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- Posted on Mar 16th 2010 12:10PM by Curtis Finn
Where are you right now?
We woke up this morning in Santa Barbara. We're headed to San Diego, so I think we're somewhere near Ventura. The drive is going good. It's sunny out. We're enjoying being south of Idaho at this juncture in the season. It's the eleventh day of an 80-day tour.
How did the group form?
We essentially met at the University of Idaho, in a small northern Idaho town called Moscow. We were kind of collaborating on several different projects during our time there. After school in 2006 we decided to move to Hailey, Idaho, which is actually a small ski town in central Idaho, where we formed the band. We used that as a tour base until January 2009, when we relocated to Boise -- the great big city of Idaho.
Do you think being in Hailey helped you to develop your sound?
Yeah. In retrospect it's easy to say things, but right after college a lot of our other friends in the music scene were moving to Seattle or Portland. We chose to move that way and to focus on writing and getting a clear vision of what we wanted to create before taking it to where there was a music industry and a lot more going on. It also helped us to not be too distracted by having to try to make ends meet.
Did you ever run into Ashton, Demi or Bruce during your time in Hailey?
We didn't, but every once in a while we got compared to them since there was two guys and a girl in our band, which was always funny.
So,what precipitated the move to Boise?
We were enjoying being isolated in the ski town, but we were ready to come home to a larger music scene. It just felt like it was time to move down there. Even though we're on the road a lot, it is nice to be in a place where the touring bands are coming through.
Where did the name of the band come from?
It's loosely inspired by two small towns in Idaho that we used to drive through all the time -- one called Finn, which is a couple of grain mills on the side of the highway and a couple of farmhouses, and one called Riggins, which is a big rafting town. That planted the seed in our consciousness, but we wanted to form a band and we wanted to have the band name be like a character in a book which we could write the story to. The name just had a ring to it that we liked.
Who were your musical influences?
I was a college radio deejay, and I really truly feel like there's not a direct musical influence that we could all pinpoint. I don't want to dodge the question, but I think there's a lot of truth to it. A lot of other people say a lot of different things. We've heard everything from Talking Heads to the Pixies to Mars Volta. More and more I think we're inspired and influenced by all of the up-and-coming bands who we play with and who are our peers, which really covers a broad swath of music. I really think that's the nature of the music we do. The mp3 generation listens to so much of a smorgasbord.
How would you describe the sound of Finn Riggins in your own words?
We're often grouped in the large indie rock realm, but we're pretty dance-y.
Beatles or Stones?
It's funny -- we were just talking about this the other day. We have a friend who we are traveling with who is so adamant about it being the Stones. The one thing we can relate to with the Stones is they're much more of a live band historically. They're still touring. We're excited about going into the studio, but we're a real band who plays live a lot. In fact, up until now we played live in the studio. So I guess I really appreciate them both and what they bring to the table.
This is your first time to play SXSW. What are you going to pack in your festival survival kit?
We're open to suggestions, being rookies at the festival. We're just going to tackle that as we go. We will have lots of water (laughs).
How many showcases are you playing?
We have one official showcase, a couple of day parties, which will be kind of like showcases of sorts, a boat party on the Tuesday right before, and a pretty loose party in a park. Technically, five things, which seems like enough to me. We've also decided to take one day off so we can just experience the things the festival has to offer.
What is your biggest vice?
Biggest vice, huh? That's an interesting question. Being a touring band, I feel like we consume a lot of petroleum products. That goes against my natural tendencies, but I guess that's a necessary evil.
What's the craziest thing you've ever seen or experienced while out on tour?
We watched one band essentially implode while on stage due to intoxication. [The singer] was frustrated and they were all falling on themselves and she got kicked off stage during the second song. They had a manager in attendance who was extremely embarrassed. It was disastrous. She then hopped in her minivan and drove off and rolled it. Luckily everyone was fine. It was pretty ridiculous and part of a larger story.
Curtis Finn is a Seed.com contributor. Learn how you can contribute here.