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RNZ MAGAZINE » Featured, Interviews, Music, People » Interview – Lone Wolf by Rev. Nix

Interview – Lone Wolf by Rev. Nix

Rev. Nix here with Bruno aka Lone Wolf One Man Banjo Band. Now if folks don’t know, you play an old style of frailing mixed with good ole fashion blues stomp.

What lead you to your style as far as teachers or musical influences?

Well, I’ve never taken a music lesson. My middle school in Miami didn’t have music courses or anything like that, so playing music came later in life. Who knows, maybe if I would’ve been exposed to it at a younger age, I would feel different about it today. But playing music is my passion and it’s what I do every day. The style that I play today I think really expresses who I am and tells the story of my musical journey in life thus far. I love dirty, pre war delta and swamp blues, Appalachian folk songs, punk, rockabilly and psychobilly. I’d like to say that my music is a fusion of such genres.

I want to ask you about inspiration. What makes Lone Wolf write and sing about what you do?

My song writing has no set process. I like to let the music itself set the mood for writing words to it. The music speaks to me and tells me what to write about, like the song “Haunted Carousel”… that riff told me to write about a mobster who takes his date to the fair, gets whacked in front of her on a carnival ride and ends up haunting the ride. Some of my lyrics are folkloric stories and some are inspired by true life events but in the end it’s the music that really drives me to write. Inspiration for new songs comes from all over and ideas come to me every day. Sometimes I’ll write a riff and the words won’t come until years later, and sometimes everything ties in together in a matter of minutes. I like to play with it and let it just happen naturally.

“Dream Sea” was the song that made me say, “wow wait a minute!” Tell me about the writing process of that one.

It was just a cool riff I was playing in my room. It made me feel like a pirate charging big waves with his fleet of ships and crew, so I immediately started writing about it. It’s basically about a pirate who gets ship wrecked, stays afloat on barrels of rum, spends days at sea, gets attacked by a giant squid, then lands in an island full of ladies in bikinis who drink his “rum”. He awakens only to his disappointment that it was all a dream.

You are in a singer/ song writer class because your songs are stories like “How I Got Here”. Tell us about that one. It has an interesting character in that song.

That song is based on the true story events of how my grandfather escaped from prison in Naples, Italy. He got on a cargo boat that was heading to the Americas, winds up in South America barefoot and walking down a dirt road only to come across a cemetery that had some drunken fool there with a huge wad of money hanging from his side. Being in the position he was in, he picks the man’s pocket and was chased by local authorities and immigration through a thick jungle. He came across a train track with a train going slow enough to jump on it and get away. So, as the story goes, with that little bit of cash, my grandfather sent for his family in Italy and started a new legitimate life in America.

Being part of Lone Wolf has brought me into this writing process and seeing what influenced you. The song “Cat Fish” is about our trip into the swamp. You can tell the the story of us in that little canoe literally in gator infested waters!

Florida has been my home for most of my life and growing up here, you get very familiar with the swamp and its wildlife. That one day was particularly memorable. My friend Nick Redditt talked to me about this place out on the St. John River called The Catfish Hotel, and how neat it was and it had a very unique sound inside of it as the floors are wood and the walls are tin. So, one Wednesday we head on down there with a canoe strapped to my brothers pickup truck. On our way to the river, you have to cross about 7 miles of dirt road with water canals on each side both filled with gators and other Florida wildlife. When we finally get to the banks of the river, all we see are humps above the water! We both knew those weren’t logs ,but we really just didn’t say anything about them. We get into the river and I swear the gators were just eyeing the crap out of us, even coming up close to investigate!. Now, the canoe we were in was this tiny thing and it almost flipped about five times but when we were nearing The Catfish Hotel, this gator about 9 or ten foot long was blocking our path. Nick said, “just keep going, he’ll move”. Well, we kept going and felt a hard knock on the bottom of the canoe followed by a huge swirl to the left of the canoe and our canoe was rocking, boy. It was almost as if he had done this before. We get onto the bank of the river only to see the carcass of a cow that must have gone for his last drink a few months back and was devoured by the wildlife. I remember thinking that if they (the gators) aren’t afraid of those huge cows they’ll surely never be threatened by us. But anyway, The Catfish Hotel was everything Nick had said it was and more. We recorded a few songs in there and had a blast doing it.

Many songs came from that trip we took out into the swamp. You’re always writing new songs. Tell us what’s in store in the future as far as song writing?

You never know what the future can bring. That’s the beauty of it all. I really have no set plan. I like to live my life day by day and not really have a set plan. If you guys really want to see what’s in store for the future of Lone Wolf OMB. just stick around and come back and see me every once and a while. I write songs very often. Lately I’ve been jamming out with my eleven year old boy, Gino “Washboard Boy”. He has taken a liking to the washboard and has very good rhythm for his age. He loves it. I’ve taken him busking a few times with great success. He’s been bit by the musical bug and I think we’ll be seeing some cool stuff from him in the future.

It’s safe to say Florida is a huge part of Lone Wolf. We have The Cracker Swamp Stomp for Wildlife Education coming up. That is a way to give back to the land for the inspiration and the respect we have for the environment. You working with the community makes us proud. Tell us a little about how and why The Swamp Stomp?

You know, I had to leave Florida to really appreciate it. I’ve spent time away from here and always came back liking it more and more. This state has lots to offer environmentally and culturally. That’s why, when the opportunity arose to be a part of the Cracker Swamp Stomp, I jumped right on it. The Cracker Swamp Stomp is an event going on Aug. 6th in Orlando Fl. at Wally’s and Will’s Pub on Mills Ave. This even will raise money to help save and protect our precious Florida wildlife.

I’m proud to know Bruno is helping make the world a better place with his charity efforts, along with the sweet sounds of that long unheard frailing sound. Make sure to tune into SCM-Live for unreleased tracks from Lone Wolf. So in closing, Lone Wolf OMB is your Gramps old bluegrass frailing foot stomping banjo, but it’s just Bruno’s interpretation. So, check out the free mp3 download of “Canned Catfish Blues.”

Canned CatFish Blues

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r/n/z magazine is a d.i.y. style magazine focusing on arts,activism,native american rights,and social justice. with a soundtrack of real country and roots music.

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3 Responses to "Interview – Lone Wolf by Rev. Nix"

  1. olds says:

    lone wolf’s music makes me fuckin laugh and twitch…its just a good time- great high energy vibe…this interview rocks. i like the day by day philosophy…its doin him well. nothing but total respect, lone wolf.

  2. Floridian says:

    Great interview! I have total respect for this awesome musician.

  3. Denise says:

    Nice interview Rev Nix. I love the energy of LoneWolf and OMB’s always get my attention! I like the intricacies of his writing process mixed with the stomp.

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