High 5, with Gringo Star

Having shared stages with the likes of Feist, Weezer, Cat Power, Best Coast, Wavves, Black Lips, The Toadies, and more, Atlanta quartet Gringo Star visit Scotland this Saturday (Feb 16) as part of their UK tour.

Combining a love for the pioneers of the past with a sense of vital originality, the band seamlessly fuse garage rock, doo-wop harmonies straight from a fifties jukebox, and surfed-up alternative guitar riffs. There’s no premeditation, posturing, or overthinking required in the songwriting process.

Gringo Star are made up of brothers Peter [vocals, guitar, keys, percussion] and Nick Furgiule [vocals, bass, guitar, percussion], Josh Longino [guitar, bass], and Mario Colangelo [drums].

“There’s never much premeditation,” says vocalist Nick. “We don’t overthink it. The music comes together the way it’s meant to. We simply make what we want to hear.”

“We tried hard to make an album we liked ourselves without considering what’s popular,” agrees Peter. “At the same time, we refined the process and came up with some new ideas.”

This sense of spontaneity can be heard on 2018 record Back To The City which the band recorded and self-produced in Peter Furgiuele’s Studio 234.

AAA caught up with the Nick from the band for a quick High 5 ahead of their visit to Sleazys in Glasgow this weekend.

  1. Favourite Film – The first few times I saw the Big Lebowski, I either fell asleep or got sidetracked and never really finished it.  But then, about the fourth time I tried, I became addicted. I’d leave it on in the background and just listen to the soundtrack and the dialog. I had it on VHS and it didn’t matter where it was rewound to, you can just start wherever and it’s brilliant, comedy gold. I love the soundtrack too. Classic after classic.  
  2. Favourite Single – Of course the music I listen to changes all the time with moods and years, but Sleepwalk by Santo and Johnny has always been a magical one. Ever since I became obsessed with Ritchie Valens watching La Bamba as a kid, and the scene when his brother finds out he’s died and that song plays.   
  3. Favourite album – Also impossible to really answer. There is just so much great stuff out there, but I’ve been really into the Velvet Underground’s Loaded record currently. 
  4. Favourite gig – While I wasn’t there, I listen to Sam Cooke’s Live at the Harlem Square Club all the time. Probably my fav gig, even though I experienced it decades after it happened.  Such energy and songs, and his stage banter is the best. He’s a master singer, and to hear him all raw and live is a treasure.
  5. Favourite Book  – My dad fed me a steady dose of the Beats growing up.  Hard to narrow it to one title, but always loved The Subterraneans (Jack Kerouac), and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter S Thompson), Hell’s Angels (HST), Junkie (William S Burroughs), and Dharma Bums (Kerouac). Just finished For Whom The Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemingway) and really enjoyed that. 

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