The Virgin Wolves recently took time out to discuss their backgrounds with the blues, their first shows, and The Song Remains the Same. Catch them Friday at Andy's Bar and Saturday at City Tavern.
Which came first for you: hearing a blues pioneer play the blues, or a band interpreting the blues? Carson Coldiron (guitar/vocals): Zeppelin definitely came first for me. I grew up listening to them thinking they were the pioneers. When I really started playing, I began to understand where blues actually came from. I learned a lot about Robert Johnson from watching and listening to interviews with Clapton. When I learned about the blues pioneers I really began to see where bands like Zeppelin got their influence.
Chase Robbins (guitar/vocals): Wish I could say it was the other way around, but I was brought up on the interpretation of blues being from Motown and soul music. My grandmother was the one who showed me those and they will always stick with me. I didn't get into the roots of the music until a couple of years ago. Jaimeson Robbins (lead vocals): I definitely grew up with the classic rock versions of the blues, which I love. But the older I get the more I want to immerse myself in the originals. Few things I love more than an afternoon with Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, and Robert Johnson. Kristin Leigh (bass): Well, I had terrible musical influences in my childhood. My mom listened to country, my dad listened to contemporary Christian, all my friends listened to rap (I was raised in Houston). During all this, my preference was '80s-'90s punk. It wasn't until I grew up, so to speak, that I learned Led Zeppelin is the greatest rock band of all time. And it's a fact.
What was the first show you paid to see with your own money? Carson: I think I was 14 at the time. I went to go see a band called Alexisonfire play at the Gypsy Tea Room in the small room. I just remember thinking throughout the night that "I can do this too." I can make it one day and be a touring musician. Kristin: My first show was Sting, I went with my dad at age three, so I guess I didn't pay for it. But it's the first show I remember. Jaimeson: That is an incredibly hard question. I spent an inordinate amount of time in Deep Ellum as a child. From the time I was about eight, I would go with my sister to any all-ages show she attended. Pinpointing the exact one that started the draining of my wallet is pretty impossible.
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The Song Remains the Same: essential viewing or forgettable? To me, it's good, but if you want the goods on Zeppelin live, it's the self-titled DVD of various performances over their career. Carson: The first time I saw the film I thought it was bizarre because of all the "fantasy" scenes, but I thought the live scenes were incredible. The more and more I've watched it, the more I've grown to love it. I highly suggest it to anyone interested in Zeppelin and even for those who aren't. Steve Phillips (drums): I've seen The Song Remains The Same an ungodly amount of times, as a drummer it seriously never gets old. Bonzo had the craziest sense of groove and too much power for his own good. Every time I watch any footage of Led Zeppelin, I feel like a five-year-old watching cartoons, sitting Indian-style inches from the screen completely mesmerized.
What can you remember about the first Virgin Wolves show? Jaimeson: We were so focused and precise. It took one of our friends telling us we looked like robots for us to really amp up our stage presence. The next show it looked like someone had shoved a fire cracker up all of our asses. It was awesome. Kristin: I agree with Jaime. Our first few shows were so robotic. We had all been on stage many times before, but you know how it is in a new band, you're so concerned with how it sounds, and what everyone's is thinking, that you forget to have fun. After someone pointed that out to us, we got way more comfortable, and started having fun. That's the reason we do this.
Does the band take influence from any other styles of music, like jazz, funk or metal? Chase: Classic soul and good hip-hop. Always a good source for a catchy groove. Jaimeson: A whole lot of awesome. You can find a little bit of awesome in almost any genre, and I like to think we pull some from the best of each. Steve: I get a lot of influence from hardcore and punk, personally, rhythmically it makes everything more interesting.
The Virgin Wolves perform Friday, August 10 at Andy's Bar in Denton, and Saturday, August 11, at City Tavern.