FIRST OF ALL, A DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT QUITE A TRUE INTERVIEW. THIS IS A SLIGHTLY EDITED, CLEANED UP, AND REASSEMBLED CONVERSATION WITH AN OLD FRIEND.
We had an interview ready to print. This ended up a much better read!
OF: Some of the songs on your new CD, Buenos Noches Nacogdoches, are being compared to Townes Van Zandt. That's gotta make you happy.
2T: "The dust that Poncho bit down south ended up in Lefty's mouth." (Poncho & Lefty: written by T. Van Zandt) You just can't write anything better than that!
OF: So how do you feel about the new CD?
2T: I sold my piano to get it out. That's how I feel about it. And that's probably a more Townes Van Zandt thing to do than any lyric I've made up. You know, Townes and Hank (Williams) both died on New Years Day, in years way before their times. If that's what being a great songwriter is all about, I don't want the job.
OF: Do you consider yourself a Texas songwriter?
2T: I never was called that until I left Texas. Down in New Orleans, it seemed like a more important thing to say. Over in the UK, they might call me that. I've been in Texas just about all my life, and I've been writing songs for just as long. Texas just seems to have more than its share of good ones, so I'm happy if that's what you want to call me.
OF: What is your favorite song on the CD?
2T: I'd be more interested in knowing what yours is.
OF: I think I'd go with the title song or End Of The River.
2T: When I wrote Broken, somebody said that it was a really good one, that they could even hear N'Sync covering that one. So I immediately went back and wrote the third verse, with the line about alcohol and pills. I figured that should keep them away from it!
OF: All of the songs seem very well written.
2T: A writer who knows my work said "Tim couldn't have even dreamed of these songs a couple years ago, much less could he have played them." I'm pretty sure that's right! I do think the CD's a nice exposition on how to write a song, as far as I can tell.
OF: The Socrates And Plato cut is pretty different.
2T: The shortest song with the longest title. That may be one where I can see the Townes in it. I wrote a different version of that in school, years ago, and my professor loved it. So I thought....well, I better hold on to this. It's almost a total re-write though.
OF: Everything on the CD is brand new, right?
2T: It was all written within the past year. The only exception is Elvis Presley Blvd. That was a hold-out from the last CD. Seemed to fit on this one better, so it's a bonus track.
OF: The bonus tracks are really cool. They show a very different side than the main body of the disc.
2T: Those three band cuts were recorded at an earlier time, in a slightly different frame of mind. They are kind of like my summer single, tacked onto the end there. Buy the album, get the single for free!
OF: I love the gospel feel of Righteous Brother.
2T: Rev. Clarence Yarbrough took that one to church for us. He's better than me for sure. He did it in one take!
OF: Things seem to really be opening up in a big way. This has got to be the biggest thing you've done yet.
2T: Well, I don't know if it's the old "third time's a charm" bit or that I'm finally learning how to do it right. But yeah, we're finally knocking loud enough to get some big boys opening the door. Now if I can just sell enough copies to buy that piano back!
[END OF CONVERSATION......FOR NOW]