Young, upbeat and full of energy, GIVERS put on an entertaining show. The five-piece band from Lafayette, La. released their first full-length EP “In Light” last year and got picked up by the Dirty Projectors for their first tour. They’ve had write ups in just about every music magazine you could shake a stick at and the consensus is decidedly the same: GIVERS are fun. And they can play enough instruments between them to open up a small music store. Or at least a pawnshop.
Tiffany Lamson, vocals, percussion and sometimes ukulele, and Taylor Guarisco, guitar and vocals, took some time out from their vacation to chat with IN about divine intervention, rap music and playing at Carnegie Hall.
IN: What have you guys been up to lately?
LAMSON: We are finally getting the break we needed. This is our second day off of the tour and we’ll be off up until the Hangout Festival.
GUARISCO: We’ve been to and fro; touring the west coast – we played Coachella – toured Australia.
IN: How was Australia?
LAMSON Oh man, it was one of my favorite places to play.
GUARISCO: It was the most amazing blend of really down to earth people.
IN: Tiffany, how many instruments do you usually play in one set? Can you play more than that?
LAMSON: Well, my original instrument that I played when I was a kid was a drum set. I’ve kind of created an alternative style drum set that I can play with Kirby, our drummer. Taylor and I have both kind of inspired each other to sing. We never sang before with any other bands we were in. I just started playing ukulele a few years ago. And I play guitar at my house.
IN: How many bands were in you in before GIVERS came together?
LAMSON: If you made a spider web of all the bands we’ve been in, it would probably make the most amazing collage. Kirby and Josh were in a band together – an improve rock band. Taylor was in a zydeco band. I was in a rock group. We’re connected by probably about nine or 10 different bands.
IN: What was it like to play Carnegie Hall with Preservation Hall Jazz Band?
GUARISCO: It was surreal. It was like being inside a dreamscape painting, that you could hear sounds in. All the musicians had a common collective purpose – to make people feel good.
LAMSON: Ah, that really happened! I’m still riding on the high of that experience.
IN: You guys went on tour with the Dirty Projectors for your very first tour. How did that end up coming about?
GUARISCO: You could say it was divine. They happen to be one of our favorite bands and I would always talk about how cool it would be to tour with them. They were playing a show in Louisiana and they didn’t have an opener. We ended up opening for them and they liked us enough to take us out on tour with them that fall. I really do think that if you focus on something enough, good or bad, it will happen.
IN: What did you think about the recent Glee cover of “Up, Up, Up?”
GUARISCO: I mean, with something like that – it is what it is. It’s crazy that some song the five of us came up with was able to reach between six and eight million people. And you could view it as, ‘oh, the message of that song didn’t come from the original origin when all these people heard it,’ or you can just be glad that they heard it at all.
IN: When you guys played with Dr. Dog at the Alabama Music Box, you walked out onstage to a rap song that was reppin’ your home state Louisiana. What other music from Louisiana do you listen to or support?
GUARISCO: Oh, you mean “Bitch, I’m From Louisiana?” That’s pretty much it. Just that.
LAMSON: And Lil Wayne!
GUARISCO: That song was just kind of this funny thing we discovered. Our friend Cory showed it to us and we ended up listening to it a lot on that tour.
LAMSON: We were finally in the South so we thought, you know, people will like it. There is a band call Los Bayou Ramblers that are awesome. It’s Cajun music with a youthful gusto.
GUARISCO: We’re definitely fans of the classics of Louisiana – The Meters, The Neville Brothers. They are in the leagues of royalty.
IN: The band released “In Light” last year. Any plans for a new record?
GUARISCO: We are kind of just relaxing and regenerating right now. And eventually, we will be in the same room with the insatiable urge to play music with one another again.
IN: What are you doing with your time off?
LAMSON: I started working on a little piece of my garden. Hopefully the Louisiana heat will blow it up. I did some laundry, cleaned my house, went to the dentist for the first time in a while. Basically just decompressing. We go so fast through all these cities and meet all these people.
IN: Anyone in particular you’ll be excited to see next weekend at Hangout?
GUARISCO and LAMSON: Red Hot Chili Peppers.
GUARISCO: There’s this boyish fantasy that I have – all we want is for RHCP to see one of our songs. I feel like there is a little of their music DNA in us that just puts us in fourth gear, and just makes us want to jump around for the entire show. Maybe they’ll ask themselves, “Did we give birth to this band?”
Saturday 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m., Hangout Main Stage