Blackjack Billy Explains "Redneck Rock" at Tortuga Music Festival
Blackjack Billy has experienced a heavy shot of success in a short amount of time. These hard-working Southern boys are now living the country star dream, touring he country with tons of dates, and watching their song "Booze Cruise" rise to the top of the iTunes pile.
Blackjack Billy just finished performing a Spring Break concert in Panama City before heading to Fort Lauderdale for the beachside hoedown known as the Tortuga Music Festival. Guitarist Coplan pointed out about both: "There's women in bikinis. That never gets old!"
We sat down with Blackjack Billy after their set to talk about prude partying and their stolen trailer. Here's what happened when we met Noll Billings (vocals), Rob Blackledge (vocals, guitar), Jeff Coplan (electric guitar), Brad Cummings (drums), and Patrick Cornell (bass guitar) on the sand.
New Times: You're from Tennessee. What's the difference between playing there and here?
Billings: Well, we actually all met in Tennessee. But performing in both is equally fun in different ways.
Coplan: We are still learning how to party. We're prudes. We just had our first drink last week.
Billings: If they [the crowd] have more fun than us, we try to beat them.
How do you party like a cowboy, and what do you need to party like a cowboy?
Coplan: You can't party without a cowgirl.
Cummings : You need SoCo.
Cornell: Taylor Swift.
Coplan: Actually, here's a good story: we woke up in the morning and our trailer was gone. Luckily, we had a bus. We begged, borrowed, and stole gear from our opening band and still managed to do our tour.
(With mock surprise) You stole equipment?
Coplan: Well, OK, not really stole, per se. But definitely begged and borrowed.
What is "Redneck Rock"?
Blackledge : I actually came up with it. People were like, "We don't know what you guys are." And we were sitting in the back of the trailer like "country rock... redneck... redneck rock sounds good. We'll just stick with it."
"The Booze Cruise" is the biggest selling song on iTunes by any band without a major record deal. Tell me about that success for you guys.
Coplan: We were thrilled that there are outlets for independent music. To say we were humbled is a huge understatement.
Blackledge: I told my dad I would just be happy if we sold to 20,000 people. [laughs]
Coplan: Satellite Radio was incredibly helpful for us. They started playing us.
What other projects are you working on?
Cummings: Our EP is out now, and our full album will come out soon.
Blackledge: Jeff is working on it now. We have a new single that we're working on now that will be out in one to two months.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.