The Sentinel’s photo editor, Beau Valdez, had the opportunity to hang out with the hip-hop band Rehab before their last Spokane show ever. The band is saying goodbye to its fans on its “Farewell” Tour.
The Sentinel: Rehab, you guys are from Georgia right?
Danny Boone: Yep.
Demun Jones: Correct.
TS: How did you guys get together?
DB: Well originally we were a three man rap group but this- and we’ve lost some members, but this incarnation was, they’ve been around since uh…
DJ 10 years.
DB: Yeah 10 years.
DJ: Right around 11, ‘03 right?
DJ: Yeah ‘03 until now, so 11 years.
DB: We started- the band as a whole started in like, ‘95, and then different issues have changed players, you know what I mean? So without going into crazy detail you know what I’m saying’? Shit happens you know what I mean?
DJ: (laughing) MmmHmm, sure does! (More laughing)
TS: You guys tour a lot right? From what I read sometimes you do 200 shows a year?
DB: Uh, yeah there have been times where we did, one year we did 265.
DJ: Yeah, something’ stupid.
DB: That wasn’t including the days we did just driving.
DJ: Yeah 265 shows. You know, that’s right when, um, I mean, it was during this new incarnation, I think it was in ‘04 we did that. ‘04 or early ‘05. That is, I think that’s the year, that year or the next year is when “Sittin’ at a bar” sold a million on digital jukeboxes. And I always thought that, you know, a concert every day, all year had an impact on that. It’s a song that had been out 5 or 6 years, and it had always done well, but then it seemed like 5-6 years after it had been out, all the sudden (exploding sound effect from Jones), you know what I’m sayin’?
DB: Yeah, yeah.
TS: Did that have a lot to do with Hank Williams Jr?
DB: Actually, it got a million before we did the video with Hank Williams Jr.
DJ: It hit a million on digital jukeboxes when we didn’t have a record deal. It was independent. Rehab was on “Redeye” (Record label)
DB: Jukeboxes called us, the digital jukebox people called us wondering where to send the check. I thought “OK!” ya know what I mean? (Laughs)
TS: When you’re out on the road so much, how do you keep your sanity?
DB: Uh, we’re, we don’t.
DB: You know, everybody is crazy as hell, but it’s a fun crazy, ya know what I mean? There’s little things that annoy people here and there, but it’s usually, if anything we end up laughing at how dumb that bastard is.
DJ: It’s more of a family type situation ya know, at this point, really. There’s days when you got stuff going on at home and you can’t be there to do it, and you’re easily irritated by things, but you know, we’re all grateful and we’re really glad to be here with each other.
DB: I was saying last night how uh, I was sitting right over there, and I was thinking, “Man, this is really cool how all of us are here.” It’s like a tailor-made situation; it couldn’t happen any better, as far as guys who get together and all like each other, you know what I mean? You got bands all the time that are constantly at each other’s throat. We just chill, party-
DJ: We really do like each other. We really care about each other, ya know?
TS: What’s the best thing about being on the road?
DB: Uh- definitely performing. Performing is great. Especially when you think you nailed it, you know what I mean? That really feels good. And that always causes a bigger celebration. When you really feel good when you come off the stage, then the party’s real good. You know what I mean? That’s the best part.
DJ: It reminds you that you actually, you know, that you’re not a musician because you want to be, you’re a musician because you’re supposed to be. Kinda gives reassurance that your fulfilling a purpose when you really rock a show. That’s probably the best part.
that and we have some really good times with each other. You know, a lot of it’s sitting around and sleeping, but we have some belly bustin’ laughs. There’s some funny shit that happens, with each other all the time. We get to meet fans-
DB: And make friends with people!
DJ: Yeah man we got friends all over-
DB: That we know now, like that we know now and call-
DJ: Go to their house and eat and shit. (Laughs)
TS: That’s always a good thing to have while traveling.
DB: They bring us food, wash our clothes, you know, just try to make it a little easier. So when we go on tour we get to see them. It’s like visiting family you only get to see but once or twice a year.
TS: What’s the worst thing about being on the road?
DB: Uh, being away from family, really. I would think that’s the worst. Can’t think of anything worse than that.
DJ: Yeah, that’s the worst thing.
DB: Unless one of us got hit by a car on the road, I mean that would suck. It hadn’t happened yet.
DJ: Yeah, we’ve all been fortunate health wise, but definitely being away from, you know, several of us are married and have children, and that’s rough. Going home is great though; it makes it to where it’s really good.
TS: What kind of music do you guys jam out to while you’re traveling?
DB: All kinds really. We listen to anything from old 70’s, like Bread, and stuff like that, to mostly hip-hop though. Yeah, mostly hip-hop.
DJ: Lately I been listening to, I usually listen to some instrumentals, or stuff that always kind of just keeps me thinking about word arrangements and stuff like that, and I listen to Danny a lot. I listen to some of everything, who ever I’m around what they’re listening to. But I find it hard to be too into anything unless him or me is involved in it, you know, because we make music and I’m his best friend and I always want to hear what he’s doing. And Average Joes, (Rehab’s record label) they’re putting out a bunch of projects so I try to stay up to date with what our people on the team are doing too, you know, like Moonshine Bandits and all those guys, just so we’re current with what our folks are. Our people that look out for us, we look out for them. I want to know what their songs are and how they sound, give them our feedback. But uh, I don’t do any more like, leisurely radio listening. (Laughs) I haven’t done that in so long!
DB: Yeah me either. Matter of fact, when I get home, I got XM Radio and a billion channels and I keep it turned off. I just ride.
DB: I probably drive too slowly. Everybody says I drive like an old man, but I don’t listen to shit.
DJ: My little girls request Danny all the time. Well, there’ll be a couple of days where they just wanna listen to Daddy over and over and over, and you know, most Rehab songs is Danny singing, and I’ll rap in some of them, but mostly it’s Danny singing. So when we listen to Rehab, they think we’re listening to Danny. They say “I want to hear Danny!” So, we listen to a lot of Danny. (Laughs)
TS: What made you guys decide to say “Farewell?”
DB: Well, it’s… we’ve been, like I said, around since ‘95, and I’ve never done a solo album. Jones has done a couple, but he’s never- he’s always been a part of this so he never got to define what he was doing. A lot of people know who he is from how he rocks it out here since we’ve been together. We did a hip-hop album called “Million Dollar Mug shot,” turned it into our label, and our label was like, “We don’t have the marketing plugins for this type of album. We don’t service hip-hop, we service country-rap, and country music.” We’ve always, we’re not, we’ve never been defined by a genre. They asked us to do that, although we were disappointed that our album that we busted ass on wasn’t going to come out- and it is dope!
DJ: It is dope!
DB: It is really dope. Even though that didn’t happen, a lot of things were going on in life, in real life, you know, like family and stuff, and it was too much to even argue. To the point where-
DJ: It was odd wasn’t it?
DJ: It was odd, like in hindsight its almost like our personal lives, at the same time, were telling us we should be doing something just a little different. And our record label was like “You need to make it a little different.”
DJ: I didn’t realize at the time-
DB: Yeah it was crazy. Some kind of divine intervention or something. Like something happened, like, “Ya’ll need to be doing this.” A lot of people online and stuff was like “What’s going on, is there a beef or…?” People talking junk and this and that. It’s none of that at all! It’s just, here it is, you know what I mean?
DJ: The labels nowadays, they got ways, almost like how you know how the weather is coming, when they tell you “Hey, everything’s gonna shut down in two days because it’s going to snow 37 inches in 40 hours.” Basically what the record label is saying is “We can put it out, but right now, the climate, if you do it, you’re not going to get the result that you would get if we represented it a little differently.”
DB: And it gives them, with me and him, it gives them two more things to work, instead of me and him being in one thing, you know what I’m saying? It gives them two more things that they think they can sell.
DJ: It’s not too far fetched. I mean, if you go to Warner Robins, Georgia, it’s mostly pecan orchards and hay fields with a bunch of shit built right on top of it. And then Jones County- all it is, is pecan trees and hay fields. We grew up-
DB: And deer dodging.
DJ: (laughs) Yeah this is where we grew up. Music has evolved, since we started making music- music has evolved to where country music, and hip-hop music, the lines are not so defined as they once were. We’ve even had people call us country, or have had country stations pick up advertisements for our shows when we didn’t think that was anything near what we were doing. What you got here, when you start talking, you’re like “Oh they’re like southern country boys” and then it don’t matter what the music sounds like, but because they’re southern country boys they kinda slide that way a little anyway. I think the solo projects are just kind of emphasizing on our natural habitat, our roots. More of our personal roots, more so than our musical influences.
TS: You guys have any advice for any aspiring college musicians that are reading this interview?
DB: There’s all kinds of advice. Have fun. Love what you’re doing. put yourself around good people. You know? I’ve partied. I’ve partied with cocaine, speed all that shit. NOT the way to go. (Laughing)
DJ: (Laughing) Yeah. No doubt!
DB: I drink beer, and I’ve smoked weed and done that. But its not the way to go if I had anything to say. It’s not. That’s really the main thing I’ve got.
DJ: I would say number one- don’t suck. I mean, be real with yourself. Work your craft until its on the level that you know that it could be. I would just say, psychologically focus on what it is that you’re doing. Like, you need to understand what you’re trying to do, and if you kind of keep that on your mind, then you naturally begin to go that direction, you know? And you’ll start to do things that push you to what’s on your mind. Just keep chiseling yourself into what you’re trying to be.
DB: And take time to live a normal life.
DJ: (Laughing) Yeah!
DB: That’s where music comes from.
DB: I mean, you’ve got your whole life to write your first record. Your second one, everybody is always going to compare to the first one. Take time when your home and chilling, to remember that, the grind is the grind, but it’s fun when the music just happens.
DJ: Damn. That’s some good shit. I’ve never heard you say that man. I need to read this article.
TS: Well that’s all the questions I prepared. Is there anything I didn’t go over that you want to throw out there?
DB: Well, we need a vacuum cleaner if you’d like to vacuum right in here… (Laughs)
DJ: Mine and Danny’s solo albums are coming out early summer after the “Farewell Tour.” I like to tell folks to just stay glued to Facebook and Twitter and wait for updates on that.
DB: I think June 10th is the date.
DJ: June 10th, yep. They come out on the same day.
DB: His is called Demun Jones- “Jones County,” and mine’s called Danny Boone “Fish Grease.”
DJ: Good stuff. 12 tracks on each album.
TS: Thank you guys for the interview, have a great show tonight!