Q&A with “The Master Chef” Dan Baird, Georgia Satellites' frontman talks about his new project The Chefs

"The traditional rock and roll band already has transitioned to the 50’s jazz combo. Small devoted audiences. Not much of a chance to break through, although it does happen. But the world has moved along. You can cry and wail, but the world has moved along. R&R has joined jazz, swing, dixieland, blues, REAL country in being mostly forgotten by the masses. Musicians will go back and mine those veins over and over, but as far as the general public, all that music is packed in mothballs."

Dan Baird: Rock n' Roll Supper

Founding Georgia Satellites frontman Dan Baird has teamed up with former Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch, and Joe Blanton, under the moniker The Chefs to cook up their 12-course rock ‘n’ roll delight second album, titled "Sing For Your Supper" (2022). For the project, Baird has taken on the nickname “The Master Chef,” while Lynch is known as “The Golden Chef”, and Don "The Secret Chef". Dan says: "In a long-ago time, Stan Lynch and myself were not Chefs, no, merely Rock and Roll guys, just doing what we did. Through a long shot, happenstance and good fortune, we found ourselves together on tour in 1987 as part of The Rock and Roll Caravan, where he was the drummer in the Heartbreakers and I was singing for the Satellites. It took us quite a while to really become buds, like maybe 3 seconds. There are folks you meet that you are insta-friends with. This was the case here. While going through catering and dining at the first night’s show together, I blurted out a reference to an old friend’s mowing service he’d named “the lawn chefs”."

(Photo: Dan Baird "The Master Chef"; Stan Lynch "The Golden Chef"; Joe Blanton "The Secret Chef")

Baird formed The Georgia Satellites in 1980 and left the band in 1990 to pursue a solo career. He is often credited as one of the pioneers in cowpunk and alt-country music, which combines elements of rock music, country music, outlaw country, and punk rock. Dan says: "So much for retirement and kickin' my feet up in the easy chair. I'm glad you're here to see what I've been up to since I retired from touring last year. My timing was accidentally impeccable, I might add! I'm having a blast in my Secret Dungeon studio and makin' all kinds of racket that I hope you'll enjoy. "

Interview by Michael Limnios                          Archive: Dan Baird, 2019 Interview

What has been the hardest obstacle for you to overcome as a person and as artist and has this helped you become a better musician?

Obstacles make for a bumpy ride, I try to avoid them. But you’re talking “in the beginning” stuff.

Expectations.

They truly are poison.

The lesson; don’t pay attention to your own or others about numbers, or “I’m gonna burn tonight”. Exceptions should be your ability to know and play the songs, treat everyone with dignity. Hold onto the one thing you can actually control; you.

Everyone and everything besides you cannot be under control, therefore you can expect nothing but your own preparedness.

Shit monitors, bad sound guy, carpeted stage, your friends didn’t show. None of it matters. Bring your skills and preparation and put them into play as quickly as possible. Make an effort to really communicate with the people you’re playing with. If it’s gonna be a rough night, try to accept it, then laugh at it WITH your band.

What moment changed your music life the most? What´s been the highlights in your life and career so far?

Well, it’s pretty obvious, having a hit single with Keep Your Hands. That was the before/after moment.

Seeing NRBQ in my 20’s. Magicians.

That much passion in the traditional form is the goal for me.

Highlights are too many to list.

Opening for Petty and the Heartbreakers for 2 months. Playing Madison Square Garden as an opener. The Roskilde festival. The guys I played with finding a new twist on an old song. The Barrowlands in Glasgow in 89. Playing for Bobby Keys. It just goes on.

Life is more than just music, is there any other field that has influence on your life and music?

Artistry in general. Paintings, sporting events, fantastic meal, a book that transports the reader. Really anything done exceptionally well. Top of their game stuff. The moment fine craftsmanship turns into artistry.  Excellence on public display.

"That much passion in the traditional form is the goal for me." (Photo: Dan Baird aka "The Master Chef")

Currently you’ve one project as The Master Chef. How did your relationship with the cooking come about?

Ha! The Chefs name made Stan and Joe laugh.

I do like to cook, especially when I feel the mood.

Is there a message you are trying to convey with your art? What is the role of music in today’s society?

No message as such.

Making records is like making movies. Lots of chances to perfect everything.

Doing shows is like a doing a play. You’re gonna screw up if you play with passion. And that’s what makes it dynamic. New highs, great big fuckups and the transfer of energy to and from the stage and audience.

The type of communal experience I was used to has changed so much with the emergence of EDM and Jam bands. “The big guys with big ticket prices” aren’t for me. I don’t want to see a timed spectacle. I want honest passion.

The traditional rock and roll band already has transitioned to the 50’s jazz combo. Small devoted audiences. Not much of a chance to break through, although it does happen. But the world has moved along. You can cry and wail, but the world has moved along. R&R has joined jazz, swing, dixieland, blues, REAL country in being mostly forgotten by the masses. Musicians will go back and mine those veins over and over, but as far as the general public, all that music is packed in mothballs.

Do you think there is an audience for rock music in its current state? or at least a potential for young people to become future audiences and fans?

As I said to previous question... And quit putting down bands like Greta Van Fleet. They are young, found their voice that’s heavily influenced by the past and reintroducing that sound to a young audience. Just like I did with rockabilly and Chuck Berry.

Don’t be snide when the next generation asks, “How did you do that?” “What did you listen to?” Give them an honest answer, but save any puritanical vibe. They might grab something, mix it with what they do and come up with a new thing, and you helped drag the past into today.

Dan Baird Music - Home

(Photo: Dan Baird "The Master Chef" and Stan Lynch "The Golden Chef")

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