Combing the garage-rock fury of bands like The White Stripes with the easygoing attitude of The Clash, the Georgia trio The Whigs “may be the best new band of 2006,” according to Rolling Stone. Recently signed to Dave Matthews’ label ATO Records, the group will be playing at 7 p.m. Sunday at Cornell University in support of its latest album, “Give ’Em All A Big Fat Lip.” Staff Writer Patrick Doyle spoke to lead singer Parker Gispert about guitars, a lineup change and how he feels about heading back to the studio to start recording.
Patrick Doyle: What do you think of writers often labeling you a garage band?
Parker Gispert: I like garage music. … That doesn’t bother me at all. That’s pretty rad.
PD: You guys are really tight, but your sound is loose and raw. Is that
PG: It’s a byproduct of the bands we really love. … We definitely all are big fans of Pavement and the slack-rock kind of stuff, but we’re also fans of The Clash. The Stones are not very tight, but they’re not messing up and they’re right in the pocket, so I’d say it’s just a combination of liking the slacker-bands and realizing the perks of being tight and nailing everything. … Perfection is never something we’ve strived for.
PD: I read that you started a Modest Mouse fan site as a teenager.
PG: An embarrassing little tidbit that somehow got out there. Yes, I did in high school.
PD: What’s your guitar of choice?
PG: The Gibson L-6 S Deluxe. And I got it stolen from me in San Francisco. I bought a new one on eBay, and it just got shipped to me in Memphis and the guy painted it this stupid color and replaced the pickups which I didn’t want in there. It’s currently at Guitar Center. Having this guy help me [was] a total nightmare. It’s awful. Guitar Center is the Wal-Mart of guitar stores.
PD: If you guys could only travel with one record, what would it be?
PG: I’m currently listening to the self-titled Clash album. I actually haven’t listened to it in a little while. Definitely an all-time favorite.
PD: Are you writing a lot of songs right now?
PG: Yeah, we are working on the new record, which we’re going to record July 1.
PD: How is it going to be different from the last one?
PG: It will be recorded better. It will sound better … I think we always try to write strong songs.
PD: Since your bassist, Hank Sullivant, left in late 2006, how are you guys getting along with the new lineup?
PG: It’s great. It’s just for the rest of this tour. Then we’re recording the record with a different bass player. Do you know The Glands? They’re all a little older, but a great band, and their bass player, this guy Craig McQuiston, is recording the record and writing with us.
Tickets to the concert at Cornell University are $25 and can be purchased by calling 255–7531.