ACL Interview: True Believers (Part II)

Alejandro Escovedo wants to cut a representative Troobs LP

Alejandro Escovedo (left) and Jon Dee Graham at the first weekend of ACL Fest, 10.5.13
Alejandro Escovedo (left) and Jon Dee Graham at the first weekend of ACL Fest, 10.5.13 (by Gary Miller)

Last Saturday’s True Believers show during ACL Fest was cut short when drummer Rey Washam cut his hand and couldn’t continue. They promise he’ll be healed for this weekend. I spoke with Alejandro Escovedo about the band’s comeback.

Geezerville: How do you feel about playing big festivals like Austin City Limits?

Alejandro Escovedo: They’re great, because you have a built in audience, a lot of people who’ve never seen you. Plus there’s the spectacle of it. Bands want to be great when they play for so many people. I think it’s a great opportunity for a band like the True Believers. That’s true of any band from Austin. People from elsewhere get to see something they’ve maybe only read about.

G: I wish there were more bands from Austin like the True Believers playing ACL.

AE: Well, it would be cool if you could see a Scratch Acid reunion. If they would play ACL, that would be great.

G: The band has played reunion shows occasionally over the years. You seemed to take it more seriously after you played at the memorial for SXSW Creative Director Brent Grulke. How is this time different?

AE: It’s really different. Not only are we way different people, but we’ve all grown up. We’ve all had our own careers. We’ve gone out there and slugged it out on the road. Coming back we’ve all had more appreciation and respect not only for the True Believers but for each other. It’s made a big difference. I think that when we play the way we played for Brent, it was the way we used to play all the time. Somewhere along the way we lost it. We got beat up by the industry and the road. So to find it again, the joy and fun, to be around each other in a real positive way, is kind of major and we all took to it.

One thing about the True Believers is that we never felt like we made a great record. I would like to see us write a bunch of songs together that would really make a statement about the True Believers once and for all. I think that the band was never fully realized.

G: The band released a new EP with a couple of new songs on it. Is there more new material?

AE: Yeah, there are new songs being written all the time. One of the things that we haven’t had the chance to do, which we’re hoping for, is to sit in a room together and write. That’s our next step. We’re going to get through these gigs first and hopefully it’ll all go well. The last gig we did in Houston, that was the best gig we’ve had in a long long time, if not ever.

G: Hector Muñoz, the drummer for your band the Sensitive Boys, once mentioned to me he was in a band with you called the Make Believers. What was that?

AE: That was Jon Dee Graham, J.D. Foster, Hector, and I. At that point we had been beat up pretty badly. It was a walking wounded thing. I think when Javier left it just took the wind out of us. It took a real good effort to try and keep it together, but it was kind of obvious that it wasn’t the same band, the same vibe, and we kind of just fell apart.

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ACL Fest, True Believers, Alejandro Escovedo, Javier Escovedo, Make Believers, Jon Dee Graham, J.D. Foster, Hector Muñoz, Rey Washam, Brent Grulke

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