On their Bandcamp page, three-piece Rhubarb Whiskey proudly proclaim that they have been referred to as “the anti-prohibition, hellbilly goth, the bluegrass Dresden Dolls, and the fortunate love child of Bill Monroe and Sid Vicious. Bringing you atmospheric, literate, romantic drinking songs that are sexy, rugged and furiously alive, this murder ballad Americana band is here to charm you with their tales of love, friendship and the devils in the bottle.”
That sounds like the perfect Mad Mackerel house band!
A couple of weeks back saw the official release of their second long player, the excellent Same Sad End. A rollicking, unashamedly drunken meander through the flotsam and jetsam of America’s forgotten, tales of murder, deceit, and despair shot through with a boozy camaraderie. Raucous and maudlin, upbeat and down, it has the extraordinary capacity to make you stomp your foot and raise a glass whilst simultaneously weeping into it. Marvellous stuff.
We posed our usual set of five to one questions to band members Emchy, Boylamayka Sazerac, and Sizzle La Fey.
Five words to describe your music:
Emchy: Hellbilly heartrock ferocious folkpunk Ameridrunkicana
Boylamayka: Gothic Americana drunk folk punk
One book you’d recommend to an alien:
Boylamayka: Tibetan book of the dead
Emchy: Hayden Carruth: Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey
Five bands (or albums) that have most influenced you?
Boylamayka: Miles Davis – Milestones, Elvis Presley – Sun Sessions, The Rolling Stones – England’s Newest Hitmakers, David Bowie – Scary Monsters and Super Creeps, Fear – The Record
Emchy: Charles Mingus, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Mildred Bailey, John Born
One moment in time you’d like to have witnessed:
Boylamayka: Roanoke colony, 1587
Five people (living or dead) you’d love to share a stage-jam with:
Boylamayka: 50’s Elvis, Bill Bruford, Django Reinhardt, Amanda Palmer, Bela Fleck.
Emchy: John Zorn, Cab Calloway, PJ Harvey, Louis Jordan, Devil Makes Three
Sizzle: Geddy Lee and the hot banjo player from Mumford and Sons
One biggest regret in your career (to date):
Boylamayka: Got too drunk at that one show and…..
Emchy: I had the perfect counterpoint to Boylamayka’s – mine was that we didn’t buy enough whiskey.
Five things on your perfect rider:
Boylamayka: Vintage Bordeaux wine, avocado salsa and midgets.
Emchy: Whistlepig Rye, salmon jerky, soda water, and many many lilacs
Sizzle: a fainting couch, massage service, a large antique floor mirror to throw things at
One hour to live – who would you spend it with, and why?
Sizzle: nearest hospital – sickest old person who was still coherent. Cuz they would get it.
Five perfect songs
Django – Minor Swing
Charlie Christian & Benny Goodman – Seven Comes Eleven
Elvis – Blue Moon of Kentucky
King Crimson – Indiscipline
Fear – I Love Living’ in the City
For Good Again – Devil Makes Three
Are They Gonna Make Us Outlaws – Hazel Dickens
Slept All Afternoon – Carolyn Mark & Her New Best Friends
Harlem Lullabye – Mildred Baily
Three Legged Dog – Firewater
Hurricane – Bob Dylan (and not just for the smokin’ violin line)
Red Barchetta – Rush
Flim – Aphex Twin
One song of yours that you’d most like to be played in 50 years time:
Emchy: it has to be We All Come to the Same Place – as soon as I wrote down the first words, and then when we were writing it later that afternoon – it felt like it was something more than us. Like hitting some sort of perfect song / perfect moment. And it’s always felt like that.
Boylamayka: I agree with Emchy, We All Come to the Same Place. That song became one where the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.
Download Rhubarb Whiskey – Gravedigger mp3 (from Same Sad End)
Download Rhubarb Whiskey – Bears In The Lot mp3 (from Cautionary Tales)Follow @madmackerel