AUGUST 21, 2003
The Rodeo Boys:
'Greatness Has Been Achieved'
By Jordan Scrivner

he Rodeo Boys consists of four fun-loving gents who write songs about ecstacy dads, porno sites and depo-provera. They also write silly songs. This past Monday, RED interviewed George Elliott, Brett Luddeman, Clayton Scrivner and Ben Warren about their debut album, their various upcoming shows and inevitable success.

[Editor’s Note: When we discussed who would cover the new Rodeo Boys album, Jordan begged to be re-qualified for the story despite being Clayton’s brother, on the grounds that he could give it the personal touch. So it’s kind of like Interview Magazine, with Harrison Ford interviewed by his girlfriend.]

The RED Interview

RED: Describe the songwriting process.

GE: The songwriting process is pretty spontaneous. I mean, we’ll all just bounce ideas off each other. Clayton and Brett will contribute stuff, but Ben and I…wrote most of the songs. We wrote one of our most popular songs, “Bangbus,” just messing around for a few minutes in the kitchen after practice.

RED: What about the songwriting itself? I mean, aren’t a lot of your songs true stories or inside jokes?

GE: Well, a lot of the songs are anecdotes, or little running jokes that we have. At first they don’t make any sense, but after you listen to it a lot, it kind of makes this context all its own…The songs almost create themselves.

RED: Do you think TRB is destined for greatness?

BL: Absolutely. I mean, first we need to sell 15,000 copies of our record for band funds. Then we’ll do our world tour.

CS: Greatness has already been achieved. Now it’s time to reap the financial benefits.

RED: The cover of the album features you guys in P.E. outfits running track while smoking cigarettes and spilling beer all over the place. Where did the idea for that come from?

GE: That was Brett’s idea. Brett and I were in track in high school.

BL: I had this fantasy of us just running full-speed on a high school track, and then Clayton came up with the beer and tobacco products.

RED: When you guys first started making the album, you didn’t know if you were going to do a comedy record or just a record of high musical quality. The end result is somewhere in between. Are you satisfied with how the record came out?

CS: We just kind of did what came natural. I think we’ve got a good variety. I mean, we got some funny ones, and some that are long.

BW: We also did a lot of Photoshop on the album. We were trying to emulate Cher, you know?

RED: Like on “Do you Believe?”

GE: Yeah.

RED: Briefly go over the history of TRB.

George Elliott: Clayton and I were in a band called Masters of The Universe for a while. I thought we wrote some pretty good songs. I’ve known Brett since I was 10. We started playing music at 14. Brett came up with the name, I just wanted to call it “Rodeo,” but it just kind of slowly turned into what it is now. We kind of sounded like Smashing Pumpkins when we started out. Clayton joined in the fall of 2001.

Ben Warren: It was Clayton, Brett, and George for a while, and then I joined in February of 2002.

GE: When everyone was lighting the fire within.

RED: You guys recorded at Spy Hop, right?

Clayton Scrivner: Yeah, Matt Mateus [of Spy-Hop] did a real good job producing it.

Brett Luddeman: He co produced it. It was a group effort.

RED: And Jeremy Smith [Of Alchemy and The Wolfs fame] mastered it?

CS: Jeremy mastered it. Like, he took the final mixes and he boosted them up and did like an overall e.q. thing of the record.

RED: I know what mastering is.

CS: No you don’t.

RED: Yeah I do.


RED: I didn’t know what depo was.

CS: Depo is birth control. It allows you to bust up in this set.

RED: Do you think TRB sounds like any other band out there today?

CS: I think we got kind of the same sound and sick sense of humor as Steely Dan. Like Steely Dan without the chops.

GE: A cross between the Misfits and Phish.

RED: You’re lying.

GE: Well, I don’t know. I don’t think we sound like anybody, really. It’s two acoustic guitars, a Rhodes and a drummer. No bass player. It gives us a pretty unique sound. We had one comparison in an interview that I don’t even want to mention. I mean, it was a huge compliment, but I think it’s just going too far. [NOTE: The comparison was “Modest Mouse meets Tenacious D.” I personally think that’s pretty accurate.]

RED: Any final thoughts?

BL: Buy the album.

BW: The album comes out Aug. 29. We’ll be having a CD-release party at the Urban Lounge and then another at Todd’s on the 30th. We’ll be selling the CDs five bucks a piece at the shows.

GE: Be sure to check out our Web site at for any future events.

BL: Also, we’ll be having a show this Saturday at Plan B in Park City with Starmy, and then we’ll be hittin’ the road in September.


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