Here’s a fun lil interview I did for KAABOO festival in Del Mar California. I play The Trestles Stage at 1:30pm Friday Sept 16.
1. How did it come about that you were booked for Kaaboo? I’m assuming they approached you, yea?
They reached out and made an offer to my booking agent.
They said “2 dollars.”
I said “2 dollars and fifty cents.”
They held out and I didn’t budge.
Finally they said “We’ll throw in 6 rolled tacos with guacamole”. So I said ” Make it 7 rolled tacos and 2 dollars and 25 cents.” They relented and said “Fine.”
I’m a really good negotiator. I know a lot of good words. I’m a fantastic businessman.
2. I know you’re touring all the time and head out again right after Kaaboo. Was it hard to make room for Kaaboo in the middle of your other dates? Any particularly funny/good stories from the tour you’re on now, or the last one?
I was very happy to be able to come back home and play Kaboo. So when the offer came in we immediately moved some stuff around to fit the schedule.
I recently bought a house in Nashville and relocated there for a little while so San Diego always beckons. I miss the beach and The Padres.
3. You’re the biggest marquee name from San Diego on the entire Kaaboo lineup — how do you feel about that? Do you feel like you’ve got “represent” SD in a way?
Yes. I need to play naked and put a lit sparkler in my butt crack. Lately it’s really been going over in some circles. The other night I stood on a table at Denny’s and tried it and I got my French toast for free.
4. You’ve played some massive stages over the years — how does a festival the size of Kaaboo stack up for you? Is it just another gig?
I remember one time Jewel opened up for Neil Young at Madison Square Garden and Neil popped in to her dressing room before the show and said, “How ya doin’ Jewel?”
“I’m kinda nervous” she replied.
And then Neil said “Ahh, it’s just another hash house on the road to success. Show em no respect.”
Then he walked out.
I think that’s wonderful advice if you’re Neil Young. I’m Steve Poltz, I have to try harder. So yes, I will definitely show them a modicum of respect. It’s gonna be a hoot I tell you. A hoot.
5. Are you looking forward to anything or seeing anyone in particular at the festival?
I’m looking forward to seeing Jimmy Buffet. I love the song Son Of A Sailor. I hope he plays it. I’ve never seen him before. I’d love to meet him. He’s probably so excited to see me. I’ll try to make time for him backstage. He must be freaking out that I’m on the bill. 🙂
6. Did you go last year or will this be the first time you go? Do you think it’s a good bang for the buck?
This’ll be my first year. I was on the road last year. There are a lot of big name acts and a lot of different genres. It’s quite an undertaking. I’m honored that they asked me to play. Maybe they thought they were booking Steel Pulse and they got Steve Poltz. They booked me and then they felt guilty or were contractually obligated. So then they called Steel Pulse like they originally intended and booked them too. I’m not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth, I’ll leave that to the veterinarians.
7. If you got to choose, who are some of the acts you would book at Kaaboo?
8. When it comes to shows, do you enjoy playing the more intimate gigs or bigger events like this and why?
I love them all. I really do. I’m always surprised that people show up. I’m grateful for the work. It’s weird that they pay me for doing something I’d do for free.
9. What are you working on these days? Recording/writing/touring?
I’m on the road quite a bit. Lots of Canadian festival summer dates. I head to Australia in November through the new year.
I’m also immersing myself in Nashville and meeting all kinds of writers and producers and musicians. I feel like I’m on a college campus. Everyone around me is doing something related to music. It’s really fun and inspiring. I feel so insignificant. My adrenaline is flowing and my antennae are out in search of new and exciting things. Don’t get me wrong- San Diego will always be my home but it’s fun to live somewhere else for a while.
10. If someone was on the fence about going to Kaaboo, what would you say if you could convince them to go?
Where else can you see Steel Pulse and Steve Poltz on the same bill? Just do it. You’ll have fun. I’ll even do one of my songs in the reggae mon style. You’re losing money by not going. You may as well take a hundred dollar bill and light it on fire. You will meet nice people. I’ll be there and I’ll introduce you to Jimmy Buffet. Maybe I’ll meet him backstage at the line for dinner and I can write a song called Jimmy Buffet at the buffet.
11. Last question: I know you’re a big Padres fan (we’ve talked about that before): What are your thoughts on the current team? If you were AJ Preller, what moves would you make?
Well- they went for it last year and it didn’t work out. They took a bit of a gamble. It’s hard to buy big name players and then hope for chemistry.
I think AJ is doing a good job building for the future. We live in a very impatient culture. We have a lot of young talent. I think two years down the line we are going to be something special. You just wait and see. It’s going to be a fun club. 2018 is our year.