Fifty Grit

The PopCircles Interview

ęPopCircles Magazine Aug. 2000

Now that 50 Grit has become something of a household name in the States, it's difficult to find someone who doesn't associate a 50 Grit song with a favorite memory. The band's comfortably rootsy sound and honest, deceptively simple lyrics provide an apt soundtrack to life's ups and downs.

It's also difficult to score an interview with the notoriously media shy Seattle trio. However, PopCircles columnist Moses Lake, with the aid of some chocolate chip cookie crumbs and broken off pieces of turkey franks, was able to gain the band's trust for a quick backstage interview at the band's Fillmore show last June.

Moses Lake: I suppose the question on everyone's mind is "is there any truth to the reports of arguments regarding the billing of tonight's show?"

Theron Paul Stevenson (vocals, guitar): That's complete media hype. Tom's a good friend of mine, and the Heartbreakers are all great guys. We're here to have a good time, and we're not going to ruin it by bickering over who should be headlining.

Rick DeChurch (Drums, vocals): Are you gonna finish eating that?

ML: But you've clearly come a long way in public recognition since the start of the tour. Has this allowed you to do things that you couldn't do before?

TPS: Well, sure we've gotten to travel all over, and see a lot of places. But it almost feels like we're restricted. I mean, who wants to go out on the town when you've got women chasing your car down the street all the time?

Christopher Scott (Bass): Umm, Theron, that woman was trying to catch a bus.

TPS: Well, I really don't want to complain. We've been very lucky, but we're still the same people.

ML: Chris, you're life has certainly changed. Before joining 50 Grit, you had a promising career in Major League Baseball. Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you'd stuck with baseball?

CS: Being in a band is way cooler than being on a baseball team. When the team went on the road, we had like, 20 guys all traveling together, getting on your nerves. The 50 Grit bus just has the three of us plus the driver, our roadie Perkins, and sometimes whatever random lunatic chick Theron's hanging out with. And, after baseball games you're in this locker room with a bunch of sweaty, tobacco chewing guys picking baseline dirt out of the scrapes on their knees. Who wants to see that? I'm pretty sure Rick never takes a shower, and Theron only bathes in spas with aromatherapy treatment, or some shit like that. So after shows we get to have a nice banquet. The one thing I really miss about baseball stadiums is the organ.

ML: I see. What about you, Rick? You're an accomplished singer/songwriter/guitarist in your own right, perhaps more influential in the music world than your modest success indicates. Are you satisfied back behind the drumkit?

RD: Yep.

ML: Okay. Well, it sounds like you all know who you are. So where are you going?

TPS: We're all really excited, because I'm helping produce, and the band is playing backup for the upcoming duet album with Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello. The first tapes sound great, and Willie and Declan are great to work with. But we still have some record company stuff to work out before the thing gets released.

ML: I can't wait. Will there be a tour?

CS: God I hope so. Working with Elvis is a dream come true. But there's been some conflicts between Rick and Willie. Rick thinks that Willie's family may have been involved in a feud with the Louisville DeChurches back in the 1800's, so there's always a little tension there. It doesn't usually come out, and Willie's surprisingly tough for such an old guy. But it is a concern.

ML: Really? Rick, Willie is from Texas. Do you have some evidence that his ancestors are from Louisville?

RD: Nope.

TPS: The other thing coming up is an acoustic show with Chris and me at the Hopvine Tavern in Seattle, on October 7.

ML: On an unrelated note--Theron, I understand that you enjoy restoring and driving a cosmic green, 1972 Honda CB750 motorcycle. Is that right?

TPS: Yes that's right.

ML: That's incredibly cool!

TPS: Yes it is. Thank you.

At this point the band had to take the stage. I found them to be incredibly personable and just fun to be around. And the show was blazing. Their live show is not to be missed, with or without the pyrotechnics. It seems that the phenomenal success of 50 Grit is just the tip of the iceberg!

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