Them Guns – fronted by Priscilla Presley’s son Navarone Garibaldi – might have arrived at Heathrow on Easter Monday, but rabbits and chocolate eggs are the last things on their minds. They want to ‘Do London’. ‘I’ve never been East of Colorado,’ explains keyboard player Kyle ‘, but I’ve been walking ‘round London virtually on Googlemaps since we heard we were coming…’.
We caught up with the band in a North London pub a few days before their showcase gig. Settled on black leather sofas and tentatively sipping Real Ale, the four of them (Navarone, Kyle, Chris and Chuck) look every inch a rock band. So much so, in fact, that they have already been approached for autographs. ‘We want to eat haggis,’ Drummer Chris dives in‘, it’s illegal in California because it contains lung. And we want to see Big Ben and try fish and chips…’. ‘And I want to get a zipper tattooed on my butt!’ adds Bassist Chuck – clearly the joker of the pack.
Them Guns have built up a huge following in the States and sold out prestigious venues such as the Viper Rooms and Hollywood Troubadour. With this success do they embrace the rock and roll lifestyle? We’re curious to know.
‘I have eight snakes at home,’ quips Navarone, with a mischievous grin, one of them is called Winona Ryder. I actually met her the week I got the snake. I have a girl at home whom I’m kind of dating who is currently looking after them. They just need water and then once a week you feed ‘em live rats…’.
Equally grisly is Nav’s choice of London tourist attraction ‘I want to go to the Five Bells – the Jack the Ripper pub. There’s a walk you can do ‘round East London, But you stop off in pubs along the way and probably end up seeing ghosts anyway after having a few too many…’.
Their gig is not only their debut in the UK but also the first time the venue – The King’s Head Club - has hosted a live band. Recently refurbished, this members’ club set in the heart of Hoxton is decorated exquisitely with taxidermy birds of paradise, lions and tigers. The band’s stage, which has been custom built for them, has a machine gun wielding monkey on it and sits within a lit dancefloor inspired by legendary nightclub Studio 54. The room in which the band will be giving media interviews is intricately panelled with thousands of dead butterflies – a fitting metaphor for this band, whose stage outfits are augmented with sequins and who dress their crew as skeletons. Kyle is clearly excited about the show, 'We have always wanted to do a gig in England and when the opportunity appeared we had to take it.’
The band have been chatting to their UK fans on Facebook, prior to their arrival. Nav tells us ‘Well we haven’t met too many of our English fans yet, but I will say they seem a lot more forward than the American fans. That’s not a bad thing!’. Chuck is quick to add ‘but our LA fans are the best, they have been with us from the start and are incredibly loyal…’. Nav agrees ‘Our fans really are the best and very loyal. Although I have come across a few crazy fans. One fan I met got a tattoo with me. We both got ‘Oh Baby’ tattooed inside our mouths. It was crazy!’.
On cue, he proudly pulls down his lower lip to reveal said tattoo and his band all nod knowingly.
‘You never saw her again, did you?’ asks Chris. Nav once more flashes that cheeky smile of his ‘, No,’ he laughs ‘, I didn’t.’
Find out more at www.themguns.com
The band were photographed in London by Rich Hendry