Heart of Steel: Interviews


Interview with Jeff Caughron

Interview by Keith McDonald

Every Mother's Nightmare came out at a time when hard rock was still popular. After signing with Arista Records, this Memphis, TN band had some success until MTV and radio abandoned bands from their genre. The band has kept the wheels in motion releasing albums that many fans don't know are out there. The band, Rick Ruhl, Troy Fleming, Jimmy Phipps, Travis Hall and Jeff Caughron, continue writing and releasing great music. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jeff who gave me the lowdown on the band. You can check out their website at www.emnonline.net.



Tell me about the new album. What type of musical direction does the band take?

Well, we just recorded five new songs in December in Knoxville, Tennessee at the same place we recorded Back Traxx and Delta Voodoo. It was good to get back there. Our sound has gotten heavier and our songs have gotten more interesting, edgier, and people who have heard the latest stuff just kind of go, wow, and really feel it, really relate to it. It's cool as an artist to get that kind of feedback after you have poured so much of yourself into something. The five of us have been around each other for so long that we feed off each other during the writing process. We can walk away from a practice session with several songs in our pockets.



How did you hook up with Perris Records? 

We heard from a friend that he was asking about us. Either he called or we did. That's been many years ago. For the time, it was a decent avenue for us to take.



How much of a difference do you see from a major label and Perris?

It all boils down to how much money do you really have and how much are you willing to spend. I'd say a big difference. For one thing, advertising is so important and so expensive. Without good money being put behind a band, a fantastic album can get passed up because people wouldn't have known it even existed.



How much has the music scene changed since EMN came out?

 It's changed a lot through the years but music always revolves in a circle. It is just starting to feel like it is time for real hard rock again and EMN is going to be right there in the new wave. One thing that has changed in a related sense is that there are computers now. I think it is great that we get so many emails and we can keep our fans up to date on our website which by the way is www.emnonline.net



Are there any tour plans? 

Yes! We just got off tour before Christmas and we are planning on leaving again sometime in February. Hopefully we will be opening for a largely known band.



How much harder is it to tour these days?

Surprisingly, not hard at all. It can be hard if you don't have a good booking agent. You know, they may schedule you to play Chicago, then the next night have you playing down in Tennessee somewhere, and then the next night have you way back up north again. Stupid stuff like that makes it hard but overall we all just kick back, ride, and have a good time wherever we are. Touring is one big party for us and we live for it.



Will there be a DVD available? 

I sure hope so. We thought of some really good ideas for one when we were on the last tour. It would probably have a bad rating though. Material may not be suitable for children under 17.



What about a live album? 

Our latest CD is a live album. It's called LIVE SONGS FROM SOMEWHERE and it's available through Perris Records, Amazon.com, or with any luck, your local record store will have it. We did songs from our past albums and had two new songs and two new covers, "Eighteen" by Alice Cooper and "Saturday Night Special" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.



Who is currently in the band right now? Do you still keep in touch with the former members?

Rick Ruhl, Troy Fleming, Jimmy Phipps, Travis Hall and myself, Jeff Caughron. Some of us do occasionally talk to the former members.


How did EMN start? How difficult was it getting signed? 

I believe that Rick put the band together with Steve Malone and played about thirteen shows before they got signed to Arista Records. The night that they were signed, Jim Phipps, our drummer, accidentally hit Clive Davis of Arista with a drum stick. Supposedly, Clive knew this was a sign that he had to sign the band. EMN had a huge following in Memphis and word just spread. There were actually several labels interested in signing and EMN took the better of the deals.



What lies ahead for EMN? 

We have our brand new material that we are going to shop around. We are all very excited about the new material and we are going to continue touring as much as possible, making music, having fun, and raising hell wherever we go.

Every Mothers Nightmare Website