NMG Musicians Spotlight - Cactus Moser
©2008 By Bronson Herrmuth
Cactus Moser is one very talented musician. An original member of
the award winning group, Highway 101, he has toured the US and
abroad for the last 20 sum years playing his drums, singing and
performing while helping to keep the band together. At the same
time he's managed to record and release a half a dozen albums,
multiple videos, write a numerous hit songs, produce a ton of music,
act in movies, and he's been the recipient of ACM and CMA awards.
I caught up with Cactus as he was on tour in North Dakota and the
following is taken from a 20 minute interview we did by phone from
Michael Holmes studio in Nashville. Meet Cactus Moser.
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You can listen to this 25 minute phone interview: Part 1 of 4 (4.7 MB) mp3
Part 2 of 4 (4.6 MB) mp3
Part 3 of 4 (5.0 MB) mp3
Part 4 of 4 (5.1 MB) mp3
Bronson: Where are you from Cactus?
Cactus: I was raised in Colorado, sort of south western, Telluride
basically. A small town near there, Montrose.
Bronson: When did you move to Nashville?
Cactus: Right after high school I went to Los Angeles and was there about 10 or 12 years so I came to Nashville in '91. I was a session
musician in LA playing on different stuff. A lot of contemporary
christian rock records of that day. Played with some different artists,
Johnny Rivers was one of them and some of the guys from a rock
group called Firefall. I went to Miami and did some recording with
Bronson: 20 years, that's a long time to keep a band together. Do you have any secrets to share on how to keep a band together that long?
Cactus: Being in business with the right people helps. Curtis Stone, who's my partner in 101 since the git go, he and I's personalities work well together and that makes it much easier. We've all learned a lot over
that period of time. We were quite blessed in the fact that it just
started and worked. The very first thing we recorded intitially, Warner
Bros put it out and it went to #4 in the nation. That doesn't hurt.
Listen to each other and be as polite and as good as people as you
can be to each other.
Bronson: Do you play other instruments besides the drums?
Cactus: Yeah I play guitar, guitar was what I started out playing and as a
writer I've always used guitar and I also play bass. I really enjoy
playing bass, what a fun instrument. I play keys just enough to get
me in trouble. One of the favorite things I've been playing in recent
years is the accordion. I call it the instrument of commitment, 'cause
once you get it strapped on, you're commited (laughing).
Bronson: Do you prefer playing live or in the studio? Do you have a
preference or do you enjoy them both?
Cactus: I love them both. I love to do this and I'm thankful that I do
something that I feel that way about. I really really enjoy the kind of
creating of the painting, in some sense, when you're in the studio.
I've got a studio at my place and I really enjoy creating something
new and trying to play as well as you can. The challenge of that is
wonderful. I've been a ham my whole life so playing live and just
interacting with an audience is still a great, great thrill. Across the
board I love them both.
Bronson: You've played all over the world haven't you?
Cactus: Yes I have. All of North America, South America, Europe and
Bronson: Have you got any advise for musicians new to Nashville, what they might do to help their odds?
Cactus: I get asked that and it's probably the toughest question to answer, it comes in such strange ways. Obviously really knowing your
instrument and working on that part of your craft is kind of a given. Be
sure to be able to read charts, playing with good feel and good time.
Playing with character. I just really believe that there's a need for
personality in your playing whatever you play.
Bronson: Is there anything coming up in your near future that you would like to promote?
Cactus: I've been playing in town some live with a group, with Al Perkins who's one of the classic names of the music business, who's
played with everybody from the Stones to Emmy Lou Harris. He and
myself and Kristine Arnold who's 50 percent of Sweethearts Of The
Rodeo and Reese Wynan has been playing with us some. It's like a
classic r&b/classic rock band called the Hi Power Band and
we've been playing around Franklin and Nashville. It's a lot of fun.
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