When Nicole Barille and Sam Meister bonded over Floyd, Lou Reed, and Portishead in high school, they couldn’t foresee playing their gritty, stoner rock psychedelia to eclectic audiences around the county for a living. Even now as they reach their first decade as mr. Gnome, they’re learning as they go.
“We’ve always just kinda stumbled along and never really knew what we were doing and I kinda like that,” Nicole shares while discussing the band’s independence. Their most recent plunge into the great unknown was with their latest release, The Heart of a Dark Star, which’s totally self-produced thanks in part to their experiences with friend and engineer Justin Smith while working at Josh Homme’s (Queens of the Stone Age) California desert magic maker, Pink Duck Studios.
“This was our first adventure in self-recording…. So we’re excited to jump into a new project already knowing kind of what we’re doing. KIND OF what we’re doing.” – Nicole Barille
From the early EPs they call their kindergarten artwork to their latest experiment in sonic wizardry with Dark Star, mr. Gnome remains a solid example of what true do-it-yourself ethos means in our stormy music industry climate. They even wrangle up the family to help shoot mr. Gnome music videos, bringing their twisted Sci-Fi imaginings to life using a giant green screen in their barn to produce what Rolling Stone calls “druggy short films.”
During our interview they look back on their first ten years as a band, and as Jerry Garcia would say, what a long, strange trip it’s been. They talk business as a family-operated rock band and reminisce on their very first show at The Outpost, a strip club turned music venue in Kent. All in all a pretty fun interview!
mr. Gnome at the Beachland Tavern (Cleveland)
mr. Gnome will perform in St. Louis at The Demo on 4/10/15. Tickets.