Gringo Star are one of the absolute stalwarts of the US indie scene – appearing regularly at SXSW, Lollapalooza and a row of other festivals, touring with any number of indie darlings like Feist, the Black Lips, Cat Power and Weezer, and regularly scoring a spot in music critics’ top 10 album lists.
So it’s all the nicer that we’ve got them playing at our next Basement Bash show on the 26th of this month at Urban Spree – in support of another US band making waves at the moment, New York punk band Surfbort – plus local heroes Askers Dodge.
We asked them a few questions and this is what they said:
indieberlin: How did you come up with the name Gringo Star?
Nicholas Furgiuele/Gringo Star: We used to work at this restaurant in Atlanta called Eats, and this Mexican guy we worked with called us that.
indieberlin: If your music was a movie, which genre would it be in?
Nicholas Furgiuele/Gringo Star: Toss up between a Wes Anderson movie or a Quentin Tarantino. Genre unknown.
one time on a New Years eve show we took mushrooms, and I accidentally hit one of the guys over the head with the guitar in frenzied part of the set. We went to the hospital together just as they kicked in.
indieberlin: How does the songwriting process work for you / in your band?
Nicholas Furgiuele/Gringo Star: My brother Pete and I do all the songwriting. Usually we come up with most of a song before we play for each other and then we’ll try to help finish it off together, or some lyrics. There is no real set way we do it. Sometimes its more complete than others before we work on it together. Then the band just plays it over and over till it takes shape.
indieberlin: What was your biggest stage fuck-up?
Nicholas Furgiuele/Gringo Star: Once a couple years ago I broke my arm playing baseball, right before we had a bunch of shows and some festivals coming up. So basically all the shows felt like the biggest fuck up because I couldn’t play bass or guitar, and we had to do all the shows like that. That and one time on a New Years eve show we took mushrooms, and I accidentally hit one of the guys over the head with the guitar in frenzied part of the set. We went to the hospital together just as they kicked in. He had to have stitches in his head.
indieberlin: How do you feel about covering a song?
Nicholas Furgiuele/Gringo Star: Depends on the song. We just did Ritchie Valens song the other night as it was the anniversary of his death.
indieberlin: With whom would you never share the stage with?
Nicholas Furgiuele/Gringo Star: I hear Kevin Spacey is a dick.
indieberlin: In ten years you look back to today and think?
Nicholas Furgiuele/Gringo Star: Ahhh, the good ol’ days.
indieberlin: Do you dream in colour or black and white?
Nicholas Furgiuele/Gringo Star: Color
indieberlin: What was the last concert you went to?
Nicholas Furgiuele/Gringo Star: Shantih Shantih, who are some serious badasses.
We have two pairs of tickets to win to the show – click the link to jump over to messenger and we’ll sort that out for you!
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.