Blacktop Mojo with Hostile Within, 710OIL, and Magg Dylan at Elevation 27 in Virginia Beach, Virginia October 10, 2021

By Glenn Woodell

I got the chance to sit down with lead singer, Matt James before the show and talk about recent events.

MMM: How would you describe your genre? Are you really southern rock and do you think it’s changed with the gain and loss of new members? I ask that because I’ve heard you described as southern rock and post grunge and I listen it and I go, I’m really not hearing the southern rock.

James: We definitely have a lot of ingredients in the gumbo there. But we had somebody describe us as Texas grunge which I thought was kind of an accurate way. It’s kinda like the grunge from Alice in Chains and Soundgarden and stuff with a little bit of a Texas twang to it with some ZZ Top and some Stevie Ray Vaughn thrown in there or something like that.

MMM: I haven’t heard of Texas grunge before but I think I could probably agree with that.

James: That’s the only time I’ve heard that term or whatever and I thought that was pretty accurate, ya know.

MMM: I heard a little bit of Chris Cornell in your vocals too.

James: Thank you.

MMM: I don’t know if that’s intentional or not.

James: (laughter) No, but he’s a big hero of mine. That’s a high compliment. Thank you.

MMM: So, obviously COVID has effected everyone all over the world in so many negative ways. With your experience over the past couple of years, can you see any positives that this recent, new way of life may have brought to the band and maybe to music in general?

James: It’s definitely a positive for us. We got to kinda take a break and wrote a new record while we were stuck at the house. We definitely got a lot out of the extra spare time we had not doing anything. I think it was kinda cool last year everybody had to get creative with live streaming and figure out new ways to bring shows to people. So, if everybody gets locked up again, we’re in for some pretty entertaining stuff because everyone’s kinda got that formula…kinda knows what to do this time around so we might get some pretty cool stuff out of that.

MMM: You guys all live in the same house in Texas?

James: Yeah. We do. Actually, our drummer just got married a few months ago and then our other guitar player got married a few months ago so everybody’s kinda growing up and leaving the nest so the band house is a little bit empty.

MMM: So, maybe you can answer for Matt, your bass player. Since I’m a bassist I pick up on some things. He likes to play way down on the bridge and he doesn’t mind letting the strings slap the frets a little which gives it a twang. Most bass players want to suppress that while he seems to accentuate that. I’m just wondering if he had any influences. Any ideas?

James: I know he’s very influenced by Les Claypool and Flea for sure. He’s a big Chilli Peppers guy.

MMM: He throws in a neat sound and I picked up on that.

James: I’m sure he’ll appreciate that. I’ll let him know you said that for sure.

MMM: The big question. Where would you like to see yourselves in five and then maybe in ten years?

James: Just still doing this. I mean just being able to make a good living. Hopefully in bigger places you know. I mean it would be awesome to be able to be playing theaters or some arenas or whatever. Wherever the road might take us. Just to be able to get out to as many people as possible.

MMM: Just still having fun.

James: Yeah. Just being able to make a living making and performing the music ya know.

MMM: Speaking of having fun, I noticed that in some of your videos you don’t take yourselves too seriously because you have a lot of comedy inserted in them. So, who comes up with the concepts for the videos?

James: It all just depends on which video it is. I’ve done a few of them. Our drummer’s done some of them. And we just kinda throw in on it and try to make it work. Because we’re all independent. We do all the videos ourselves.

MMM: Well, thank you for your time.

James: Thank you.

Hostile Within

710OIL

Magg Dylan

Blacktop Mojo

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