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How do you guys keep your energy up when you’re traveling?

TROY “TROMBONE SHORTY” ANDREWS: Once the music takes over we forget about everything. Injuries, whatever it may be the music just takes over and we forget. Now when we’re ending the show and we know it’s the ending you can see some of the band start to mentally crash and go down but other than that we’ve been doin’ this for a few years now, maybe like close to 200 or more shows a year so we’re used to this. We’ll see how long we can do it.

What is it that you hear from fans that still excites you?

TROMBONE SHORTY: It’s more of the actions we see. We see them out there and they’re just eruptin’ and people are goin’ crazy and they don’t know what’s goin’ on but they’re just movin’ and groovin’.

JOEY PEEBLES, DRUMS: The transfer of energy was real fast, especially on today’s gig. On the first note it went to the fans and they gave it right back to us and it got real intense real fast. And that recharges your batteries almost instantaneously.

It’s your first time at the festival. How would you guys describe the vibe of Lollapalooza and how did the crowd react to your hip-hop, rock jazz show?  

TROMBONE SHORTY: Very young and exciting. We play at all types of festivals. Yesterday we played a jazz fest that had seats and today it was just wonderful for us to play in front of our peers and have them accept the music. They allowed us to bring them on a musical journey. It doesn’t matter if we have a hit song or not, they just let us take them there and they were open to that. To be at this festival, we’ve been hearin’ about it for years and years and we just were very excited when we got the call and to be a part of an amazing lineup with Eminem and Outkast and all those guys. It’s just wonderful. We hope to be back soon. It’s really hip and youthful and it’s what we need.

DAN OESTREICHER, BARITONE SAXOPHONE: I didn’t realize how huge it actually was. It’s this whole sea of people.

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What have you given up for this life?

TROMBONE SHORTY: The biggest sacrifice is that we all lose a big sense of personal life, like when we get off the road for more than two weeks we really don’t know what we like to do, we don’t know what we like to eat and when we’re home we’re just really confused.

DAN OESTREICHER: I know what I like to eat!

TROMBONE SHORTY: Well, we can see that already! [Laughs]

Are there moments on stage when someone makes a mistake and throws the band off? 

PETE MURANO, GUITAR: Not as much anymore. It’s been too long, you know? Too many shows. If you mess up tonight, the other dude’s gonna mess up tomorrow. Everybody’s putting up as much energy as they can to make it right and that’s the point … The whole is greater than the parts, anyway.

MIKE BALLARD, BASS: When we mess up at the end of the show we’ll be like, “That was my bad,” and we’re on to the next one. As long as we are aware of where we messed up and what it is then we don’t expect it to happen again.

DAN OESTREICHER: Sometimes the mess ups make for cool musical moments, too. Your band members kind of catch you and then it’s a new thing you can do in the set sometimes.

Do you spend much personal time together, to hang out as friends?

DAN OESTREICHER: It depends on where we are. We had a day off in Venice not too long ago and that was really cool to not have a show and run around and check things out with the whole band but then there are times when you want to do your own thing, it really depends.

TROMBONE SHORTY: And if we’re goin’ home it’s a totally different thing because as soon as we get off the plane it’s, “See ya later, don’t call me.”

DAN: I love you, but I’ll see you on the bus next week!

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If you could have a drink with anyone, who would it be?

JOEY PEEBLES: Al Jourgensen.

PETE MURANO: Da Vinci would be cool. Leonardo da Vinci, somebody like that.

TROMBONE SHORTY: Einstein.

DAN OESTREICHER: I would drink absinthe with Hunter S. Thompson. To see how a real pro does it!

TROMBONE SHORTY: What you think, Michael? Who you want a drink with?

MIKE BALLARD: I would drink with George Washington.

TROMBONE SHORTY: There you go, boy.

Do any of you guys have a celebrity crush that you got to meet along the way?

TROMBONE SHORTY: Oh, Lord, you wanna put us on the spot? … I dunno if I wanna put that out there yet because we might know them, we don’t want them to be scared when they come back and see us! 

Do you get nervous on stage anymore?

TROMBONE SHORTY: Well, I think with us we’ve been playin’ so long since we were kids and that’s all we know how to do, is play music so I think sometimes we get butterflies when it’s probably TV or something where we have one shot to do it and we try to execute on one shot so I think that might be the only time where we may get some type of butterflies.

JOEY PEEBLES: Earlier this year we got to appear on the GRAMMYs, that was really big and televised. We did the halftime for the NBA All-Star game and after doing stuff like that when you’re put in another high pressure situation you can kind of look back on those things and [think], “You know, we made it through that, this is [easy].”

DAN OESTREICHER: I was worried about fallin’ down the stairs at the GRAMMYs. It wasn’t even about playin’! They had these small, narrow-ass stairs and we had to make it from the stage to the back of the Staples Center in like 45 seconds so we had to book down these slippery tiny stairs so we made a pact that if one person went down we’re all goin’ down, for the publicity aspect … We made a pact, we’re goin’ down together if we go down.

TROMBONE SHORTY: I must have missed that meeting!

How do you get pumped up before going on stage?

TROMBONE SHORTY: We do this New Orleans Second Line type thing amongst the band, we’re like bangin’ on bottles, it’s just the horns and they’re clappin’. It gives us a little taste of home before we go on. And sometimes there’s a bunch of people down here and we’re doin’ a parade to the stage and then we gotta get serious and hit it. But other than that, not really. You’ll find us all warmin’ up in the corner, trying to get ourselves together.

When you’re on the road so much do you have any shows you watch or how do you pass the time?

JOEY PEEBLES: YouTube.

TROMBONE SHORTY: I play PlayStation … NBA2K! They bet on me too. But we don’t play it all the time, it will be months before we see a PlayStation because some buses we have may not have it but that’s back to the personal life and sacrifice. By us being on the road we don’t really get a chance to catch shows or anything. Even though we can pre-record it by the time we get off stage we’re going to sleep or we have to catch a flight in a few hours so we lose a lot of things.

You didn’t get caught playing in the rain at all today did you?

TROMBONE SHORTY: No, no. From the bus we did but it was cool. We played an entire show yesterday in the pouring rain.

PETE MURANO: Yeah, we’re from New Orleans, it takes more than just rain to stop us!

TROMBONE SHORTY: That’s right! As long as we can play, we’ll play.

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KIRSTEN MICCOLI / A DRINK WITH
Click here to see 2014 Lollapalooza performance
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