It is this kind of afternoon. Get out and enjoy the nice weather we are having here in the PNW. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have the good weather Natural Numbers will transport your mind to that place. Listen to the track “Rastaman” below and then go purchase the album HERE.
One of our initial intentions for Grisl was that it would be used as a travel guidebook filled with recommendations from people who have been outside and around the block. For many reasons, this portion of the site has been slow developing. We’ve expanded on this concept to include recommendations from bands who would like to share guidance one getting around their own hometowns. After all, nothing makes a traveler more appreciative of where they hail from than being on the road. The feature is called No Place Like Home.
The best part is that when one of our readers travels to a place that is foreign to them they will have some solid recommendations from an awesome source, one of their favorite bands! I know I look forward to checking out some of these places and am sure that there are many others who would be interested.
[Photo credit: MetalJeff.net
For this installment of No Place Like Home we had an opportunity to ask our questions to Elephant Rifle from Reno, Nevada.
Where does Elephant Rifle call their hometown and how long have you been there?
Reno, Nevada, born and raised. We’ve been a band for 5 years.
If friends or family from out of town were visiting you where would you have to take them for must eat grub? What sort of food does the place serve? Any specific dish that you would recommend? What do you like about this place? Price range?
Something that’s available around Reno and not many other places is Basque cuisine. There are a couple of decent spots, like Santa Fe and Louis’ Basque Corner. There’s a lot of great Mexican food (Betos, Los Gallos, Mi Ranchito), and a kick-ass Vietnamese place (Golden Flower), where we would recommend the “Viet Dip.” We don’t think that’s what they call it, but it’s basically a Banh Mi sandwich and a bowl of Pho, and you can probably do the math. They’re also open late and have a special late night menu, where they do Chinese dishes and things—the Singapore Street Noodles are on point—so it’s also a favorite spot to go after shows. If it were a Thursday, we might take you to the Pub n Sub so you could watch Brad and our friend Clark try to out-do each other eating chicken wings. If we wanted to treat you like the classy lady that you are, we would take you to the Brasserie St. James, and ply you with great local beer, mussels and duck confit. Our friends Larry and Heather own a couple of foodie places next to each other, Bowl and Gaman Ramen, that have an arty-punks-is-hippies vibe and share a space with a decent wine bar.
Here at Grisl we are big into the craft beer scene, dive bar scene and regular bar scene (basically we love bars…). Assuming you also enjoy grabbing some drinks with your pals, where are the can’t-miss spots that you would recommend? What makes these places special to you? Any specific drinks that you would recommend? Price range? Vibe (i.e. bow tie or acid wash jeans?)?
For craft beer, the aforementioned Brasserie St. James is a pretty rad local brewery. Our pal Chris owns a bar called Reno Public House that has one of the best beer selections in town. We also like Chapel and Lincoln Lounge. If shitty dive bars are more your thing, well we’ve got a ton of those, too. We frequent such fine establishments as Shea’s Tavern (also a good venue where a ton of heavy shows happen) and 40 Mile Saloon. 40 Mile has a pool table and sells these cheap mini-pitchers of Hamms, High Life, or Rolling Rock … you know, good stuff mostly. Really, though, Reno is known for it’s dive bars. Just throw a dart at a map of the city and you’re bound to land within a block of one. Just remember: bars don’t close in Reno, so pace yourself accordingly, friend.
What is your favorite music venue in the area to catch some shows? Any memorable shows you watched there off of the top of your head?
For all-ages shows, you can’t beat The Holland Project. It’s a non-profit art and music space that’s been around for a few years, and has had everybody rad from Iron Lung to 400 Blows to Future Islands to fucking Andrew WK play there. If a beer-soaked headbanging sesh is what you’re looking for, the previously mentioned Shea’s is usually on-point. One time we played a weekend long festival there with Gehenna and Fang and about 20 other bands. We didn’t play until 5:30 in the morning and at least three other bands played after us. The Loving Cup which hosts a diverse slate of events, from weird dance parties to mellow record nights to a weekly jazz night where our bassist, Mike, is often a featured player. Our singer, Brad, is the usual host of a weekly pub quiz at St. James Infirmary if you’re all about that brainiac shit. It’s tougher than most pub quizzes, but also more drunk.
After a night of drinking and/or live music where are the best places to get some late night munchies/more drinks? What sort of food are we talking about? Price range?
Late night offers a ton of options, because, as we’ve established, Reno is a 24-hour town. The aforementioned Golden Flower is open super late. There’s a good pizza place downtown called Noble Pie that’s also open super late. Both are reasonably priced. Of course no late-night discussion of food would be complete without throwing Jimboy’s hat in the ring. Real greasy kind-of fast food burritos and tacos. It tastes delicious at the end of a night of getting after it, but be carefully, our guitar player Clint witnessed a live spider crawl out of veggie burrito one time. These things happen.
After a night of drinking and/or live music where is the best place to get breakfast? What do you specifically recommend?
Gold n Silver. Trust us here, great diner food in a place that’s been around since the dawn of time. Everything on the menu rules and if you catch the timing right, there’s this weird little bar in the back where you can get a bloody Mary. Shit, you might even see the mayor.
We are always looking for great coffee while traveling. What is your favorite spot to grab some joe?
Bibo Coffee Company. They’ve got three or four locations around town now, all great. The baristas are nice, but not too nice. It’s not one of those places where the baristas want to make small talk with you when you’re too hungover and/or sleepy to form sentences and just want some fucking caffeine to face the day. There’s this dude at another popular locally owned coffee place who’s the fucking worst for that shit. You just want to get something warm and bitter and energizing to drink, and the guy wants to tell you all about his band and the movie he saw yesterday. At Bibo, you can get your coffee and talk as little as you’d like. And they just started doing gelato, which is also terrific.
Do you have any lodging tips for people passing through (e.g. specific places or general areas)?
Most people typically want to stay in the casinos because … well, they’re casinos. If you’re on a budget, The Sands is usually pretty cheap and a great microcosm of Reno sleaze. Otherwise, a lot of the area around Reno is BLM land and open space, and it hardly ever rains here because it’s the desert, so camping is often a great option.
What kind of day trips and/or outdoor activities in the surrounding areas would you recommend to our readers?
We’re at the base of the mountains, so there’s all kinds of outdoorsy things to do. There’s hiking and forests and deserts and hot springs and two giant lakes nearby (one of which, Lake Tahoe, you could make the case for being the most beautiful place on earth … just saying.) If you’re not all about that physical exertion, then grab a box of wine and a truck tire inner tube and float down the river on a summer day. Good times.
Travel/On Tour :
Favorite city the band has played a show:
We’ve been fortunate to have good shows with good friends in a ton of places. That being said, the kids in Seattle get down hard. Always a blast playing up there. Portland and San Francisco always bring it when we’re in town, too.
City with the best live crowd:
Depends on what you’re after. As stated above, Seattle kids are straight rowdy. We played a show in Tempe one time, and while it maybe wasn’t the biggest showing of folks, man, those guys partied.
Best venue & why (e.g. acoustics, stiff drinks, etc.):
The Know in Portland has always taken good care of us. We’ve got some great homies up there (Gaytheist, Drunk Dad, Swahili) which make us always feel welcome. The Hemlock in SF is pretty bitchin. In 2012 we played there more than any other venue including all the venues in our hometown.
Weirdest thing you’ve seen on tour:
A big gray blur. We were driving down the California coast one time and decided to stop for a swim. Smarty pants singer Brad jumped in the water but forgot that he was wearing his glasses, which were promptly knocked off his face by a wave and swept out to sea. So that made everything look weird.
Longest length of tour:
We’ve got a couple of dads in the band, so we typically don’t go on tour for long stretches. Our drummer now lives in New York, so touring is kind of an ordeal. That being said, Reno is in a great spot where if we want we can get just about anywhere on the West Coast in a day.
Skuzziest place you’ve slept:
Brad once slept under the bleachers of a soccer field in Mexico during a thunderstorm. So it was pouring rain and the ground was covered with wet cigarette butts, half-eaten churros and peanut shells. But that wasn’t on tour. That was just for fun.
I want to thank Elephant Rifle for taking the time to answer our questions. That is the most thought out response we have had to our questions. You sold me on Reno big time! I see a future in travel/guide writing for these guys. Seeing a trend with bands that we are interviewing and love for The Know in Portland.
On May 19th Elephant Rifle are going to be unleashing Ivory (Gentlemen Friends 001 / Humaniterrorist 025). By creating this post I am hoping to give you ample time to place your pre-order because you will not want to miss out on this dynamic album. The ten tracks from Ivory bounce around from straight up punk rock to delicious stoner friendly noise rock. There isn’t a dull moment and they make sure to keep the listener on their toes. If you are a fan of Gaytheist, Deadkill or just fun times you will want to check the album out. Give it a test drive below. It is being pressed on white vinyl and you can and should pre-order it over here –> Elephant Rifle – Ivory
NEW GAYTHEIST MUSIC!!!! That is how my morning started yesterday when they unleashed their split with Salt Lake City’s Baby Gurl. These two songs from each band will have you hitting repeat for days. I have to admit, this is the first time I have heard Baby Gurl and I am impressed. The first song, “Bukake”, gives me a bit of a Lozen feel. The second song, “Sleaze Bag”, wins the award for the most appropriately named song of the year. I feel like I need a shower after listening to that one. Gaytheist are up to their usual being amazing champions of the world so just take it for a listen, will ya?
So far this album is a digital release with special cassette editions on tour only. They are playing TONIGHT at the Narwhal so get on that if you are able to! If you have a couple extra bucks snag me a copy of that tape
NEW GAYTHEIST MUSIC!!!! That is how my morning started yesterday when they unleashed their split with Salt Lake City’s Baby Gurl. These two songs from each band will have you hitting repeat for days. I …