Monday, February 08, 2010

From the Archives - Willy Vlautin Interview

Willy Vlautin and Richmond Fontaine guitar player Dan Eccles return to Ireland for a couple of dates in March. Willy and Dan will play music and Willy will read from Lean on Pete his newly published third novel. The lads will be in Whelan's for two shows on March 13 (7pm and 10pm).

Willy has been a guest on the radio show twice in the last couple of years. He first came on in May 2006 a few months after The Fitzgerald was released. Richmond Fontaine played a great gig in Whelan's that night, the version of Black Road they played was brilliant. The gig was also memorable for the band's great tribute to Dead Moon - the Oregon band had decided to call it a day that year after almost 20 years on the road. That night Richmond Fontaine were supported by Ian Moore who played a memorable set from his album Luminaria. At the merch stand after the gig Ian Moore chatted for ages to an American friend of ours from Mississippi about their Hurricane Katrina experiences - he was a cool guy.

I interviewed Willy before the gig and he told me some great stories about the characters from his home town of Reno who informed some of The Fitzgerald's songs. When Willy was 13 his brother moved from Reno to LA. He'd return home with albums for his younger brother -Green On Red, The Long Ryders, The Blasters and various others. I think it's fair to say that this introduction to Cow-punk in his early teens really forged the seeds of the Richmond Fontaine sound. At the time of this interview Willy's first novel The Motel Life had yet to be published. He was pretty apprehensive about how the book would be received both by fans and critics alike. He also told me that the publication of The Motel Life was a bigger personal deal for him than the release of Richmond Fontaine's first record. Willy said he'd been writing novels for 15 years, "I have 'em just stacked in a box at home."

The second time Willy was on the programme was in 2007 when Thirteen Cities was released. This time around The Motel Life had been published and Willy was absolutely thrilled with the novel's reception. In that interview Willy talked at length about recording with the producer JD Foster in Tucson, Arizona and his love of Calexico. Since then his second novel Northline has been published, again to critical acclaim.

1 comment:

dee said...

hey paul loved the interview. the laramie song is beautiful, i'l have to get the album now. dee xx