It’s his first Vegas gig, but apparently not his first visit here: “In one of my lyrics in [1997’s] ‘I Think I’m In Love,’ I mention Las Vegas. I’ve been a number of times, mostly detours through Vegas. There’s a weird energy in Vegas. … I’m excited to be coming there, and more excited to be playing there. It’s easier for me to come to you than you to get to the next nearest show.”
A certain music festival made this gig possible in more than one way: “Coachella paid us quite a bit of money, so I used the money to go to a lot of places I’ve never been before.”
And yet he’ll still be in the red, given he can’t tour with less than seven musicians: “I don’t ever want to compromise the show. Sure, we could scale it down and fit it all in the back of the van, but it’s too important. I lose money every [tour], and I’ll lose money on this.”
Why gospel will outlast all current music “There’s a certain honesty you ask for in the music you like. You don’t want to be conned, or feel like you’re hearing something that’s supposed to be hip or cool or made to make money. The feeling off [gospel] is very, very true, if you believe what you’re singing. And that carries a long way.”
Almost-fatal liver disease is no reason to slow down: “[After chemotherapy], I couldn’t wait to get back on tour. That’s where the band is at its best, and it’s the best way to make music. It’s what you do as a rock ’n’ roll band: You make records and then you go on tour. And when I was 16, that’s what I decided: I wanted to be in a rock ’n’ roll band.”
SPIRITUALIZED Friday, April 12, 9 p.m.; House of Blues, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South, www.houseofblues.com, $25-$30.