Fred: Putting a band together and making it work for any period of time… it's a miracle. When I formed Cowboy Mouth and John Thomas joined, we both had that understanding from experience. We had both been in bands that had had real, tangible success. We had also been in other bands that were good bands, but just didn't work for whatever reason. It's that intangible factor that Stewart Copeland called "the thing." We started playing together, the thing showed up, and we were great.
That thing doesn't always show up. You can have a group of talented players and it doesn't show up. You can have a group of people that fall together through circumstances, who aren't that good, and they can create magic. John and I had the understanding, when the band was formed, that once you find this, you don't mess with it. You do other things to satisfy yourself creatively, but this thing needs to keep going. It's one of the hardest lessons for musicians to learn.
The biggest element is luck. The idea that you can get a group of people together to play in a way that meshes musically, emotionally, sonically to put across an experience and an idea and actually have that work… the odds are against it.