- Posted on Mar 7th 2011 4:30PM by Emily Tan
Following those high-profile performances, Givers released a self-titled EP and signed with Glassnote Records. They hope to release their full-length debut this spring, but first, they'll head to Austin to play SXSW. In an interview with Spinner, singer-guitarist Taylor Guarisco and multi-instrumentalist singer Tiffany Lamson talked about touring with their heroes, what they gave up for that life-changing gig and how releasing a record is similar to childbirth.
How did the band get together?
TG: We all went to the same high school, except for one member who we met in college. We all knew other for years before starting the band and played in other bands together. Between high school and college, we were in other groups but then decided to combine all of our efforts into one band, and that's what we are today.
Where did the name Givers come from?
TL: We went through dictionaries, looked for fun words, and then we decided to go to our favorite artists and their albums and songs to see if something sticks out to us. There's this band called Lucky Dragon that we really like, and the song that we related to was a song called 'Givers.' We really respect the band, and that song resonated with us, so we went from there.
Would you say you're generous people?
TG: That's one of the qualities that I found in everybody. Everybody is pretty generous with their time, and I think it comes off in our live shows as well. For example, Tiffany gives off so much energy to crowd and to me, and in that sense, everyone seems like they're giving. We pretty much live together and see each other every day, so I would have to say everyone is pretty generous.
You all live in one house together? What is that like?
TG: We've always been on tour for the past few years -- or in the studio together -- so we, by default, live together, but we all don't actually live in the same house together.
TL: We're all in the same neighborhood, though.
TG: It's true that some bands share the same stage and the occasional bathroom, and then that's about it. We, as a band, are able to be together in a loving way, which is one of my favorite things about being in the Givers.
You opened for the Dirty Projectors, who'd never heard you but wound up inviting you to go on tour with them. What was that experience like?
TG: It felt like the most amazing thing ever.
TL: I felt like I was seeing fireworks for the first [time]. I was like, "What the hell is that?"
TG: For me personally, I always referred to the Dirty Projectors as the best band in the world, and they have been my favorite band for years. Being for a fan for years and then being invited to tour with them was one of the most surreal things that could happen to us at that point.
TL: It was a life-changing event, for sure. Taylor quit a big band in Louisiana, and I quit school the day that I found out. I was literally on the phone with our manager, Aaron, who got the whole ball rolling. When he told me, I turned around and took myself out of the class I was registered for. That's how important it was.
TG: All that life change -- me quitting the band, Tiff and everyone else just dropping out of school -- that was all in preparation to for that one gig, opening for them in Baton Rouge. We put all our chips into that one Dirty Projectors show.
People have compared your band to the Dirty Projectors. How do you feel about that?
TG: It feels good, but I don't know. We feel so humbled by them. We're incredibly awed by them. Just meeting them was just so humbling. It makes sense, because we are all inspired by them, but being compared to them is totally humbling and almost weird.
When you two were growing up, did your parents listen to any particular songs or bands that shaped the way you appreciate music today?
TG: My mom was into a lot of Louisiana music -- a lot funk and groove music. Louisiana music is very groove-oriented and makes you want to move in a certain way. Listening to that music did play a big role in my life.
TL: My mom was really encouraging me to play instruments, and my parents were open to everything. They weren't from Louisiana, so they have an out-of-state influence on me. My mom was all East Coast, and my dad was all West Coast. My dad listened to the Beach Boys and loved that stuff.
When Givers started out, you did things mostly on your own. How have things changed since signing with Glassnote?
TG: As far as recording the full-length album, we recorded all of the songs except for one ourselves, then we started talking to labels and came into the Glassnote family. When [Glassnote Records] found us, I wouldn't say the baby was born, but probably in the third trimester. It didn't affect the creative process or the execution of the creative process, but I guess they affected the delivery of this baby, like how this baby is going to come out.
So is "this baby" coming out soon?
TL: We're shooting for the spring, maybe May. Give it to the kids before they go on their summer break.
Catch Givers's SXSW Set on Saturday, March 19 at Emo's Jr (603 Red River St.) 11PM,and Friday, March 18 at Momo's (618 W 6th St.) 12AM.
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