Chicago natives Filligar, have been living like outlaws this summer. That is, they recently wrapped opening for the Counting Crows on their extensive Outlaws Roadshow tour. Needless to say, they’ve been on the move, both on stage and in-studio (in between breaks on tour, Filligar scheduled in time to record their new album–see details below).
Next, Filligar headlines NYC’s Gramercy Theatre this Friday, July 27th and I have a pair of tickets to giveaway! Like SoundDessert’s Facebook page for your chance to win!
Read on to learn about life on the road with the Counting Crows, what Filligar’s tour van Dee Dee looks like, and some of their favorite Chicago spots.
SoundDessert: You’ve been recording back home in Chicago. What can fans expect from the new album? When will it be released?
Filligar: Although this year we’ve been on the road quite a bit, we’ve been writing and recording new music in between tour dates in Chicago. We’ve done the bulk of recording with Greg Norman at Electrical Audio, an awesome studio which continues to use analog recording technologies while many studios have gone purely digital. We also just wrapped up a session at Chicago Recording Company engineered by Shawn Dealey, who does the house sound for Counting Crows. That was a great session– CRC has a great team over there and some really talented young recording engineers like Caleb Macllvaine.
The new album will be out this fall. That’s all we’re telling ya for now!
SD: You just wrapped up a tour opening for the Counting Crows, what were some highlights or surprising moments that occurred?
F: All the Crows are incredible musicians, and they’re all incredibly kind. For most of our sets, they would be off to the side of the stage listening to our sets and sometimes even dancing. That was really cool to see– most times the headliner chills in their dressing room during the opening performances. We also got to sing a few songs with the Crows for their encore each night– that was incredible (video featured on Rolling Stone below). Casey also took a few organ solos with the Crows which was definitely a highlight for him to play alongside an extraordinary player like Charlie Gillingham of the Crows.
SD. Did the Counting Crows offer you any advice about band life/touring?
F: The best advice the Crows gave us was communicated through their performances. They are a truly electrifying live band, and for us that’s really inspiring. Touring takes a toll, mentally and physically– but the Crows brought a full-force of energy each night. They don’t take any stage or any crowd for granted; for a young touring rock band like us, that’s the best advice there is.
SD: In addition to opening for the Counting Crows you’ve also shared bills with The Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, and are about to play the Lollapalooza kickoff show with Alabama Shakes. Who else would you love to play or collaborate with and why?
F: One thing that touring 60,000+ miles across the US, and recently Canada and the UK as well, reveals, is how many extraordinary musicians there are out there that no one’s ever heard. It’s been great playing with some of our generations better-known acts, like the Keys, MMJ, and recently the Crows– but we find that some of our most fulfilling musical experiences have been not on big stages. One of the best nights we’ve ever had was playing on a front porch in Como, Mississippi with a delta blues-man and farmhand named RL.
But as far as touring bands– we’ve always wanted to play with our local Chicago heroes Wilco. They set the bar high for a live performance.
SD: If you had to describe each band member in one word what would it be?
F: That’s a tough one. Perhaps we should just tear a page out of the book of the Chicago blues musicians, who refer to each other not by first names but by each person’s instrument. So…
SD: What are some of your favorite Chicago haunts that you’ve been missing while on the road?
F: Hot Dougs, Giordano’s Deep Dish Pizza, White Sox baseball.
SD: What are some prized items that you’ve accumulated while on tour?
F: Whenever we visit a new city or town, we take along some kind of small memento which we hang to the walls of Dee Dee, our big red tour van. If you step inside Dee Dee, you’ll see a collage of random items– receipts from diners, post cards, set lists, Polaroids, notes from fans, brewery tags. Individually all these things would probably be trash, but together they are very special, prized memories for us. After every tour we turn them into a little collage book.
SD: You’re back to rock NYC once again, this Friday, July 20th headlining Gramercy Theatre (with Turf War, The Ivorys, Dog Soldier Society).What can fans expect to look forward to that night? What are you most looking forward to that night?
F: A good night with good people, old friends and new ones.