SXSW: Bun E. Carlos Chills At Club De Ville

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Photos by Chris Gray
Bun E. Carlos warms up for Candy Golde's live debut at Club de Ville Friday.
When someone offers you a chance to talk to the hands behind the driving rhythms of "Surrender" and steady swing of "I Want You to Want Me," you take it. So Friday night, Rocks Off found ourselves in the "chill room" of Club de Ville with none other than Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos.

As Gram Rabbit's Jesika von Rabbit and her bunny-fied friend readied their costumes for their impending performance and Carlos' bandmates in Chicago's Candy Golde made some pre-gig small talk, Rocks Off and Carlos had a brief chat.

The Chicago all-stars (read more about their performance Friday here) recruited Carlos for the drummer's chair via a phone call from Tremulis, who used to sneak into Cheap Trick's shows in Chicago bars like the Alley in the '70s. The two musicians were familiar with each other from their appearances at various Waltz benefits, fundraisers for a Chicago children's home featuring some of the city's A-list musicians like Billy Corgan and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy.

"Nick sent me some demos of the tunes, and I practiced them at home," Carlos said. "We whacked it out in one afternoon at Wax Trax."

After adding some overdubs and whatnot, Candy Golde's five-song EP will be out in late April, After a couple of shows in their hometown and a pair of Record Store Day appearances with Tremulis, Carlos said the group's future is up in the air - "We'll see what happens" - but there's no rush, because bassist John Stirratt is about to link back up with Wilco for the tour that brings them to Verizon Wireless Theater May 6.

Carlos is an old hand at these sorts of supergroups. The last time he was at SXSW, in fact, was with Tinted Windows with Taylor Hanson, A Perfect Circle's James Iha and Adam Schlessinger of Fountains of Wayne to promote their self-titled album. After a less than a month of shows and a few "hit and run" dates in Japan, that group dissolved as the various members went back to their main gigs.

"The company's still up and running, though," Carlos said. "We may pick it up again in the fall."

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I don't believ that Bun E Carlos was playing drums during Cheap trick's recent concert performance (8/26/11) @ The Western Idaho State Fair. Can anyone tell me who that man was???


The author is correct that Bun E's last visit to SXSW was with Tinted Windows. He was not with Cheap Trick in Austin in 2010 - Daxx Nielsen drummed for CT at the Austin City Limits and SXSW shows.


Bun E. was also at SXSW last year with Cheap Trick - not just Tinted Windows. Cheap Trick was a key performer there in 2010 and their show has been broadcast on HDNet.


I miss Bun E Carlos in Cheap Trick but I understand his point about the bookings. That's got to be tough. Glad he is well and behind the Ludwig kit. Go Bun!! I'm going to purchase some of the Bun E Blend coffee!

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