Guidance Counseling: Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers

Published  October 2015

antigravity_vol13_issue10_Page_10_Image_0001The Drive-by Truckers are no strangers to New Orleans (or the pages of Antigravity). They have rocked crowds into the ground at late night Tipitina’s shows and charmed festival audiences at Voodoo and Jazz Fest alike for the duration of their nearly 20-year career. Over the past decade-plus we’ve chatted with multiple members about what it means to make rock music in the modern South. We have always found them to be an insightful bunch that takes no shit and pulls no punches, so we couldn’t think of a better crew to tap for this month’s advice column. We were able to grab a few minutes of time with Patterson Hood (vocals/guitar) in advance of their October 17th show at the Joy Theater. He warmly obliged, dropping some golden nuggets of wisdom at our feet.

I have a lot of trouble getting out of bed in the morning. I know we all have that, but I have it BAD. No matter how much I prepare the night before or how early I go to bed, I just can’t seem to get myself up and moving until I’m panicked and late. I’ve lost several jobs over this and even a couple of relationships, but I can’t seem to break the habit. What can I do?

Maybe have a kid. Then sleep will become such a precious commodity that it will be worth losing whatever jobs and relationships that you have over just the thought of having a little more sleep. If that’s too extreme, you could just get the world’s loudest alarm clock and then immediately drink a whole pot of coffee. As an added bonus, it will make you regular as hell too.


My band, like any real relationship, is going through a rough patch right now. Like a couple who has been together a long time, we seem to be going through the motions and you can hear it in the songs and see it in the performances. Any good tips to shake off the monotony/routine/rut we’re in?

It could just be time to break up and start a new band. Or at least have a personnel change or two. If you’re just going through the motions, it could be you and perhaps it’s time to do something else. Going through the motions is never acceptable. No matter what.


I have this one friend ( female) who likes to be touchy-feely with some of her guy friends (of which I am one). Admittedly, it looks a little suspect, but I honestly believe that’s just the way she is and it’s all pretty innocent. But it drives my girlfriend crazy. If we’re at a party and my friend happens to grab my shoulder or hug me a little too long, I can tell my girlfriend is getting pissed. But I can’t just tell my friend to stop. That would seem awkward and unfriendly. How can I convince my girlfriend that there’s nothing to it?

Your girlfriend is probably right. In fact, there’s a chance that she’s right all of the time, but especially about that. Are you sure that you don’t actually secretly want to bang the friend? It happens, you know.


I recently went on a blind date with a friend of a friend. When I arrived, I found that I wasn’t as physically attracted to her in person as I had felt when we talked on the phone, and I think she saw my disappointment because she sort of shut down at first. However, by the end of dinner, we were both getting along pretty well and having a good time. Since then, she won’t return my calls or texts, and I’m worried that it’s because I didn’t control my face before dinner. The thing is, I really do like her a lot and I want to see her again. How can I make her understand that my opinion changed?

You’re probably just shit out of luck. Better luck next time.


I really, really detest small talk with strangers. Though, living in the South, it’s more or less unavoidable. What’s the fastest, most polite way to shut down unwanted idle chatter?

Just be an asshole. It’s really not the end of the world. Some of my best friends are assholes. I don’t mean be a bad person-type of asshole, because the world has far too many of those. I just mean an actual nice, cool person that just doesn’t like idle chatter and therefore people mistakenly think is an asshole. Or you could move up north. That’s not all that terrible either.


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