Evan Careen TIMES REPORTER
Friday, July 31, 2009 4:57:00 MDT PM
Cowpunching is not as bad as it sounds. It’s a term that’s fallen from use for a cowboy and not the drunken buffoonery similar in intent to cow tipping as some would think.
Matt Olah is the lead “hollerer” of a band named Cowpuncher who will play at Gitter’s Pub in High River next week, and he said a random word generator chose the name.
“It seemed to fit us, so we kept it,” he said.
Over the four years the band has been together, the lineup has been a revolving door of musicians with Olah remaining one of the few constants.
“It happens with bands, people come and go,” he said. “It can change from show to show, depends on whose around, sometimes it’s some of the regulars and sometimes I recruit other musicians. So the sound is always changing, and it keeps things interesting for everyone.”
Olah has described Cowpuncher’s music as “a spoiled teenaged brat on a drunken joyride in her dad’s Mercedes.” He said more specifically, it’s a kind of heartbreak, honky tonk, rock’n’roll.
“We also call it outlaw country,” he said. “Outlaw in terms of not following the rules.”
He said there’s an element of classic country but Cowpuncher’s music is “more badass.”
“I don’t write about trucks breaking down and that kind of stuff,” he said. “We have one song about talking to people over the Internet and staring at a computer screen. The music’s got old sensibilities but new subject matter.”
Olah was trained as a teacher but got fired from his last teaching job and doesn’t think he’ll ever go back to the profession.
“I was working in a Muslim school and I brought in musical instruments for the kids, which was forbidden,” he said. “I was warned a few times and then I got caught with a banjo and was fired. Being a teacher means having to be a follower, and I’m not a follower.”
In his lifetime he’s also briefly been a soldier and a self-described “Internet criminal.” He said the band is constantly recording new material, but he has no desire to release an album.
“I think we’ve moved beyond that now,” he said. “I don’t think people need albums anymore in the digital world. I do it like it was done in the old days, just write singles and release them as they’re done.”
He said to him CDs seem to be more of a calling card these days than anything else, and he thinks paying $15 for a card is a bit much.
Cowpuncher will be playing at Gitter’s at 8:30 p.m. on Aug. 7. For more information and show times, check out their website at www.wepunchcows.com.