I first saw the Heartless Bastards at Mercy Lounge in Nashville, and was immediately hooked at how such an unassuming looking trio could command such presence on stage. Ohio garage-rockers, the Heartless Bastards often get compared to fellow Ohioans, The Black Keys, but I was definitely getting a Sonic Youth sort of flavor…Needless to say, they rock and they will be at the 40 Watt tomorrow night in Athens. They joined us for our 5GB series before the show.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
My Mom use to take my brother and I to see jazz bands that her friends played in. I didn’t really get Jazz at 8 years old, but looking back I’m glad she did.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
In all honesty I couldn’t tell you. I’ve probably played close to 1000 at this point. We’ve had a lot of great ones. I could probably tell you one of the worst gigs I played which happened to be in Athens, GA. I had gotten food poisoning in Ohio before we left and hadn’t held down food or water for 3 days. We opened for Robert Randolph at the Georgia Theater. I could barely sing due to dehydration. I had a moment where I had to question whether I might have sh@t my pants. Thankfully I hadn’t. I don’t like canceling shows, but after that I decided sometimes it’s necessary.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
It’s always hard to pin point the best of anything as far as I’m concerned. I decided to name several. The Rolling Stones in Columbus Ohio around 1996, Neil Young solo show in Austin Texas a couple years ago, and we did a tour with Andrew Bird several years ago, and he was so great every night. I can’t recall my favorite night though.
Gig you would most like to play?
I think the band would unanimously like to open for Tom Petty. We’re all huge fans.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
How about a festival with Led Zeppelin, Velvet Underground with Nico, T Rex, Townes Van Zandt, The Band, Otis Redding, The Stooges, and Big Star. The’d also have a comedy tent with Dave Chapelle, and Louie CK.
Catch Heartless Bastards at the Pilot Light, Knoxville, TN Jan. 21st