Interview: Blue Giant…no longer just for the space scientists.

Artists, Blue Giant, Interviews — By on August 30, 2010 12:41 pm

You know when you have a friend who has a friend she REALLY wants you meet, and every time you
say something something funny, she always says “Oh, so and so would think this was HILARIOUS…I
can’t WAIT for you to meet him,” and you say “Oh yeah, he sounds suuuuper great,” but really, you’re
thinking “don’t care don’t care don’t care” and you sort of hope that meeting never happens, but
then you DO meet him, and he’s so awesome that you’re mad at yourself for not meeting sooner?

That’s how I feel about Kevin Robinson from Blue Giant.

Although I don’t really know who the initial friend would be in this story. I just thought Kevin was really
great.

When I told Kevin he was a part of a “super group,” he was quick to let me know that it wasn’t a self-
appointed title. He said it like he was being modest, but really, that just gives Blue Giant MORE cred,
because a self-appointed “super group” would, more than likely, be lame. In fact, I think I once said I
was a part of a super group after a really long road trip when my friends Eric, Nate and I sang ourselves
hoarse. We were definitely a group, but we were not super.

But that did lead me to wonder how a true super group even forms. “Anita and I had toured as Viva
Voce for 10 years, and we sort of hit the roof with what we could do as a two piece,” Kevin said, and
from that, “…instead of the same cycle, we took time to try difference things.” And the way they all
got together was just as cool as my conversation with Kevin. Basically, they just called people up “and
said ‘come over and we’ll just…play…’” From that came Blue Giant—the amazing Robinsons, Evan
Railton (of Swords), Seth Lorinczi (of a lot of other bands) and Chris Funk (of The Decemberists, who
came to the band in the best way: “Funk’s wife heard our demo” and basically forced him to join up)—
or, in Kevin’s words, “just people wanting to play music together.”

If you Google “Blue Giant” (after all the science stuff and some loading company), you’ll find that
their music is described as country, rock-country, alt-country, indie rock, rock, singer-songwriter,
classic country…I could go on…but when asked how THEY describe their music, Kevin said “I think I
read that someone described us as ‘rural psych’…I think that’s super cool…” we’re “acoustic-y, loud,
distorted…I should just quit trying to describe it.” I was going to cleverly insert how I’D describe it here,
but he’s totally right. “When you categorize it, people bring up the most negative, corniest imagery…”
after which Kevin gave couple of funny examples that I won’t write out as not to offend anyone.

So from then, they “took time to write, and for better or worse, the songs came out as Blue Giant
songs.”

My favorite “Blue Giant song” at the moment of the interview (I have different favorites every time I
listen…like a child) was “Wesley,” and little did I know, it resonated with me in ways I didn’t even realize.

Kevin told me the story of the song’s inspiration—to summarize—Kevin grew up in the South, where
everyone went to church because that’s what you do there, and as he got older/grown up/out-and-
about in the world, he grew (obviously, right?). In one of his earlier recordings, he used what he called
the “most generic profanity,” and a friend from back home (I’ll give you three guesses as to his name)
wrote him a letter that said because of the swears, Kevin’s soul was in jeopardy and that he’d burn in
hell. And that’s the song’s inspiration, with the message that “Sometimes it’s best to remember what
was,” because “the memories are better than reality.” As a music-before-lyrics listener, I loved the song
before, but I loved it even more after this story, because once I was told I’d go to hell because I voted for
Barack.

As a side note, I think we’re both okay, as far as the hell thing is concerned.

So Blue Giant, a psych-rock super group, started to work around their genesis–working with musical
peers. “Collaboration is the mantra…it’s really the more the merrier with us…” especially live. Kevin
says the band is “so stoked” for MFNW (in Portland, September 2010), because they’ll have almost
20 people on stage—the actual band (including Anita Robinson, who, not to ruin the surprise, seems
like a “dainty little flower, then just destroys the guitar.”), an eight piece vocal, a conga, a Hammond
player—it’s going to be epic, and fueled by love, because, as Kevin opines, “not to be corny…but there’s
enough love to go around.”

And that’s Blue Giant—super, every genre, insightful and all in all, a great listen. In case you’re
wondering what inspires them, Kevin mentioned a lot of great music, including Archie Bronson Outfit
(“heavy and tripped out, kind of like…really drugged Franz Ferdinand”) and Bill Monroe (“…TONS of Bill
Monroe.”)

Oh yeah, and I asked where they were most excited to travel this year, which led to what is perhaps
the best thing ever said about this place: “Marfa. Definitely Marfa. I’d like to see some aliens.”

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