The Naturalists

You know PEV is excited – we head up north to ice cold Buffalo for a hot take on our favorite genre (Alternative Rock) with the gritty trio of twin brothers Craig and Zach Perno and Zach Russell – a band that’s pushing a style of alt rock that’s both high energy and tough around the edges. The band plays some intense tunes, and they’re having a helluva time doing so.

The Naturalists11988509_758028330973536_5381024848720777530_nThe Naturalists have a new EP due out on October 30th titled Home Honey, I’m High, including the tracks “What Put You to Sleep” and “Slip”. It’s a good ride, a trip we asked the band to tell us more about – they said, “We recorded Home Honey, I’m Hi at Quiet Country Audio with Paul Besch. ‘Slip’ was the first track that we wrote for the EP and it set the tone for the album. We wanted a set full of catchy, simple and honest songs. ‘What Puts You to Sleep’ is the banger on the record. I remember when we all first heard it back on the speakers. I think I was jumping up and down.” Click to to prepare for Home Honey, I’m High and check The Naturalists’s schedule while you’re at it – these road warriors will be dominating the stage in support of the new music. But first – keep reading. There’s still so much more to jump into in all the answers to the XXQs below.

XXQs: The Naturalists (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what do you feel makes you stand out from others in your genre?

Craig Perno (CP): We play high-energy Alternative Garage Rock music. We use music as an escape and/or for recreational use.

PEV: What kind of music were you all into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?

CP: I grew up listening to the Beatles and Neil Young but eventually caught onto the 90’s wave of music. Superchuck, Radiohead, Pavement, I could go on forever but all those bands influence what we play. I don’t think I can remember my first concert though because I have a terrible memory.

Travis Perno (TP): Same as Craig, once I caught on to idea of alternative music, which just seemed so cool to me when I was younger, I was hooked. I’d say my favorite and first real concert was a Foo Fighters concert I saw in Toronto.

PEV: What was it like trying to break into the music scene in your hometown, when you first started out as a band? What was your first show like together as a band?

CP: Our hometown has a super rad music scene with a ton of talent and fortunately enough we’ve made friends with a bunch of bands in Buffalo. Our first show ever was at a political party in a room full of people who were enjoying some BBQ but not enjoying our music. It was awesome; I forget why we did it…

The Naturalists10500396_715839038525799_5558890212978322541_nPEV: What has been the most frustrating part of the whole “music business”? 

CP: I’ve personally been digging this whole music business. Make it your own.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live The Naturalists show?

CP: Loud and energetic. Some of it won’t make sense but you’ll walk away with a whole new experience. It will feel tangible. You could put it in your pocket.

TP: We can definitely promise that it won’t be boring.

PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage?

CP: I’m switched off when I’m up there. I don’t think of anything.

TP: I think it’s good to not think too much before performing. You know the songs, they’ve been driven into you a thousand times at rehearsal. When you get on stage, it should be more of an experience than a thought out procedure.

PEV: How has playing in The Naturalists been different from working with other artists or projects in the past?

CP: We don’t really question each other in this band; everything finds its place without much thought. Trav and Zach are both really tuned into what the songs should sound like.

PEV: What is the underlying inspiration for your music? Where do you get your best ideas for songs?

CP: Inspiration for songs can come and go at a moment’s notice. I get a lot of ideas from dreams or memories. Nostalgia is a very strong emotion that evokes inspiration for me.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out, do you ever look back on your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

The Naturalists11113267_694214467354923_5306548429357668106_nCP: We’re a pretty young band and have a lot of things still left to do but I’m definitely proud of the landmarks we’ve hit.

TP: We for sure have a lot more to do as a band, like get this new EP out. But we’ve met a lot of new people and have seen some interesting new places because of this band. Hopefully we can keep gaining more and more momentum.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of The Naturalists?

CP: Most people are surprised when they find out that Trav and I are twin brothers. Also I have a pet rat named Murphy.

PEV: Tell us more about your two new tracks “What Put You to Sleep” and “Slip” from your forthcoming EP, Home Honey I’m Hi, set for release on October 30. What can fans expect from this work?

CP: We recorded Home Honey, I’m Hi at Quiet Country Audio with Paul Besch. “Slip” was the first track that we wrote for the EP and it set the tone for the album. We wanted a set full of catchy, simple and honest songs. “What Puts You to Sleep” is the banger on the record. I remember when we all first heard it back on the speakers. I think I was jumping up and down.

PEV: What is the feeling you get after a song is complete, and you can sit back and listen to it for the first time?

CP: I love that feeling. However, there’s always a part of me that scrutinizes all the details. I try to use it to my advantage.

TP: Sometimes after we record and finish a song, I’ll ignore it for like a week and then listen to it again with fresh ears. It feels good, but I agree with Craig that there’s always a little bit of scrutiny involved in the listening process.

PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

CP: I can’t wait to play on the West Coast, Northern California.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play in your hometown?

CP: It’s always a good time playing in Buffalo, bars are open until 4am!

TP: Everyone is super supportive of what we’re doing. We love hanging out with our friends in Buffalo when we play a show here. Can’t beat that.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

CP: We play a lot of video games.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?

CP: John Lennon. Guaranteed gold.

TP: I don’t know how it would work but a James Brown/The Naturalists collaboration would be sweet.

PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?

CP: THICK. They’re from Brooklyn.

TP: Head North from Buffalo are killing it right now too.

PEV: If playing music wasn’t your life (or life’s goal), what do you think each of you would be doing for a career?

CP: I would be a free solo rock climber.

TP: I have a degree in English and I would probably be dedicating more time writing if I didn’t play music.

PEV: So, what is next for The Naturalists?

CP: Tour, record more music and breed rock n’ roll.

TP: We’re going to get this new EP out and hitting the road in support of it over the next few months.

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