Speaking of â€śThe Tender Bar,â€ť whichÂ features a lot of hardcore boozers who go beyond having fun into serious alcohol abuseâ€¦you guys arenâ€™t teetotalers, but it seems like Watershedâ€™s never had the major issues that have destroyed so many bands.
When youâ€™re in a tough situations, whether itâ€™s making no money, playing for a tiny audience, or even just being physically hungry, any extra tension will split that crack wide open. Weâ€™re all good friends, so being hungover in a van with no air conditioning hasnâ€™t broken us, but if we were all strung out, it would. We do like to have a good time, but itâ€™s always been in the name of friendship and camaraderie, not drinking and partying to cover up other issues.
Are you guys still having fun?
Nothing can be as much fun as the first time we pulled into New York City and played CBGB or something like that because the sense of discovery canâ€™t ever happen again. Generally though, itâ€™s pretty great. Driving around in a van with your buddies, drinking more beers that you should be, playing songs you wrote for people who want to hear them...thereâ€™s nothing better.
If Watershed called it quits, could you live without the live music rush?
We would never call it quits. We wouldnâ€™t say anything. Weâ€™d just quit. There just wouldnâ€™t be another gig. I could live without playing again, because writing fulfills some sort of creative itch. But Iâ€™d be awfully sad knowing there wasnâ€™t another gig on the calendar. Itâ€™s unlikely that would happen; itâ€™s more likely Colin and I will be seventy-five. and Iâ€™ll fly home to jam with him at the Sunnyside Nursing Home.
You have a young child and a newborn now, so what was the recent 2012 tour like?
The first two nights were the best. Oh My God! Iâ€™m out on the road, with as Colin says, â€śa stunning lack of responsibility.â€ť I can sleep as late as I want, nobody needs me; itâ€™s the greatest. Starting with night three, itâ€™s harder to be gone than ever before. The gravitational pull is coming from three people, not just my wife. Itâ€™s going to be harder every time I go out. But I want to set an example for my kids that Iâ€™m aspiring towards something, even if Iâ€™m gone from time to time. Personally, the last tour was the most fun Iâ€™ve had in a long, long, time. Writing the book helped all of us air out some of the longstanding beefs and we just went out and had a blast. Being out on the road has to be worth the cost of being gone, but weâ€™ll definitely record another album, so weâ€™ll tour again.
As it happens, I was reading David Remnickâ€™s epicÂ Bruce Springsteen profile inÂ The New YorkerÂ while finishing "Hitless Wonder." Outside of economies of scale, I was surprised to find the two bands have lived parallel lives. Springsteenâ€™s bandmate Steve Van Zandt says, â€śAll the rewards are in longevity. Longevity is more fun than the drugs.â€ť Doesnâ€™t that sentiment sound like Watershed?
Absolutely. Ab-so-lute-ly. Problem is, when youâ€™re young, you donâ€™t have that wisdom and foresight. Itâ€™s difficult to take that long view, and you can only come upon a truth like that looking backward. You take any random five minutes in the life of a band, waiting ten hours to play after sound check, eating the saltiest bag of pretzels ever for lunchâ€¦ Any five minutes can suck, but stepping back and look at the big picture, itâ€™s all great, even the stuff that sucks. Getting to that place where you have that wisdom -- itâ€™s an amazing thing.