It’s hard to imagine a more perfect lineup for an ultra-sweaty Saturday night at Philthy’s favorite former honky-tonk than The Wild Reeds and Blank Range. This Saturday, April 29th, the two bands, who have already been on tour together for much of the year, will be playing Boot & Saddle. The evening will be headlined by The Wild Reeds, an LA trio that blends classic Americana with sunshine folk pop, who are touring behind their latest LP, The World We Built, which hit shelves earlier this month. In the support slot is Nashville’s Blank Range, a charmingly gruff and garage-y Southern rock outfit, much in the same vein as PHILTHY favorites Deer Tick. Blank Range are touring behind their latest EP, Vista Bent, which dropped last year. Earlier this month I got a chance to chat with baritone guitarist and vocalist Grant Gustafson, who seems quite anxious to get his crew back to Philthy…
Izzy Cihak: So I know you’re currently based out of Nashville, which is one of my favorite musical cities of recent years. What are your thoughts on the scene?
Grant Gustafson: There’s very much a community vibe present in the Nashville music scene. For a while everyone would play in each other’s bands. I think I was playing in eight different local bands at one point. In a way you kind of grow up together, I’m definitely seeing that now with the younger generation of bands. The Nashville scene was so wild when I moved to Nashville in 2010. There was a real push to make music available to all age groups and because of that there was a very young contingency that we’re taking in all different types of music and now they’re synthesizing all of that into their own thing.
Izzy: And considering that this band is still relatively new, what have been some of the highlights of Blank Range so far?
Grant: We really get into scenery so the west coast tours tend to stick out but we’ve had some really great times in Philly. Spent many a night on the streets of Fishtown, just making our own rules, trying to survive.
Izzy: Is there anything you consider to be important for fans and potential fans to know about the band and your process of making music, or just your aim as artists?
Grant: We draw influence from a variety of places but we try to avoid putting both feet in one camp. I’d say we’re really focused on the craft of songs and making a song a dynamic experience, but don’t just take my word for it, come and see us play at Boot & Saddle on Saturday, April 29th!
Izzy: What would you consider to be the band’s most significant influences, both musical and otherwise?
Grant: First season of True Detective, Bob Seger (System and subsequent formations), the artistry of skateboarding, Jon likes non-plaid patterned western shirts, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Jim’s on South Street but now most of us are vegetarians so we get veggie sammys but yes I’ll still take the cheez wheez.
Izzy: I saw on Twitter that you’re fans of Iggy Pop, who is like one of my favorite people in the history of the world and probably officially the coolest person I’ve ever met, so I’m curious if you have any particular favorite songs or albums of Iggy’s, solo or as a Stooge.
Grant: “Some Weird Sin.”
Izzy: You’ve recently been playing a bunch of dates with The Wild Reeds, who I’m also a fan of and who you’ll be supporting when you play here in Philly, or Philthy. How has that been? Were you previously fans of the band?
Grant: They’re the best people. We’ve had the most fun with them because they’re genuine and they want to hang, explore, learn, and have fun. They’re an amazing band and amazing individuals, come see it for yourself at Boot & Saddle and Saturday April 29th!
Izzy: What can be expected of the live experience when you play Boot & Saddle?
Grant: Likely one cowboy hat, a cheesesteak at some point after, maybe before, possibly during our set. There will be some surprise guests throughout the night. Last time we were in Philadelphia a drunk girl challenged one of us to smell her belly button and not throw up, she’ll be there. Not mostly rock and roll, come see about it at Boot & Saddle on Saturday April 29th!
Izzy: What’s next for you, after these dates wrap? Is it just going to be more touring, or can we expect new music? What are you most excited about for the remainder of 2017?
Grant: We expect to have a pretty busy year. We’ll be releasing more music as the year goes on and traveling the country in support of it. We’ll also be recording more music, so keep your ear to the ground!