Flyer Profile: Finn Riggins

Remember when you went to that show and were blown away (literally) by the band and had to buy their records and t-shirts and tell all of your friends about them the next day?

That band is Finn Riggins and I’m writing this from the near future, March 12 to be exact. I was just at the show with you and we had a killer time, we’re both wearing band t-shirts and you just mass texted everyone you know, including your ex. Some bands end sticky situations, Finn Riggins is that band.

Imagine Dave Brubeck joining Wyld Stallyns. Imagine “woahs” coming from the mouths of the people you never expected to say woah. In a short time you won’t have to imagine it because we’ll be hanging out at the show together bonding over shared musical tastes, and past experiences. You don’t end up getting back together with your ex, but you do become friends again, reconnected through music.

I’ve seen Finn Riggins a few times and often talk about them to strangers and animals. I asked Eric Gilbert (keys/vocals/headband) some questions and he thought about them for a while and then politely answered.

Finn Riggins plays the Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville on Monday, March 12 with Mercies and Presto Bando. 9 p.m., $3

Finn Riggins opening for Built to Spill.

Tyler Kohlhoff,

Roger Barrett: You guys last played Fayetteville in support of Vs. Wilderness. What’s been happening since then?
Eric Gilbert: After that, we did a couple of tours with Built To Spill, one of which brought us to Little Rock in the Summer of 2010. We took a couple months off at the end of 2010 which was our first solid two months off in four years. After playing over 150 shows a year and living on the road two-thirds of the time for about three years in a row, it was time for a breather. We spent most of 2011 getting to know our homes in Idaho again and beginning work on new material, scattered with some regional touring.

As of 2012, we have a new EP being released by Tender Loving Empire on 10″ colored vinyl for Record Store Day (April 21) and we have a bunch of other new stuff in the works for another full length.

Life in Boise has been great and very inspiring. The scene here is really starting to take off.

RB: How does it feel to have music featured in a Chicago Bulls commercial? Are you fans? How did this happen?
EG: I actually did grow up a fan of the Bulls, so it’s super cool. I’m a fan of basketball in general and it’s the one sport I still play a lot. So yeah, pretty exciting. They called about a month ago to get permission for the spot. The story they told us was that one of the people working on the commerical had seen us at a farmer’s market in Idaho several years ago and had picked up our album. She pitched our song “Blackrock” from our first album A Soldier, A Saint, An Ocean Explorer for the spot and they were into it. I love how it’s cut and how it turned out. Supposedly, it’s being played on the jumbotron before and during all the Bulls games this season. Makes me want to fly to Chicago for a game – never been to an NBA game before.

RB: So when is the next record coming out?
EG: Like I mentioned before, we have an EP coming out on April 21 for Record Store Day – there’s an incredible record store in Boise called The Record Exchange that has gotten us fully seduced into the yearly celebration of independent record stores. Last year, we released a split 7″ with fellow Boise band Hillfolk Noir for Record Store Day. This year we put together a full 10″ EP for it called Benchwarmers.

As for our next full length, we’re really excited about the direction it’s been taking and we’re going to continue to give it some time. I’d say possibly by late fall, but most likely next spring.

RB: What has been influencing your music/lyrics lately?
EG: Hmmm… always lots of different sources, from bands we play with to this non-commercial community radio station in Boise (Radio Boise KRBX 89.9 FM) that I’m doing a show on every Monday morning that features all kinds of new music and bands rolling through town. With the title track of the EP, specifically, we were asked by Jason Sievers (stop-animation video for our song Wake, and much more) to write a song for a video he was putting together for local modern dance company called Trey McIntyre Project. We went to a performance of theirs called “Grounded” that was all about being based in Boise and went home and wrote most of “Benchwarmers” that night. It’s rather loosely inspired by that, but that experience was the catalyst for the song. All kinds of little things like that come along as inspiration. That and just being around fellow musicians and artists here in Idaho on a regular bases. I draw a lot of inspiration from all kinds of mediums, at the very least just as a motivation toward being active in creation of new material

Lisa (Simpson, vocals/guitar) is a heavy reader of books, and I know she draws a lot from that deep pool of knowledge as well as movies and friends and family relationships.

RB: What have you been reading and watching lately?
EG: In all honesty, with me being as busy as I have been building this new music festival in Boise called Treefort Music Fest and putting together our release and tours, I haven’t been reading or watching much of anything. Except for online clips of The Daily Show, of course. Lisa is thigh-deep in The Game of Thrones book series, loves 30 Rock and movies of all sorts. She spends a lot of her time reading fiction. I’m more likely to read non-fiction once I get back to it. Not sure what Cameron (Bouiss, drums) has been watching or reading these days. He tends to have pretty diverse taste.

RB: What can we expect at the Lightbulb Club show?
EG: Definitely a bunch of new tunes, a slightly refined stage setup, and plenty of raucous energy from us Idahoans.

RB: Please say something nice about Fayetteville? Any Arkansas stories?
EG: Oh man, all of our stops in Fayetteville have been great. Really cool town, reminds us of where we all went to college in northern Idaho – a little hip college town called Moscow, home of the University of Idaho. We’re really excited it worked out to get back to Fayetteville and are looking forward to driving up through the state from Shreveport – Lisa is begging us to stop at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. We failed her on past tours, but this could be the one.

As for Arkansas stories, we had some pretty wild times in Russellville on the two tours we stopped there. Those stories are probably best kept in deep, dark, safe places.