If you’re not soaked in sweat (some of which may not be your own), completely exhausted, and numb from dancing, then you have not completely experienced a Naked Giants show. Together, this Seattle garage rock trio consisting of Grant Mullen (guitar and vocals), Henry Lavallee (drums), and Gianni Aiello (bass), create a fusion of electric reverb and rock fuzz that will pretty much melt your brain in the best way possible.
Having played together since their high school days, this trio’s breakthrough moment was when they competed in the 2015 EMP Sound Off! competition and won second place. Since then, they have made rippling waves in the local Seattle music scene, being named 107.7 The End’s Locals Only Artist of the Month in April, having their song, “Easy Eating” be the song of the day at KEXP, and recently returning from their first tour with Dude York. This year, they will be shaking the stage (literally) at Bumbershoot Music Festival! I got the chance to chat with Henry before the big day. Take a peep.
AJ: Having formed the band while you were all students transitioning from high school to college, what bands or artists were some of the biggest influences on your music at that time?
HL: When we were getting things started with the group, we listened to a lot of music together. Each inspired by different pieces of different albums by various artists. I’d say Vulfpeck, Jimi Hendrix Experience, So Pitted, The Who, Gary Wilson, Zappa, Rage, Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees.
AJ: Your music has been described as anything from “punk and roll” to “a psychedelic whirlwind” to “pop-fuzz.” But, if you could describe your music in just three to five words, how would you describe it?
HL: “Come see us live.”
AJ: When the trio of Naked Giants is not making music or shredding together, what are they doing?
HL: Right now we are in a thrift shop looking at magazines from the ‘90s. I’ve been watching a lot of Star Trek: Next Gen recently. We like to plan lots of secret house shows and art events. Shameless plug: We also eat at Cafe Presse on 12th Ave almost every night. So come say hi, SU!
AJ: Your sets are always crazily energized and electric! What do you folks do before any show to warm up?
HL: We usually sit in a circle and listen to “Easy Eating.” That, or Richie Aldente.
AJ: And with that, what is your favorite post-show meal?
HL: Cafe Presse, Croque-Madame, add hot sauce and mayo and dijon with some pomme frites on the side. And water/mango juice.
AJ: You recently released the new song, Ya Ya, from your forthcoming EP, R.I.P. Can you tell us a little bit more about this EP, and what makes it different from your previous releases?
HL: R.I.P. EP is being released with Miscreant Records on cassette and digital. There’s also some beautiful merch that comes with this release so be sure to find us at our next show to pick some up for yourself and a loved one!
AJ: Do you have any favorite songs to cover?
HL: “Got to be Real” by Cherryl Lynn. Look it up, you’ve heard it before I’m sure. It’s a party starter and finisher in the truest sense.
AJ: You just went on your first-ever US tour in the springtime with Dude York! I saw you play at your homecoming show at Chop Suey and it was such a great show—especially the part where you threw those Take 5 bars to the audience and I dove to the ground to collect all of them (wow, yikes). From traveling, to performing, to anything else, what was the best part of that overall tour?
HL: The best part of the overall tour? Being a part of the SXSW experience was pretty surreal. Also seeing Dude York every night was awesome.
AJ: We honestly cannot be more excited about the pairing of Naked Giants and Car Seat Headrest for the upcoming fall tour! What are three things you’re most stoked about for this tour?
HL: A. Playing music with the best people I know.
B. Meeting up with old friends in the cities we play in.
C. Everything that doesn’t go to plan, that’s where the good stories come from. 🙂
AJ: With Bumbershoot coming up very soon, what are you most excited about, and who are some of the bands you want to see?
HL: Playing at a festival in the place that taught me how to be in a band is gonna be wild. I’m excited for Dude York, Anderson .Paak, Father John Misty, Tame Impala, Thunderpussy, White Denim, Hinds.
AJ: Will there be more Take 5 at your show? Asking for a friend.
HL: There’s a Take 5 present at every Naked Giants show.
AJ: Lastly, if you made a “Naked Giants Takes On Bumbershoot” playlist, what songs would be included in the mix?
HL: The playlist would consist of one song called “Nature Man.” Don’t worry, it’s got an endless melody so that you can listen to it today and it will still be jamming when Naked Giants takes on Bumbershoot 2016!
Don’t miss Naked Giants as they hit the stage at Bumbershoot Music Festival on Friday, September 2nd at the Starbucks Stage (Mural Amphitheater) at 3:10 p.m.
APRIL JINGCO | Dwayne The Rock Johnson Fan Club President | Digital Media Director