The Cadillac Three embark upon their most extensive UK tour to date in support of their new single Graffiti.

National Rock Review recently caught up with the Cadillac Three in Newcastle to discuss their forthcoming new album, their song writing process and their plans for the rest of the year.

NRR: Thanks for taking the time to speak to us here at National Rock Review. So you started your UK tour last night in Leeds. How did the first show go?
Jaren: Really great crowd. We played like an hour and twenty five minutes. We haven’t headlined in a while and so we were like half way through the set, I mean I got pretty damned drunk (all laughing), we are kind of looking around.
Kelby: (laughing) We’re done, we’re done right?
Jaren: And we’ve still got an hour to go. No but it was a lot of fun man, it was cool.
NRR: So what’s your favourite track to perform live and why?
Jaren: It changes man.
Neil: We are playing some new stuff now, so that stuff is fun to throw in there.
Jaren: I always love Mojo.
Neil: Yeah, “Tennessee Mojo”.
Jaren: There’s this new one called “Girls On Fire” that’s a lot of fun.
Neil: I mean “South” and “Days Of Gold.”
Jaren: We like all our stuff (laughing).
Neil: That’s the good thing, we actually like all the songs that we play (laughing).
Jaren: It’s definitely the first band I’ve ever been in where I don’t mind playing all of the songs you know.

NRR: Rolling Stone was quoted as saying, “Like Kings of Leon before them, they’re poised for their first big break in the U.K, where they’ve sold out every headlining show for nearly two years before conquering their U.S. home turf”.
Was that something that you had deliberately thought about in breaking the UK first and then going back out to the US?
Jaren: I would say we were selling out clubs in the States before we were big over here or we were getting close to it at least, so now it’s kind of evened out to where I mean we are like neck a neck. I think over here we might actually be a little bigger now. It depends, the States is so big you know where we are huge in some parts and then nobody in others.
Neil: We have been trying to get over here to the UK for a years, or we were for a few years before we did. So it was really exciting when we got over here. We played our first show at The Lexington in London and it sold out. Then we came back and did a little headlining tour and so it’s just going to continue to grow you know.
Jaren: That’s the first time I’ve heard anybody say the Kings of Leon about this band, that’s funny.
NRR: In 2014 you were named Classic Rock Magazine’s best new band. How did that feel?
Neil: We didn’t expect to win that at all. They told us that we were nominated and we were surprised that we were nominated (laughing) and then they called us and said we had won.
Jaren: What was weird about that was that the awards were actually in LA, so it was easier for us. They were like can you make it and we were like hell yeah, I’ll go and hang out with you know whoever like Sammy Hagar and all these people.
Neil: Ozzy Ozbourne.
Jaren: It was wild man to get up there. Sammy Hagar gives us the award and I like wave and whatever. Billy Gibbons and everyone is there. I know Billy and I thanked him and then the guy goes “you guys are more like country than rock” and I say “I bet you are all wanting to know who The Cadillac Three are … know you know motherfuckers” (all laughing), and we walked off. Then I got into a fucking almost fist fight with that damned famous photographer.
Kelby: Ross Halfin the photographer.
Jaren: He was a prick man. He was talking shit to me.
Kelby: He was trying to get a rise out of him and it worked (laughing).
Jaren: I was drunk.

Kelby: He like caught him off guard

Jaren: It was bad man, but it was a lot of fun.

Kelby: It was great actually, memorable, very memorable.

NRR: You’ve just released “Graffiti” which is great by the way, I really like it. I was just wondering if you could tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the song?
Neil: Man it was just me and my buddy we had this song title and it was “Graffiti”. We just happened to mention it to each other at the same time. So we got in a room and felt like we needed to write it and we just kind of started talking about you know growing up, just all of that stuff that you do when your a kid you know. Running around for the first time getting drunk, running around breaking into places and just…
Jaren:  You know that normal, you know breaking into houses (laughing).
Neil: You know when you can kind of just do whatever you want. It’s a time in your life when your just figuring it all out and so we just kind of worked things around and then just wrote a whole bunch of words about that.
Jaren: He played it for me and I just remember driving through my neighbourhood and seeing on a bridge you know whoever and whoever are in love forever with a 4 ever. It was like ah that’s cool I go to school with them and I’m gonna do that, you know what I mean and that’ll be there, it might still be there today or it will be there until somebody paints over it and does it again. So it’s just a cool thing. When he played me the song and it said “Small town famous, our names in graffiti” I was like fuck that’s great, there’s no way we cant. I don’t even think that he thought that it was going to be for us.
Neil: I was just playing it for him.
Jaren: He said you’ve got to check this out. I said play it again, play it again, play it again. I said I’m going to put a vocal on it tomorrow and we did. So it turned into a really cool thing for us I think.

NRR: Obviously Graffiti is from your forthcoming studio album. Can you tell us a little bit about that, when’s it going to come out?
Jaren: It’s not ever (laughing). Probably June I’m hoping. It’s different over here and over there. That’s what we are trying to do now because we put the Peace, Love and Dixie EP out over here but it didn’t come out over there. So what we are trying to do with the next release is line it up where everything is in sync on both grounds because it makes it a lot easier on us. You know you get flack from fans that don’t have this and they have this and so we are trying to iron that out, but I think it’s going to be early summer because timing is kind of a pain in the ass, but that is the plan for now.
NRR: Do you have a title for the album?
Jaren: You know what I almost said big dicks and afros, but that’s not it (laughing). No we don’t, it will probably be a lyric, I don’t you know.
Neil: We’ve been kicking around a few different ideas.
Kelby: It will be a song title or a lyric from a song probably.
NRR: I was going to ask you a question Jaren. Obviously you’ve written songs for lots of people like Jake Owen, Keith Urban and Tim McGraw. Where do you get your inspiration from for your song writing?
Jaren: Ah man it’s different every time. I think we travel so much and we write a lot on the bus. A lot of it’s life experiences, a lot of it’s hey I know this guy and I think he would probably sing about this, you know what I mean. Lets write something in the vein …like lets say I’m Keith Urban. What would I want to talk about right now? So we would just kind of sit down and pretend like we are a rich Australian that’s married to Nicole Kidman and come up with a cool story, you know what I mean.
I mean it’s like such a fun thing to be able to get in a room and just be creative and say whatever the hell you want to say because if it gets done and we want to sing it we will. If we don’t think we would say that, if it’s too one way or the other, maybe send it to somebody else they will, that’s it you know.
This is not as cool as that but that’s the way Kristoferson and Waylon and Willie and all those guys back in the day, if one of them wouldn’t sing it give it to him. Mike Campbell would take stuff to Petty and Petty wouldn’t do it and “The Boys of Summer” comes out, you know what I mean. So it’s like a neat thing to be able to a part of I think.
NRR: Obviously with the end of Motley Crue quite recently, I was wondering about your version of “Live Wire”. What made you chose that track in particular to cover?
Jaren: It’s a good story actually, I told it on stage last night. They asked us what we wanted to do and we wanted to do “Dr Feelgood” because we were going to slow it way down and make this really lap steel kind of cool riff, swampy thing and that’s a sick riff, know what I mean. Nikki wanted us to do “Live Wire” because it’s his favourite song still to this day to play live, and I was just like fuck it’s not a very good song, lyrically it’s tough (laughing). It was tough for me to jump into that world of Vince Neil at seventeen, you know there’s nothing in there that I could relate to at all.
So we said ok Nikki Sixx and so we did it and we slowed that one down and we dropped it down to C I think and it came out cool though. We’ve never played it live. The only time anybody usually brings it up is over here.
Kelby: Not a lot of people in the States even know we put it out (laughing).
Jaren: One guy yelled it out last night and I called him out.
Kelby: That’s why he told the story, he said let me tell you something about “Live Wire” (laughing).
Jaren: I did say that we would never play that fucking song (laughing).
Kelby: It was still really cool that they asked us to do it.
Jaren: Then literally we were in Vegas for an award show and Vince was there and we were all hanging out. We drank his tequila, he makes this awful tequila it was so bad, but you know you don’t not drink it because it’s Vince Neil. It’s been a cool thing getting to see those guys and hang.

NRR: You’ve just been added to the lineup for Ramblin’ Man Fair. You must be excited about that?
Jaren: Yeah it’s a good lineup I think. There’s a lot of southern guys who are all coming over for that. The Kentucky Headhunters, that will be awesome, obviously the Black Stone Cherry guys are good friends of ours. I think those things are our favourite things to do. Those fairs especially over here because it’s completely that old school element of getting a whole bunch of bands in the same mindset and in the same vein and drinking beer in the sun and looking at hot girls and playing your set and getting completely way too fucked up, you know what I mean. So it’s like it’s always a good time and they are a little wilder over here then they are in the States.
NRR: So what else do you have in store for the rest of this year?
Jaren: Canada, touring Canada, touring Australia and back to the States, full tour there and I think we are coming back here in the fall. So it’s going to be busy. Look into my eyes, and this is January still (emulates being tired).
Kelby: Ask us like again in December how things are going (laughing).
Jaren: It will be like man it’s good to see you again …you are the guy with the Detroit thing. Right on, fuckin’ A (laughing).
NRR: That’s great, thanks so much for your time.

The Cadillac Three
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.