Q&A: Young the Giant

Ahead of their performance this Friday at Ascend (with Cold War Kids and Joywave), we talked to Young The Giant’s Fran Comtois and Payam Doostzadeh about a few of their favorite Nashville things. While the band spends most of its time on the West Coast, Nashville has become something of a second home for the indie-pop quintet. They rehearse here, have friends here, and perhaps most importantly, eat, drink, and “cabrew” here. Read about what they like to do when they’re in town below, and enter to win a couple of tickets to their show here.

We heard y’all spend a fair amount of time in Nashville. What are some of your favorite things about the city?

Francois Comtois: I love that you can find yourself in the middle of a bustling city and still be so close to all of these beautiful forests and lakes. We recently discovered the art of “cabrewing,” and it left quite an impression. You could try it in the LA river, but it’s mostly just sewage runoff so I think the effect wouldn’t be the same.

Payam Doostzadeh:  Nashville still has that smaller town vibe but is quickly gaining more big city amenities. Having great dive bars, BBQ, restaurants, and relatively short commute times between neighborhoods are all a plus. I’m also a big fan of the southern architecture and having porches on just about every house.


Found any hidden gems for food or drink?

FC:  I’m sure none of these are hidden to proper Nashvillians, but we’ve had some great meals at Lockeland Table, Husk, Yeast Nashville (kolache!), Epice in 12South, and of course, Five Points Pizza. As far as libations go, Dino’s and 5 Spot on a Monday night are always good times. Also, my friend Thomas is the head brewer at Rock Bottom on Broadway. He’s crazy-talented, and he might give you a discount if you wink at him and tell him Fran sent you.

PD: A couple of years ago we were staying by Vanderbilt, and there was this no-fuss Cajun spot that we would frequent. I’m not sure if it’s still there or not, but damn, was that craw fish étouffée insane. Also—not sure if this is hidden or not—but the tacos and especially guacamole from El Jaliciense fooled me into thinking I was back in LA.


What Nashville bands should we be listening to?

FC: Been digging All Them Witches. Kind of like a more rockin’ version of some of the old Pedro the Lion stuff. On the total other side of the spectrum, Cherub is a lot of silly fun.


You have 24 hours in the city—what do you do?

FC: Ok, so start off at Barista Parlor and get properly caffeinated with the cold brew, maybe do a biscuit. Go for a quick cabrewing outing while the sun is hot and the beer is cold. Sober up with lunch at Husk if we can get a reservation—their cornmeal-battered fish is unreal. Go for a run at Shelby Park as the day starts to cool off. Play our set at Ascend Amphitheater. Finish the night off with burgers and beers at Dino’s. Boom, perfect day.

PD: Hit up The Turnip Truck for some snacks and fresh fruit, catch a workout at Shakti Power Yoga, eat lunch at Mas Tacos, try out some gear at Eastside Music Supply, have BBQ at a friend’s place, get Jeni’s Ice Cream, stop by Dino’s or the 5 Spot, then late night slices at Five Points Pizza. Or just spend the whole day out cabrewing on a nearby river with some friends.

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Chelsea Kaiah James

Why aren't there any ears sculpted onto the presidents of Mt. Rushmore? Because American doesn't know how to listen. - Unkown