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[fa:p:a=72157594267830938,p=2,id=235237193,j=r,s=s,l=p]AD: Would you classify your music as country or rock, or is it somewhere in between? And why do you think people are so hung up on that question? Music is music, right?

CC: The best way I can explain it and the same way I always explain it is that we grew up on so many different types of music in Oklahoma. From our dads, we grew up on Merle Haggard and George Strait. The first concert I went to was George Strait. When we were all at a very influential age, the Seattle music scene exploded and we just all fell in love with it. I always tell everybody that we’re a country influenced rock band. I know that we have a hard time getting our songs on country radio, but we have an easier time getting them on country than we would rock. We’re not doing anything differently than Gram Parsons did, I don’t think, some of it’s a little more rocking.

AD: Tell us about your new album, “Garage”.

CC: We went into the studio with four songs and basically walked out with fourteen. I’ve been telling everybody that every record is an extension of the last one. So a little more mature. I mean, Merle Haggard is still growing as an artist and he’s seventy years old. You learn more every day and you learn how to write it a little different.

AD: You mentioned you have a hard time getting airplay. Do you think that will change with this album?

CC: No, not really and we really don’t care. We never really have cared. It’s awesome to get airplay, but that’s not what we’re really worried about. We never have worried about that. Even with the record label, they came to us. We weren’t looking for a record deal. We’ve never been after the fame of it. We play for ourselves and the people who want to hear it. I’m sure we won’t get any airplay. So what?

AD: What have been some your biggest accomplishments?

CC: Musically, we had a really big show in Ft. Worth that was like 24,000 people and beat Willie’s record. And that almost was dirty talk to us because we didn’t want to hear it, because that’s not what we’re about. I think the coolest thing is our peers digging what we do. We get phone calls from the Ace in the Hole Band and Asleep at the Wheel saying “Hey, why don’t you guys come out and jam one night?” That to us means more than any radio hits or any sell out crowd. We had an opportunity to do Waylon’s memorial show out in Nashville. That was before the record deal. We were friends with Shooter and his dad liked our music. He liked us because we weren’t trying to produce something, we just did it. We got to play onstage with Hank Jr. and Charley Pride and Kris Kristofferson. It was basically a musical funeral for a country music legend. I would say that was probably the biggest one, just because it came out of nowhere.

AD: What do you want to accomplish with your music?

CC: I think we’ve done it. I’m not trying to be anti-establishment, we just want to keep the fans and gain more. We just want a lot of people to hear us. There’s no doubt in our minds that we’re going to be together. We’ve been together for eleven years now; we’re going to be together for another thirty. Our next town is probably our next accomplishment. There’s no brass ring that we’re reaching for.

AD: What advice would you give to others just startingout in the biz?

CC: Be honest, especially if you’re a writer. Be honest and tell the truth. If not the truth, still be honest with it. Not following in somebody else’s footsteps. That’s a big thing that a lot of people fall into, that they’re a fan of a certain act or something and they try to be exactly like that act. It’s good to be influenced by somebody, but carve your own spot in the world. And don’t be too stubborn. You can stand your ground, but sometimes it can come back
and bite you in the ass.

AD: We were told not to ask this question, but we want to ask about your name. We’ve got to stretch the rules and you’re all about that, right?

CC: Well, Grady Cross is our rhythm player. My last name’s Canada. And Randy Ragsdale. And put your weed wherever. People say that Jeremy Plato feels left out, but he’s the most talented musician. One of the most talented I’ve ever seen. I’m glad to have him as a brother in the band. It seemed like Ragweed was the perfect name because everybody in high school called Randy Ragsdale, they called him Randy Ragweed. It just happened. It was Canadian Ragweed at the dinner table and then somebody said, and we still argue over who said it, not that we claim it, but one person will say it was you and the other will say, no, I think it was you, but somebody had said Cross Canadian Ragweed. And I said that works for me. And of course, we had to fight for ten years that the name was too long.

AD: What do you think of Austin?

CC: I love Austin! Hell, I moved to New Braunfels and now I live close enough. I’ve loved it ever since the first time we stepped foot in Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar. It took us a while after we started getting out of the rowdy bar scene when people started getting quiet. And we thought, what just happened? Are we doing something wrong because nobody’s yelling? They’re getting into it and they actually listened. And it’s pretty intimidating at first. Once you get used to it, it gets very relaxing to know that peopleare actually listening to you and it’s not like a downtown Dallas bar. I think everybody that comes to ashow in Austin is there for the music. We went to theACL Sunday. Wilco was playing. I turned to my wife and I said, “Man, that’s what I love about Austin.” Those people out there are listening. And there was a shitload of people. And they had every opportunity to be drunk and stoned and loud and obnoxious. And they were probably drunk and stoned, but they were listening. That’s the good thing about Austin.*

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