The Fifth Annual Springfest is happening this Saturday May 18 at Twain’s Billiards and Tap to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank! It’s going to be an event full of music, family, friends and fun! Among the incredible bands playing throughout the day, Atlanta’s beloved Gringo Star will be taking the stage! We got to catch up with Nicholas Furgiuele of the band to ask him some questions before the big day. Here’s what he had to tell us!
What has been one of your most memorable moments as a band?
We’ve had tons of cool experiences. There is not much as satisfying as getting to travel around the world and play music with your friends. So many adventures and good times and bad times, and breaking down in the middle of nowhere, and hanging out with friends and strangers all over, and driving through ice storms, snow storms, tornadoes, and floods, getting searched and interrogated by a 30-man anti-terrorist team, armed with machine guns, outside Heathrow, in London, ferries to Denmark, and Ireland, stashing pot in peanut butter jars before crossing Swiss borders, playing an amazing show in Juarez, before the war began, jumping off piers into the ocean in Puerto Rico all day, seeing two Mexican gangs having a shoot-out outside our friend’s apartment in Chicago while on mushrooms at 3am, busking on the streets in Denver to make the dough to get some new brake pads, California weed stores followed by breakfast sandwiches at Tang’s, hanging out in Northside in Cincinnati, Mexican food in every state of the Union, being chased out of a co-ed dorm at Yale for accidentally showering on the wrong floor, wondering streets and back alleys all over, El Paso, New Haven, playing the Superbowl Village last year in Indianapolis to 100k, watching Shantih Shantih on a roof top at SXSW, all night drives, being detained and questioned in the Toronto airport for 3 hours, meeting Dave Davies of the Kinks in London when we played with his son’s band, just getting to play with all the great bands we have, and meeting wonderful people all over, but still, really it’s all of it, wrapped up into one giant gratifying wave of a memory, and I wouldn’t trade it for a trip to the moon….unless the Earth was burning and I could get some mind erase thing like in Total Recall and THEN go to the moon, but even then I’d probably just go down with the ship.
How did you come up with the name, Gringo Star?
When we started, we were all working in kitchens around town with mostly Mexican guys, and of course, we were called gringo a lot. So we decided we’d mock our white-ness.
What has been your funniest fan encounter?
So, these guys, Malone Pictures, followed us around on a tour in EU/UK a few years ago, because they wanted to make a documentary of a band on tour, and we had happened to have met them a few weeks before, and so they asked and we agreed that they could come. Last year, once they had finished their doc (Hurry up and Wait) they took it around the film festival circuit. One of the festivals that it got in was the USA Film Fest in Dallas, and the festival invited us out to perform after the screening. So, we were setting up and waiting for it to end. Finally it ended and people were making there way from the theater to the stage, which was next door to the theater. About this time I’m in the bathroom, you know, ripping this urinal (a lot of coffee had happened earlier) and it must have been about the time everyone was making their way over. So, I’m standing there, and from behind, some guy says “Hey whats up Nick?” I turn around, well more of a head tilt to check out who it was, and a few guys are just standing there watching me piss, who I’ve never seen before in my life, and they’re talking to me like I’d known them for years. Calling me by name asking about this and that. Well, I’m wrapping things up at the urinal, and turn to walk past them, and the dude extends a hand to shake. So, I shook it.
What is your dream gig? Venue? Lineup?
Philips Arena with Beyonce.
What makes you most excited about playing at Springfest?
We love playing outside, but the fact that it’s for a great cause, with helping to raise moo-lah for the Atlanta Community Food Bank, is also extra nice. We’re really happy that Bang Arts invited us to be involved, and that they are doing this (now in its 5th year!).
How do you connect with the crowd you’re playing for?
What are your plans for the remainder of 2013?
We just finished a new album, and it’s definitely our favorite yet. We recorded, mixed and produced it all ourselves, and we’re really proud of it. We’ve just signed with, Jesse, at Madison House, to book us, so we’re really looking forward to touring a bunch on the new release. We’re playing several festivals during the summer, doing a short run with some New Orleans fellers “Generationals”, and planning to release the new album sometime later summer/early fall.
Check out Gringo Star playing at Springfest THIS Saturday, May 18! Tickets available below!