TC3 wrestle with the karaoke question

TC3 main stage
TC3 headlined Sunday night’s Rhinestone Stage at The Long Road festival

There’s no doubt our writer Paul Sammon is a big fan of The Cadillac Three, so he was stoked to meet the boys backstage at The Long Road festival.

Fresh from a full length interview we published last month, Paul caught up with Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason and Kelby Ray for a quick chat while Kyle Daniel was on the main stage. It completed Paul’s hat-trick at last, because Neil was missing from the last interview as his wife had just given birth to their baby daughter.

SSC – Neil, how are you doing, being away from the little ’un?

NM – It’s only just been a week so far, so it’s okay. Our new daughter, Teddy May, is 2 months old today and it’s all good. It’s great.

SSC – We were only speaking a couple weeks ago and here you are already. What do you want to say to the Long Road crowd?

JJ – Well, y’know, we’re excited to be here. It’s good to come over and there’s still people at the shows ‘cos you never really know. We’ve been coming over since 2013 every year, sometimes twice. We’re just really happy to come back over. Our first two shows were incredible, tonight should be great. Kyle Daniel sounds terrible, but other than that it’s all good. (Laughs)

KR – Nah, he’s a buddy

SSC – Everybody’s buddies with you guys. It’s like one big country community.

JJ – Yeah, I mean you’ll see us running around tonight with LOCASH, Lindsay Ell, Kyle. That’s what’s cool about this festival. A lot of our friends are over here. We never get to see each other ‘cos we’re always on the road but this is a totally different setting, it’s a lot of fun.

TC3 rhinestone stage
Green for go for TC3

SSC – Yeah, it’s really chill. There’s kids, there’s pets, everyone’s laid back. There’s nothing else quite like this that I’ve been to for country music.

KR – There’s a lot more stages than I thought there would be too. It’s a lot more spread out.

SSC – I take it you’re staying down in Camden?

JJ – We were but now we’re on the bus for the rest of the trip and then we end in London, so I guess from there to the airport.

SSC – Where’s your favourite venue to play in the UK? Have you got one yet?

JJ – They’re all so different. Like, the Academies? Some of them are cooler than others, like some of them have this kinda school vibe and some are more older looking, historic. It’s way different to anything we play over in the States. Every now and then you’ll play one of those old theatres but y’know, all this… (Pointing at Stanford Hall behind us) it looks like the academy where X-Men go to learn their stuff. I heard Marty Stuart wanted to buy the whole place. (Laughs)

SSC – You guys think a hundred years is a long time ago whereas we in the UK think a hundred miles is a long way. The world is now so much smaller, like with zoom for instance.

JJ – I enjoy the Zooming with the song-writing at least. I could be in Florida and write with someone in Nashville. Even now it’s opened doors for people writing in London on zoom. That’s been a pretty cool development, I think.

NM – Yeah you can embrace it for things like that, but I don’t think anything replaces being in a room playing a live show so being able to do both is just great.

SSC – When we spoke the other day you said you were seven songs into your new album. When’s that coming out?

JJ – Tomorrow…. (Laughs) Nah, we’re gonna put it out as quickly as possible. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.

SSC – Do you ever work to deadlines? Do Big Machine lean on you or do they just let you do your thing?

JJ – Ain’t nobody leaning on the Cadillac Three. We couldn’t get off Big Machine if we wanted to. There’s a mutual love there between us and they let us do what we wanna do and they do their thing and it’s been good. The record is gonna be strong. It’ll be heavier. Y’know, we’ve all been through a lot in the last three years, so you’ll hear some of that in there and you’ll hear some fun stuff. Half the time we make records just to make people feel good and feel “something” and sometimes it’s, y’know, we kinda wanna say something here. There’ll be a nice little mix of that.

SSC – It must be nice knowing your listeners want to hear what you’ve got to say? It’s not a political forum so do you have to tread a fine line between wanting to say something and actually what you say?

JJ – Over here people listen, whereas America’s more this rowdy thing, right? Occasionally you’ll get a “listener” but this over here, I feel like every night when I’m playing, I can look and they’re really paying attention to what I’m saying. It’s a whole different experience over here.

Paul Sammon meets TC3
Paul caught up with the band backstage at TLR, from left: Kelby, Neil, Paul and Jaren

SSC – Well, we’re glad you’re here. You’re doing a signing later on?

JJ – Yeah, the first one in three and a half years man.

SSC – Years ago Big Machine released Taylor Swift’s first two albums for karaoke. You guys don’t have much. Do you control what comes out on karaoke?

KR – I don’t have an answer for that. That’s a really good question. We’ve never really looked down the karaoke rabbit hole.

JJ – I think the issue is nobody can recreate what the f*** we do.

SSC – Fair point. Okay, last question to wrap it up. Despite making children and great music, what special talents do you each have?

KR – I can tear down a wall in a kitchen

NM – I figured out how to scramble an egg over Covid so that’s pretty neat.

JJ – Wrestling. I’m a pretty good wrestler.

SSC – So glad I’ve not upset you with any tough questions. Thanks again guys.

Photo credits: Craig Dewar and Alison Dewar

Catch up with Paul’s previous interview below:

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