John Wesley Coleman Interview on the Austinist

Guitarist for The Golden Boys, writer, illustrator, all-purpose Renaissance dude…between these lofty pursuits and the more menial tasks of working two jobs to pay rent, John Wesley Coleman manages to keep a lot of balls in the air. In partnership with local start-up Monofonus Press, he’s releasing a poetry collections/CD compilation under the title American Trashcan. In addition to Monofonus, John has also come under the wing of John Herndon, Associate Director of the Balcones Center for Creative Writing at ACC; naturally, ACC is throwing a release party for American Trashcan tonight from 7-10. We stopped by John’s house over the weekend to ask a few questions, and were graciously treated to a breakfast of eggs and biscuits.

Thanks for breakfast, man.

Yeah, no problem…here, lemme show you the poster [for the party]. It’s weird, they got these kids in the art dept at ACC to do it. It was originally gonna be a cowboy with wings, like a flying angel cowboy, and then John [Herndon] came up with this idea and the phrase “Spiritual Outlaw” and they pulled this photo of me from five years ago off the internet.

How did you meet John Herndon?

I just happened to have a poetry class with him. I’m 32 and I haven’t been to school in 8 years—first of all I haven’t been to school in 8 years, and second it’s my first time going to school in Austin. So I turned in a manuscript and he read it and found it amusing, I told em about my book and he contacted me and basically said, “You wanna do this party, a reading? We’ll give you some money and free food for you to host this party.” So I’m gonna read and do music and host a party at the college.

What do you have planned?

I was thinking about reading GG Allin lyrics and DH Lawrence poems backwards, while walking backwards.

That’s gonna be tough. You can’t have any distractions.

Actually I want distractions. You have to have distractions in order to have attractions.

Tell me about American Trashcan.

This book is one of four. To begin with, [when we first moved here] we lived in this crackhouse on Chicon and Rosewood, prostitutes hanging out on my porch and everything, and I was stoked because it was just weird territory. First time hanging out in true ghetto Austin. I recorded a record and did these four books and they’re all kinda related, and I was gonna put it all together into a big huge coffee-table sized book, 80-100 pgs, of drawings and paintings, stuff like prostitutes with huge fake eyelashes and painted lips and smoking cigarettes and driving limos and cats as pimps hanging out on the corner. They’re really bad drawings, but taken all together they’re sorta fun to look at. Scenes from the projects, but all exaggerated.

So my friends were like “This is cool, you gotta do some more,” and I did a bunch of little 40-50 pg booklets, like tracts. And eventually I showed it to Morgan [Coy, owner/operator of Monofonus Press) who I met through some mutual friends and he was like “let’s put it out” so we’re putting out a CD of about 20 songs of stuff I recorded over the years with this book, and the whole thing’s called American Trashcan.


How did you hook up with Morgan?

I met him when I was just running around meeting people and stuff when I first moved here. Morgan and I had a band for a while called Power Animal. It was short-lived. Morgan got the fire kicked in me though, and so he’s putting the book and the record out.

The interview basically ends at this point, but if you would like to read JWC’s recollection of a humorous incident from last year’s Golden Boys/Strange Boys tour you may do so below.

Well, thanks a lot for breakfast. It was delicious.

My pleasure! Interviews are hard. All I have to do is sit here and talk. We did an interview for the Chronicle and they spent like $200 on this bar tab for us. They wanted to get us wasted so they made us drink shots, from 7 to 10, until 10pm felt like 3am. Then it became really late and we were just so blind drunk. I didn’t know we were gonna be on the cover either, with The Strange Boys.

But yeah, we just did an East coast tour with the Strange Boys. We were on tour with them in Connecticut, in this really chill fish ‘n chips tavern in Stanford, Connecticut, near the ocean. And all these old guys were there standing around; they didn’t wanna hear any loud psychedelic, blown-out punk rock bands. And so the Strange Boys go on, it’s all this weird throwback psychedelic soul music, and these old guys didn’t get it at all because that’s the kind of music they remember from their childhoods and yet the Strange Boys all look like they’re 19. And so the Strange Boys were all drinking and these old guys are like “Should those kids be drinking up there?” and I’m like “Yeah! They’re my nephews!” And then they come up to me like, “Hey Uncle Wes, can we get another beer?” And I’m like “Yeah!” And these old guys were looking at each other like…

Do the Strange Boys always call you Uncle Wes?

No.

Read the original article here…

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