A chat with Scott Tournet from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - INTERVIEW
blog by Kathryn Przybyla • May 29, 2012 @ 4:00pm
Buffalo has been bombarded with summer concert announcements in the last couple weeks, but one of the shows that has everyone talking is Grace Potter and the Nocturnals on June 29.
Described as a “spirited and inventive blend of blues, Americana and rock n’ roll,” Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have been a Buffalo favorite for years and will be kicking off the Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor series. We got a chance to chat with one “Nocturnal” in particular, lead guitarist Scott Tournet.
The Vermont native spoke with us about making the trip back to Buffalo, his idea for the perfect kind of wings and when he sometimes feels “too sexy for himself.” Take a look at our interview below.
We had a chance to listen to a few tracks off your new album, “The Lion The Beast The Beat” and it’s pretty impressive. What were your favorite songs to work on?
Scott Tournet: The cool thing about our band in general is that it’s not so song focused. Of course, some are stronger songs, but overall it’s pretty cohesive. This was really an “album-album.” I co-wrote the third song into the album and it’s pretty awesome to see that idea go from my bedroom to a big record.
Playing on the road, can you tell us any funny stories from being on tour?
ST: Stories that can be put in print? [laughs] I’m trying to think of a few. We basically bet people to do disgusting things on tour. I bet one of the guys $100 to jump into some freezing dirty water once and he did it. Jumped in with his underwear, in front of about 10 people. So we generally do these funny things for money.
Tell us a little bit about some of your personal musical preferences and inspirations.
ST: You know, I have a two-sided answer. And I can answer on the band’s behalf as well for that. In the beginning and even now still, we are inspired by a lot of vinyl, records and record players in general. It was a huge inspiration for forming and starting the band.
Benny, our guitar player, bought a record player for our tour bus and it’s pretty cool. With our earlier music, buying vinyl got us inspired by older music. It was a big thing in the beginning.
But it’s interesting. The last four years we have been particularly inspired by new things, new music and getting out of our realm, pushing boundaries. We’re trying not to be one thing. We want to grow and change.
If you weren’t doing music, how would your life look like now?
ST: I would either be a criminal or a social worker. I would probably either go good or bad to be honest. Good, because I was studying social work before I got into music. Bad because, well, I’ll just leave it at that.
You guys have been to Buffalo before to play shows. Do you enjoy playing here?
ST: I’ve personally had some really great shows at the Town Ballroom before. A couple times. Three of us guys have a little side band and we’d play forst and then play with Grace after. We did that twice at the Town Ballroom. One of my brothers lives in Rochester, so I get to see him. The wing places are great too.
You guys are going to be playing alongside Sam Roberts Band for the Buffalo Place Rocks the Harbor series. Should be a great show.
ST: We’ve definitely done shows together for sure. They came down and did shows for us in Philly and Boston and they are super nice guys. We were in simliar phases of our career at the time which was cool. Now we’re both settled and a bit more chill.
How do you take your Buffalo wings?
ST: This is always tricky. I wish theere was a “medium-well” option for wings. Basically if I go for hot, I’m destroyed. With really hot stuff, you have to keep eating and then it doesn’t really hit you. It does however prolong the misery. Sometimes I go mild to avoid the pain, but it’s never enough kick for me either. They should invent some middle ground on that one.
What are some of your favorite songs to sing in the shower?
ST: [sings] “Why do you build me up, build me up, buttercup baby,” that one is always a go-to. I sing our songs sometimes too, especially “Medicine” which I sing backup vocals on. Then of course, I obviously sing “I’m Too Sexy,” but that one is usually when I’m staring into a mirror.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.