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Celebrity Travel: Go away with Will Rigby

Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

Will Rigby has a set routine before he prepares for a trip. “I’ve seen enough of the great cathedrals of the world,” said the dB’s drummer, who is based out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “They’re impressive, but all the same. [I check for] museums and other attractions, see if any band I want to see is playing where I'm going [and] places to eat.”

Their recently re-released debut album “Stands for Decibels” will be followed by a multi-format reissue of their second record “Repercussion” this fall, followed by a tour. Rigby, who said he is “quite allergic to social media,” occasionally visits Bluesky (username: @bringbialys). This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Q: What trips do you have planned for this year?

A: In May, [I went to] Mississippi for a gig. [Then] I'm going to New Jersey, New York, Athens, Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Los Angeles – different trips for different reasons. In Los Angeles, I'm visiting my daughter, Hazel, which I haven't done in a long time. I'm excited to be going when she has a performance – she performs music as TBHQ. Check her out on Bandcamp.

Q: Do you work on any of your songs on the road?

A: I'm not a prolific songwriter. What songwriting I do is generally done at home. Perhaps some inspiration may strike as I'm out in the world, but I'd say that for the most part traveling is not something that causes me to write.

Q: Where was the first paid concert that the dB's played?

A: The dB's started in June 1978. Our first gig was at Max's Kansas City, opening for the Feelies, I think. Our first show outside New York City was in Philadelphia that same summer or early fall.

Q: What was a trip you took as a child that stands out?

A: The major trip that I took in childhood was as a 9-year-old from my home in Winston-Salem [North Carolina] to Utah and Idaho and back, in a VW bus with my parents and five siblings. We saw many attractions along the way, including Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, the Corn Palace in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon National Park and Meteor Crater in Arizona. The impetus for the trip was a Rigby family reunion in Idaho and more visiting with various extended family in Utah. This trip was one that more or less bifurcated my childhood into before and after. Not sure if it changed me, per se. I loved it, although the campgrounds got a bit old. It’s amazing now to think how we kids were just crawling all over the back of the car all the way across the country and back – no seat belts at all, not even a thought of them.

Q: If you could only pick one place to eat, would you prefer a food truck or fine dining?

A: That's a tough one. It'd depend on the circumstances. Ordinarily I'd say that I'm always on the search for the perfect taco, especially from trucks, and I hope the search never ends. But I can imagine situations where I'd take the fine dining, like after a month on the road eating whatever was handy or free.

Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A: Asheville is a big favorite. We go to Nags Head at least once every year. We hope to broaden our vacation horizons to outside North Carolina in the near future! Charleston and Savannah are on my list of places to visit less than a day’s drive away. Mountains are good too, some great spots in North Carolina and Virginia.

 

Q: Do you speak any foreign languages?

A: I studied Spanish for years in school, but it's pretty rusty. I've rarely been in situations where it was really needed, although I could have utilized it a lot more than I did in my 22 years living in New York. I have been to Spain a few times and was pleased that I was able to make some semblance of conversation. I know a lot of French words to read, but can’t speak it.

Q: What are your five favorite cities?

A: Asheville, St. John's (Newfoundland), Chicago, London, Melbourne.

Q: Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A: So many. Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat [Cambodia], Japan, Alaska, Iceland, Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Pyramids of Giza, Rome, Jerusalem, Athens, Prague, Vienna, a glacier, Devils Tower, Isle Royale, Maine coast, Big Bend, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Chile, West Africa, Sardinia… The list could go on for quite a while. Pretty much everywhere I’ve never been – although my desire to visit China is not too high, and I hope I never go to a swamp. There are many places I have been on tour that I didn’t spend enough time in to really experience them, and those places I’d like to spend more time in – especially New Zealand.

Q: When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A: A few years ago my most unusual answer would be scissors. When I was on the road a lot, for whatever reason I hated to be without a pair of scissors, for miscellaneous uses. Almost like a totem or security blanket. I generally prefer to bring an umbrella, but there's not always room. The tiny ones don't keep the rain off very well anyway. I hate to be without my computer, but when I go on short trips and don't take it, there's a sense of freedom from it.

Q: What is your guilty pleasure when you're on the road?

A: Barbecue, desserts, tacos. Bialys when I’m in New York. Record stores, thrift stores. I've had to cut back on coffee, although it's something I still love, so it's now a guilty pleasure. Same applies to chocolate.

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(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow “Go Away With…” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)

©2024 Jae-Ha Kim. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


(c) 2024 DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.


 

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