Errol Siegel, guitar and vocalist for Roxy Roca, a soul-rock band out of Texas, has played with the likes of B.B. King, Tom Jones and Lee Fields among countless others. The band’s infatuation with making soulful music continues, as their new album, “Ain’t Nothin’ Fancy,” set for a Febuary 14, 2015 release, just wrapped up production.
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Chris Remmers: Coming from around the Austin, Texas area, what would you suggest someone visiting for the first time to see?
Errol Siegel: If you’re in Austin there are a lot of things, the bats are always a big draw — the largest colony of free-tailed bats in North America, possibly the world. They live under a bridge right near downtown Austin. In the evening you can watch them fly as they come out hunting for bugs. That’s a really impressive sight. It’s just a giant, massive cloud of “millions” of bats. There’s also a lot of great hiking within a reasonable distance from downtown. Counter Culture is one of my favorite restaurants, I highly recommend heading over there to check that out. To cap it off at night, you should head down to the Continental Club, whatever they have booked that night should be good.
CR: What’s your favorite food at Counter Culture?
ES: My favorite is the Jackfruit BBQ.
Photo courtesy | Stuart Seeger
CR: What about the rest of Texas? Does anything in particular stand out that’s not necessarily around the Austin area?
ES: Yeah for sure. The thing about Texas is that it’s so big. It has so many different climates, different sceneries wherever you go. West Texas is amazing, kind of more desert when you get out west to Fort Davis. There’s a lot of great parks and hiking — just seeing the stars at night with no light pollution. It also has some of the biggest cities in the country, all within a few hour drive — Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. If there is something you’re interested in seeing or doing it’s almost guaranteed that it’s in Texas.
CR: That’s awesome. I’ve actually been down to Dallas and Austin a few times, and I’ve got to tell you just looking up at night and seeing the stars is absolutely incredible.
ES: Yeah, it’s something that you can’t really describe adequately. Being able to look up and do that, when it’s not something you’re used to, is pretty overwhelming.
CR: It is. When engaging in the creative process, whether you’re writing or playing, does traveling play a role in new material?
ES: Yeah it definitely does. It’s just the fact that you’re meeting so many new people and you’re seeing different scenery. It’s nice to be home, but it’s easy to get in a rut when you have the same routine everyday — seeing the same thing. Even if you’re not doing anything really special, just waking up in the morning and having different scenery is a good way to spark some inspiration.
CR: How does music and travel fit together? How has it inspired the career path that you’ve chosen?
ES: They go together like peanut butter and jelly. They just always have and always will. That’s what music has always been about for me. At the start, it’s about being at home to record the albums and putting together your band, but pretty soon it’s always about getting out and hitting the road. For us, it’s about taking our style of music, which is very Texas influenced, and taking it all around the country and around the world — taking it to people that haven’t heard or seen us before. Also, maybe your music has a new point of view for people. It’s a huge part of it. I don’t think that you could ever separate the two.
Photo courtesy | Thomas Münter
CR: Out of all the cities that you performed in are there any that stand out in terms of crowd atmosphere? Was it inline with the city’s nightlife when you went out after?
ES: Yeah, sure. New Orleans always comes to mind, probably number one. There is nowhere else in the world like New Orleans — the cultural and musical heritage. It’s just in full bore the minute you set foot in the city. Memphis we always think about that way as well.
CR: When you arrive at a new destination what are some of the first things you like to do?
ES: In most cases finding a good coffee shop is the first order of business for a lot of reasons. A lot of the guys in the band just really like their coffee and finding a good place. But, it’s also kind of finding a cool, relaxing home base and using the Wi-Fi.
CR: Yeah, everyone has to unwind eventually. Being a guitarist, what are some of the coolest places you’ve played around the country or world?
ES: Well, New Orleans and Memphis I’ve already mentioned. Austin of course itself is guitar central USA. Nashville is always at the top of mine; we’ve been there quite a lot as well. There’s so many amazing stars in Nashville. It makes you think; it makes you raise their game a little. Those are the places that I really think of first.
Photo courtesy | Ron Cogswell
There are some smaller places as well. One of the favorite places that we go is Tupelo, Mississippi. There’s just something about that little town — the boyhood home of Elvis. When you go there you’ve got to go visit his childhood home. There is just a great venue there — great people that are really into music. Sometimes it’s the places that you’d never think of that are just the best kept secret and Tupelo is one of them.
CR: When you’re going on a personal vacation, friends and family, would you say that you’re a beach or city kind of person?
ES: You know it’s a mix of both. It’s really kind of interesting because I love traveling by motor home. That’s just my favorite way to see the country. So when you’re touring with a band it’s kind of the same thing. It’s just instead of being on vacation with you, your girl and your dog, it’s you and all the guys in the band. It’s the same kind of a vibe. The thing that I love about seeing the country that way is you really can see everything. You’re not just going to one place — mountain or beach. You end up getting a little bit of everything.
CR: Lastly, do you have any big tours coming up?
ES: Yeah, we’ve been on tour all summer. I’m actually calling from Austin right now; we just got back into town. Then we’ll be in New Orleans, our favorite city. That’s when the tour picks up and we’ll be touring the United States until pretty much the end of the summer. Actually, it’s really to the end of the year. We’ll be out pretty much all the way until the holidays.
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For more on Siegel and Roxy Roca visit their website: