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Pop goes Lafayette

It was announced last month that Lafayette’s own Givers will be joining this year’s Voodoo Experience in October.
Before coming to City Park, the afrobeat and celtic-inspired indie pop band will make a couple of lengthy treks through Europe and embark on yet another national tour here in the states.
Outside of the hip-hop realm, South Louisiana hasn’t seen a musical act with this kind of immediately apparent growth potential in ages, and fans and critics around the world are quickly taking note of the band’s highly danceable and exuberant debut album In Light. I caught a nice chunk of their set in the Miller Lounge at June’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and thoroughly enjoyed the quick glimpse of the band despite the poor sight angles and sound of the tiny venue.
Having recently signed to Glassnote Records, perhaps the Givers’ In Light could round out a trio of slow-growing commercial sensations for the star-making label following Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and Mumford & Son’s Sigh No More. Regardless of where this band goes, it appears that South Louisiana’s indie cred continues to grow with bands like Givers and the Generationals.
Givers will be in the area playing a show on Saturday, July 30 at Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge. Continue on for Live Music Blog NOLA’s interview with Taylor Guarisco:
Give me the abridged version of how the band came together in Lafayette. Is the entire band from there?
Yes, the whole band is from Lafayette. As for the abridged version – we came up through high school and college together and were always friends and played in a bunch of different bands together. One night we got asked to play a gig to fill in for a band that had cancelled and we just made up a bunch of music together. The chemistry felt really, really good and we decided to keep making music together.
So everyone still calls Lafayette home when you guys catch a rare moment off the road?
Yeah, everyone is still Lafayette-bound; whenever we’re off the road, Lafayette is home.
How did you guys end up on Glassnote Records? How did that ultimately materialize?
They just kind of heard our stuff, liked it and eventually reached out to us and we went to meet up with them in Austin. We started talking there and really took our time. The whole record label stuff was very foreign to us, but we talked for a really long time with them before making our decision and eventually deciding to go with them, and it’s been great so far.
Tell us a bit about your experience recently playing at Bonnaroo? I was at the show and it definitely had one of the larger crowds in the Miller Lounge (which is great for the fans with the mist fans but the sightlines could use improvement). What were some of your favorite things you saw there as a fan?
We only got to stick around for that afternoon; we did get a chance to see Arcade Fire, which was great. That was pretty much about it. Between the show and doing press we were pretty busy and didn’t get to stick around too long.
Also, I’ve listened to countless Daytrotter sessions and for now my vision of the place and what it looks like is kind of mysterious, like the way you envision a radio DJ before you know what they look like. You guys recently did a session; tell me about the set up of that place and your day recording there.
It’s in Rock Island, Illinois; it’s great up there. It’s very cool, funky, modern – nothing crazy, but it has a bunch of cool instruments for you to choose from and play around with. They just keep it really simple and tasteful; it’s just a nice place altogether. It’s more down to earth than you would imagine.
In October, you’ll be playing at the Voodoo Experience in New Orleans. Is that an event you guys have come down from Lafayette to attend as fans in the past?
Yeah, I’ve been down to Voodoo – the year the Red Hot Chili Peppers played I was there; that was awesome. We are excited for sure to be playing there.
What’s playing on the tour bus/van these days?
In the van, we love the old school stuff and we all listen to the Red Hot Chili Peppers–a lot of ’90s stuff. As for new stuff, the new Bon Iver album is amazing, and this band Pepper Rabbit we toured with has some really awesome stuff.
Bon Iver is #2 right now after only two albums; can you believe that?
Hell, yeah, high-five right?
As a big RHCP fan, what do you think about them moving on without long-time guitarist John Frusciante?
I’m all about it. Frusciante was a beast and one of my favorites and he’ll never be replaced. But if they have more songs inside them to record as a band, then so be it and I’m happy for them and I want to hear them. That guy Josh Klinghoffer, he toured with them the last time (as a second guitarist for the Stadium Arcadium tour), doing some job training for him that not everybody realizes, so that’s cool.
What’s next for the Givers? Are you going back in the studio soon? What’s the next big thing on the agenda?
We’ll just be touring a ton in the short term. We are leaving for our first trip to Europe and then going back there two weeks after we get back. Then we’ll get back here for a few full national tours. Basically, just a lot of touring on the horizon (laughs).
Is the next time you’ll be in New Orleans for Voodoo Fest?
{call breaks up again — Lafayette needs some new cell towers}
We’ll be playing on the 30th in Baton Rouge. As far as New Orleans dates, I’m not sure if we’ll make it before Voodoo.
What’s your personal favorite venue in New Orleans?
We played Tipitina’s a long time ago; we’ve played Blue Nile and One Eyed Jack’s. There are a bunch of awesome venues there. No matter where we play we know it’ll be cool.


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