Twin Cities boogie-rock favorites Chooglin' are about to head overseas again for the Spring thaw. Having traveled across Europe, including some festivals in Norway last year and a trip to the Netherlands, the band were invited back over the pond to do a small two-week tour of France.
[jump] It's at a time of much traction for the 8-piece band. For what it's worth comedian Marc Maron, who was just in town doing a gig of his own at the Mall of America this week, started seriously losing his shit once he had a minute to pour himself something cold and check out their 2009 record Sweet Time.
I met singer and axe-slinger, Brian Vanderwerf in the laundry basement of the apartment building we both live in to see what coming up for the band and how the hell they got invited to France.
Gimme Noise: You've made a few trips to Europe playing in Norway and the Netherlands. How did the invitation to tour France come about?
Brian Vanderwerf: Our friends in the band Black Diamond Heavies sort of championed us to their booking agent in France; Sweet Time is distributed over there and they really wanted to us come over.
So are their rabid French Chooglin' fans dying and waiting to see Chooglin' or is this a let's see what happens, enjoy some of the French countryside, sights and flavors and have a good sweet French time?
A little of both hopefully.
What kind of sets do you play for people who have never seen the band? A taste of old and new?
Yeah, I guess. Whatever we think is going to deliver the goods, ya know.
Anything you are looking forward to seeing or doing in France while there? Will you have much time for the tourist type of things like going to museums or drinking copious amounts of wine?
Yeah, we have a few days off in Paris and are looking forward to that. Jim Morrison's grave, the Catacombs and yes we do fancy a nice Bordeaux. We're actually playing in Bordeaux.
It's been about a couple years since you put out Sweet Time. There's been a lot of playing out since then. Have you had time to work on new stuff? Will there be something new from Chooglin' soon?
We've got a lot of new songs and are looking to record in May. At the send-off show we'll have a limited live CD that Stand-Up! Records is putting out and the split 7" with the Dexateens on Heart of a Champion is finally seeing the light of day this Spring.
For this sendoff show you have a few of the other bands you guys dabble with, the Huckleberrys, Hamburger Help Me and the rapper Jesse plays with, Don Von and the Solution. You ever think of taking this whole cavalcade of antics around the world with you?
Chooglin', Don Von and the Solution, the Huckleberrys and Hamburger Help Me! are playing CHOOGLIN' Tournée Française 2011 send-off party at the Hexagon Bar Friday, February 18. 21+. 9pm. Free!