Are you sad that more people didn’t get to see it?
What do you think will be the message of the series once it’s over and people can see it as a whole?
Pierce: It think people ultimately are going to see [Treme] as the importance of culture and the importance of community. And food is included in that culture. The importance of food, culture, our music and how that will service you when neglect, corruption and all that fails you. There’s a humanity in who we are as a community that will bolster us against everything and anything. That that humanity is more important than any sort of obstacle or destruction that may come. Tap into that in your most trying times. Ultimately the message will be that difficult times do not define character, they reveal character.
Your trombone playing on the series seems extremely realistic. How did you do that?
Pierce: I worked very hard on it and I had a really good [trombone] teacher, Keith Hart, who plays the band director [Darren Lecoeur] on the show. Stafford Agee was my sound double helping me. [Agee was supplying most of the notes coming from the horn played by Pierce’s character Antoine Batiste. Yet Pierce’s playing was also used on occasion.] I wouldn’t call myself a musician yet, but I have played in public with the Rebirth Brass Band…the way we did it is they overpowered my bad playing. I played very low, so in the amalgam of sound I was reduced. But I always knew that I have too many musician friends not to come correct [to the Treme role], they were going to be on me. So I learned every solo and I learned every song, note for note. And I still have my trombone. So one of these days hopefully I will sit in with [some musicians].
Pierce: Getting your name out there and making sure people know we haven’t reinvented the wheel. It’s just a decent grocery store in areas that other people don’t want to go. And that’s what Sterling Farms is all about. People are saying, ‘Oh, you should put grocery in your name.’ We do, we will, but you don’t have to say Nike shoes or Beyoncéthe wonderful singer. They have built their brand. So building your brand and getting people to come to the store is key. We are growing every day, little by little…it’s needed all over…we just did some talking with folks in Atlanta [about opening a store there]…The First Lady of the United States came to the store. That was a great honor. So Sterling Farms is getting a lot of attention and I’m excited about that.