More fun than ever7/2/2014
It’s a big, busy year for Brother Trucker. The band is a mainstay in the Des Moines landscape, and its members — front man Andrew Fleming, guitarist Mike Fitzpatrick, bassist Lyle Hogue, keyboardist Matt Jesson and drummer Jim Viner — are some of the most respected musicians in town. But for all the miles on the odometer, Fleming feels like some of the band’s best work is ahead.
This year, the band is hitting all the high notes: a June 12 gig at Jasper Winery turned out 1,000 people. Its annual turn at Valley Junction’s “Music in the Junction” was rained out, but then the band played Rendezvous on Riverview — a gig they’ve been a part of since its inception.
Now, Bother Trucker is getting ready for 80/35. They’ve played the festival a couple of times before, back in its early days, but this year marks another milestone for the band, as they’ll make their main stage debut, kicking off the entire event as the first act on Friday.
And through it all, they’re putting the finishing touches on a new album, titled “5.” For the album, Brother Trucker has brought in Redd No. 7’s Kevin Neal who, among other things, produced the first-rate Love Songs For Lonely Monsters debut. Neal did wonders for LS4LM’s sound, and Fleming is looking for some of the same with Brother Trucker.
“I think we did the first three albums because they were kind of all ready to go,” Fleming said. “This one’s been more deliberate. That’s why we wanted Kevin. We’ve tried fucking around in our basement for a while, so this time, it was like, ‘Let’s see what someone else can do with it.’”
“5” will be also be Brother Trucker’s first album with Viner on drums, and Fleming can’t say enough about the former Diplomats of Solid Sound timekeeper.
“He’s the quintessential rock drummer,” he said. “Lyle was playing in bands before us. Like real bands. So when he joined us, it was like, ‘Oh, we’re a band now.’ But still, when Jim joined us, it became something special.”
Fleming’s excitement and passion for this stuff is glorious. And it’s not going anywhere.
“It seems like at this point that we’ve made a lot of friends in Des Moines,” he continued, when asked if he’s still having fun. “Honest to God, it’s more fun than it’s ever been.” CV