Another Favorite: The Reverend Horton Heat

Published September 24, 2009, SEE Magazine

“The last time we were up there, the price of oil was really high and Edmonton, man, it looked big and clean and rich. It was looking pretty good,” says the Reverend Horton Heat. “It looked like a pretty good place to live … in the summer.”

Like a rockabilly roller-coaster, The Reverend will be crashing our city with aplomb. His new album, Laughin’ & Cryin’, is his 12th, and according to the good Reverend, a little bit different.

“This album is focused on country,” he says. “My idea for the album was to do really straight classic country album, but it didn’t quite make it all the way into that area. I just thought it would be fun to a country style. I also didn’t want any serious songs, so all of the songs have something funny about them, nothing too serious going on. Serious songs are kind of stupid. With serious songs, you gotta write about some schmaltzy love songs or some completely wrong political statement. So yeah, we wanted to focus on stuff that is humourous, and if it’s not humourous, then it’s definitely not serious.“

Serious or not, the good Reverend knows that the success he enjoys means maintaining a perfect balance. Having played on Letterman and taken acting roles in various movies and TV shows (including a memorable small role as a crackpot preacher in an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street), he is exactly where he wants to be. Like a cozy chair that cups your ass like the gentlest of big hands, the Reverend has nestled into a comfy career mode.

“It’s really all worked out just like I would have liked — and you are exactly right, we’ve never got so big that we couldn’t tour,” says the Reverend. “There are bands that are so big that they can only do one tour every couple of years and then they have to go away. It becomes too big … too much. My career is such that I can play as many gigs a year that I want to. I like where we are at. For example, we never sold a lot of CDs all at once, but we sell really consistently. That consistency is more of a blessing than getting that big giant paycheque all at once. “

With all the business chitchat aside, I thought to test the wit of the good Reverend with a few quickfire questions. And never one to let you down, he delivered in spades.

SEE Magazine:
If you had to choose another nickname, what would you pick?
The Reverend Horton Heat: Harley Hogg and the Laughing ’n’ Crying Singers.
SEE: If you owned a schooner or a big old tall ship, what would you name it?
The Reverend: I would name it … The Four Hundred Bucks.
SEE: Which is your least favourite element of the periodic table?
The Reverend: Carbon.
SEE: I hate carbon too.
The Reverend: [laughing] Yeah.
SEE: If reincarnation were mandatory, what would you like to come back as?
The Reverend: A unicorn, but I would be the only male unicorn. Can you imagine the advantages?
SEE: You would be very busy.
The Reverend: It would be wonderful.

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