The O Music Awards is mere days away, so in preparation for the big event, we’ve been chatting with the various and sundry performers who will be sharing the bill with The Flaming Lips as they motor toward their goal of breaking the Guinness World Record for the most live concerts in 24 Hours (multiple city). Last week, we chatted up Louisiana’s own Hunter Hayes, and today we touch proverbial base with another LA resident and OMA performer: the band GIVERS.
For those of you just tuning in, the next O Music Awards is kicking off on June 27 at 7:30pm EST in Memphis, Tennessee, and will stretch across 24 hours and 8 cities in the form of a road trip. In addition to giving away awards and the like, we’ve also enlisted The Flaming Lips to break the Guinness World Record for the most live concerts in 24 hours (multiple city) during the show, as well as an eclectic selection of performers to play with/open for the band. GIVERS will be taking the stage not far from their hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana, on June 28 in Baton Rouge.
We caught up with the band’s Tiffany Lamson and Taylor Guarisco to talk about their impending show, their hometown and how stoked they are to open for the Lips.
So what are you guys doing to prepare for opening for The Flaming Lips?
Tiffany: Lots of pushups
Taylor: Well, we haven’t played a show in a long while, so I think we’ll get together and play some of our songs. Lately we’ve kind of been in the mindset of getting together and making up new songs. Because it’s going to be streamed, we’re not going to play any new songs. We’re just getting ready emotionally; we’re meditating every day getting ready for the Wayne Coyne experience
And are you guys fans of The Flaming Lips?
Taylor: Oh yeah! Everyone in the band is very excited to be opening for such an amazing band. You know, they’re one of those bands you put on its own unique pedestal. It’s hard to compare them to other bands, it’s so cool.
You guys have kind of the home team advantage — playing in the South where you’re from.
Tiffany: Yeah, it’s totally part of our home.
Taylor: Home team advantage, haha that’s funny.
You know all the local customs better than anyone else coming all from New York.
Taylor: Are going to be a part of the crew?
Yeah, I’ll be on the bus with the Lips
Taylor: No f**king way!
Tiffany: You’re going to be on the bus with the Lips?! Are you excited? This interview just got turned around. You’re going to be on the bus with the Lips. Oh my God! What are you going to be doing?
I’m going to be doing social media and writing about what’s happening and basically being in touch with the fans and letting them know what’s going on.
Tiffany: Smoking drugs and rock and rolling!
Taylor: Brenna, if you don’t mind me asking, how old are you?
How old am I? I’m 27.
Taylor: 27, Brenna you sound so young and innocent.
Tiffany: Your voice sounds so sweet.
It’s all an act, don’t worry.
Taylor: Good, I’m sure rock bands like The Flaming Lips love acts like that. That’s going to be so cool. That’s really cool that you get to do that. That might even be cooler than opening up for them. That’s so cool.
We’ll have to compare notes when we get to Baton Rouge.
Taylor: Yeah totally.
So one of the cool parts about the show is the fact that it’s traveling through the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. I know you guys are both involved in all different kinds of regional and local music in Louisiana. I was wondering if you can tell us about the flavor of music from where you’re from and what we can expect when we come through.
Taylor: It’s a huge spectrum of flavors in Louisiana, you know? You have people like Fats Domino and Louis Armstrong that defined and redefined genres like jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. R&B, Funk music, and then you have all the Cajun and Zydeco groups. Southwest Louisiana — where we’re from in particular — is the only place you can kind of experience authentic Cajun and Zydeco music. So when you step back and look at Louisiana as a bed of music, it’s one of the most fertile beds out there. It seems cool that The Flaming Lips would come down and do shows in Baton Rouge. As a band, we’re just really happy to be raised and somehow be incarnated in these bodies that happened to end up in Louisiana, you know?
And you guys sort of cut your teeth on Zydeco and all that. Is that something we’re going to see next week?
Taylor: That’s like a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ question. As far as you know. I’ve played in an Zydeco band for a few years and a Cajun band for a few years playing bass. I had that experience, but the rest of the band had other experiences, playing rock or jazz ensembles and classical music. Everyone in the band has had their own unique music experience. But between five of us, there is definitely some Zydeco and Cajun experience.
You have another tie to the show in that one of the nominees is La Blogothèque’s new show The Switch. You were in the first episode, no?
Tiffany: Yeah, that was probably to us one of the coolest things we ever got to do as far as the Internet world goes. We’re all such huge fans of La Blogothèque — what they stand for, their passion for music. It was something we felt really honored to be a part of. They’re such cool people and they love music so much it was so nice that they loved us and had us there.
Taylor: The magical part of that experience was the energy and effort they put into the experience, like setting up for weeks –- the whole apartment situation. They set up all this stuff to create an environment where anything could happen. Where something chaotic can happen, which is so next level. To put weeks and weeks of preparation into something and then to put all faith into one band — that they will just pull something off, create something great with one take, one shot. They spent weeks setting cameras, getting audio, satellite feed, moving furniture, and then they just pressed ‘record.’
Considering that we’re a show that focuses on technology, music and social media, I was wondering what your favorite apps are?
Taylor: Well Tiff and I — most of us in the band — are on Instagram, and we enjoy our Instagram world for sure. The standard Twitter and Instagram — we’re all up on that sh*t checking it out.
Tiffany: We’re all right on Twitter.
Taylor: Tiff is like the Twitter queen for our band.
Tiffany: I don’t think you should say that.
Taylor: Well, she’s not the Twitter queen, but she does a good job on keeping up with it, which I respect. It’s a tool, it’s a communication tool and she mans the tool very well. As far as apps that I personally could not live without aside from Twitter and Instagram, I would say my tuner.
One last question: Since you guys are from the area, what do we need to see while we’re there? In a dream world where we have ample time to stop?
Taylor: Our hometown of Lafayette in Louisiana is one of the only places you can experience authentic Zydeco and Cajun music. So in a dream world, if all you guys have time, I’d say stop off in Lafayette. Get off the bus and come to some Zydeco club where some Cajun band is playing and everyone in the crowd is dancing with each other and sweating profusely and not caring and everyone’s drinking beer and having the time of their life. That’s what I’d tell you to do.