The Band

One Gun Solution — Interview and Gallery

The Interview

One Gun Solution Interview

Neo-grunge out­fit One Gun Solution drove down from Oklahoma City to speak with me ear­lier this month. I met them at the CD release party for their fresh­man release, Perceptions, last October, after Kill the Reflection singer Matt Routt invited me. Short and mus­cu­lar, front­man and vocal­ist Dave Washburn’s keen stare could back down the most beliger­ent drunk in the bars he fre­qently plays. His shaved head is con­trasted by a mighty beard, which also appears in the band logo. He may look like a biker, but he reveals a book­ish, intel­lec­tual bent dur­ing the interview.

Tall, lean, and laconic, gui­tarist Matt Francis is soft-spo­ken and thought­ful. He con­ducts him­self with polite south­ern man­ners sug­ges­tive of a kind of upbring­ing one rarely encoun­ters these days.

Gruff-voiced, fast-talk­ing bassist Raymond Dick is the group’s trick­ster, usu­ally the 1st to make an amus­ing crack at his fellow’s expense, unless drum­mer Jim Paterson beats him to it. He’s a new father; if you see him at a show, be sure to con­grat­u­late him.

Jim Paterson looks like he wants to kill his drums when he’s play­ing, but in the flesh, he’s per­son­able and funny. Like all the band mem­bers, he’s pas­sion­ate about music, as will become evi­dent in the interview.

Mercury Photo BureauHow’d you guys meet?

Jim PatersonI was in a coun­try band with this really hor­ri­ble singer, and Ray walked in to try out for the band. He started play­ing Master of Puppets […] and I started play­ing along with him, and he was like, Oh, really? and that’s when we decided to go away from country […].

Raymond DickAfter a few lineup changes, we ended up with Dave and Matt —

JimMatt came 1st — he was with our last band, with our other singer.

Matt FrancisI was actu­ally at Guitar Center, with my wife and lit­tle girl —

JimHis lit­tle girl actu­ally intro­duced us.

MattYes, she was just star­ing at Jim, and I was just there get­ting gui­tar strings, just get­ting back into gui­tar playing.

JimShe was lookin’ around at her mama —

RaymondJimmy was doin’ the pædophile deal, lookin’ at the lit­tle baby! [laugh­ter]

Raymond & Dave (III)
Raymond & Dave (III) — One Gun Solution CD Release Party, The Blue Note, Oklahoma City

MPBThat might wind up in the inter­view [tran­script], so be care­ful what you say.

RaymondScratch that, I’m sorry! [More laugh­ter]

MPBI may just describe you guys as joc­u­lar, and not above hav­ing a joke at one another’s expense.

RaymondYou ought to see our rehearsals.

MPBHow did Dave wind up in the band?

RaymondAfter we got Matt, we were using Left to Die’s singer, Jeremy Waller. We jammed for a while, doing the heav­ier things, but after a while, we decided to go more musical —

JimAnd we needed a singer that was ded­i­cated to our band, not split between 2 bands […].

MattAnd he needed to have a wider range of musi­cal types that he could relate to, and articulate.

RaymondThat’s how we became One Gun Solution. Dave came with the name; when Dave came, we changed every­thing. We changed gen­res 100%.

MPBWhat were the chal­lenges when you formed the band?

Jim[When we 1st got together,] me and Dave didn’t see eye-to-eye. And that’s because we didn’t know each other. 

RaymondThat’s ’cause you’re 6′ 3″ and he’s, like, 5′ 2″. [laugh­ter]

JimThen we […] got to […] This is more impor­tant than just, the way we feel about each other, we just needed to learn more about each other to fig­ure out who we were or where we were com­ing from […].

Dave — One Gun Solution CD Release Party, The Blue Note, Oklahoma City

MPBHow would you describe your musi­cal genre before Dave?

RaymondSpeed Metal, Thrash.

JimHardcore Metal.

MPBIf I were an A&R man and you were try­ing to get me to sign you, how would you describe your music?

Dave WashburnMusic for every­one. We write tunes we love, and, hope­fully, every­one else will jump on board.

MPBIf I were that A&R guy and you came to me with that 30 sec­ond elava­tor pitch, I would not return your call, because I do not know what that means.

JimWe actu­ally cover a broad spec­trum of musi­cal styles, even Soft Rock — bor­der­line Pop-Rock — all the way up to Hard Rock. Not Metal; it’s just short of being Metal. We do have some Metal ele­ments, like some of our gui­tar riffs might be a lit­tle Metal, but because of the tones we use, they have a softer sound —

DaveNothing that you might [not] hear on an Alice in Chains song.

MPBHow did you become musicians?

Raymond[…] I grew up in L.A., just 7 miles south of Hollywood, and every­body out there’s in a band; I mean every­body. I traded my bicy­cle when I was 13 [years old] for my 1st bass […].

When I came here, every­body was a lit­tle more laid back; I mean, it was eas­ier to do, ’cause there wasn’t a mil­lion peo­ple doing it, you know? It’s always been some­thing I’ve been inter­ested in.

JimHe couldn’t han­dle being a male pros­ti­tute. [laugh­ter] I started in the 80s; I was just start­ing to get into music. My brother played drums. I started watch­ing bands like Def Leppard, and it really intrigued me — [Def Leppard drum­mer] Rick Allen only had 1 arm — I went from there, I started lis­ten­ing to Rush.

I’d heard them before, but I’d never lis­tened to them as a drum­mer. And that’s when I 1st actu­ally picked up the drums, because, before then, I was air drum­ming, because I couldn’t afford a full drum set. [Then] I started play­ing Rush tunes and I delved into pro­gres­sive Metal and pro­gres­sive Rock.

Jim (III)
Jim (III) — One Gun Solution CD Release Party, The Blue Note, Oklahoma City

MPBRush were known for odd­ball time sig­na­tures. Is that what appealed to you?

JimIt was all of it; it was the fills that weren’t nor­mal, generic fills; it stepped out­side of the nor­mal bor­ders of a 4/​4 time sig­na­ture and it appealed to my [intel­lect].

DaveI’m from Texas, and for me it just started when I 1st heard a song on the radio. 1st 3 con­certs I ever went to were ZZ Top (my dad took me). I remem­ber as a kid, I had 4 sis­ters, grow­ing up, just all in the back of our van and singing along [with the radio].

I’ve done so many things in my life, but I’ve always come back to music […]; there’s noth­ing else that really com­pletes every­thing for me.

RaymondHe couldn’t even han­dle the porn. [laugh­ter]

MattI got my 1st gui­tar when­ever I was about 12 years old, and my mom bought it for me; it was a Sears spe­cial with the lit­tle speaker in it, good for in the bars; an elec­tri­cian rewired it for us and I got some new pick­ups in it. I never had any for­mal lessons, until I was about 13 [when] I had 2 [lessons], and, by then, I’d got­ten a bet­ter gui­tar. I started play­ing because it was an out­let for my emo­tions and I could artic­u­late what I was feeling […].

DaveI’ve been a writer since I was in about […] 3rd grade; [that’s when] I wrote my 1st short story, and it got pub­lished and [I read] it aloud to the whole school […].

MPBI take it that you write most of the song lyrics?


JimHe won’t let any­body else write ’em.

MPBMatt, could you tell me what was going on that you wanted to express through music?

MattWell, just [the crazi­ness] at school; we moved around a lot and Dad left [when] I was young. It was just a crazy time […], so [music] was just an out­let for me […]; other peo­ple use other things. Actually, the main acoustic riff in Here on After, that’s the 1st thing I ever wrote; I wrote that when I was 13.

Dave (III)
Dave (III) — One Gun Solution CD Release Party, The Blue Note, Oklahoma City

MPBDave, some of the lyrics are pretty straight­for­ward; some of the lyrics are opaque. Underneath the Skin is right out there; it’s about pædophilia in the church, but some of the oth­ers might ben­e­fit from some expo­si­tion: I’m think­ing of The Fray and Down the Rabbit Hole, which seems to be about a girl con­tem­plat­ing suicide.

DaveAbsolutely. I’m big on sto­ries; that’s what I love about coun­try music. […] A lot of times [the band] will come up with a riff or a whole song, and I’ll come in and fig­ure out how I’m going to approach it. I lis­ten to the song a mil­lion times and try to find [a subject].

[The Fray is] my favorite track [on Perceptions], aside from Here on After. [It’s] about being in an abu­sive domes­tic sit­u­a­tion. You always feel stuck [in this type of arrange­ment]; your friends tell you to [to get out of it]; you hear, but you don’t lis­ten; you stay for what­ever reason.

MPBIs Here on After the sequel to The Fray?

DaveNo; do you remem­ber that old movie, Carrie? That whole song is about that.

MPBWhen you lis­ten to the instru­men­tal part the band brings you, do you look for a par­tic­u­lar emo­tion to serve as a jump­ing-off point for a narrative?

DaveWell, thank­fully, [I’m] in a band where there’s so much chem­istry […], par­tic­u­larly [between] Matt and I […]; we’re like peas and car­rots. I don’t know what it is, but when­ever we’re together, every­thing just seems to fall in place, and it’s so easy to write together.

MPBWhile we were hav­ing drinks before the inter­view, it came up that you want to re-record a cou­ple of the songs from Perceptions and re-issue it.

DaveThe album was just really rushed. We were record­ing with Provo Provenzano at Pirated Sound Studios in Purcell; he’s 1 of the best ears in the state. We had a dead­line: we had the CD release show, and we bit off more than we could chew […].

After lis­ten­ing [to Perceptions repeat­edly] over the last few months, we want to go back [and fix some of the tracks].

JimWe recorded Rise Against with­out Provo, so we didn’t get the full remas­ter­ing to CD, and there are some prob­lems on it.

MPBWho do you admire or emu­late, musically?

Raymond[The late bassist for Metallica] Cliff Burton, [Iron Maiden bassist] Steve Harris. Probably them 2, as far as, like, orig­i­nal influ­ences, from when I 1st started play­ing bass. They’ll always be my heroes, but as far as nowa­days, talk­ing about the sound of the bass, I like Tool [bassist Paul d’Amour] and [Geno Lenardo from] Chevelle. As far as [tech­nique], I’m still influ­enced by Steve Harris. I like the new sound with the old influences.

JimThese guys will tell you I pretty much live Dream Theater. Mike Portnoy is my favorite drum­mer. [I also look to Rush drum­mer] Neil Peart.

But, it doesn’t mat­ter who it is; what­ever music I’m lis­ten­ing to, I try to feel what’s inside it. Like, when­ever Ray plays bass, I don’t sit and go, Well, okay, I’ve gotta play a 4/​4 time sig­na­ture. I play what I feel. […]

[Tool drum­mer] Danny Carey is [a gifted polyrhyth­mic drum­mer]. Mike Portnoy is […] phe­nom­e­nal […] all-around. I look at [what use­ful things] they bring […] and add them to [my per­sonal technique].

DaveHands down, I’m a huge Grunge-head […]. The 90s were just awe­some for me [; I was a teenager then]. Eddie Vedder; back in his prime, he was just untouch­able. His story telling, his pres­ence; he could do any­thing and still carry a note.

Matt (I)
Matt (I) — One Gun Solution CD Release Party, The Blue Note, Oklahoma City

Matt[Guitarist] Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme; now he writes and plays with Rihanna; he’s def­i­nitely a huge influ­ence.Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert.

MPBWith the excep­tion of Hendrix, I’d clas­sify these gui­tarists as tech­ni­cians, you know, some­what clin­i­cal in their approach to play­ing. Do you put emo­tional expres­sive­ness ahead of technique?

MattAlways. That always comes before the tech­ni­cal stuff. [Those gui­tarists], and I want to men­tion Eddie Van Halen as well, they were very tech­ni­cal, but you could always hear the sto­ries they were telling. Whatever the song title was, you could hear it, you could totally pic­ture it, whether it was an instru­men­tal or whether [it was a vocal num­ber]. You can play scales all over the place, but the true greats artic­u­late their emo­tions through their playing.

Jim1 per­son who lacked that was Yngwie Malmsteen. He was fast; he was bad; but after about 60 sec­onds, I feel like I’ve [heard it]. It’s like, [speaks in loud falsetto, pro­vok­ing laugh­ter] Look what I can do! Look what I can do!

MPBHow do you take some­thing as spe­cific as Grunge and incor­po­rate it into your singing with­out sound­ing dated?

DaveI don’t really worry [about that]. I do what appeals to me and makes me happy. Every song, every note, you’re in the moment. It’s never scripted for us. At the end of every rehearsal, we always leave an hour […] to jam, just to see what hap­pens; that’s where some of our best songs have come from. We don’t set out to sound like any­body; it just comes out the way it does […].

MPBI’m a gear-head, as you can prob­a­bly tell by the cam­eras and A/​V equip­ment [ges­tures around room]. Tell me about your favorite piece of musi­cal equipment.

RaymondMesa Boogie [ampli­fiers].

DaveI agree with that […]; I love that low end of those Mesas, espe­cially when you stack them […].

JimFor me, it would be my home­made drums […]. I took a DW Pacific kit [and] took all the hard­ware off of it, made my own shells and painted them and every­thing. They’re Keller shells, which is what DW used before ’99. […] So it’s basi­cally a high-end drum kit that I made myself. [Sidenote: Lengthy dis­cus­sion of Jim’s deep bass drum fol­lows, even­tu­ally degrad­ing into var­i­ous off-color dou­ble-enten­dres before I change the sub­ject.]

One Gun Solution
One Gun Solution — The Interview

MPBCould you walk me through the lyrics of Needle and Thread?

DaveNeedle and Thread is about expos­ing your­self […]. You can be any­body on the out­side, but you know who you are on the inside, and expos­ing that [makes you vulnerable].

[I took a lava­tory break at this point, but left the recorder run­ning — while I was gone, there was dis­cus­sion over Dave’s beard, dur­ing which he revealed that he was con­tem­plat­ing shav­ing it off. When asked, Why? he gave this answer:]

Dave[…] Yeah, I got really a good jaw­line, too — [laugh­ter]

JimThat’s all it is! I need to look bet­ter! I got a purty mouth!

[Interview resumes.]

MPBNone of you are orig­i­nally from Oklahoma. How did you wind up here?

RaymondI played in 2 bands [in California, then I] gave it up for about 8 or 9 years. [There were] fam­ily prob­lems; all my mom’s fam­ily was out here already. [My mom] was just […] a wild child; she moved to California [and] had me and my brother out there, and then, [when I was] 14 or 15, she got sick. [That’s when] we all moved out here […].

I was the only 1 in my fam­ily born in California; every­one else is from Oklahoma.

JimI was born and raised in west­ern New York just south of Buffalo, on Lake Erie. [I grew up poor. I grad­u­ated from high school at age 17 and] went straight into the mil­i­tary. Was in the US army for 8 years; I got out at Ft. Sill and I spent the next 3 years [in] Oklahoma.

I decided to go back New York to be with fam­ily; after 10 years of that, I said, I have to be away from fam­ily, and that’s [how I came back here.]

DaveI was born and raised in Arlington, Texas; I’ve been all over the place. I ended up […] in Oklahoma in 2007; my father had moved up here pre­vi­ously from Texas, for work. I was actu­ally pass­ing through, but I decided […] to stop in, spend some time with my old man […], and I ended up get­ting a job.

I went to go fill a pre­scrip­tion 1 day, in Edmond, and my [future] wife was behind the counter, dealin’ drugs, and she had a lot of nice [tatoos]. So I noticed that, and [it gave me an excuse] to say, Hello. I actu­ally left, and I went out to my truck, and she [later] told me that she was speak­ing to [a coworker], and she was like, Man, that guy was really nice, but he didn’t even ask me for my num­ber. I’ll never see him again; what a dirt bag! [So I called the phar­macy from my truck,] and I was like, Hey, this is Dave; I just picked up the script in there; remem­ber me?; she was like, Yeah! I was like, Can I take you out some time? […]

MattI was born in Nüremberg, Germany; I lived there for 2 years. We got back to the states after my dad got out and moved up and down the whole east coast […]. Moved to south Texas for a while and ended up in Arizona, Illinois, Missouri, ended up here in Oklahoma because some of my mom’s fam­ily had moved [here] from West Virginia […].

I’ve left sev­eral times; I was in the army myself. I ended up back here after I got out of the army, and I’ve been here since.

DaveAll 3 of us [ges­tures to him­self, Matt, and Jim] are ex-military.

MPBWhat other bands have each of you played in? What’s your ear­li­est involve­ment with music?

RaymondMy very 1st band was called Mentally Disturbed [; that was around] ’91. Then I moved out here, and I was in a band called Omission, [then] Carnage, [plus a cou­ple with the guys from] LTD.

[The band digresses into a dis­cus­sion of try­ing to match a back­ing vocal­ist to Dave’s singing. Jim sug­gests that Raymond should sing backup, say­ing that he sounds like he’s gar­gling razor blades.]

More recently, before [One Gun Solution], I was in […] Curbside Attraction.

JimI was in cho­rus from 2nd grade to 11th. I was kicked out because my voice dropped too low for bass II. Puberty hit me really hard.

[My 1st band was when I was in the mil­i­tary], at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky […]. We were all into Metallica. We started just play­ing cov­ers; I think we wrote 1 song; it was called Kill the Dogs […].

While I was at Ft. Campbell, I was just play­ing with ran­dom peo­ple at the rec cen­ter, you know, just get­ting a wide vari­ety of styles from every­body who was walk­ing into the “jam” room. When I got to Germany, I really didn’t do any­thing with any­body, other than I had a friend who played gui­tar, and he was into Metallica; he was into Extreme […].

In the sum­mer of 1996, I got into a coun­try band in Germany; most of the peo­ple in the band were German. Then I got told I was leav­ing Germany, so I had to cut it short.

When I came back to the states, I didn’t [play any music] until about 2005. I was work­ing for Penny Saver or Thrifty Nickel in New York; I actu­ally got the job because I’d answered an ad for a drum try­out; well, they tried out a bunch of dif­fer­ent drum­mers, and I was [the 1 they called], because, they said, I fit bet­ter, you know, […] I have a bet­ter “feel­ing” than some drum­mers. I played with them for about 4 or 5 years, and it just fiz­zled out.

And after that, there’s a coun­try singer out there, named Todd Andrews; he’s signed with Tate Music Group; I was with him for a few months before I moved to Oklahoma. And then I joined a band called Sin for Sin; that’s what [the band­leader] called it, but we couldn’t use [the name], because some­body else was already using it. [After that, I met Ray.]

DaveI guess my 1st real music project was in ele­men­tary school. I […] played the stand-up bass. I […] grew up just a block away from the Pantera house in Dalworthington Gardens. There’s 2 small cities in Arlington[, Texas], Pantego and Dalworthington Gardens, and I used to carry that sucker; I had to walk home from school, and [the bass] was 3 times the size of me.

I was very into opera, clas­si­cal music; […] to this day, I still love to [hear clas­si­cal music played live].

I always wanted to be [a singer in a band] — not that I had an addic­tion to being the cen­ter of atten­tion or any­thing, but I just love to please; I love to enter­tain. So I was just in var­i­ous, kind of unmen­tion­able musi­cal projects; actu­ally, 1 of my favorite bands from Arlington [is] Spoonfed Tribe; there’s like, 13, 14, 16 of them, depend­ing on what show you see them; I always wanted to be a part of that; never could, but they’re real good friends […].

[I] came here; was in a lit­tle project called Black Water; and then, there was a pre­vi­ous One Gun Solution project; that’s how I came with the name. It was more of a Progressive Metal band. Metal meets Tool type of thing […]. Then I met these guys […].

Matt[I played viola in mid­dle school orches­tra]. I did that for sev­eral years, until I picked up gui­tar, and my brother and another fella that we grew up with […] started a band, Aunt Mary’s Ant Farm; it had kind of a “jam” band kind of a feel. And we played on and off, together, until, shoot, 2005 or ’06. Our bass player, Josh, grad­u­ated from col­lege and moved to Japan […]. My brother grad­u­ated [and got his engi­neer­ing licenses]. So we all went our sep­a­rate ways.

I didn’t play gui­tar for sev­eral years, and finally ended up meet­ing these guys; got into Curbside Attraction with Jim and Ray, and Dave came shortly after.

MPBHave you toured yet?

DaveNo, man; it’s all local.

JimWe have played in Dallas, but we all have jobs, so it’s tough to sched­ule a tour. We’d like to, when it becomes feasible.

Red Guitar
Red Guitar: One Gun Solution — The Interview


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About Chris J. Zähller

International Man of Mystery. Cocktail Nerd. Occasionally designs websites. Sometimes snaps a picture or two.

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