In the final segment of our interview with Paul Janeway, we decided to tie everything together with the tough subjects.
Marriage. Touring. Growing up in the city of Birmingham. Oh, and Prince. (They weren’t all fastballs.)
You mentioned getting married in December, and [guitarist] Browan [Lollar] just got married this month. How has that affected your mindset with the band? Have you had to sit down and say, “Well, are we gonna make this a career? Are we gonna start families while still touring?”
Well, none of us have kids yet. Except Al, but all his kids—he’s got an 18-year-old daughter—they can take care of themselves to a degree. I think when that comes into the picture, it really does change things. The hardest thing to explain to people is, when you tour like we do, is that—my fiancée, she supported me, you know what I mean? I didn’t have a job. And when I went into this full-time, we weren’t making money. And so the sacrifices that our significant others have had to make, it’s significant. Because we’re not home, you know? Are we doing some really cool things? Absolutely. But they don’t get to do that, you know? It’s not like they get on stage and do it. We’ve just been very fortunate to have the people that we do in our lives. It definitely makes you think, though. It makes you go, “Okay, what is this? Are we going to do this as a career?” How you pursue things is a little different on a personal level.
So that’s it then, right? You’ve decided to make this a career?
Well, to me, if Friday night at the Alabama Theatre was the last night I did doing this, I don’t think I could ever complain. Because it’s been a really crazy ride for the past year and a half, really. I think everyone knows this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—this is lightning striking, you know? You gotta take advantage of it. People ask, “How did you do this? How did you do that? How did this happen?” Really, we just got lucky, and we took advantage of it. Whether it was playing in front of somebody or something like that, we did what we were supposed to do when those moments happened. That’s really how it came down. It’s been a crazy ride for everybody involved, and it’s been really really really wonderful having those people by your side, you know? Someone to come home to. It’s just really nice.
If Friday night at the Alabama Theatre was the last night I did doing this, I don’t think I could ever complain.
You mentioned getting a call from Elton John. Who would be number one on your list of dream opening gigs?
Oh, Prince. There’s no doubt. Prince. There’s no choice. I’m a huge Prince fan. That’s the best show I’ve ever seen. Maybe Tom Waits, if Tom Waits called—but he doesn’t really do openers, and he never tours. But that one would be a cool one too. Prince is top of the list, no doubt.