MTV looks to have a hit on their hands with their new Dionysian hillbilly reality series Buckwild, and the clear breakout star is Wolfpen Holler good ol’ boy Shain Gandee. Buckwild has a cast of six young women and three young men from in and around Sissonville, West Virginia, but Shain is without question the hardcorest hillbilly of the bunch, eschewing such technological nonsensibles such as cell phones and Facebook in favor of more basic lifestyle accouterments like four-wheelers, beer, and tater guns. (Don’t believe Shain could possibly be real? Check out his “before the fame” MySpace photos — they don’t lie!)
Given his aversion to technology, it seems only appropriate Shain’s most recent interview was for radio. (Don’t tell Shain it was internet radio!) Fellow good ol boys (albeit Kentucky good ol’ boys) Pat and Ned from “Kill Your Radio” managed to get Shain on what we assume is a landline for a phone interview in which the young susperstar opened up about how he came to be on Buckwild. He also shared his reaction to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin’s infamous letter to MTV asking the network to cancel Buckwild before it even aired because it was an affront to the good people of the state.
Here’s the interview in which Shain comes in right around the 17:40 mark, although I strongly encourage you to give the first 17 minutes a listen if you have the time. It’s hilarious stuff — a great non-oxymoronic mixture of heady hillbillyism. For example, they refer to guru Shain as Mahatma Gandee and ask the question, “Is Buckwild just rednecksploitation?” (They had me at “I ain’t been listening to nothing but Django Reinhardt lately.”)
“Well one day my truck was beside the road covered in mud and a guy got out of his new, fancy car and said he was wantin’ to make a TV show,” Shain says when asked how he got on the show. “I took him back on the hill, did some doughnuts, hit a few mud holes, and he loved it!”
After their bit of holler Hell raisin’ Shain didn’t hear anything back for some time. “He called me back about four months later and was, like, ‘You wanna do that TV show?’ I was, like, ‘Ayyyyyy… What the Hell you really talkin’ about?'” But if Shain is anything, he’s gung ho, and it wasn’t long before, “I was like, well, yeah, let’s do it! That’s how they found me and got me on there.”
Pat asked Shain whether or not he had gotten a cell phone or internet since the show was taped, to which Shain said he hadn’t. “If I want to talk to somebody I just show up at their house.” That sounds like something somebody just says to be funny, but Shain is dead serious! (And funny!)
So what about that letter from Senator Manchin?
“I think that we ain’t doing nothing wrong,” Shain says. “We’re just a bunch of kids havin’ fun, so I thought it was kinda messed up.”
Before I write what Shain said next, let me quote an excerpt from Senator Manchin’s letter (click the link for the full thing):
The proud veterans of our state have shed more blood and made more sacrifices than most other states to keep America free. We’re proud of all we do to make America strong and secure the cherished freedoms that you seem so determined to abuse.
I think Shain’s next statement is the perfect response to that. “We’re not stealin’ nothin’, and we’re not doin’ drugs, and we’re not killin’ people, so just let us be free.”
Hosts Pat and Ned seemed to concur, saying, “The philosophy for Kentucky and West Virginia must be the same because that’s what we always said.”
You can see new episodes of Buckwild every Thursday night on MTV at 10/9c and 10:30/9:30c. And you can keep up with Pat and Ned’s radio adventures at kill-your-radio.com and on their Facebook page. (If you’re a fan of MTV, then you will want to check out the “Kill Your Radio” Maci Bookout interview!)