy. There are a couple new projects in the works, I’m pretty excited.
B&L: What’s one tune (or, heck, a couple) that exists out there in the ether that blows you away that you kind of wish you had written yourself?
Fullbright: I wish I wrote Warren Zevon’s “Desperadoes Under The Eaves.” Or at least been in the studio…
B&L: We just lost Merle Haggard. Big loss. You doing alright? You have any fond Hag moments?
Fullbright: When my grandparents died I found a record player in their house as we were hauling their belongings out. I might have been nine-years-old. I sat on the floor and ran the needle over “Rainbow Stew” over and over until I was less sad. Thanks, Merle.
B&L: What can folks expect when they come out to see you perform at the Stone Church this Thursday?
Fullbright: A knockdown, drag-out fight between a man and his harmonica.
B&L: You like whiskey?
Fullbright: I like it at night. During the day, not so much.
B&L: Speaking of whiskey. This marks the follow-up to the show you did for us last year. A great night. One monitor was destroyed (by the Lyon – not you). Hopefully no monitors are destroyed this time, but while we’re talking about destruction, have any guitars or pianos ever been damaged in the making of a John Fullbright song?
Fullbright: I blew up an amp playing a Jimi Hendrix song in the high school band room. Pop. Blue smoke. Silence. I spent all the money I had on that amp. The next day I picked up my mom’s old acoustic guitar.
B&L: Question number 12. If you could have a dozen of anything, what would that dozen of something be? (And don’t say “Titanic” on VHS. That’s just impossible…)
Fullbright: A dozen black V-neck t-shirts. At any time. For the rest of my life.
John Fullbright takes the stage at the Stone Church in Newmarket tomorrow night (Thursday, June 2nd). Last year’s engagement sold out, so don’t wait on getting the last of the remaining tickets. Trust us. For tickets and more information: click here.