Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Pine Box Boys

This is an interview I recently did for One-Eighty magazine in Knoxville, Tenn. Here's how it went.

The Pine Box Boys

So it’s the Halloween season- a time to pull out the Jason films, throw eggs at the trick-or-treaters, and crack out The Pine Box Boys.

Since 2005’s release of Arkansas Killing Time these boys have been spinning tales of horror from the darkest parts of the holler.

Lester Raw, vocalist and guitar player, and Possum Carvidi, banjo player, were kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions for me.

1) How did the Pine Box Boys form?

The other boys found Lester drunk and face down around William Faulkner's grave in Oxford, Mississippi. When they rolled him over he was singing a song - mostly indecipherable since he had a mouth full of soil and gravel, but they distinctly heard the words "Stab twice!"

After a few cups of coffee, they managed to get him to show them a few of his songs: they were all about murder. The boys convinced Lester to move to San Francisco and the rest is history.

2) How would you describe your music?


3) What bands are you listening to now?

Lester has been listening to Charles Ives a lot lately. Possum listens to Doom Metal and Underground Hip Hop. As a group, we listen to our friends: Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, .357 String Band, Pawnshop Lifters, Kemo Sabe and so on. We also listen to CDs given to us by bands we meet on the road. It's a great way to pass the time on long drives. If we like the band, the CD travels with us and we tell everyone we know to listen to them. If we don't like the band, we throw the CD out the window.

4) You just played a show with Joe Buck and .357 String Band. How was that?!!!

We've played with Joe a few times- he's a really great guy. He looks like Skeletor, but he's really down to earth.

.357 and The Pine Box Boys have crossed paths a few times, but we've never had the opportunity to share a bill together. This was a pleasure for both bands. Back at the hotel, Lester and Billy (.357's mando picker) bothered the other guests by picking late into the evening.

5) What other bands would you like to do a show with?

The Pine Hill Haints. It just seems like a natural fit.

6) What's new for the Pine Box Boys? Touring? Recording?

The Pine Box Boys are working on their fourth album, "Revenge of The Emancipated Head." This is the story of a recently-decapitated head rolling through town and describing what it sees in song, sort-of post-mortem consciousness. The album will be released in June with a tour to follow.

7) What are you guys doing when you’re not playing music?

Lester bets way too much money on football. Also, he's been working on a string quartet. Uncle Dodds volunteers for various charitable foundations. Col. Leather is preparing a great big book about why the Apollo missions never really happened. Possum Carvidi spends most of his time learning to play musical instruments that everyone else makes fun of. Possum is also studying Russian authors; he hasn't bought any of the actual books, but he spends a lot of time with Spark Notes.

8) Hacksaw or Woodchipper??

There is no general agreement on this question: Possum prefers the efficiency of the woodchipper, but Lester argues that it is not nearly personal enough. Dodds and Leather advocate for the use of a lime digester.

I’ll have to agree with Lester myself, but in a pinch……..
Check them out on the web at

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