Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Native America

Native AmericaBack in July, New Orleans “psych pop flower punk rock roll” makers Native America dropped their EP Bad Weed / But Still Weed (great title, right?). The band also released an incredible cover of The Cure’s Just Like Heaven fifteen days ago. Their dream pop spin on the new wave hit is a delightful touch which only added to our admiration for the trio. To learn more, we caught up with Native America to talk about their song Digital Lobotomy, new releases, and Tom Hanks’ That Thing You Do!.

AMBY: Hello Native America, cheers for speaking with AMBY. Please introduce yourselves!

Native America: Hey! Glad to speak with y’all. We’re Native America from New Orleans. John St Cyr, Ray Micarelli and Ross Farbe. We play psychedelic pop music.

AMBY: What’s the band been up to lately?

Native America: We’re kickin’ it in New Orleans for the time being. Writing and practicing a lot. Also, booking a tour for December and playing some rad local shows. We had the honor of playing with King Khan and his sensational Shrines the other night. It was a damn good time.

AMBY: The title of your “newest musical creation” Bad Weed / But Still Weed is cheeky. How did you come up with the name?

Native America: We and a bunch of friends have a practice room in a place called The Maze. In an attempt to encourage free flowing creativity and posi~vibes, one of our friends left a bag of abv (already been vaporized) weed in the space, aptly labeled “bad weed, but still weed”. That’s where we wrote and recorded the songs for the EP, the title was inevitable.

AMBY: Digital Lobotomy is a tasty tune. What’s the story behind the song?

Native America: Glad you asked about that song! We passed through Memphis a couple years ago and stopped at a music and book store called Xanadu. When I went to check out, I ended up in an hour long conversation with the guy in charge. We got to a point where he was ranting about how modern technology is destroying our ability to use our brains. He said that when technology makes an easy way of doing something, we loose the ability to think past the digital solution and consider/remember what we would do without it. He called it “the digital lobotomy”.

AMBY: What’s next as far as releases go?

Native America: We’re in the midst of recording some new material that we’re really excited about. Not sure when the release will happen but it’s going to be great.

AMBY: Does hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana have an influence on your sound? And if so, how?

Native America: Definitely. We take a lot of inspiration from new orleans r&b and soul music. Lee Dorsey, Irma Thomas, The Dixie Cups, Ernie K-Doe, Fats Domino. A lot of incredibly soulful pop music came out of New Orleans in the 50s and 60s, and we can’t get enough of that stuff. Also, our friends and their bands (see #7). We all take/give a lot from/to each other.

AMBY: Which other bands should we keep our eyes on from New Orleans?

Native America: Glish, Caddywhompus, Trampoline Team, Woozy, Sharks’ Teeth, Babes, New Lands, Donovan Wolfington, Gold and the Rush, Heat Dust, Whom Do You Work For? A long list, but all great bands.

AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to the band at a gig?

Native America: “Everything is a joke, nothing is funny”

AMBY: What’s the best release of the year?

Native America: Celestial Shore – 10x (or maybe Ovlov – Am) [or maybe Deerhunter – Monomania] {or Maybe Krill – Lucky Leaves}

AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Native America that nobody knows yet?

Native America: The entire premise of Native America is based on Tom Hanks’ underrated 1996 classic “That Thing You Do!”


Thank you Native America, for giving us your answers!

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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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