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David Lowery of Cracker / Camper Van Beethoven Interview Now Available!

25 January 2011 43 Comments

By: Andrew

You can legally download Cracker tracks for free on our free music page.

disclosure: I’m a lifelong Cracker fan and in my eyes, David Lowery can do no wrong.

David Lowery is one of the most underrated, and underappreciated (no, this is not a word) musical minds of our generation. His first solo record, The Palace Guards will be released on February 1st.

I’m a week removed from seeing Kerosene Hat performed in its entirety. As a young teenager, it was my first musical challenge. An album’s worth of “Low’ it wasn’t, and songs like “Lonesome Johnny Blues” and “Take Me Down To The Infirmary” stretched my musical palate, yet the latter, over a decade and a half later, has become one of my favorite Cracker tracks. My journey with these songs has spanned my teens and my 20’s, yet still, I find myself fascinated. Kerosene Hat “holds up” and is truly a timeless record.

We covered a decent amount in this interview, most notably that David is a fan of the black metal band Necrophagous. Or maybe not.

– recent New York City shows at the Highline Ballroom

– playing Kerosene Hat in its entirety

– budgeting, monetizing, and marketing in the music industry

– his new record, The Palace Guards, which is out 2/1/11

– future solo touring plans

That’s the skeleton. If you want more, download the interview (right click, save as) or stream it by clicking here.

You can visit Cracker’s official site here and David Lowery’s official site here.

If you want to reach the show, use the contact page.

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  • intheblue said:

    I didn’t know Cracker was still around until I heard one of their tracks on Pandora 3 years ago. “Sunrise…” is such a great album for all you open-minded folks.

    OUTSIDE TOPIC – Has anyone here been to City Winery?

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  • Brian Doran said:

    Explain to me how someone who is involved with a band that had one hit single 20 years ago qualifies for all the praise you give him in the intro?

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    @Brian Doran: You know I always value your opinion, but you’re exposing your ignorance. You have admitted to being a fan of Nickelback, which, in and of itself, is fine. But, do not ever, ever attack anyone’s artistic merit while simultaneously praising that talentless, manipulative glorified bar-band frontman.

    I called David Lowery UNDERAPPRECIATED. I called him UNDERRATED. I called him one of the BEST MUSICAL MINDS. That’s not praise. That’s accurate.

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  • Carla said:

    @Brian Doran: CVB was so influential on my musical landscape dude. Dig a little deeper.

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  • godblessya said:

    CVB reminds me of that bands that only a select hundred or so care about but everyone claims meant so much to a genre. Give me Cracker soul any day of the weeeeek!

    I think their bass player had a cup of coffee in Roxy Music.

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  • Sunkissed49 said:

    On next week’s show, Tonic! Or is it The Refreshments?

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  • Tarma2 said:

    @Brian Doran: Explain to me how you work for a venue that couldn’t draw flies to shit. Between Cracker and CVB over the last several years Lowery consistently sells tickets in NYC. I’m sure Edwin McCain and a different tribute band are paying that huge Times Square Rent. (cough cough)

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  • mAAT said:


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  • KARNOV said:

    I don’t know much about this dude but Low is on my IPOD and I crank that shit super fucking loud every time it comes on.

    That’s my “classic rock” right there.

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  • GREAT ANT said:

    Has anyone noticed the recent guests on this show show mimic the hosts? Smarmy, snarky, irreverent, outwardly ironic and self absorbed.

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  • Vinny said:

    I kept getting kicked out of the stream and the main page is not loading. WTF is up with that?

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  • Oscar said:


    It keeps saying there is an error that the stream is fucking full. Fix this shit.

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  • ArchedIsisByleveling said:

    the homepage is not loading properly, is the site down? i cant get into the stream

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  • jj franks said:

    Ask him why at the nyc show he didn’t even talk about kerosene hat, they just played it straight thru and didnt say anything

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  • yigger nes said:

    Please explain the fucking issue with increasing the stream size? This capping shit at 100 ppl is ridiculous. I know how it works. Lower the fucking outgoing bit rate and more people can come in.

    And that lame ass Buckcherry CD I won took 3 months to get to me from CA. You guys are going backwards.

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  • RemyZeroGirl said:

    Y’all need to calm down with the swearing. The stream was full. Big deal. Download the thing. Read the synopsis in 2 days. I heard the entire thing loud and clear and didnt have a problem.

    All some ppl doing is complain.

    btw, Brian is the club y’all talking about above bb kings?

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  • 1942 said:

    Ask him why I Hate My Generation was banned from the setlist?

    CVB sucks. Cracker is OK. Lowery as a writer is excellent. Andrew and Darius and everyone at AKF at opening up a functioning stream is HORRENDOUS.

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  • 867-5309 said:

    He sounds more friendly than I would have thought.

    I didn’t realize they had an album hefore Kerosene Hat. It’s on Rhapsody.

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  • Roxy said:

    I can’t hear the interview- But looking forward to Feb. 1 for the solo album to come out. From what I heard so far- it’s brilliant.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    @Sunkissed49: I will take Cracker and both of those bands over any of the music that dominates terrestrial radio in 2011.

    @Tarma2: I would certainly love to learn how B.B. King’s in Times Square keeps its doors open. Enlighten me, someone.

    @SMASHERDEVOURER: Music can sound heavy and also be lyrically heavy. “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette is just as angry as the most vicious of heavy metal songs.

    @yigger nes: You were mailed the CD by the promotions company. We had nothing to do with that.

    @jj franks: That was the sole criticism I had of the show too. The show was amazing, and experiencing that album live was something I won’t forget for a while.

    @Roxy: You heard correct. It had my attention from the very first note to the very last note. Loved it.

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  • frogger19x said:

    Tom Araya from Slayer years ago admitted to have Enya on his Ipod.

    The singer from Cracker is digging Necrophagous.

    Cracker is more metal than Slayer.

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  • bash said:

    lowery has a yoko

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  • Diana said:

    They’re a wonderful set of people and their music brought me some sanity in these hard times. Lowery’s lyrics are the most bittersweet I heard in a long while. Long may they reign.

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  • i pity the fool said:

    One thing I can’t stand about this show is your bias. You call yourselves journalists? Writers? Hosts? I sparingly tune in and it’s the same thing show after show and year and year. Why do I care about Sevendust, Cracker, Local H, Filter and all this other garbage when the musical landscape is much more profound and diverse?

    Grow up.

    The show was somewhat enjoyable tonight.

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    I’ve been a Cracker fan for the better part of their career. After racking my brain I realize I listened to All Knowing Force 4 years ago when Liz Phair was on.

    I give Andrew and the guys a lot of credit for allowing some of the negative critiques to be posted about them: especially on their own site.

    POINT -> as a Cracker fan, it’s refreshing to hear an interview where the interview is a fan of the band and knows what he’s talking about as opposed to someone who isn’t a fan firing off baseless questions.

    Kudos to AKF! I don’t hate on you for taking sides. I give you guys credit for having enough balls to have an opinion.

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  • to the BITCHES said:

    i would like to know why they are getting criticism for having cracker on the show AFTER every time i die and after having the fucking dude that programs all of hard rock and metal at sirius

    the guys talk about what they like and if u dont like it put in the years they have build an audience do ur own show and shut the fuck up

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  • Union Jim said:

    cool interview, missed the last half, hope to dl today,

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  • Richard Simpson said:

    @Brian Doran: Brian, anyone who knows David’s view on all this, and he shares the same view as many people, knows that “hit” songs do not a great musician make. Camper Van Beethoven was/is a ground breaking band. David’s knack for witty cynical right on target lyrics makes them one of the all time greats of indie rock.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    @i pity the fool: There’s a “genius” born every minute. You simply don’t get it. I’m not going to argue with you.

    @bash: There is a difference between a supportive wife and a “Yoko.”

    @Richard Simpson: Right on. I’d even go as far as to say in ALL of music.

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  • Plum Lord said:

    @867-5309: There was an album before and many albums since. I think David said that alot of ppl are not just fans of Cracker but Cracker is their favorite band. I find that to be 100% accurate. Some of their fans are die-hard and I’ve seen them all the recent NYC shows and I recognize some of the ppl from show’s prior.

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  • BYoB said:

    Can you believe this asshole started this interview laughing at the fact he doesn’t respond to e-mails?

    Still even so Andrew is the man.

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  • hatuespatue said:

    They’ve passed through many times and I was always on the cusp of catching them. Definitely doing so when they hit DC. All these years I didn’t know they were still around.

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  • Chinewalker said:

    David Lowery and Sevendust could put out blank albums and All Knowing Force would call them albums of the year.

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  • cpnclpr said:

    not a mention of anything cvb

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  • 1Step said:

    I don’t think they would have been able to peddle the beer at the shows. I think there are state tax issues that would prevent that. Mail order might have been fine.

    CVB is too quirky for me — maybe I should say SNARKY (I forgot about that word till reading the site). Cracker is OK. The Palace Guards tracks are boring.

    I have not been able to comment on the site for days. Is all OK?

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  • JJ French said:

    I’ve not been able to comment for days. Is the server switch done? I want to listen to this.

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  • Aiden said:

    Got David’s solo CD from Newbury Comics per your recommendation. Came with a nice little autograph for $10. Sweet price. This one grows on ya and after a while I was humming the tunes as I was working. Thanks for turning me onto this.

    The site is now back up?

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  • Morrow said:

    This show was a lil boring but that’s because I thought Cracker was done in 94.

    I took a listen to their last CD (Sunrise) and it’s surprisingly good.

    Unlike most my intro to the band was when I heard Happy Birthday on college radio in like 91. True to their sound but have evolved.

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  • Pills Mahoney said:

    I downloaded the solo CD (legally!) and it’s a trippy experience. Yeah it’s David Lowery but a tiny bit more experimental.

    I would like to be openly critical of Andrew based upon what he told me in private and the ass kissing done on the show. I don’t want to step on his toes but avoiding what we spoke about was uncool.

    The site finally functions and we can leave comments. Only took a month.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    @Pills Mahoney: You’re criticism is welcome. Is it about the site update or something else? A little confused here…

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  • Leaf14 said:

    It would be so awesome if David did a show at Mercury Lounge.

    I’m seeing J. Mascis there soon.

    Good interview.

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  • Plum Lee said:

    He said during the show and other press that he’s focusing on in-stores with the occasional radio promo. I’d like to see a solo show but don’t think that’s going to happen.

    I suggest you all consider the Cracker Campout in Virginia this summer. It should be super rad.

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