‘Looking Past the Pandemic’ with Naked Giants from Seattle, USA

Naked Giants Band

Keeping travel dreams alive and setting goals has never felt more important. We can all agree that 2020 has been an unfortunate year so far, and almost every facet of daily life has been wrought by this ongoing global pandemic, the start of which now feels like forever ago. The arts has been one of the hardest hit areas, so The AU Review has kickstarted a Q&A series “looking past the pandemic”, encouraging creatives from around the world to share their travel hopes, dreams, and the thoughts or things that are getting them through 2020, while also highlighting essential experiences in their own country.

Naked Giants (Seattle, USA)

Jumping around the gamut of rock and post-punk, The Shadow is the second album from Seattle-based trio Naked Giants. Filled out with the pure energy of supporting singles like “Take a Chance” and “Turns Blue”, the project tracks potent vignettes of personal growth, forming a complex coming-of-age album that highlights how mature their song writing has become.

We caught up with bassist Gianni Aiello to look past the pandemic.

When travel opens up completely, the first place I’m going is…

It’s so hard to think that far in the future. Honestly, I think it’s going to be quite a while before we’re able to travel around freely without spreading the virus. We all miss playing and attending concerts though – whenever it’s feasible, just going to one of the local venues will be such an emotional time. Beyond that, we’ve amassed a lot of fun stops across the country from touring, and it will be so nice to visit the coffee shops and record stores we’ve come to love while on tour.

The Pacific Northwest.

Three spots in USA I think everyone should visit at least once in their life…

There are so many choice spots.

The West coast is home to the Redwood Forest in Northern California/Southern Oregon. There’s a coastal highway where you can drive through all these massive ancient trees, and you can really lose yourself in the immensity of something so much bigger than yourself. It also is always a sobering reminder of how terribly colonization destroyed the land on which we live – I always imagine how much more of this beauty there was before we came and paved it all over.

Arizona and New Mexico are home to huge beautiful deserts, and we always appreciate those long drives through that landscape. We have some friends we stay with just outside Albuquerque and it’s always a treat to wake up early and take a hike in the desert morning sun.

Lastly I’ve gotta say the area we live in, the Pacific Northwest around the Seattle area, is just a beautiful place with a big variety of stuff – there’s mountains, lakes, deserts, heck there’s even a rainforest. Something for everybody.

Whenever I have a visitor in my city and I want to show them a good night out, the first place I take them is…

I don’t go out much honestly! But in Seattle (before the pandemic) there were almost always great concerts going on. Lots of DIY and house-show venues where you can catch great local artists who are really supportive of each other and make super neat and boundary-pushing music. Some great ones worth a shout that I’ve seen at DIY spaces are Tres Leches, Guayaba, and Black Ends – all put on amazing shows.

The last place I take them is…

Amazon territory in South Lake Union… Avoid at all costs.

Most memorable thing I’ve eaten on the road..

Taco Bell! Probably the thing we’ve eaten the most on the road – gotta love those spicy potato soft tacos.

The one international venue I’ve always wanted to play...

People are always asking us (and every band) to come to Brazil. Not sure about specific venues there but would love to make that happen someday.

The iconic Himalayas.

The one international destination I’m yet to visit but have always dreamed of…

This world is huge and there are so many beautiful places… lately Nepal and the Himalayas have been on my mind for some reason. I understand that there is a lot of sacred land there, so it might not be my place to go explore, but I appreciate the beauty from afar.

The three things or thoughts that are getting me through this pandemic…

Honestly: music, music, music.

Music has always been a thing that “makes sense” in the midst of a world that doesn’t. It’s such a privilege to be able to hole up and create a little musical world, whether it is a world apart from the one we live in or whether it reflects the real world and helps to get a grasp on what’s going on. It’s a valuable resource and so good to keep the mental health on track.

For more on Naked Giants you can follow them on Facebook here.

Feature image credit: Rachel Bennett

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.