The following is an iamnotjerry.com interview with Ed Anderson, singer, songwriter and guitarist for Backyard Tire Fire.
As you now call Illinois your home, you began in NC in 2001. What are the pros or cons of a Midwestern band in 2010?
Ed: the only con i can come up with is the weather. other than that, we’re centrally located with 3 interstates rolling through our town. if we still lived in Asheville, we’d probably never make it out to the west coast., not to mention all of us grew up in IL and enjoy being closer to families for sure!
BTF has played Wanee , opened for Govt Mule, as well as Warren Haynes Xmas Jam 2009. Is there a connection there?
Ed: i think at this point, Warren knows and digs the band, which certainly doesn’t hurt. also, our management is friendly with his management, which also helps our cause.
Steve Berlin produced and played on your new record. What did a musician/producer with his background mean to BTF at this stage of your career?
Ed: Having Steve approach the band really motivated us and gave us a shot in the arm. once he was on board, he encouraged me to continue writing even though i had already sent him a couple of dozen demos. as a result, i ended up writing some of the strongest material in the few weeks leading up to the recording. he chose the tunes, put them in the order he liked, and got the tones and performances that he wanted. he was an involved producer and i learned tremendously from the experience. not to mention one of the nicest people I’ve met in the business.
You have stated before that your influences cover Neil Young to Miles Davis, as well as others from the 60s and 70’s. What (if any) new bands/artists make you go,” hey, now that I’d cover”?
Ed: Beck, Flaming Lips, Los Lobos, Blitzen Trapper, Matt Mays, Califone, James McMurtry, Alejandro Escovedo, Wood Brothers, Jay Bennett, Cracker, etc.
If you could change one thing about the music industry today and it would become universal, what would that be?
Ed: it would be nice if people actually bought albums again instead of getting them for free. And while we’re at it, no more ipods. Vinyl only!!!!!
I personally have seen you in several different venues that range from the Lincoln in Raleigh to the Mill in Iowa City. I have to ask, do you really have said picture of me dozing at the Mill?
Ed: i’m fairly certain our tour manager snapped a shot that night in IA. where that photo is, don’t know, but it DOES exist somewhere on some hard drive…