TC3 Drinking Club Exclusive Interview with Neil Mason
Huge thanks to TC3 Drinking Club for letting us share this great interview
TC3DC: We asked Neil “Do you play any other instruments other than the drums?”
Neil: Yes I play some guitar, piano and whatever else I can get my hands on to make noise with……
TC3DC: “Are you self taught or did you take lessons when you were younger?”
Neil: I took about a year of lessons but spent most of my time playing along to albums after school till my mom would tell me it was time for dinner. And then I had a band about two years after I started playing and we would just make noise a few times a week as well…
TC3DC: “Are you a fan of social media and the fact you can interact so easily with your fanbase?”
Neil: I think it’s great. The barrier of wondering what someone thought of a show or thinks of a song is gone now, and that makes it much easier to know what is and isn’t working from night to night. Every once in a while I have to shut it off, but it’s something that I think is fun for everyone…
TC3DC: “You wrote ‘PAYBACK’ which you gave to Rascal Flatts. Did you write it specifically for them?”
Neil: No, honestly I was very surprised when I heard they wanted to cut it. I thought of it more like something for Dierks possibly?
TC3DC: “Was the drum duet in ‘Days of Gold’ pre planned or spontaneous the first time you did it?”
Neil: We have always said we wanted to have 2 drum kits on stage one day, and I think we just got tired of waiting, and Jaren jumped behind mine one night, and now it’s become a fun part of the set to break up all the songs a bit…
TC3DC: “Do you have any musical influences that may surprise us?”
Neil: I love all kinds of music. I was raised on the Beatles, Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Temptations, Paul Simon and some of my friends’ parents who were country singers. Nowadays I don’t listen to as much music as I used to because we are writing and performing so much that I have to give my ears and head a break sometimes. I just like hearing new things a lot these days, any genre. If it’s fresh and different I’m into it.
TC3DC: “What do you think you would have been if you weren’t a musician?”
Neil: Gosh, probably a waiter or a bartender. That’s what everyone seems to do in Nashville if they don’t have a steady gig.
Maybe I’d manage bands?
TC3DC: “Do you have any hobbies outside of music?”
Neil: Honestly not too many these days…
TC3DC: “Is there any country in the world that you would love to perform in given the chance?”
Neil: Japan and South America, they seem to have really passionate music fans…
TC3DC: “Is there any artist or group you would love to perform with that you haven’t already?”
Neil: This one’s been documented before but it’s Tom Petty for us. I mean how fun would that show be?
TC3DC: “Are you surprised by the reaction you get in the UK? And how does it differ from playing in the US?”
Neil: We’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the reaction in the UK. We didn’t know what to expect, we just knew we wanted to get over there and see what happened. It’s been a really great experience for us, and something that came at a great time, as we have toured the U.S. so much that it gave us a lot of perspective on how the music can translate to anywhere in the world. It was something we thought might be the case, but to see things progress the way they have over the last 18 months has been really awesome to be part of and it’s only the beginning still…
TC3DC: “In the UK there are rock fans and country fans at your shows. Do you consider yourself more of a rock drummer than a country drummer?”
Neil: I hit hard because we are a three piece trying to make a lot of noise, so I guess in the traditional sense I play more like a rock drummer. But to be honest I’ve never really tried to classify myself or the band as anything other than three guys having a lot of fun…
TC3DC: “One last question, are there any exclusives that you can give us at the TC3 Drinking Club about new songs? (You don’t need to answer this, but thought we’d ask. ☺)
Neil: We keep writing them and they keep getting better. As for the final track list on the new album, all I can say is that it’ll be everything we loved about the first one, plus some new tricks, because we’ve had a few years on the road playing lots of shows and learning what works for us as a band. And it’s important that whatever goes on our album is something that we know we are going to love playing live every night for the rest of our lives, because we ain’t going anywhere.
TC3 Drinking Club would like to thank Neil for answering our questions from his bunk in ATV Park in Louisiana. Thanks, man, you’re a legend.