Smile Politely

Fall Semester Showdown profile: Neoga Blacksmith

More than a dozen local bands will be playing the Fall Semester showdown at the Canopy Club on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. In case you’re not familiar with some of them, we’ll be running capsule interviews with as many of them as would respond to our emails over the next few days.

Next up: Neoga Blacksmith, who will be playing on Thursday Friday night as part of a six-band bill also featuring Roses and Sake, Butterfly Assassins, The Withershins, The Cellar Door, and The Skalalitabs. Cover is $7, and the show starts at 8 p.m.

Smile Politely: How would you describe your sound to a person who you don’t think will like your music?

Neoga Blacksmith: “We’re kind of alternative-country. No, not like Toby Keith. More like Johnny Cash goes grunge.”

Smile Politely: Is there anything your music has been compared to that you don’t particularly agree with?

Neoga Blacksmith: Call us whatever you want. That’s just like, your opinion, man.

Smile Politely: Are there any non-musical influences that one might not expect?

Neoga Blacksmith: We all grew up in the middle of the cornfields surrounding Champaign and wandered into the big city, so we’re the genuine article when it comes to local country. No suburban folk imposters here.

Smile Politely: What are the primary factors/influences/motivations that keep you doing what you’re doing?

Neoga Blacksmith: Free beer.

Smile Politely: What is the best (or worst) thing happening in music today (either local, national or international)?

Neoga Blacksmith: The best thing would probably be that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are still together. The worst thing would probably be that U2 is still together.

Smile Politely: Tell us about the worst show you have ever played.

Neoga Blacksmith: We were playing at a very small bar in a neighboring town, and found out we had been advertised as “playing today’s country music”. A lot of disappointed of folks and no chicken wire either.

Smile Politely: What do you have coming up on the horizon?

Neoga Blacksmith: Playing more shows around town, writing, and recording new material.

Smile Politely: What can people expect from your live show that differs from what is available from your MySpace?

Neoga Blacksmith: It’s much louder, and as long as you’ve had a few beers it’s better.

Smile Politely: Anything else you want to emphasize or get off your chest?

Neoga Blacksmith: Just come out and give us a chance if you’re into catchy and edgy country rock you can tap your toes to.

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