We caught up with JD Simo of the band Simo on the opening night of their European tour.

I already knew JD, having interviewed him a few months ago, around the time the latest album was being recorded.

Armed with a few basic questions we sat down for a chat, and a catch up.

Ford or Chevy?

Chevy. Heres the thing the reason I say that is because if we’re talking old cars I’d say Ford. I love 30’s ford, and Hot rods. Modern Cars; unless you’re buying trucks, Chevy overall have the better car. That’s the only reason I say that.

Off the album, what’s your favourite song?

It changes, but the one that means the most to me is I want Love

What’s the response been like?

I’ve been sheltered from a lot of it by my own accord, So I haven’t had as much exposure as some of the other people, So far its been pretty heart warming for me, some of the things people are saying. In Americas there’s all these press outlets that would never have given us the time before, All of a sudden they’re being really kind, the things they are saying and comparing us to has been really nice. A lot of the contemporary people I look up to like the Alabama Shakes and Wilco, and Ryan Adams and stuff, its been really nice, it feels a lot different

I think FOTF got one of the first reviews out in this country?

Thank you very much for that, and I was very honoured by that.

It’s OK, It’s a great album and if I’m honest, my favourite track is I Pray, I find it very powerful.

Thank you very much, a lot of people have been gravitating towards it. I didn’t know how people were gonna react to that one because its so long, we may do a radio edit of that one because a lot of people are gravitating towards it, which I really appreciate.

You talk about all the crap going on in the world when you talk about this album?

Yea

If you could change one thing, what would you like to change, if you had super powers? 

I’d make money non-existent, because I think all of a sudden if we had to base our relationships on bartering, it would take us away from money.   What is money anyway? Nowadays Its just not tangible, I look at what money I have on my phone, it tells me a number that in my account, what is it, its invisible?

Yea – do away with Money.

Around the world, now or in the past, who were the worst and the best leaders in any country.

The worst is easy that’s Adolf Hitler.

The best, its tough, I’m an American, I have a strong love of John F Kennedy for a lot of reasons, I think he was very ahead of his time. He signed a test ban treaty with the Russians at the height of the cold war, he was pulling out the advisors from Vietnam, not interested in instigating any more conflict in south east Asia. He was aiding the civil rights movement in America. He was everything in our country, at least that represented some sense of hope, of growth for our country and then they shot him in the head. So it think id have to choose JFK, because I admire him as a person.

Terrorism, a lot of venues are being targeted, how do you feel about going out and playing?

I don’t think about it. It makes me unhappy in the sense that people get hurt, but it doesn’t affect me playing

Maybe best not to think about it?

Yea we have to live our lives. When it’s our time to go, we have to go, we have to be OK with that.

Can you remember you first demo, was it a home recording or a studio? 

My first demo, vaguely I was a little kid, I had a little tape recorder, I guess I was about 8 or 9. I’ve no idea where it is, Moms probably got it 

Ambitions, if you had not been a musician, what would you like to have done?

Man, I really don’t know, I started playing so young, there’s, just never been any other desire, I don’t know. I’m fascinated with History, so I could have been a History teacher, I really like cooking, maybe I could become a chef, I really like cars, maybe I could become a mechanic, any number of things, but I started playing guitar and performing so young, about 5 or 6 years old.

Walter Trout has released a new album and he has a guest on each track, if you could do that, who’d you pick?

There’s a bunch of guys in Memphis that had played on records that I love, I’d wanna work with the remaining members of the Bar-kays. Michael Toles who is a guitar player, and James Alexander who is a bass player and Willie Hall was the original drummer, I’d wanna work with them. Man, I’d really love to work with Brittany Howard from the Alabama Shakes. I’d love to work with D’Angelo that’d be a dream come true, to work on something with him. I wanna work with Jeff Tweedy on something from Wilco. Man, I’d love to do something with Neil Young. I’m sure that’ll never happen, but I’d love that. There’s a lot, I could just keep going. I’d love to do something with Steve Cropper, maybe play on a track with him

Based on this, if you could work with someone who is no longer with us, who you’d have? If it was limitless?

Elvis Presley by far, and I wouldn’t have to work with, just play guitar on a session or something. I wish I could go back and do something with the king, that’d be pretty cool because, I’d love to have met him.

Muical formats, when we were talking on the radio a while back we talked a lot about vinyl, what do you think of the music formats available. CD sales seem to be dropping

Yea, big time.

Do you think its all going to be downloads and vinyl?

Yea. I think there will always be the music fan that wants the experience of the take home vinyl, but I’m a Spotify junkie, and I have playlists in here, like you wouldn’t believe, and they’re waves not MP3’s, they sound fantastic.

I will always be a lover of vinyl and old things in general, I love Americana, and I embrace technology for what it is and I get a lot of enjoyment from it

Whats the plan for tonight?

We’re on at 8.30 and playing to at least 10, well a little after 10, it’s tough with the improvisation thing, but I can guess.

What you think about venues like this that have live music early and become a club later

Oh, I don’t care. I didn’t know that. A lot of people I look up to have played here, since we got here they’ve been really nice to us, and that’s not always the case

If you could go for a beer with anyone, who would it be? 

It depends on the day, but Bill Murray, he seems a really interesting guy to hang out with. I’d sure love to hang out with him some day and he pops up in some really random places.

What’s your favourite drink/tipple, your poison?

I don’t drink these days, I don’t really have a poison or any vices now, I used to, but I’m a different man now

Is it just ‘Red’ tonight?

I got a whole bunch of guitars up there tonight?

A tele?

I don’t have the telecaster with me, but I brought a bunch of others, because the new stuff requires a little bit more sonic

And effects?

Yea, which is new for me, it’s been a nice gradual evolution for me that just happened.

 

The Album Rise and Shine is available from the Mascot/Provogue label group and is available on CD or a double vinyl. The European tour is currently in Germany, but look out for future dates.