Q&A With Steve Gorman (Black Crowes) On New Supergroup Trigger Hippy; Playing Smith’s Olde Bar, July 27
You might not recognize the name “Steve Gorman,” but I guarantee you have heard his work. For the greater part of two decades, Gorman has been the drummer for Grammy nominated Georgia boys, The Black Crowes. In 2010, The Black Crowes officially decided to put the brakes on for a bit. Although the Robinson brothers may have decided to stop, Gorman, still had the itch. Adding powerhouse singer-songwriter Joan Osborne and accomplished musicians including Nick Govrik, Audley Freed, and Jackie Greene, the jam band super group, Trigger Hippy, was formed. The VERY FIRST SHOW of this conglomerate is this Wednesday at Smith’s Olde Bar. Steve chatted with me about some of his favorite Black Crowes stories as well as just how this power house of musicians came together.
Hey Steve, thanks so much for doing this! Where are you guys right now?
We are actually in Nashville, where most of us live, loading in gear and getting ready for rehearsals for these upcoming shows. All of the Crowes moved to New York awhile ago, but I always knew I would be back in Nashville. When the Crowes finally decided that we would take a break for a few years in 2010, I knew that this would be the perfect time to kick the other project in gear.
Have you been thinking of this concept for awhile?
Oh yeah, for about five years now. It’s actually always been in the back of our minds.
Are you the primary writer, or do all of you take part?
We all write. The thing is we are all seasoned musicians, and all come to the table with our own songs, so we decided it would be best just to write together. So now, we write as a band all together in the room. We didn’t mean to have all these amazing musicians in one band, it was not by design, but all the sudden we looked up and were like, “Wow, this is awesome.”
How did Joan Osborne and Jackie Greene join the mix? Did you have them in mind when you were forming the group?
We have known Joan since 1995, and when we were forming the group we were thinking about how cool it would be to have her be a part of this, so I called her up! After chatting to her about our families and such, I told her about the band and asked if she would be into joining, and she said yes! The thing about Joan is that it is easy to take for granted that she is such a great singer and talent. I was honestly thinking more along the lines of, “Who do I want to spend 12 hours a day with?”! It was the same thing with Jackie. We knew we needed an additional guitarist and keys musician and thought about how awesome Jackie Greene would be, never expecting that he would actually say yes too!
So you have these shows scheduled through the rest of July, are there any other plans to tour and/or to record an album?
There is a plan to talk about a plan for an album! Everyone has other things going on, so we have to take into consideration their schedules. We are all old enough to have patience though. Back in the day with The Black Crowes, we were more concerned about putting the cart before the horse, and now we all know better. Right now we are all just having a blast playing together.
We just started a mini-questionaire called 5GB, so I am gonna try these questions on you!
1. First gig you ever went to?
Heart in 1978 in Lexington, Ky., with Walter Egen opening. I was in 8th grade at a soccer tournament, and for some reason my mom thought it was a good idea to let two 12-year-olds loose at a concert!
2. Best gig you’ve ever played?
Definitely our very first Black Crowes big show. We played with Jimmy Page at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC. On one hand it was a normal day in the office, and then you turn around and you are playing with a rock god!
3. Best gig you ever went to?
In 1994, I was at a private party for the NBA AllStars with some friends, and we found out that there was going to be an afterparty at Paisley Park with Prince. I basically forced my way into the party, and was basically three feet from the stage as he played from 2 to 4 a.m. The best part was afterwards, we were all standing inside waiting for our cars (it was like 30 below outside!) and I started hearing some music start playing. At 5 AM, Prince and about six other women came out on stage wearing robes and sang an accapella gospel song. It was incredible.
4. Gig you would most like to play?
Any and all!
5. Gig you would most like to play with another band dead or alive?
I wouldn’t mind playing with Led Zeppelin … although I am not totally sure I would want to go on before or after a band like them!
Trigger Hippy play their first show ever at Smith’s Olde Bar this Wednesday, July 17.