Introduce yourself and the rest of your bandmates and tell me how and when everything got started.
Im David T. Carter and I play guitar and sing lead vocals. Chip Trombley drums, Joe Kyle, Jr. plays bass, Oliver Meissner plays violin, Steven Bazeley plays keyboards, and Rick Miller plays guitar. Thats essentially the lineup, but I cant take everybody with me when I tour. On the road I have to rely on only three members, me, Chip and Oliver. I started playing solo in San Francisco in 1991. I had come over from Australia and made a stop in Los Angeles for a few months. I formed a three-piece bluegrass-type outfit that grew into a larger band, and Ive been doing it ever since. Everybody whos entered the band over the years has made significant contributions to the formula. Theyre all very good readers, and they are all trained studio musicians. Im the least trained. I look for guys more trained than me, and my job is to try to get them to do something artful. Were all proficient in playing different genres of music. We may have placed ourselves into the "Americana" category, but we take on so many different styles. Were not a jazz band, but jazz is a very important aspect to the band. You can hear it in the chord progressions. Our drummer Chip wasnt proficient playing country music. It was an alien sound to him and he wasnt accustomed to the "straight ahead oompah" style that most country drummers play. I wanted to develop something unique, something that was individually mine. It worked out well because with my "Chet Atkins finger style" playing, Chip and I have created a rhythm section between one and another that other players coming in can add to in their own unique way. Oliver, our fiddle player, has a classical and gypsy background. Hes a true hybrid. I also had to bring him into the country world, which wasnt a style of music that he was proficient in.
In the text of this interview, Im including links to the bands website (www.trailerparkrangers.com), their press kit, your personal MySpace page, and your record companys website . Music fans who visit those websites can hear song samples of your music. Since my website is text-only, describe the musical direction of your current record "Everybodys A Winner" and your debut "Lullabies of All the Mess."
I consider myself a stylist. I do different stylings, mixing country with jazz, country with folk, and country with gypsy. Its like theres a pair of cowboy boots everywhere I go, but it might be the only "country" thing you can detect. Everything else is a derivative of other styles. Everything I do stylistically can be traced to American roots music.
Expand on two comments from your website that possibly describe you as a songwriter: "Road Music For The Mind" and "The imagery and symbols I use reflect the eyes that I have seen through."
My music is very reflective; it has a big emotional aspect and it has a big intellectual aspect. Its very lyrical, its very story-driven, and its very theme-driven. Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Pink Floyd, and other conceptual artists always put music to stories as well as themes. Im very big on that and my personal MySpace page is good for checking out examples of that. I also write songs to make people dance and to make them happy. A friend once said that music like that used to be considered "road music." I added "for the mind." A bartender spun it around and said its "mind music for the road." It interplays backwards and forwards doesnt it? The second comment about the eyes Ive seen through is reflective of my life. As a young boy in Australia I was brought up bottom of the barrel, as low down on the economic ladder as you could possibly be. My parents and four kids jumped on a ship and sailed across to England, living there and in other parts of Europe for a few years. I basically had seen the whole of the world before I was fourteen. Then I came to America, but I always considered Australia to be the place I called home. All my life, Ive transported myself into places where I didnt know anybody.
Tell me where we can buy your bands CDs and check out other promotional material?
FlightSafe Records has a music store for anybody who writes us and asks where to purchase our CDs. City Hall Records, our distributor, places our stuff in cities wherever were touring. You can also buy them at iTunes. We have a promotional video at our website that shows us performing live at a few different places. Theres also a link to Neil Youngs website. He has a "Living With War" song page where an old battle song I wrote called "Soldier One" is posted. At our website, you can view a couple of imagery type of videos that I put together from public domain video that go with our songs. I have material to put out three records, and were recording one now that has more of a pop-loungy jazz styling with female singers. There are mp3 samples at our website.
Youre in Brooklyn, New York, on an off-day between tour dates. Hows Brooklyn treating you and what are your tour plans for the rest of 2007?
Brooklyns treating me fine. Ive been here before and I love New York. Its a beautiful town; I really enjoy the history and the grittiness. Its a nice change for me. Im situated in Northern California, and it can be a bit too squeaky-clean in some parts. The way were looking at this tour is that its an audition for a lot of people. Were setting it up for the next time. The reception weve received on the East Coast has been very good. I think New York will be a very good circuit for us, and were eagerly looking forward to coming back every chance we can. Well be touring regionally in California throughout the Summer of 2007. Music fans in North Carolina can see and hear the Trailer Park Rangers when we play the Flat Rock Music Festival in late September 2007. Hopefully, well book a few more shows around that festival. Were expecting to be quite busy the rest of 2007, hopefully more national rather than regional. As far as the new material, release dates are tentative but well definitely make some of it available for download for our existing fans. All the up-to-date information on the band is posted at our website.
Please share your thoughts on the senseless onstage murder of Dimebag Darrell.
Im not familiar with Dimebag Darrell, but obviously Im saddened by his story. So many beautiful people over the years who have done so many great things for humanity have been slain before our eyes. I wish there was an answer to that but I dont think there is one. When you put your head out above everybody else and youre in the spotlight, this is par for the course. Its like a casualty of war. When youre close to the battle lines and exposed, the percentages of something bad happening go up. My heart goes out to Dimebag, his family, and a lot of people who have lost their lives on that level. Its strange because theyve done nothing wrong. History sometimes punishes people who go out and try to do something good. Its an ugly nuance of humanity. There is a responsibility of being a spokesperson, whether youre a rock star, a politician, or a movie star. You have to be aware of that, and the effect, good or bad, that you have on peoples lives.