The Next Rig Thing

Covering the tracks of Truckers on Speed's raucous new CD

8. "Cindy Crawford (Shell-Shocked & Woodstalked)": The song with the most cultural references -- everything from supermodels to the Supersuckers, with whom the Truckers have played and whose booking agent is now securing dates for Truckers' late-summer Northwest tour. For a song that's just a banjo jamboree, it has the unlikely chorus of "Calgon, take me away" and a dirty request to "eat some mushrooms and ditch our clothes" that has C.A.T.O.S. (Calgonites Against Truckers on Speed) hopping mad.

9. "Wastes My Time": The most Stonesy tune on the album, and we're talking the Mick Taylor era. Incidentally, the last time the ex-Stone played in Tempe, it was at a sports bar, competing for attention with 12 television monitors on the side of the stage. Maria Vassett, who manages the Truckers, got the band to stop playing sports bars early on. It's gratifying to her that Tempe's Sport Rock Café is gone.

"The owner said, 'If the audience can't pay attention to the band, the band needs to go home and practice,' so the guys stopped playing [sports bars] entirely," she explains. "And now there really aren't any left."

Truckers on Speed: Just your typical sweaty, tattooed, hillbilly grungemeisters.
Kevin Scanlon
Truckers on Speed: Just your typical sweaty, tattooed, hillbilly grungemeisters.
The band's "Irish Speedball" is an ode to vehicular recklessness.
Kevin Scanlon
The band's "Irish Speedball" is an ode to vehicular recklessness.

10. "Dandelion": "Thought I was a flower, turned out I was a weed," sings Wolfmeyer, who once was told he had to wear a short-hair wig while working at a Safeway deli to keep the corporate guys happy. "My little brother worked at Fry's, and they made him do the same thing. Meanwhile, I'm working with Mexican chicks that have hair down to their asses. You're gonna tell me it's anything health-related?"

11. "Lightnin' Speed": A cover of a Piersons tune, which is fitting since we're sitting in the old rehearsal studio shared by that group, the Beat Angels and Dead Hot Workshop.

The band gives a shout out to Dead Hot drummer Steve Larson.

"If anybody's been a big brother to us, it's been Larson the whole time," says Wolfmeyer. "He books shows for us, helped me with my acoustic sets. He kicks ass. And PC hooked us up with this studio, and now it's us and Sonic Thrills in here."

12. "1500": You loved the number; now hear its song!

Wolfmeyer: "Some of these songs I'd written a long time ago and were going to be throwaways, but something happened to 'em when we recorded them. '1500' is a big one -- and 'Dandelion.'" Large credit goes to the band's legendary producer Clarke Rigsby, who's worked with everyone from Waylon Jennings to Paul McCartney.

Hines: "The wall of fame in the bathroom is incredible. You'd see him with Bo Diddley and think that Bo used this bathroom, too. It's very humbling."

13. "Walkin'": "That was fun as hell," Wolfmeyer says. "We got nine guitars on there. I love heavy shit like Pantera." On this one, the guitars get tuned down a half-step for some heaviosity found nowhere else in the band's canon -- an intriguing future direction. But what would you call it?

"Hillbilly grunge," Wolmeyer grins. "Or just a sweaty bunch of tattooed, rocking, cowboy hat-wearin' things."

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