Drivin’ N Cryin’ are no strangers to the City Beautiful. Being based in Atlanta, Central Florida is just a hop, skip and crying drive away, so they’ve become a staple for local music fans.
The quartet will celebrate 30 years of rocking on Friday, May 11, at the Veranda in Thornton Park (6 p.m., 111 N. Summerlin Ave., Orlando, $20, 407-797-4145, ticketstripe.com). Other acts will include Pylon Reenactment Society, Giddy Up Go and Catfish Dinner.
Drivin’ N Cryin’ are best known for the 1991 hard rock album “Fly Me Courageous.”
Through email, bassist Tim Nielsen talked Southern rock, the perfect venue and success. Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.
Question: How does Drivin’ N Cryin’ fit into the traditions of Southern rock and in what ways have you broken the mold?
Answer: If you define Southern rock as rock ‘n’ roll that comes from the south, then we definitely fit into the traditions of Southern rock. I don’t think we break the mold any more than bands like R.E.M., The Black Crowes and Collective Soul do. We’re still making new music that’s current and very southern in its roots.
Q: What kind of venues best showcase your music?
A: We feel the most at home playing in bars, to intimate crowds, where we can feed off the energy of the crowd.
Q: Do you prefer playing live or recording?
A: I, myself, love recording and making new records. It’s definitely a privilege.
Q: How has Drivin’ N Cryin’ evolved over their 30 years in the business?
A: The evolution of Drivin’ N Cryin’ has come full circle. We went from a band that had a practice room and played in Atlanta to a band that stayed on the road, toured constantly and didn’t have time for a practice room. Now we play regular shows, mostly on weekends, and we have the opportunity to sit down in a practice room/recording studio and write this new album together, just like we did in the old days. My personal relationship with my instrument has changed because I have made a career playing the bass in Drivin N Cryin. I went from being a punk rocker to being somewhat of a musician.
Q: How do you define success and have you achieved it?
A: There have not been any shortcuts to success for this band. We’ve had successes; we’ve had major label deals; we’ve toured with biggest bands in the world. Right now, we’re more successful than we have been because we’re having fun and still making good music. So every little bit helps and the hard work does pay off.