Interview – The Reluctants
Q & A with Josh Woods and Darren Gallagher
By Matt Ashworth
NadaMucho.com: Why are you guys so Reluctant? What are you Reluctant about?
Josh Woods: We’re very reluctant to eat beef these days. We’re also reluctant to harbor terrorists and drive SUVs and eat farm-raised salmon. The name actually stuck for self-deprecating reasons I’d rather not admit publicly for fear of sounding incredibly lame.
NM: Fair enough. However, as a former media relations specialist for the Washington State Department of Health, I can tell you that there is absolutely no risk in eating properly cooked beef products. You guys aren’t hippies are you?
Darren Gallagher: We eat hippies…properly cooked of course.
NM: I hear you’re from Idaho. Where’s that?
JW: It’s between Canada and Boise on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation. Darren and I (Josh) grew up in Lewiston, which is south of Pullman, at the bottom of the panhandle on the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. Dirk grew up in Pocatello, which is in the southeast. Darren introduced me to Dirk in Moscow while we were all living there and going to school. The two of them played together for a spell in a band with Darren R. Bain called Imaginary Friend. Dirk ended up moving to Atlanta with an Imaginary Friend. Darren stayed behind and we and a few other guys formed a band called Big Time Adam.
NM: Describe your music in a thousand words or less.
JW: It’s like bow hunting but different. “Prog-rockabilly” is what we’re calling it these days. Our songs are mostly quick, to the point, and under three minutes. Lots of fast and hard-driving “boom-chuck” rhythms and two and three part harmonies. The goal is to not bore anyone, I guess. Some have said we sound “Beatlesy” and some have compared us to The Minutemen and Meat Puppets.
NM: We heard about you guys from Jeff Albertson of The Lights. How great is that band?
JW: They’re absolutely out of this world. Their album, Beautiful Bird, is definitely on the top of all of our listening lists, and has been for months. Seeing them play live is incredible; I can’t get over how much fun they are to watch. You can really tell that they’ve been playing together a long time and that they really enjoy playing with one another. Jeff, Darren and I grew up in the same town in Idaho. We sort of all mixed into the same little network of misfit musicians. There is definitely a sense of pride in seeing “one of the locals” doing well over here with music. We have a new song that we wrote in tribute to them, as a matter of fact. Really, I can’t say enough good things about them.
NM: Me neither. Hands down the best Northwest rock album of 2003. What other local bands are you guys fans of?
DG: Death Cab, Hot Hot Heat, Long Winters, Amazombies, A-frames, Digital Knife (Portland), the Gossip, Graig Markel…too many to list. Plus we have recently heard great CDs from the Glasses, Feed and Mayor West. We’re really excited with the local scene these days.
NM: Eggsellent. Speaking of great albums, tell us about your recorded output, and how fans can purchase these items.
JW: We have an 8-song disc called “Rodeo Sauvignon” that we recorded with Graig Markel last spring. It can be purchased on our website through a sophisticated distribution formula: send us money along with your address and we’ll send you the CD. We also carry copies with us when we play shows. We have another 7-song demo that we “homespin,” meaning we burn a copy and stick a label on it and stick it in a slender jewel case with a cover. Both are available on our website (http://www.thereluctants.com or http://reluctants.homedns.org). We’d really like to get our CD into Sonic Boom soon, and we’d really like to find someone willing to help us get organized with promoting and distributing our recordings. Also, we’re planning on recording a bunch of new tunes over the next few months.
NM: Speaking of selling the CDs at your live show, now is an opportune time to hype any upcoming performances, say, like, your NadaMucho.com Presents gig tonight at the Rendezvous. Please do so now.
DG: If you like an amalgam of punktry, garage, frantic seat-of-your-pants style music, and also like your beef properly cooked, you will want to see this show!
NM: What should I ask you about next time?
JW: How we feel about going multi-platinum, once we sell 12 million copies of our next CD, and Dirk’s sleazy affair with that Caffe Vita barista.
NM: We don’t have time to cover all three, so why don’t you just tell us about Dirk’s affair.
DG: Greasy, sleazy, gooey madness…Dirk eats hippies.