Lee Anderson Interview
Under the Gun

Under The Gun has been together for seven years now and in that time they've made quote a name for themselves.

They're packing the clubs playing both original and cover material, something that's quote a rarity around here.

Their debut CD is titled Under The Gun.

Lead singer Lee Anderson spoke with us about the band.

Q - Lee, are you the guy who put this group together?
A - Well, I wouldn't say put it together. There was a form of the band together before I joined it. They didn't have a singer. They just started rehearsing. This was the drummer we have now (Rick Caparco) and the guitar player we have now (J.T.) and a different bass player. I had known Rick for a long time. I used to be in a band called Marilyn's Chamber. He had auditioned for us once and that's how I met him, and we had stayed friends. Then, he had put this thing together and he ran into me one night and asked me to come down and listen. I went down to listen, and liked what I heard, and joined the band.

Q - And, that would have been the year 1993?
A - Yeah.

Q - Besides Marilyn's Chamber, what other bands were you in?
A -I was in a local band called Paris. That was before Marilyn's Chamber, and actually before Reckless. I was in a national band with a record deal with Atco/Atlantic Records. We had a video on MTV. We did a short tour with them. We had a song on MTV called 'Nitty Gritty'. I didn't do any of the writing, so I claim no responsibilities for it. (Laughs).

Q - Are you from Syracuse?
A - No. Originally, I'm from Kentucky. I moved up here when I was in high school. Then, I lived in New York City for a while which is where the band Reckless was. My old drummer from Paris, he and I went down to New York and auditioned for this band. They had already been together and already had the record deal. We went down to audition for them, and I got the gig.

Q - Tell me some of the people you've shared the bill with.
A - In Paris, we opened for Zebra. We opened for The Killer Dwarfs. We opened for Ace Frehley (Frehley's Comet). I've opened for Nightranger, Rik Emmett. That was with Marilyn's Chamber. We did that at the Fairgrounds.

Q - What did you do with Reckless?
A - We did a club tour of Canada.

Q - You started playing small venues with Under The Gun. What kind of places are we talking about? Do you remember your first gig?
A - The very first place we played was on New Year's Eve at The Western Ranch, over 690, across from P & C. That was our very first show. We did stuff like J.W. Jingles, around Syracuse. Then we started playing Bleachers and that was the turning point. We started filling up Bleachers and then started packing all the places we play.

Q - When I started seeing the name Under The Gun, it always seemed to be associated with Bleachers.
A - For a time it was. All last year (1999) we were under exclusive contract with Bleachers. We couldn't play any other clubs in town. We played there once every two weeks, except for special events like Party In The Plaza. But, we weren't playing any other clubs. We were making big money there to do that. But then toward the end of the year we just felt like it was getting ... people were getting bored with the clubs over and over again. Plus, some people won't drive to Liverpool. Actually we started playing some of the clubs we started out in. We're back playing Jingles now and packing the place. We played The Roxy and there was a line around the corner and they were waiting for people to come out and letting people in, telling people once you leave, you can't come back in or you have to get back in line.

Q - How did you develop that kind of following? Was it word of mouth?
A -I think mostly it was word of mouth. Well, I mean, the CD has really helped things along. Things have really doubled since we put the CD out. We're pretty much a no nonsense band. We don't rely heavily on gimmicks. Without putting anybody down, we're not a 70's disco type of band. We're just a straightforward rock 'n roll band. I think people appreciate that we've paid our dues. We've been together seven years and just pushed through it, and just kept playing. It's kind of tough to get bored with rock 'n roll especially since we continually learn material. We have a 150 song master set list that we pick through, so you never really see the same show twice.

Q - Does that mean you're always learning new material? Are you always in rehearsal?
A - We rehearse once a week. We work hard when we do rehearse. I mean, we've all got families. We rehearse in our drummer's basement. He's got a new baby. We use that time to make sure we get things done. Having a 150 song repertoire helps, when there's certain weeks somebody's sick and we can't learn new material. At least we have the large set list to go through.

Q - Do you know there are some musicians in this town who pride themselves on not rehearsing?
A - I don't know how you can go forward without rehearsing.

Q - Where do you want to take this band, Lee? You're looking for a record deal?
A - Basically I'm looking to go with whatever happens. I've been that route before and if it happens, great. If it doesn't, I'm having fun doing what I do. I'm making some money. I've got local recognition. I'm not going to take the first deal that comes along.

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