Stagelife Magazine is back with another local fan favorite - the band called "Four Barrel" !
Based out of Callahan, Hilliard, and Jacksonville Florida, this band has a following all over the U.S.A. !
If you like New Country, Traditional Country, New Rock, Vintage Rock, Southern Rock and Originals - These guys play it all !
This band mostly consists of members from another band that played under another name - "West Wind", a local favorite for so many years.
Here's the current band members -
Shawn Copher - Lead Vocals & Lead Guitar; - Great vocals and plays the guitar very well onstage -
Has a great personality and very good songwriter too ! This guy can hunt , play guitar and drink moonshine if he wants to !
Michael Creel - Lead Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin and Lap Steel Guitar; - Man with many great attributes - musically and mentally -
His blistering tight leads are awesome ! He knows every trick in the riff book, and fans flock to see him play that boogie woogie !
Michael Schmeltz - Bass Guitar; - Professional in every sense - has the patience and ability to make the bass sound different for each song -
And a great guy to watch on stage - he makes it look so easy ! Does he have six fingers or 5 ? A real solid player in the game !
Duane Washburn - Drums & Lead Vocals - steady bam bam bam - and already the fans are dancing from the first song -
Has a great beat and vision on the band ! He keeps the bottom tight with his splash cymbal accents ! Bam Bam Bam !
These guys are all veterans of the classic rock era - and they all bring fresh new Southern Fried hits with them on stage !
These guys are laying down some great riffs, southern style, classic, boogie woogie -
- and making classic songs sound fresh with wonderful leads and change ups ! You instantly are tapping your feet !
If you are a fan of classic rock, then this band will definitely make you smile, and want to hear more from them !
We caught up with the band on tour in May - and here's the exclusive interview for the fans !
Hello Four Barrel ,
Thanks for taking the time between gigs to answer some questions for the fans !
How does it feel to play live music together with this killer band -
- that has the fans wanting more at every show ?
Shawn Copher - I love a great audience, and the more they get into the show, so does the band !
Michael Creel - Awesome ! This is what fun is all about !
Michael Schmeltz, Duane Washburn and myself, started playing together as a group many years ago as "The WestWind Band" (1978-80).
We played in many different bands together after "WestWind" broke up, for quite some time thereafter.
Shawn Copher and I, played together in a couple of bands before "Four Barrel" was created. So we are all friends from way back !
This is a very important element for creating a fun band like ours !! it's just plain "Awesome"!!!
Michael Schmeltz - Playing out live is a high in itself.
Playing out with your friends and watching others enjoy what you're bringing is the ultimate.
Duane Washburn - Playing in this band is a blast -
"Mike C" and "Mike B" and I, have an extensive history of playing together on and off for 3 decades, -
- then you add the "Shawn" factor, and we have a perfect formula for rock and roll !
Good time for everyone - and no place I'd rather be.
Tell us about this very cool New CD - called "Southern Grunge" -
What's the story line ? Do you personally have a favorite track ?
Shawn Copher - Our third C.D. "SOUTHERN GRUNGE" , is a lil heavier than our previous two, back to my 80's - 90's roots ,
- and it should be released by late summer, but "Dirty Swamp Music" seems to be a song a lot of fans relate to off our 2nd C.D..
My favorite song is usually whatever new one i'm currently working on !
Michael Creel - We are in the studio still recording our 3rd CD. It's called "Southern Grunge".
I don't have a favorite track yet because we are still recording them. But some great stuff already !
Michael Schmeltz - Hard to pick a favorite. Slow or Fast ?
With every new song I like to think we bring something new to the table.
Duane Washburn - Hey , I play them all , I love them all !
What is your current gig equipment ? Brands you use onstage ?
Shawn Copher - I love that fat , thick "Marshall" sound, but I sure hate carrying the heavy s.o.b.!
Michael Creel - I use an "Epiphone SG" standard guitar. And a "Peavey Transtube Special" with 2x12 Sheffield Speakers !
And I have my "Boss GT-6" floor processor. My rule of thumb is; Never play your expensive gear at these clubs or parties.
I learned this the hard way. My price tag limit on guitars and amps ($300.00).
I have played the most expensive gear and the cheapest gear. It's NOT the gear that makes the player sound good !!! It's the player !
Michael Schmeltz - My favorite bass is a 1976 Fender P Bass. Ampeg SVT Classic Bass Amp
Duane Washburn - Currently playing a "Mapex Saturn" set I really like the feel and sound of this kit - and on top "Zildjian" cymbals.
What is your input on the New CD ? Any personal writing ? Producing ?
Shawn Copher - I usually write the basics or hook of our songs then let the band bring them to life !
Michael Creel - Just started writing the album with the other members - getting song structures down - lead solos come later.
Michael Schmeltz - I just play it the way I feel it.
Duane Washburn - My input on the album ? Usually Shawn and I, will jam on his new stuff, till we get the sound -
- and the feel he likes, then we record guitar and drums as a click track for the other guys to play to, and build from there.
What message is this band trying to get across to the fans ?
The fans have been dying for this type boogie sound for ages !
Shawn Copher - We want our fans to leave sayin "Hell ya" !, that was "freakin awesome" !
I love it when they know the words and sing along !
Michael Creel - That we are doing this for fun !!! We want our fans to have as much fun as we are having on stage.
Sometimes we have a full stage of fans and musicians ! It gets crazy..We love it as much as they do !
Michael Schmeltz - We just want to have fun and convey that feeling to the people who show up for the gigs.
It's a party we like to share.
Duane Washburn - The message I want, and I see in the fans, is to forget your day, and jam with the band, -
- Shawn is a big influence on this.
What music are you listening to this month ? Be truthful !
Shawn Copher - Honestly, I don't play the radio that much but "Lite 96.9" (Jacksonville Florida), if I do!
Michael Creel - Our "originals" and the "cover songs" we play for gigs - is mostly my playlist everyday !
Michael Schmeltz - I listen to my XM radio and pretty much enjoy anything from classic rock to classical music.
Duane Washburn - I listen to all music that way I have different ideas of what, and most importantly when to play.
My favorite bands are Allman Bros, Doobies, Kansas, Jethro Tull, Yes, but I also like the blues !
What song on the New CD is your favorite to play live in concert ? And the fans favorite ?
Shawn Copher - "96 miles" because it tells a true story of band life,....."Riverside" is another the fans seem to really dig also.
Michael Creel - "Stay" . Great Ballad or slow dance song !!!
Michael Schmeltz - I Enjoy them all !
Duane Washburn - "Stay" is a good one for sure !
What is Four Barrel doing in 2016 ? More tour dates ? Studio time ? Festivals ?
Shawn Copher - Besides our usual bar hopping, we have "Festivals" on the St Marys (Georgia) and Suwannee (Florida) are in the works.
Michael Creel - More "Openers" for big bands like "Blackberry Smoke," or "Jason Aldean". Finish our 3rd CD. and play selective Clubs.
Michael Schmeltz - Working on getting the new CD out is what we want to do - then we can fly !
Duane Washburn - In 2016 - just looking to keep the grove and the good vibes going -
Try to do more bigger venues and less club owner sucking up to. Lots of bands out here with no decent venues to play at !
Is there a DVD in the works of the show ? Fans would buy it for sure !
I can see myself personally watching it a hundreds times a month !
Shawn Copher - Dvd ? I'm up for anything positive, we're still trying to finish the "Dirty Swamp" video!
Michael Creel - Hmmmm, .........we'll see.
Michael Schmeltz - This sounds like a great project !
Duane Washburn - Hey , I like the idea of a DVD down the line ! We'll see into that this year !
Do you play other instruments besides what we see onstage ?
Shawn Copher - I play a lil bit of a lot of instruments but master of none !...always experimenting !
Michael Creel - Yes. Banjo, Slide guitar and Mandolin.
Michael Schmeltz - I started out playing drums as a teenager and we could never find a bass player -
- so I picked up the bass and never looked back. I play a little acoustic guitar and peck at the keyboards.
Duane Washburn - I dabble with guitar and harmonica -
Only behind closed doors of course - quite embarrassing, I assure you !
What is next for you personally in music ?
Shawn Copher - bigger venues, bigger fan base, bigger journeys!
Michael Creel - I play in our Church Orchestra. I plan to be more active in this because it is truly a challenge and very rewarding.
Michael Schmeltz - Just want to expand the horizon
Duane Washburn - What's next for a 59 year old drummer ?
Play as often as I can, and with as many musicians as I can. It keeps me thinking young and therefor feeling young.
It' an addiction - but a good one to have.
What songs on the New CD were the hardest to record ? And why ?
Shawn Copher - On our New CD, probably "Riverside", because of adding more and more ideas.
Michael Creel - Still recording the first few tracks - and have not made my decision yet - too early.
Michael Schmeltz - Just got started in the studio -
Duane Washburn - Ask me later - we'll have answers for ya !
Thanks for the killer interview , any last words or requests from the fans ?
Shawn Copher - Thank you so much for supporting local music, you inspire me to constantly get better and make our shows greater !
Michael Creel - Please give us a chance and listen to our music.
There is always at least one or two songs on any of our CD's that people really like a lot !
We get requests all the time when we are out playing gigs. "Thank You" to all our fans and promoters !
Michael Schmeltz - Come out and check out the band. I think you'll enjoy it.
Duane Washburn - Thanks Stage Life Magazine and Fans for this interview - come see us !
Here's a few links to the band - Go check out all the cool photo's !
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/fourbarrelband
Band's Email - email@example.com
Band's Website - www.fourbarreljax.com
Make sure you "Like" the band's Facebook Page - and ours !
Catch the band on tour in the U.S.A., and grab the New CD - It Rocks baby !
We'll be back with more music news from Four Barrel this Summer - stay tuned for details !