e-mail interview with John Convertino (drums) - nov 9th 2001
Barbara H


Hi! Good morning, sorry its taken so long... been on the road with old Giant Sand.

How did you and Joey (Burns) meet? 

We met through a mutual friend... Howe (Gelb, of Giant Sand) and i were looking for an upright bass player, and Joey fit the bill.

What are you currently working on?

I've been trying to finish a little solo project for Sommerweg records... Just a single, but it will be all John Convertino, which is pretty funny. Calexico has started recording... Giant Sand just did a little tour of England, will be releasing a covers record soon... worked on a record with Jenny Toomey and Franklin Bruno, that was a lot of jazzy fun.

Have you already written new songs for another Calexico album?  

Some and then some.

When the OP8 album with Lisa Germano was released, Howe Gelb said that you (the three of you) wanted to have a new guest on every new OP8 album. He mentionned Clint Eastwood. Do you have any news about that?

That never happened, sorry... We have been trying to find Lisa again... Lisa where are you? I think she is the only one who could kick OP8 in the ass hard enough to do anything.

Do you have any news from Lisa Germano? (a friend of  mine asks me to ask you if she's single, i know this sounds like an MTV interview)

See previous answer.

So, is she single?

Umm... i hope so.

I know you and Joey have been playing for years, do you feel that this success is something of a reward ?

Well, success is measured by the individual... To be able to play music with people i love is success enough for me... Music has its instant reward, thats what makes it so good.

Every Calexico show looks like a party, does it get boring to party every night? do you ever feel like playing more "obscure" shows?

I think with the mariachis it was more of a party every night... We play a lot of gigs that are less "up",  joey and i still play the occasional art opening, or benefit, or in store as just drums and guitar. I really enjoy those gigs.

How did it feel to bring the mariachis Luz de Luna with you for your european tour?

Dream come true... Party every night ! Want to do it again some day but make it more orchestral, jazzy and boring.

Are you going to tour Japan with them?

We can't afford budget wise to bring them to Japan yet.

What is your favourite memory as a musician?

I played in this church once, i had my eyes closed, when i opened them, all the people had their hands up in the air... It sure was great to play italy the first time... I have these italian roots you see...