"We wrote a lot of songs during our time home but these rose to the top of the crop" We chat with GIVERS
Following a gap since 2015's New Kingdom, GIVERS have returned with a new single, 'Collide', from their upcoming EP. Produced by Dave Cobb (of Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, et al, fame), it's a tune built for summer. We caught up with the band's Tif Lamson to find out what we can expect from the EP.
First question then Tif… where are you right now?
In my home studio… New Orleans!
What have you been up to today?
Watering my plants, organizing gear and packing for tour! And drinking lots of kombucha... maybe too much?
Tell us about yourselves.
Well, that would take some time. Right now it’s just me answering. I’m told I'm a hoot and that’s just fine because I enjoy many a good hootenanny.
What can you tell us about your new single ‘Collide’ in two sentences?
We put a lot of love into the track and felt it was a very natural shift while simultaneously returning us home.
Also, I hope you learn the healthiest way to headbang & air guitar… because apparently, I know very little about gravity.
How fun (or not) is making a video?
Making a video can be no joke, even the smallest idea could turn into a two-hour filming event! Alternatively, a seemingly impossible shot (such as getting a close up of a Weiner dog pooping) could be as easy as a 30-minute (right time, right place) shot. It’s all about preparing but also going with the flow… efficiently. SO yes- fun! It can be very challenging, but always worth it. We had such a blast doing the 'Collide' video. Tay and I wrote the treatment and co-directed it with our dear, talented friend Emma Kanter!
Where did the idea for the ‘Collide’ video come from?
Laughing with Taylor on my couch about all the preposterous things that go wrong in life. Obviously we had to narrow it down. We wanted to make a light-hearted video that represented the song. We like to laugh and, well, life is funny. If you can make fun of yourself and not take everything so seriously, then the heavy things won't weigh and take their toll as much. The song suggests the way those hard life experiences can happen and how we deal with them.
You worked with Dave Cobb on the upcoming EP, this is a bit out of his norm, how did you get together?
It was very natural, actually. We met him through the label and we had an instant connection. He’s a solid guy… felt like reuniting with an old friend. Eric Heigle, a great engineer/producer friend here in New Orleans - and recent Grammy winner for Arcade Fire and Lost Bayou Ramblers - also played such an important role in the creating of these songs! Dream Team.
How was recording at RCA Studio A?
That place is so historic… it’s massive… the actual space and the influential artists that have created there. We were very thrilled and honored to share that space. Drums... they have so many bad ass drums!
How did you go about writing and choosing which songs to record for the EP?
That’s a good question…sometimes it’s not easy to choose which ones make the cut. We wrote a lot of songs during our time home but these rose to the top of the crop as a group of songs that worked thoroughly as a unit… in feeling and meaning. It felt right and we were eager to share new music.
Have you got plans to release an album at some point, or are EPs and singles the future?
We have plans to keep making music… whatever form presents itself.
How have you changed as a band since your debut?
Hopefully your creative endeavors are always evolving. If asked - have we changed? - I would be moved to say yes. There’s a lot to speak of in this regard. Some of my favorite musicians have made giant shifts and I love them for that. Experimenting is something we hold dear to our hearts.
There’s a lot of talk about equality in the film and music industries at the moment, have you ever felt you were treated differently as a woman?
I’m not sure it’s possible to be a woman and NOT feel you were treated differently. It’s ingrained in our culture... in the entertainment we absorb, in marketing, in the educational system, etc… it’s a broad stroke of habitual thinking and acting that’s been there… way too long. This is the first time it’s truly being talked about where people are listening. There’s an actual audience and it’s stunning. I’m all ears and I hope more people lean that way.
When was the last time you were starstruck?
I was a big fan of Destiny’s Child in middle school... I had the honor of performing with Kamasi Washington two years ago at Bonnaroo and as excited I was to meet him… Michelle Williams stole my attention and shaky knees. She sang two songs before me and had me sweating so hard. She was so very sweet to me.
Can you tell us the best and the worst thing about your hometown of Lafayette?
Best thing is the food. Worst thing is the food. It's not that healthy... that’s kinda a joke...
No really though, I love Lafayette so much. It will always be my home so it’s hard to talk shit… but, if you ever lived in a small town… you know the stink always changes.
You’re touring soon, what’s your favourite thing about being on the road?
Traveling changes you. Perspective is everything. It alters the way you perceive yourself, goals, art, happiness, etc. Personally, I love the reminder that I’m a tiny speck and my woes are insignificant. And death is imperative, so get out there and live a little, right? Being connected to fans is also very important to us and touring makes that possible. Plus, I don’t know how I could go on without playing music live. It’s my relief.
And what do you hate about touring?
Imagine being in a metal fast-moving box for hours with the same people & similar food... every day. Sometimes it’s hell, other times it’s heaven. If you find the right people and you feel connected to your work, then it’s mostly heaven!
What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
…to tour! And also get back in the studio and grind out those tunes that cannot be left behind!
If you could recommend one song to hear this week, what would it be?
COLLIDE! Was this a trick question?
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
Q: “Where do we see y’all play live?” -
A: “ Oh! Check the tour schedule on our website > www.giversband.com"
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
I love a flat white. But in the summer I prefer a topo-chico with a shot of espresso… does that make me fancy pants? Guess that’s me. Fancy pants Tif.
Thanks so much for your time guys, great single, looking forward to the EP.
If you want to know more about GIVERS then you can visit their website, as Tif already pointed out. You can also follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook, or see what they're up to on Instagram. 'Collide' is out now and streaming everywhere.