Interview with Gordy Quist from Band of Heathens

Gordy Quist, band of heathens
Gordy Quist from Band of Heathens

Interview by Scott Preston

The formation of The Band of Heathens is as natural and organic as the music they create. In early spring 2006, the three principle songwriters, Colin Brooks, Ed Jurdi and Gordy Quist, were sharing the bill every Wednesday night at the venerable Austin club Momo’s. Originally, it started as each songwriter performing his own set. But in a short time they started sharing the stage equally and collaborating on each other’s songs, with bassist Seth Whitney as the anchor of the rhythm section. The Wednesday night series was billed as “The Good Time Supper Club.” Largely improvised and unrehearsed, the shows quickly gained in popularity and word spread throughout Austin that if you wanted live music on Wednesday night, Momo’s was the place to be.

With a new release out in May, the band will be touring extensively this year; expanding their existing markets and entering into new key regions. The excitement that Austin shared with the band at the very beginning is being felt in places like Denver, Nashville, Atlanta and beyond. The band has been approached about touring with some of the top names in alt-country, and the level of interest from both industry insiders and fans is steadily growing. They will continue to bring their unique brand of Texas twang and country soul to anyone who is curious, willing to listen and hungry for the American rock ‘n’ roll that The Band of Heathens deliver. (from

The Band of Heathens will be releasing their next cd self titled “band of Heathens” May 20, 2008 at Waterloo’s in Austin, TX.

Cincy Groove: How long did it take you guys to get your latest cd recorded?

Gordy Quist: It probably took 10 days total. 4 days of tracking and the rest of the time was spent having guests come in and overdub some parts. Patty Griffin and Stephen Bruton came in to put there parts in. It came together pretty quick for a studio record. We pretty much just set up in a room at the studio in Dripping Springs. Ray Wylie Hubbard was producing the record and wanted to capture the energy of a live performance.

We aren’t really a rehearsed band, we are pretty loose band in arrangements. We play our songs differently all the time. Ray wanted to capture our live sound so we just set up played and tracked it. I think because we went live and we weren’t dealing with layers and layers and doing a million takes on a guitar solo, it went a lot faster.

Cincy Groove: When/where is your cd release show going to take place?

Gordy Quist: This is the big month of the release where we are doing an in store performance here in Austin, TX at Waterloo. We have 5 or 6 gigs here in Austin this month so they are all kind of cd release parties. The first one is May 15 and there are a couple radio stations that booked us for this music series they do. This was before they knew we were releasing our cd this month. So everything kind of lined up for us.

Cincy Groove: It looks like Band of Heathens had a pretty good SXSW experience last year.

Gordy Quist: Yes we did. The name of the game for us living here in Austin is play as much as possible and get as much exposure from the out of towners as we can. We did get a European record deal of out SXSW this year. So now they are printing records in Europe, so the album will come out there shortly.

Cincy Groove: Your band name, The Band of Heathens, came about as kind of accident, correct?

Gordy Quist: Yeah, we were originally billed as The Good Time Supper Club, with each of our names listed in different time slots. All of the members of the band were playing this weekly gig at a bar here in Austin. It really morphed into all us of being on the stage at the same time for the whole night. We have a few ideas who might have been plugging the name The Heathens to the newspapers, but were not sure. Newspapers then started calling us that and instead of fighting them to correct it, we just decided to go with it.

Cincy Groove: When did you start having an interest in music and performing?

Gordy Quist: My parents were both really into music, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Byrds, Roy Orbison. I also moved to Texas when I was 7, so I grew up on a bunch of songwriters like Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark. I think I picked up the guitar in the 4th grade. My dad started teaching me chords and then a few years later, I think at age 14 I started my first rock and roll band. The band just played covers, we were all learning how to play rock and roll. I took lessons for a while when I was younger, but I realized theres nothing like playing live shows and interacting with the crowd.

Cincy Groove: I also just viewed the video EPK you have on your website. I think its something more bands should start doing.

Gordy Quist: I can tell you why more bands don’t do it, its expensive. You have to hire photographers that have good cameras and know what they are doing. Then theres the time of sitting and editing it. We were lucky in that the Live dvd we did had a bunch of extras on it that we ended up putting together into that video EPK. We have been really fortunate with people helping us out.

I don’t think bands will be spending a lot of money to produce these really elaborate videos in the future. I think bands will end up spending money, but less money just putting up videos on youtube. I think thats really going to be the future of music promotion. Just grassroots promoting, and fans trading music with other fans.

The Band of Heathens:
Ed Jurdi – Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica, Keys
Gordy Quist – Vocals, Guitar
Colin Brooks – Vocals, Lapsteel, Dobro, Guitar
Seth Whitney – Bass, Vocals
John Chipman – Drums


Upcoming Band of Heathens tour dates:
for complete show details visit –
May 15, 2008 Saxon Pub Austin, TX
May 16, 2008 KKNG – live on the air Oklahoma City, OK
May 16, 2008 Wormy Dog Saloon Oklahoma City, OK
May 17, 2008 Barley House Dallas, TX
May 17, 2008 Love and War in Texas Plano, TX
May 18, 2008 KNBT Americana Jam- Gruene Hall New Braunfels, TX
May 19, 2008 KTTX Radio – Live on the air Brenham, TX
May 19, 2008 KRXT Radio – Live on the Air Rockdale, TX
May 19, 2008 KAGG Radio – Live on the Air College Station, TX
May 19, 2008 KORA Radio – Live on the air College Station, TX
May 20, 2008 Waterloo Records In-Store Austin, TX CD Release
May 21, 2008 Lonestar Music In-Store New Braunfels, TX CD Release
May 22, 2008 KSWA Radio – Live on the Air Graham, TX
May 22, 2008 KOLI Radio – Live on the Air Wichita Falls, TX
May 22, 2008 TXCD Radio – Live on the Air Keller, TX
May 22, 2008 KHYI Radio – Live on the Air Dallas, TX
May 22, 2008 Saxon Pub Austin, TX
May 23, 2008 KGSR Radio – live on the air Austin, TX
May 23, 2008 KNBT Radio – Live on the Air New Braunfels, TX
May 23, 2008 Gruene Hall Gruene, TX
May 24, 2008 Private Event San Antonio, TX
May 25, 2008 Surf Club Records In-Store Corpus Christi, TX CD RELEASE
May 25, 2008 Executive Surf Club Corpus Christi, TX
May 26, 2008 Austin Wine Festival @ The Domain Austin, TX
May 27, 2008 River City Grille Marble Falls, TX
May 28, 2008 Hill’s Cafe Austin, TX
May 29, 2008 Private Event Austin, TX
May 30, 2008 TMTR Radio – Live on the Air Waxahachie, TX
May 30, 2008 KPIR Radio – Live on the Air Granbury, TX
May 30, 2008 KSTV – Live on the Air Stephenville, TX
May 30, 2008 Mandatory FM Radio – Live on the Air Stephenville, TX
May 30, 2008 Bostocks Stephenville, TX
May 31, 2008 KRVL Radio- Live on the Air Kerrville, TX
May 31, 2008 Kerrville Folk Festival Kerrville, TX
Jun 5, 2008 Saxon Pub Austin, TX
Jun 6, 2008 Quail Creek Country Club San Marcos, TX
Jun 7, 2008 CMA Conference @ the Sommet Center Nashville, TN
Jun 9, 2008 XM Radio Taping Washington, DC
Jun 10, 2008 Relix Magazine New York, NY
Jun 13, 2008 IOTA Club Arlington, VA
Jun 14, 2008 The Garage Winston-Salem, NC
Jun 16, 2008 Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour Lexington, KY
Jun 16, 2008 WDVX Radio Station Knoxville, TN
Jun 17, 2008 3rd and Lindsley Nashville, TN
Jun 18, 2008 Eddie’s Attic Atlanta, GA
Jun 19, 2008 Saxon Pub Austin, TX
Jun 21, 2008 For the Sake of the Song Festival New Braunfels, TX
Jul 13, 2008 Live at the Lake Austin / Lakeway, TX
Jul 17, 2008 The Big Music Cruise Galveston, Mexico
Jul 18, 2008 The Big Music Cruise Galveston, Mexico
Jul 19, 2008 The Big Music Cruise Galveston, Mexico
Jul 20, 2008 The Big Music Cruise Galveston, Mexico
Jul 21, 2008 The Big Music Cruise Galveston, Mexico
Jul 23, 2008 Denver, CO
Jul 25, 2008 Copper Night Street Party Copper Mountain, CO
Jul 26, 2008 Smugglers Brew Pub Montrose, CO
Aug 8, 2008 Botanical Conseratory Fort Wayne, IN
Aug 31, 2008 Zeigfest Bryan, TX
Sep 26, 2008 Austin City Limits Festival Austin, TX
Sep 27, 2008 Austin City Limits Festival Austin, TX
Sep 28, 2008 Austin City Limits Festival Austin, TX