Naked Giants @ SXSW

I got to catch up with Seattle-based rockers Naked Giants outside a slew of food trucks in downtown Austin during SXSW last month. I had just seen their set at The Blackheart, and the young trio definitely did not fail to bring their quintessential energy to the fest. We chatted about a plethora of stuff over lunch-- including Will Toledo, excluding the world-renowned Econo Lodge.

Emily Beiser: Hi Naked Giants! What are each of you most excited for this week?

Henry LaVallee: The food.

Gianni Aiello: The views.

Grant Mullen: The food.

HL: Views.

GM: The food!

EB: Can we get an original answer?

HL: Naked Giants.

EB: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never listened to you guys before?

GA: Usually our go-to answer is “Come see us live,” because we’re a live band.

GM: Live band is good. Or if your face is getting blasted with sand… sand-blasted.

HL: Warm sand.

EB: Grant, you have so much lettuce in your teeth.

GM: It’s like, if you have so much lettuce in your teeth and your face is getting blasted with sand.

GA: Warm sand music.

EB: What would Naked Giants’ theme song be?

GA: “Easy Eating” by Naked Giants!

GM: Yeah. Or “Rock’n Me” by Steve Miller Band.

EB: Oh, that was the answer to the ~forgotten~ interview.

GA: What’s that?

EB: You were MIA- we did a secret interview when you guys opened for Car Seat in the fall.

HL: Never published. Just transcribed.

EB: Obviously I- being the devoted Naked Giants fan that I am- already know the answer to this, but how did your band name come about?

GA: So we played a couple of shows with this band NE-HI, and we liked the fact that their name starts with an “N,” so we brainstormed for a bit and the only thing we could really think of was Naked Giants.

EB: So NE-HI inspired your band name, then? That definitely seems true.

GM: And we also love getting high. Also this band called Lemon heard our first demo and told us we should be named Naked Giants.

HL: Stay young people!

EB: What’s a secret you can reveal about your favorite tour-mates, Car Seat Headrest?

GM: That they’re not our favorite tour-mates!

*collective gasp*

GM: Nah- that Will likes to eat a single red pepper whole before he plays every show. That’s why he’s in the back for so long, because he eats it really slowly and strips little pieces off it and consumes them individually.

EB: Is he fully clothed during this?

GA: Yeah, of course.

HL: He’s a never-nude.

GA: That’s how he gets that signature tone of his voice.

EB: What have you guys been listening to on the road?

GM: Steve Miller Band.

HL: Steppenwolf.

GA: Classic rock ‘n’ roll. And the new Parquet Courts Album.


GA: We stopped at a bunch of record stores and just picked out stuff that looked good. There’s a bunch of compilations, you’d probably like them. Analog Africa makes really cool compilations of music from the ‘70s.

EB: Like Pebbles?

GA: Yeah! And, so does Nigeria Special.

EB: Love some Lijadu Sisters.

GA: Yeah, stuff like that. So either Steve Miller, or Nigerian music.

HL: Also, a lot of Beck.

EB: Some Ween!

GA: We have one Ween CD [Pure Guava], which is basically Beck.

EB: Do you guys have any pre-show rituals?

GA: We like to all gather around and eat a single red pepper.

GM: We got that from Will, though. We found out it’s the secret to his mojo. Which he doesn’t actually have. Don’t write that.

EB: What was the last text each of you sent?

GA: “Gonna stick around.” That’s a good song name. This is how we should write all our songs from now on.

GM: Mine was “kewlll.”

EB: What was the context?

GM: Our managers were grabbing food, then they said they had no plans. It was cool.

HL: Mine was: “In the back.”

GA: Another good song name.

EB: What are your favorite and least favorite things about touring?

GA: Favorite is eating a lot of good food from around the country, least favorite is eating a lot of terrible food.

GM: Yeah, that’s the ultimate answer to that question.

EB: What is something that none of you can seem to agree on?

GA: Band name!

HL: Tempo!

GM: That’s a good one. Tempe, Arizona.

EB: Gonna throw a fuck ASU in. What do you think you’d be doing right now if you weren’t in Naked Giants?

GM: Dropping out of college.

GA: Naked Giants enhanced and pre-matured our dropouts.

HL: Probably meeting campers on a bike tour or something.

EB: Any shout-outs?

GA: Shout-out Naked Giants.

GM: Shout-out to my plate.

HL: Shout-out Streeter Scooter.

GM: We were in Jersey on the beach, and this dude Streeter was just scootin’ by.

HL: I said “Which way to the Turnpike?” and he said “I’ll scoot you in the right direction.”

GM: “You want a lil scoot?”

EB: What can fans expect from Naked Giants in the remainder of 2k17?

GM: Shorter shorts as summer comes up.

EB: Any X-rated films?

HL: We might have a Naked Giants film. That’s a big might.

GA: But it’s up to the administration whether it’s X-rated, we can’t really decide that.

HL: We’re gonna try to make it accurate.

GA: Shout-out Acura.

EB: That’s all I have. Thanks guys!

All: Thank you!

Peep Naked Giants' EP R.I.P out now on Miscreant. Photo taken @ KAMP Student Radio <3