Why does it takes so long for you to come in Europe and play in Paris ?

Gov't mule has been together for almost eleven years now. So we did take a long time. I started thinking about it the second year. We definitely wanted to come over but it just wasn't right and we waited and I think we did it right but you know it was all about getting our records over here and get the distribution over here and have a real promoter. Someone like "Peter Nash", you know, help us out. We just wanted to do it right and I think we did it right. Because there's been so many request the last 2 or 3 years on our message board and on the website. People from Europe wanted us to come over here. We actually did good by waiting so long although I wanted to come earlier.

You played with Hook Herrera in Europe two or three years ago ?

We came over. We did two weeks in Moscow and two weeks in Madrid, a place called Chesterfield. It was a night club.

Where did you met Hook Herrera ?

Hook was at the first Gov't Mule gigs in California. He was living in California at the time and he has since moved over here. He lives in Barcelona now.
But he's been a friend for a long time.

Could you explain the name of the band: Gov't Mule, What does it mean ?

You want the real reason right ? the real reason Allen Woody and Jaimoe, drummer for the Allman Brothers Band were together, this was in the early nineties. It's kind of a funny story!! They went to a James Brown show, saw James Brown and were backstage and they were watching James Brown and there's a women they're looking at. She's got a big behind, she's got a real big behind and Jaimoe kept going: Gov't Mule, Gov't Mule. So that means, it's slang, the big Butt. He would kept calling that a Gov't Mule. That's one reason, but there's others reason too, it's a strong animal, but that's the real version!!

Nothing to do with politics, the democratic Party ?

Oh no no no not at all!!!!

When did you first met Warren Haynes an Allen Woody ?

I met Warren a long time ago, back in 1986, almost twenty years ago. I was playing with the Dickey Betts Band, and we had a couple of different guitar players and he was always searching for the right guy and we found Warren and he was living in Nashville he was brought into the Dickey Betts Band and we did that record "Pattern Disruptive" That's when I met Warren. And then I did meet Allen. Although I knew about Allen for many years, I did not met him until he had joined the Allman Brothers Band.

You had played with a lot of different musician like Ronnie Montrose, mick Taylor.
Can you tell us a bit more, does it last a long time ?

I met Ronnie when I was living in San Francisco and I was also playing with Dickey Betts but he was on the other coast in Florida and I was I flying back and "…….." I had a gig in Florida I had a gig in San Francisco, but I was recording with a singer a friend of mine Keith England, he was at one point in the Allman Brothers Band he was a back up singer. He knew Ronnie's manager and Ronnie came in to play on one track, play some guitar. He like the singer and myself so much, he took us on the road. So I did a couple of summer tour with him. It was all the old material, the Sammy Hagar stuff "Bad motor Scooter" "Rock the Nation" We had a really good time, it's a very nice guy, great musician. He has played with Gov't Mule a couple of years ago. And then Mick Taylor. I was on a recording session and he came on it to play. And I just turn in to play on his record too. What an amazing guitar player Mick Taylor. I had a lot of respect.

You played with Blue Floyd last month. Can we expect some live CD'S ?

Most likely there will be something available in the future.
Blue Floyd might be coming to Europe possible this summer, it's no confirmed yet but..

Will it be the same Line Up ?

The original Blue Floyd was Allen Woody, myself, Marc Ford, Johnny Neel, Berry Oakley Jr
and then of course woody died and went as a four piece. But this last time we went out with Audley Freed, Jeff Peavar and Shane Theriot, he's played with the Neville Brothers. He's from Louisianna. We're doing a west coast tour in May and it's gonna be Audley and Shane.
Just a bunch of good player. It's a lot of fun. I enjoyed it very much.

How would you describe the sound of Gov't Mule ?
Now it's different than with Allen Woody.

The band now is a completely different band. All the time that Warren and I played together with Gov't Mule, the last ten years it's started out as a trio and that was great a lot of chemistry. After he died we do the Deep end project with all the other players and almost every guy we played with turned it to a new band.
We finally found Andy Hess and Danny Louis and now it's another new band.
But we, Warren and I always keep something from the original band ,a little piece of it.
But Danny and Andy have brought so much new blood into it, it's a different Band.

You knew Danny Louis for a long time ?

He played in Warren's Band, solo band in the early nineties. I didn't know about him,
but Warren knew him real well. He knew that he would be a good fit.

Who have been your biggest influences ?

In a rock world, John Bonham, but everybody's says that cos he's so good.
Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix. That was the best time!, Cream Ginger baker and then all the jazz guys. We love Miles Davis with Tony Williams, Max Roach all those guys that makes beautiful music. There's so many good drummers out there. I steal a little bit from everybody!!

How did you choose the set list has it's different songs each night ?

Different set, Different songs, Warren is very good at that and lately Andy. They really get into making a different set every night. I don't like to look at it too much I like to be surprised. In a computer we file away every night that we play and what we play ,and then when we get to that town, that city again; we see what we played there the last time and changed it completely.

Did you write songs while you are on tour or in the studios ?

The whole writing things has change a lot. Warren is such a fantastic songwriter.
He writes all the time. If we come up with a musical idea, pass it on somebody, we just kind of log it on the back of your head, and hopefully it will come up again in the future.

Is there studio outtakes that should be released with Allen Woody ?

Some stuff that has not been released… We have a couple of things. That John Scofield show we did with Allen Woody, john Scofield, Warren and myself. It's all mixed and ready to go. It's sound beautiful, from 1998 or something like that. We multitrack everything, we've been doing that for a long time. So there is so much that we have to go through. But one thing that's definitely be released is a Gov't Mule and John Scofield with Allen Woody playing on it. It's sound great.

What was the first record you ever bought ?
Oh recent recordings that I would buy, Bands that I like now ?

I mostly buy old stuff that is reissued on CD. It's so fun to find. If you go in a good record store and see the stuff that's been released on CD, it's exciting to get it and sometimes now it's on DVD !! make it so interesting. But who do I like now, Hum…
I don't keep up that much with modern music. I know who's popular like "Kings of Leon", they are popular here in Europe. They 're OK…… Laugh.

What was the first concert you went to ?

The first concert I went to , I think it could have been Jethro Tull or Alice Cooper
possibly or Bob Seger. They were all around at that time in 1968.

How did you start playing drums and why ?

I was about eleven. I saw the Beatles on TV like so many people. I saw Ringo and I say That's for me, you now!! The Beatles, the British invasion when they came over to the United States , a very exiting time. I liked music, but when the british invasion happened I was totally sold !! The Yardbirds were a big influence. Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton

John Paul Jones was due to play in the Deep End Project, but it finally did not happened ?

We tried to get him, but he's aware of us. Jimmy Page saw us play a couple of years ago when he was playing with the Black Crowes. We opened for the Black Crowes on a big Stage. It was up in Milwaukee. There's a big Rock Festival up there. It was when Woody was around. It was us and then the Black Crowes. Jimmy Page was there standing on the amps looking at us, and you got a kick out of it. So that was exiting. But John Paul Jones I love him great, great.

You played with the Allman Brothers Band In NYC Did you enjoyed
playing with Butch Trucks ?

Oh Yeah, all those guys I appreciate them. I was always a fan growing up as a kid and then of course I met Dickey Betts and started playing with him so I mean I was pretty much in owe. But I even respect them more today, in what they do. Butch, Jaimoe, Marc Quinones and the rest of the band; They are Great, They are Great!!

Did you bring you own drum kit from the states ?

I brought my drum kit over here, yeah, the white "Slingerland" and so I got a couple of kit in the states but I didn't want to come here without my own gear, and I'm so glad I did!!

Where you attracted by Electronic drum kit during the Eighties ?

Oh! They are good at home, put on the headphone, it makes no noise!!! (laugh)
But I like the real gear!!!

Your playing is different when you play with Blue Floyd than in Gov't Mule ?

A little bit, but I try to keep my style. All the guys in Blue Floyd played with Warren and I or the Allman Brothers band, so we are all very connected.

That's it .

Thank you man very good questions man.