Bob Schneider might as well be mayor of Austin, TX. The singer/songwriter has been embraced by the city in which he lives in -- earning 24 Austin Music Awards and playing to crowds at Austin City Limits. But, Schneider's eclectic sound -- think rock mixed with bluegrass and even pop -- has legions of fans well beyond the Dubya idiot state (His songs have been heard on countless soundtracks). Last month, the celebrated musician released his 11th solo album, entitled A Perfect Day, and he's been on tour in support of it ever since.
I caught up with the talented Austinite, and oft-humorous gentleman (hear his "perfect day" here), and asked him about the new album, the writing process and touring.
First off, you have a song called "Yeah, I'll Do That Shit." What will you exactly do?
Well, this song is about someone who is involved with a substance abuser and basically they're saying they're not going to put up with it anymore... Not going to lie about it, not [going to] stay in the relationship... Not enable the person. Of course, the narrator is mostly bluffing, but you can say anything in a song, right?
I've heard. Describe the songwriting process for the new album.
I write three or four days a week and have been doing so for 15 years or so. I also play live a lot and get a chance to play the songs that I've written in front of an audience and get their reaction. When it comes time to put together a studio album, I usually have a couple hundred songs that I haven't recorded yet and I'll choose from those. The hard part is putting together a group of songs that fit together nicely. I tend to make the records pretty diverse as my ears get tired of the same sort of song over the course of an entire record.
A lot of your songs turn up on soundtracks. Why do you think that is?
The music supervisor liked the song.
Ahh... Do you enjoy touring? If not, you're in the wrong business.
I enjoy touring and playing in front of people all over the country. I don't like being away from my son at all, so things have changed quite a bit in terms of how long I'm out on the road for. I usually only go out for eight or nine days at the most...that way I can play the whole country over the course of three little tours.
What inspires you most as an artist?
I don't know really. I think everything goes into the grinder now. Usually if I run across someone who is really incredible, it makes me want to do something else with my life, but that's pretty rare. Guess I'm most often inspired by bands that I see play live. Something about being in a crowd and watching a band play and having that thought of, 'I can do that,' and wanting to get home to write something new.
Summer is coming soon. What's the perfect summer day in your book?
It involves swimming and eating a hamburger and hearing my son laugh a lot.
If someone wrote your biography, what would the title of the book be?