Q&A with Scott Terry of “Red Wanting Blue”

Life on the road can be pretty tiresome, but that has not stopped “Red Wanting Blue” from putting on over 200 shows each year. The Ohio band, which was formed in 1996, is currently preparing for the release of their 10th studio album while juggling another hectic tour.

On Wednesday (Feb. 19) the band arrived in Atlanta from Jacksonville for a show at The Earl. By the time I spoke with them the next day, they had arrived in St. Petersburgh, Fl. and completed a series of radio appearances. While driving his band mates to the venue for their next show, frontman Scott Terry answered a few questions about the band’s forthcoming album, life on the road and how they juggled college and music in their early days.

Q: Tell me a little bit about the new album and how that process is going.
A: We’re pretty much done with it at this point. Now we’re kind of playing the waiting game and waiting for the record to release. I know our management and our label are about to announce a release date and then at that point we’ll be able to announce the record and…right now, we can’t really announce the title of the record yet. We’re still not allowed to do that. It’s probably too soon, but I would imagine people can expect to get the record from us by late spring.

Q: Did “Red Wanting Blue” set a goal to do over 200 shows a year or did it just happen?
A: If you’re a band, especially these days, you really only survive by playing, when you’re traveling like a touring band. It’s where you make your money, so for us that’s what we like to do. We like to be on the road and play in front of people and we get a chance to spread our music around that way. So it’s not something that was…we didn’t fall into it…it slowly started building over the years and got to a point where we were playing about a 150 shows for however many years and we’re now trying to build our tours a little more carefully…[trying] to have a beginning and an end and then take a little time off for ourselves and then go back out there. Touring is something that historically we…we used to refer to it as circuiting because we just never…we never really went home. We never unpacked our suitcase or pulled off the road for anything more than a week. At this point in time, we’ve been doing this so long that if I stay anywhere for more than five days I start to get heart palpitations and feel like I’m supposed to be somewhere else.

Q: Do you think the new album reflects the fact that the band was able to take a break from touring and focus on recording?
A: The art usually imitates the life and the life of…this band is a traveling band. So I would definitely say there are a lot of those elements that have become elements of “Red Wanting Blue” and our story and what we do. I would say that…and I think on one hand [the] music definitely picks up where the last record left off. However, this record, I think it’s a bit more introspective and it sort of casts a different light on some of those topics, being far away from your loved ones, the pursuit of a career, always trying to overcome adversity. To some degree, I always feel like we like to carry the title of underdogs. It’s sort of a cause, so to speak.

Q: How did you juggle being in school and being in a band when you started “Red Wanting Blue” in 1996?
A: It was not easy. I lost a lot of sleep. I actually look at it now and think to myself sometimes “I don’t know how…” Obviously we were able to pull it off, but if I had to do it again, I don’t think I could’ve done it. It was a juggling act for years and years, but that’s what you do when you’re drawn to something. You make the time. You find a way to make [time] and you cut something else out to give yourself that time. I wouldn’t want to go back and do it again, but I’m glad that we are where we are now.