Two years after the release of their debut album SLUFF, Seattle-based rock band Naked Giants is back with their sophomore album, The Shadow.
COLLiDE caught up with band member Henry LaVallee to talk all things albums, social justice, the Seattle scene and life amidst the pandemic. Fans of genres such as post-punk, surf rock, and alternative sungenres are certain to love Naked Giants’ The Shadow.
What’s some music that you’ve been listening to lately?
T. Rex, Khrungbin, Charlie Parker, Gilberto Gil.
Do you have any comfort albums?
The 1975, I love the production. Then Dave Matthews Band (live), Vince Guaraldi Trio (Charlie Brown music), and the Motion City Soundtrack. I love the drums and songwriting.
If you had to pick a song on The Shadow that most embodies your personality, which would you pick? Do you have one or a few?
“Song For When You Sleep” really embodies how I create melodies along with chords, and “The Shadow” really embodies how I like to have fun with drums at different tempos and dynamics.
How has your sound evolved from 2018’s SLUFF to 2020’s The Shadow? Or even from 2016’s R.I.P. EP?
I feel like the songs on The Shadow are more for listening and playing live, whereas songs from SLUFF and R.I.P. are more for dancing to at a house show. I think The Shadow as a whole piece is a bit more grand, a bit more developed, refined, and purposeful.
Given the past few months where we’ve seen really heavy topics come back into the collective conscious—national protests in defense of Black lives being one and rampant abuse allegations within the music scene being another—what are your stances on these things? Once concerts are back, what do you plan to do to ensure that women, non-binary people, trans people, and people of color feel both protected and welcome at your shows?
As far as concerts go, I’d like to encourage safety, community and accountability. It is difficult for us to be mosh pit police at our own shows, though we have done that before. I think we need to continue being examples of the change we want to see in the world. Encourage concert goers to be respectful when on the dance floor, encourage/request venues to provide a gender-neutral bathroom (which we’ve done for the past few years), and I’d also like to see more diverse bills. Instead of multiple rock bands, why not have a jazz band, and a fusion band open, or a folk band, and a comedian, or an electronic artist/DJ, or a local hip hop group, or a soul artist. I think that this would encourage different communities to come out and interact with music lovers that they would not normally get to interact with. We all like music, so why shouldn’t we all share the love that is going to live shows!
On a more lighthearted note, what are you most looking forward to through the end of the year?
Living with my partner in the apartment we recently moved into together. Also writing and learning more on the guitar.
If you could give any piece of advice to your listeners, what would that be?
The only person you need to compare yourself to is who you were yesterday. And drink water and take a deep breath.
Listen to The Shadow now:
Photo by: Rachel Bennett