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"Give it up for Jim Blossom!" Even though Arsenio Hall butchered the band's moniker when they appeared on his now-defunct show, the Gin Blossoms view it all with typical western cool. Their New Miserable Experience album went platinum, making the Arizona quintet one of the hottest new bands of 1993. A good-feeling groove, yearning vocals, and sing-along songs made the Gin Blossoms darlings of the late-night TV circuit, and the album keeps selling and selling and selling...
"Yeah, it won't die," laughs Phillip Rhodes. "Believe it or not, I haven't seen any big money yet. I don't even own a car, but I've got a great mountain bike. At least I don't have to worry about where the rent's coming from, and the phone bills are covered. Those long-distance calls from the road will wipe you out."
Rhodes' brashly loose style is a combination of attack and playing what the song requires. "I bash pretty good--I usually change my snare head after three gigs." In fact, Rhodes says he's looking for a good plexiglass snare drum, "so the volume will reflect back at me. My snare drum takes their heads off."
Rhodes, explaining his role in the band, offers, "I follow Jesse's [Valenzuela, guitar and vocals] rhythm for feel. He likes to hear 'the tough guy'--quarter notes on the hi-hat, simple 2 and 4 on the snare and 1 and 3 on the bass drum. He'll use little catch phrases from other bands to let me know what he wants: 'Throw a Stan Lynch thing there, or some Stones,' and I act like I know what he's talking about."
Currently working on materiel for the follow-up to New Miserable Experience, Rhodes says he isn't worried about the band competing with the success of their debut. "I _was_ worried about it, but not anymore. We're a good band. Our live show is consistently strong. Jesse and Robin [Wilson, vocals and guitar] have stepped up to the plate as far as songwriting [after the suicide of Doug Hopkins, founding member and writer of the band's hit, "Hey Jealousy"], and we've played long enough to know what works. Plus, we don't take ourselves seriously. This is all about having fun.
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