Band: Jeanne Sinclair: Lap Steel, Guitar & Vocals. Garrett T. Capps: Drums. Chris Borchers: Accordion. Chris Cessac: Bass
Bio: Born during a Johnny Cash prison show, The Whiptails were raised by Loretta Lynn and Bo Diddley before heading off to school with Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Gram Parsons. Restless teen years chasing the Clash, the Cramps, and Minutemen, followed by binge drinking in college with Townes Van Zandt, Gillian Welch, and Cowboy Junkies led to wandering the desert, seeking truth, finding Doug Sahm, Uncle Tupelo and Neil Young. The journey home, with Los Tigres Del Norte and Ramon Ayala, back to Bob Wills, ZZ Top and Willie Nelson took The Whiptails somewhere familiar yet unexpected. The Whiptails are coming soon to a hootenanny or speakeasy near you!
*Q&A with Chris Cessac:
How long have you guys been playing together?
Just over a year.
You lived in Marfa, TX for awhile. How long were you out there?
Jeanne and I were both living in Marfa when we met. We lived there about 8 or 9 years.
How did you and Jeanne meet?
She had just moved out to Marfa. Through a mutual friend, we were part of a group that one particularly unruly day jumped into the back of a pick-up and drove across the Rio Grande (literally, as in there was no bridge where we were) for a really long, fun, memorable day that ended much later at Terlingua's Starlight Theatre watching The Weary Boys. Then, just a few weeks later, the band that I was in lost our guitar player right before the big Marfa Lights Festival show. The same friend mentioned Jeanne could play, and now some 10 years later she's still stuck playing in bands with me.
Why the relocation to New Braunfels?
We started to miss the actual world.
Breakdown the best spots in Marfa for us.
Our friend's spots. Maiya's Fancy Restaurant is great and Jessie and Daniel's Tumbleweed Laundromat is also a super coffee shop. Padre's is a near-perfect music venue and bar. The Chinati Foundation Art Museum is alone worth the drive. And make sure to take the time to head up to Balmorhea and swim in the big, beautiful, cold, clear spring-fed pool.
Do you have a theory on the Marfa lights phenomenon?
All Marfans must take an oath to never disclose the Truth.
What has been your most pleasant surprise regarding the New Braunfels area?
That there are so many places to play music and so many folks going out to see live music. At the time, we knew about Gruene Hall but figured New Braunfels would just be conveniently located for driving to play in other places. Instead, we've discovered it's most fun to play or watch shows right here.
What's the biggest challenge for a married couple playing in a band together?
Band practice? Babysitter. Gig? Babysitter. Drive to gig in Austin and play 'til 1a.m.? Expensive babysitter.
Describe your Vans Warped Tour experience?
Our last band played two minute, sorta old-school punk rock songs as fast and hard we could. We got to play on the 2008 Vans Warped Tour in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Because just the line of people waiting for the bathroom was probably more people than we had ever played in front of before, it was very exciting. However, it had to be 100 degrees and we were spending the day uncomfortably looking in vain for some shade while waiting for our turn to play. Then, we found out we could go inside what I call The Rock Star Tent. It was off the festival grounds and surrounded by Rock Star busses. Inside (in addition to fans blowing cold air), there was this amazing catered spread where you could get what seemed like anything you wanted to eat or drink. Hanging out and meeting other musicians in the tent was really a lot of fun.
Ever do any stage diving back in those days?
Ummm ...well, as an audience member, many moons ago, I was once kicked out of a club in Houston for doing so.
What has been The Whiptails' proudest moment so far?
Our self-released EP managed to stay on the national Americana radio chart for fourteen weeks.
What are your goals going forward?
We shall conquer the known universe. One accordion skeptic at a time.
We get a kick out of your videos. What's the inspiration behind those?
We take old, vintage films and screw around with them to make something new. I guess the point is that is also what The Whiptails are trying to do. We use old things (drums, guitars and even an accordion played with our hands) and then, building from an old-fashioned style, like say rockabilly, we screw around with it and try to make something new.
What's coming up next for The Whiptails?
We're slowly, one-song-at-a-time, recording our first full-length album. We think we're playing a six-month residency at Jovita's in Austin sometime soon. In October, we're looking forward to being the first band for a new venue in New Braunfels when the Red Rooster Café debuts its good looking outdoor stage and bar.
Where can we find your music and follow the band?
Facebook.com/thewhiptails. As we record the new songs, we are going to make them available as free downloads for those kind folks who "like" the band.
It seems we're a little too country for most indie-rock venues and a little too weird for most country music venues. So, thank you to places that have given us a shot! Especially, Tracy at Oma Gruene's Secret Garten, Lil' Bit at Sam's Burger Joint in San Antonio, and Eric at the Triple Crown in San Marcos. Of course, to me, the best music from Texas has always been defined by being hard to define, somewhere lost between rock, country, blues and beyond, like Willie, Bob Wills, Buddy Holly, ZZ Top, and Lyle Lovett...and who wouldn't want to fit into a group of misfits like that?