5GB With American Aquarium; Playing Smith’s Olde Bar Tomorrow, Feb. 10

By Eileen Tilson

You know I have to say this one is kind of special to me. Not only am I a HUGE fan of American Aquarium, but I am also pretty proud to say I have met these Raleigh boys and they are some of the nicest bunch of boys you would want to meet. Having just finished their latest album produced by the ridiculously talented Jason Isbell, I can say with confidence that American Aquarium are going to be making some pretty big waves in the upcoming year. Tomorrow they will be opening for Oklahoma’s Samantha Crain at Smith’s Olde Bar. These guys might be a little scruffy around the edges, but my goodness will they show you a good time. We were joined by Ryan Johnson of American Aquarium before their show tomorrow night.

What was the first gig you ever went to?

Circa 1987.  I was turning 5 years old and my parents took me to what would have been any other kids’ greatest birthday party ever.  All my friends and family were coming…it was going to be great.  It was at Showbiz Pizza.  Awesome, right!?  I was especially excited to see this cool “animal band” I’d been hearing so much about.  I guess we had been there for like an hour or so…I don’t know…I was 5.  Honestly, all I remember is being horrified by the animatronic devil-bear and his minions.  There was gold tinsel, a giant rainbow backdrop, the devil-bear… I cried and then pissed my pants.  Seriously.  There are pictures online…of the devil-bear…not my pee pants.

What is the best gig that you ever played/performed at?

Any Raleigh show. It’s our home. I love playing Raleigh. We just recorded and are about to release a live album called “Live in Raleigh”.  If you get a chance to come to one of our shows pick it up and you can get an idea of what it is like!.

What is the best gig you have ever been to?

We have spent the last 3 years playing at least 250 shows per year so it’s very rare that we get to go to shows that we are not already playing.  That being said, last year we got the chance to see the Jason Isbell and Hayes Carl tour with Shovels and Rope opening.  All three of these bands are ridiculously talented.  If you haven’t seen them live or God forbid you haven’t heard them…make it happen.

Gig you would most like to play?

Letterman.  Then our parents would love us.  Mom/Dad, if you are reading this…that was a joke.

What would be the lineup for your dream gig?

Here are the easy ones: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen, Dylan, Death Cab, Dr. Dog, the Stones, David Bazan, Dawes…even though some these bands wouldn’t be the best pairing for American Aquarium sharing the bill with any of these people would be a lot of fun.  But really I just want to hang out with Danny McBride.  I’ve heard he’s a big music fan…maybe he plays…maybe he has a band.  I wanna play with that band.  At Slim’s in Raleigh, NC or at the White Water Tavern in Little Rock, AR.

Catch American Aquarium tomorrow at Smith’s Olde Bar


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