It’s no big secret that local boy turned rock ’n’ roll shredder Chris Shiflett loves his hometown. The one-time No Use for a Name (NUFAN) guitarist and current lead axeman for Dave Grohl’s Foo Fighters has long been involved in Santa Barbara’s music scene and continues to give back today. In fact, even Shiflett’s current West Coast tour with NUFAN’s Tony Sly was an idea born right on State Street, during last year’s inaugural New Noise Festival. “That’s sort of how this tour came about was from that show,” Shiflett explained recently. “It was the first time I’d seen Tony in ages, and we played a song together and had a lot of fun, then after the show we got to talking and decided we should put a little tour together, and we did.” This Saturday, February 13, Shiflett and Sly re-team at Velvet Jones (423 State St.) in support of their separate, soon-to-be-released solo efforts. For tickets and info, call 965-8676 or visit newnoisesb.com. And for a few reasons to check out the gig, read on below.
1. Different Strokes: If you’re expecting to catch Shiflett’s own private ode to all things Foo, think again. The guitarist is taking his time off from the Fighters to embrace his other musical love: good ole alt-fashion country. “I’ve always been a fan of all kinds of music,” Shiflett said. “From the time I was a little kid, I liked things like Elvis, which led me to Johnny Cash, which led me to Willie Nelson, which led me to things like Wilco and Uncle Tupelo and Ryan Adams. I’ve always had an interest in that twangy Americana music—and it’s fun to make.”
2. Old Guys Rule: While Sly will perform with a full band come Saturday, Shiflett is opting to go it (almost) alone. “We’re all getting old and going for this quiet dynamic now,” he laughed. “It’s just me playing acoustic guitar with Derek [Silverman] accompanying me on keyboards.”
3. Love Thy Neighbor: As Santa Barbara’s music scene slowly enters its renaissance, it’s especially cool to see former locals who’ve made it big. For Shiflett, growing up and playing music in a mid-’80s S.B. sounds mighty similar to the scene as it stands today. “The music scene when I was a kid was great,” he recalled. “We would play keg parties at our friend’s house, or the Red Barn out in I.V. … There were all these bands around, and a lot of those people went on to form groups like Dishwalla, or Summercamp. I remember when I saw Toad the Wet Sprocket get a record deal, the lightbulb finally went on [for me].”