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A Conversation with Luther & Cody of NMA (cont.)

CD: Exactly. And they're so good at that. It's their attitude that I love as much as their music.

GN : You guys need to fight a little more, I think. At least learn how to pose it.

PM: Because it seems to be, not only on the bus, but just hanging around watching the crew and Luther backstage, it's like, wow, this is a pretty chilly outfit. It's hot out there today, and people could be really salty, they could be really short. But everybody's just "Hey, what's going on"--

CD: Yeah.

PM: --and just doing their thing, a pretty chilly bunch.

LD: Well, there's two guys that are on stage right now, they're from Mississippi. They're old friends of ours we've gone to school with, just like Chris, our bass player. Digger and Brian, they're from Colorado, which is one of our adopted homes. It's always been. It's kind of like Chicago or New York City. It's just always been hot for us there. We've been knowing Digger--every time we'd go out there, Digger would record us.

PM: So how long has Digger been road managing?

LD: Man, this is the third long tour.

CD: Going on six months.

PM: Yeah. I mean, has the touring not been relentless for the last--how many years, the last five, six years?

CD: Yeah.

LD: Yeah. We've been at it pretty hard since '98.

PM: Damn!

CD: We started playing as much as we could before we released a CD. And then when Shake Hands With Shorty came out, that enabled us to go coast to coast, and even to Europe and stuff like that, so we kind of took that ball and ran with it.

PM: Because this is a deluxe bus.

CD: Oh, thank you.

PM: I know what these cost.

CD: Yeah.

LD: And there's no tour support involved, man.

PM: There's no tour support!

LD: Uh-uh, no.

CD: No. We haven't taken tour support in years.

LD: Last year, man, when we started Polaris, it was a crazy time. We fired our manager, we fired our accountant, we fired everybody. And we just got back in the van, and we were okay, we paid off this huge debt.

PM: You got back in the van!

CD: We were in debt, man.

PM: That takes cajones.


CD: We were sixty-grand plus in the hole--

PM: Wow!

CD: --which is a lot to us. Dug ourselves out, on touring.

LD: And started an expensive ambitious record.

CD: Did Bonaroo. Oh, like around the time of the first Bonaroo is when all that was--we were just starting to talk to our current manager then.

PM: And that's Chris Sampson?

CD: Chris Sampson and Chris Tetzeli.

PM: So are those the guys that kind of engineered the move to say, okay, let's dump all the debt, let's get back in the van?

LD: No, no, no, no.

LD & CD: We did that.

PM: You guys figured that out.

CD: We had done that already.

PM: Just as brothers you guys figured that out.

LD: Yeah, yeah. We fired our manager and--

CD: We were about halfway through Polaris, recording that record, touring extensively--

LD: When they picked us up.

CD: We kept the same great booking agent, Frank Riley and Matt Hickey of High Road Touring.

PM: Oh, that's a great outfit.

CD: Yeah, those guys, that's our bread and butter. Riley was the captain of the ship for a while.

PM: More than a booking agent, you mean, he was--

LD: Yeah, seriously, because we fired everybody. And we were just on the road, we started the record.

PM: Wow, you made some scary decisions that seem to be paying off. continue

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