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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 16, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 50
BEST OF MUSIC 2011:
SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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BEST OF MUSIC 2011:
SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

Young the Giant's Francois Comtois

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Already big, Young the Giant is growing. The SoCal rock band, who played at three major festivals in 2011 - Sasquatch, Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits - and performed on the MTV VMAs telecast in September will end the year with two hit singles, 'My Body' and 'Cough Syrup,' and an announced headlining tour for 2012 that already includes sold-out appearances. The quintet's drummer, Francois Comtois - tall and lean with long, toned legs - is practically a giant on his own. The two of us sat backstage at Key Arena a week ago, when the group joined the lineup for 107.7's 'Deck The Hall Ball.'

To help us celebrate the 'Best of Music 2011', here's what the very handsome Francois Comtois of Young the Giant shared exclusively with Seattle Gay News. And if you're his girlfriend or mother, stop reading now; he's about to reveal what he got you for Christmas.

Albert Rodriguez: What will you remember about 2011?

Francois Comtois: It's been kind of an interesting year for us. We started the year doing 200-capacity venues with a van and trailer. It was so cold everywhere in January, February, and March. It was interesting and very exciting for us because it was the first time we were able to sell-out rooms - granted, they were 200-capacity rooms, but that was something really big for us. & [We did] a lot of European touring, and Australia for a little bit. Right after that, the VMAs happened, and that changed everything. Now towards the end of the year, we're doing sales for our upcoming tour and seeing the way we're selling-out these rooms - some of the bigger cities have 2,500 to 2,800 [seats] and we're doing two nights. It's mind-blowing we've been able to do that. It's really exciting and we have a lot of good momentum going, and hopefully we can keep it going in 2012.

Rodriguez: Did you get to meet anyone at the VMAs?

Comtois: We actually hung out with Brian May [of Queen] for a while. He was doing a set thing with Lady Gaga and he had invited us to tour with him a while ago and it just didn't work out. One of the nicest guys, and a real humble dude considering what he's done is pretty amazing. We got to hang out with [snowboarder] Shaun White at an afterparty, which was cool. Met Kanye, Jay-Z, and Beyoncé very briefly. It was huge for us!

Rodriguez: Do you have all your holiday shopping done?

Comtois: I'm getting there. We were fortunate enough to get a walk-through of the Doc Martens store in Portland, so I got to pick up some stuff. My mom wore Doc Martens when I was a kid, and her pair got torn up. She had them for like 10 years and they got torn up by my aunt's dog, so I got her a pair. I got my girlfriend a watch. I hope she doesn't read this, though. [Laughs.] And I don't know what to get my old man.

Rodriguez: What's on your own list?

Comtois: I guess, coats. I have a couple of nice coats, but I need something that's a little more water-resistant. Mostly clothes. I really like getting clothes and shoes. And books.

Rodriguez: What makes the holidays special for you?

Comtois: Nowadays because we do so much traveling, it's the only time we have guaranteed off and we know we can be with our families and friends. We're all very close with our families and we have a lot of good friends back in Orange County. Four of the five guys have girlfriends who live in Southern California, so it's good to have that guaranteed time back home so we can spend time with the people we care about.

Rodriguez: How many socks and underwear do you pack for the tour?

Comtois: That is the biggest necessity, bar none. I can live without anything else, but if I don't have socks and underwear I'm just the grumpiest dude. I try to pack a third more socks and underwear than I think I will need, just in case. Especially when you're touring in the summer and it's hot, it's uncomfortable to be in hot and sweaty underwear all day.

Rodriguez: You guys are from California and there's been a political battle raging with Gay marriage. Do you have an opinion either way?

Comtois: I think anyone who wants to should have the right to be married. To keep someone from getting married strictly based on their sexual orientation is the wrong idea. You see the mockery [of marriage] that's being made by heterosexual couples all the time. I'm completely on board with Gay marriage. We lived in West Hollywood, we have a lot of Gay friends so it doesn't make sense that it's such a big issue.

Rodriguez: What were some of your favorites of 2011, albums and singles?

Comtois: King of Limbs, the new Radiohead record. We have been following them pretty religiously for the past several albums. It's interesting to see how they went from, more or less, stripped-down songs to In Rainbows or something, very textural - a lot of layering - and the fact they were able to translate that to a live set with the drummer from Portishead, that's awesome. I think the Cage the Elephant record came out this year [Thank You, Happy Birthday]. That's a great record.

Rodriguez: How about other favorites from the year, TV or films?

Comtois: Oh, Boardwalk Empire. I've been watching Boardwalk Empire and I'm halfway through season two. It's an interesting part of American history, and in the second season they've been able to do a lot with it. I'm a huge, huge HBO fan! The Sopranos and The Wire are my all-time favorite shows.

Rodriguez: Where will you be at midnight on New Year's Eve?

Comtois: I'm actually very excited. I'm going to Miami with my girlfriend. Her family lives in Fort Lauderdale. We have some friends living over there, and there's gonna be this big party at the W. We're gonna try to go to that. So, hopefully in Miami at the W, having a glass of champagne with my girlfriend.

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BEST OF MUSIC 2011:
Albums and singles

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BEST OF MUSIC: Hottest artists of 2011
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BEST OF MUSIC 2011: LIVE PERFORMANCES by Albert Rodriguez and Jessica Price
SGN A&E Writers


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BEST OF MUSIC 2011:
SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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BEST OF MUSIC: Worst of music 2011
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Lashes Christmas Show - R Place's holiday must-see
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Homo for the Holidays a one-of-a-kind holiday smash
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Hillary Clinton's most impressive speech on human/lgbt rights in Geneva ...most incredible


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The genius of Jason Robert Brown
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Scorsese's Hugo pure cinematic magic
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Muppets still make a rainbow connection
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Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
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Northwest News
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Letters
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Owen Meany's Christmas an enjoyable night
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A Dyke About Town: Cris Williamson glows
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Blu-ray enhances great Mahler
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Dramatic and poignant, Tori Amos stills the Paramount
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Wacky Wisemen skewers the holidays
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