Moccasin Creek does what they want, when they want it's how they do things. They have written and recorded tunes, and are currently on the road with further plans for newer music, and even more road playing. Frontman vocalist and founder of the group Jeff "Brahma Bull" McCool discusses his band, touring activity, and current events happening in today's society.
1. First of all, who are you, and what do you do in the band?
Jeff: Jeff "Brahma Bull" McCool. I'm the frontman and founder of Moccasin Creek. I am also the primary song writer and lyricist for the band, and handle the majority of our development, promotional and publishing work. Moccasin Creek started as a "do-it-yourself" style band and we learned that nothing less than back breaking hard work leads to success in the music industry. And right now, our efforts are definitely paying off!
2. Charlie Bonnet III had said he had co-founded Moccasin Creek, that had lasted for around four years, before a lack of proper management and business structure came in and destroyed it. Can you elaborate on this matter?
Jeff: There is a major difference between a "founder" and an original member. After he left Big Smo's band, I asked him to play guitar and sing some of the lyrics on what was to be my first solo album. After I took Charlie to Florida to record what would become "Allowed To Be Loud". (The first Moccasin Creek full length album), I decided to continue working with him. Essentially, Charlie became the first band member to join Moccasin Creek. Initially, Moccasin Creek worked with a management company in Florida. However, for the 2 1/2 years, Moccasin Creek has been managed by the same person, Daphe Mitchell, who has been, and continues to be, the backbone of the Creek from a business, agency and management standpoint. I guess that's why I was so surprised to see Chuck's statement about the destruction of the Creek. I'm pretty sure that if improper management were in place, we wouldn't be playing more live shows than ever, selling more records than ever, and recently signed with Average Joe's Entertainment. Without GREAT management, none of this would be possible.
3. How did you and Charlie come together in the first place? Where did the idea for Moccasin Creek come into play?
Jeff: I met Charlie while I was working with Big Smo. I've always wanted to express my words and ideas in the musical arena. Moccasin Creek was always my dream - way before I met Charlie. Smo is a great friend and encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Charlie needed some work at the time I was ready to record my album, so I asked him to work with me on my initial project. After the initial EP, we decided to keep working together until he decided to leave the band last year. We just regrouped, added Ronnie Davis and continued hammering away.
4. Would you ever want him to back and play for Moccasin Creek again, or is that time dead and gone?
Jeff: I have to say Charlie made it pretty clear he was cutting off any future opportuniies to play with the Creek. He made his choice to head out on his own, and we chalked it up as the end of his era. He's been pushing his issues legally and now social media, but I guess those questions need to be taken up with our lawyers! LOL! Right now, Moccasin Creek is full speed ahead!
5. How do you describe your music to people?
Jeff: I don't necessarily like to compare our sound to other artist's, but it's hard to not mention your major influences. I grew up an "old school" hip hop fan as well as a huge southern rock fan, so those influences are easily heard in my music. We are an amped up version of an early Kid Rock mixed with a little Beasties and Skynyrd. We are politically incorrect by today's standards, but we only speak of what we know, and what we live. If you have never fired a gun, don't sing about one. If you've never gotten piss drunk, spent days in the woods, lived recklessly, and all of the other stereotypes that come with the "Low life, backwoods, redneck, small town southern bred lifestyle", don't sing about it! People will eventually see through it. Be real. I may not be the best mechanic, have the steadiest hand, or get drunk EVERY night, but I don't write about what I don't know about. If I don't know enough about the subject matter or lived it enough to feel comfortable spreading it to the masses, I don't write or sing about it.
6. Moccasin Creek, is that based off a real creek or does your band's name mean something totally different?
Jeff: There are several actual creek's with this name, and there is also a Moccasin Creek state park. However, the name is derived from an old school honky-tonk from the town I grew up in of Palatka, FL.
7. Does the entire band contribute to the writing process?
Jeff: For the most part, I write all of the lyrics. If another rapper is featured on a song, they write the lyrics. But, as far as everything else, I take care of that. It's by far my favorite part. As to the underlying music, I develop the initial concepts to fit the style of the lyrics and work with the band ti fine tune each song. What we create is just real life, exciting music that speaks true and party's its ass off!
8. Who or what inspired you to become a musician, what is your musical background?
Jeff: Honestly, I didn't even get into music until 6 or 7 years ago. I was doing karaoke with some friends in Florida one night, and started making up my own words to a Beasties song. (Freestyling as they call it) Someone introduced me to a Colt Ford CD that night, and I was hooked. I wanted to do it, so basically, I acted on it. Several long hard years later, we were blessed with the BEST fan base on the planet, great management, a great label, and great support group.
9. What's the story behind the song and video for "Old Glory"?
Jeff: Anyone that follows Moccasin Creek knows that we are huge supporters of our military. I have been extremely lucky to have been asked to be a part of and work hand in hand with several military based foundations. With all of the turmoil in our country right now, and following the tragedy that took place in Chattanooga, we decided to release the song now as opposed to waiting on the album release. The label agreed it was a good idea, so we called up some friends of ours, and spent the day filming to create yet another heartfelt video. The song has so much meaning that we definitely wanted to not only spread it's lyrics but to paint a picture through the video by showing harsh truths to what sacrifices so many Americans have to endure while being a military member. We are very proud of this song and video, and it has garnered great response thus far, and we are giving it away for free as a thank you to the support of the Moccasin Creek family.
10. Speaking of "Old Glory" it of course, being a flag, what is your opinion on the whole Confederate flag craziness?
11. Now "Old Glory" is a single, where does this single come from, is it off an upcoming EP or album or just a single on it's own?
Jeff: As mentioned above, it will be featured on our next album which will be here soon! We wanted to release it as soon as possible for the reasons I mentioned. Our Military and Veterans need to know how much we all really appreciate everything they do day in and day out. Without them, there can be no One Nation Under God.
12. Do you have any new music in the works?
Jeff: Always. I'm a work addict as far as the studio goes. I love to write, and do so daily. There are stacks and stacks of notebooks filled with material in my studio. I love doing collaborations with new and upcoming artists and other musicians in the industry. While music wasn't in the forefront of my career options, I am truly blessed to be where I am and love what I do!
13. What are your current tour plans, if any?
Jeff: We are on the road now. We are ALWAYS on the road. We are heading out with a label partner this fall, and our calendar is booked pretty much the rest of the year. Our booking agency is already taking offers and have filled several dates for next year. It's exciting to know we are heading to a bunch of places we've never been. The remainder of 2015 and all of 2016 is going to be even more hectic than it already is. But, that is a good thing!
14. How about any other plans for the rest of this year?
Jeff: Well, other than another video, working on a new album, touring the country, raising a family, and working as much as possible, I don't have time for any other plans. LOL.
15. Do you have any last words for fans, or potential new fans?
Jeff: Thank you so much for the continued support as well as patience while we put the final polish on this project. It'll be here before you know it. Go to our YouTube page, and watch the "Old Glory" video and get a free down to the song. Without our fans, there'd be NO Moccassin Creek. And that, is 100% factual!!!!