Boiled in Lead: Touring

Visit Boiled in Lead's official Web site. You can also find their online fan club. Omnium is the band's label.

Paula: Where would you like to tour, where you have not yet toured? What artists would you like to tour with, if possible?

Drew: There's not likely to be extensive touring in the band's future. Of course, if we get a good offer, we'll show up and play just about anywhere! But there are so many bands on the road now that it's much more difficult to make an impact with a club tour than, say, 8-10 years ago. Most bands lose money on the road. People have to make a living wage from playing music, and we don't have big money backing us.

We prefer playing festivals, such as Winnipeg Folk Festival, or the many festivals in Europe. In that context, you get to meet (and play with) some stellar musicians, like when Eugene Chadbourne sat in with us in 1991 ("State Trooper" on ALLOY2), or when we did Robin's Arabic suite "Nasrudin" with 20 additional percussionists. That was scary, but very fun. We like to be out on the edge, musically, trying different ways to play the tunes.

Paula: As a band, you seem very much based in Minneapolis, but you have a huge cult following, literally all over North America and beyond. What do you attribute to your appeal? What are your goals in this respect -- do you want to reach a broader audience or have you achieved what you set out to do?

Drew: I feel a good sense of accomplishment these days, having marked the band's 15th anniversary by releasing 3 CDs worth of material from the vaults, including a bunch of tunes we recorded live only 6 months ago. I had a great time going through the tapes, and found a lot of items that I had completely forgotten about.

Through all the changes, BiL is still one of the few bands who can take traditional material and REALLY make it rock. Most folk-rock bands simply splice a rhythm section together with a couple of instrumentalists. But very few bands mix things up enough so that you can't see the individual parts.

We've never been willing to be confined to the folk-rock ghetto, or walled in by having to stick to any particular label. We play acoustic AND electric, instrumental AND vocal, straight-ahead rock'n'roll AND odd time signatures, beautiful melodies AND horrific noises. From the reviews ALLOY has been getting, more people are catching up to what we've been doing all along.

To be honest, I don't really know what's going to happen next with BiL. But then again, there's never been a master plan with this band; it's mostly been about having fun with music we love.

Current Plans