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Jimmy interview


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I think there was some idle chatter about Jimmy recently... this interview is short but has some insight:

Widespread Panic

By Natalie Sugarman

Nov 17, 2009, 13:05

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Widespread Panic

The Mind, Body & Sound Experience

Jimmy Herring talks about life on the road with Widespread Panic.

When you joined Panic in 2006 was it stressful to learn their incredibly vast repertoire of songs?

It could have been, but they were such good friends and I had known them since '89. What was stressful was three nights at Radio City; these were the first three shows. Of course everybody in my family wanted to come, which was great and that’s not stressful. But when your mom comes to see you at Radio City and it’s your first gig with a band that has over 200 songs ... maybe a little. I wouldn’t say it was stressful learning the songs; it was just a 10 day period or so of 10 hour days.

I saw you guys for the first time at Rothbury in 2008 and it was quite the experience. The music and the people all seemed to be in tune to this amazing vibe. Is it always like that? Are there off nights?

Every night is not a perfect night, there are a lot of good nights and an off night doesn’t necessarily have to be terrible. I never walk away from a show feeling like I don’t want to do this anymore. It’s always good; it’s always fun. It’s a gift to be able to do it. I really feel that we have an obligation to do our best whenever people come to see us.

What’s one of the most interesting or weird gifts that you’ve been given by a fan?

The strangest one, I’m not even sure what this thing was ... They had made it into a keychain. Somebody had taken some part of an animal and it was like a claw or a tusk of a wild pig. I think it was a tusk from a wild pig, you know down in Alabama or Georgia those guys like to hunt wild pigs. I think that’s what it was.

What do you think is the hardest part of being a musician?

The hardest part … It depends on who you are and your approach to it. But for me the hardest thing is traveling and being away from my family. Some people say absence makes the heart grow fonder, but you get to the point where your daughter’s about to be 21 and you don’t think absence makes the heart grow fonder anymore. It’s gotten to where you just miss them, and it gets to be that large slices of their lives go by that you’re not there for. Yeah, that’s the hardest part. I don’t want to go home; I just wish they could be with us here. The easiest part is you get to play music every day and you get to do what you love to do. I’ll find that after a gig, if we’re staying multiple nights in a town, that’s a good time to explore things musically and I’ll go back to my room after a gig and play some more. I’m way over the partying thing. I just come back to my room after the show and play for another four or five hours. It’s good for you, there’s plenty of time to work on new things and things you might do tomorrow at the next gig or other projects you might be working on. That part’s easy; people are like, 'How do you play like that?' I’m used to playing a four-hour gig, and man, it goes by and it feels like 30 minutes. | RDW

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