There doesn’t seem to be much going on tonight:
Adios Gringos w/ Powers That Be, Ritual Decay
@ the Hi-Tone Cafe // 9pm // $5
The Near Reaches w/ The Dead Soldiers
@ the Cove // 9:30pm // $5
Tiger High w/ The Sheiks, Ranch Ghost
@ the Poplar Lounge // 10pm // $5
Jack O & the Tennessee Tearjerkers w/ Redondo Beat
@ the Buccaneer // 10pm // $5
Cities Aviv w/ Ex-Cult
@ the Beauty Shop // 10:30pm // $3
Continue below for an Adios Gringos interview & tons of video fun.
(As printed in August edition of Don’t Look Magazine)
By Dan Garber
GRINGOS music is equally Black Sabbath and Black Flag. They are a power trio that’s Motorhead, Rush, Cream, Venom, and ZZ Top rolled into one. For nearly two decades I’ve flown the Gringos flag and many times I’ve declared them to be the “best live band in Memphis”. So when I was asked to interview the band’s guitarist/vocalist Paul MacIntosh I took it as a great honor. Put this in your pipe and smoke it:
Q: Okay, I’m old school and I know the band as Adios Gringo but lately you guys have been going by GRINGOS. What gives?
A: I suppose the short answer is that we just got tired of the name. It (the name) was originally culled from the lyrics to our song “Open Invitation to Death”, only later we found out it was also the name of a spaghetti western that to this day, we’ve never seen. It (the name) had also never made us rich and famous, and we weren’t married to it, or under any other kind of legal obligation, so we simplified it to just Gringos, which was what a lot of people, including ourselves, would refer to the band as; “when are Gringos playing again?” that kind of thing. Also, at the time we put out our “Paranoid” EP, Rob had rejoined the band and we hadn’t put out any new material in a while, so we wanted to take a step forward as a band into a new era, as it were, without abandoning what we had created in the past. It was kind of a soft reboot, if you will. I reckon people are gonna call us whatever they want to anyway.
Q: For years the band performed and recorded as a 4 piece. With the departure of guitarist Rob Rich, what made you stick with the 3 piece line-up instead of trying to find a replacement?
When Rob left in 2009, we were going to some different places with the structures of our songs and how we approached the riffs themselves. Bringing somebody new into that context, where we weren’t even sure where we would end up ourselves, just to teach the new guy the old songs seemed like a step backwards from where we wanted to be. Also, we were a 3-piece when we put out our “Gringo the Harbinger” and “Our Stellar Devotion” CDs, so it’s nothing too different from what we’re used to.
Q: Word on the street is you’ve been recording a new record. When can we expect it available and what’s it gonna be like?
A: We finished up the recordings earlier this year with Kyle Johnson at Rocket Science Audio, and some friends are helping us put it out on vinyl. It’s titled “Pearly Gates” and right now we’re finishing the art and shooting for an October release. We’re really excited about it, the album sounds pretty monstrous. Kyle did a fantastic job, he really is a pro at what he does. To our ears, he captured what we really sound like more than anything we’ve done before. I wish I could say the album sounds like a gang of pissed-off primates brandishing hatchets while raping the holy trinity or something extreme like that, but …it sounds like us.
Q: Tell me about the songwriting process. Is it a group or individual effort?
A: Usually somebody comes in with a riff or two and we’ll strangle it / jam on it / twist it into something barely recognizable from when it first walked through the rehearsal room door. At that point, the real songwriting begins. Some songs take a long time to decide exactly where they want to go, while others pretty much write themselves. There just has to be a riff that justifies the song built around it.
Q: You’ve always done great cover songs live (including Stairway To Heaven) and even put out a couple of EPs covering Black Flag and KISS respectively. Can we expect more great covers?
A: I think soon we’ll be able to do two full sets at the Holiday Inn bar playing all your party-time favorites! We’ve got a few doozies we’re working on right now, but I can’t ruin the surprise. My favorites we’ve done lately would have to be “Old Brown Shoe” and “Let Me Put My Love Into You”, easily the most romantic song we’ve ever covered.
Q: Have you ever thought about doing a cover of the great Lita Ford / Ozzy Osborne hit “Close My Eyes Forever”? Perhaps a duet with much hyped Memphis songstress Amy Lavere?
A: Oh my, that’s a tune I have not considered. However, I have always wanted to do “Leather and Lace”, but with me singing the Stevie Nicks part and a woman doing Don Henley’s. If you’re interested, Ms.Lavere let us know.
Q: You guys have a huge catalog of music. Will any of the older records be available in the future digital or otherwise?
A: Right now, we’ve got some copies of our 7″s, just not digitally as yet. We’d like to re-release some of our out of print albums, but I think some of the more cult, self-produced stuff could benefit from some sonic polishing here and there. Making it available digitally would be a good format to start with. Kickstarter anyone?
Q: Do you subscribe to the belief that everything is better with bacon
A: Arguably everything but beer and Mitt Romney.
Adios Gringos live video. Poor audio quality, high riff quality.
The Near Reaches in 60 secs
Tiger High fan video for “Myth Is This”
Jeff Pope’s brilliant dance video for Jack O’s “Against The Wall”
“Wet Dream” by Cities Aviv