The Pittsburgh Batman Interview
Pittsburgh Batman, a play written and produced by the two fellas in Grand Buffet, who recently played a reunion show to a sold-out Thunderbird Cafe, is set to take place February 21-23 at Bricolage downtown. We recently wrote about their reunion show. The highly-anticipated comeback of Grand Buffet, who wrapped up their first tour in three years alongside Dan Deacon, will have to wait, however, because they have other business to tend to. The forefront of their agenda involves the world-premiere of their play, Pittsburgh Batman, an original production that has little to do with Christopher Nolan, and everything to do with bad assery. We had the chance to ask Lord Grunge, one-half of Grand Buffet, some questions on what they’ve been up to for the past few years, their inspiration behind Pittsburgh Batman, and what’s on the horizon for the often outlandish duo. Here’s what unfolded.
Kymbo Slice: You recently wrapped up a tour with Dan Deacon – your first in 3 years – what have you been up to during that time aside from writing Pittsburgh Batman?
Lord Grunge: We’ve both been working on solo projects and also holding down dayjobs for the first time in many years. I’d like to see more shit happen with both of our respective solo projects, however thus far it’s mostly been the occasional Pittsburgh show and not much else. Other than that, I don’t know what else Jackson’s been up to, although he posts a lot of killer shit on his tumblr page. Personally myself, I’ve written a novel (absolutely cannot find a publisher) and also ventured into the world of WET AND MESSY and SPLOSH. It has not gone well, financially speaking. Interesting stuff, though it’s not my cup of tea, per se, it’s certainly something of which I can say I’m proud. This is the site.
KS: How did the idea to write a play come about? Was it at all inspired by The Dark Knight Rises?
LG: The idea for Pittsburgh Batman came about from one of many hang-sessions with Jackson and Gil Mantera. We were always coming up with awesome/stupid ideas for shit. This one kinda stuck. To answer the second part of that question, I must offer an extremely emphatic ‘NO!’ let me add to that a ‘FUCK NO!’ I despise those god damned Chris Nolan Batman movies. Biggest pieces of shit to come out of Hollywood since I don’t know when. Pittsburgh Batman was actually conceived in early 2008 and written shortly thereafter, well before that first abominable piece of horseshit movie came out. However, I have been quoted as saying this (and I stand by it): If Chris Nolan can butcher Batman, then god damn it so can I.
KS: Describe the casting process for Pittsburgh Batman.
LG: Some parts were written specifically for certain friends/colleagues, other parts required a little sleuthing. Just about everyone in the cast is a Pittsburgh-area performer. We’ve got rock dudes, actors, noise artists, a cellist, comedians, and people who are just awesome because they’re awesome. It really is an amazing cast. I’ve been in Pittsburgh long enough to know some pretty badass people. I called ’em up and was like ‘um be in my play?’ and they were all like ‘yeah i guess whatever’.
KS: How did you get Bricolage to host the event?
LG: One of my leading men is the esteemed Pittsburgh-area actor Patrick Jordan (who, coincidentally enough, is IN the aforementioned piece of shit Nolan Batman series). He went to bat for me with the good folks at Bricolage. They really didn’t know who I was or what I was up to, and Patrick more or less stepped in and explained that I was an all around good dude and a worthwhile risk.
KS: You held a sold-out reunion show at Thunderbird last month. What’s next for Grand Buffet?
LG: First off, we gotta finish this play. We have started working on new music, which is very exciting to me. I’m hoping that a new record (or two?) and a tour will happen sometime this year, although at this point there isn’t any solid timeline. I also hope to do another Pittsburgh show SOON. The T.Bird show was a blast, though next time we wanna take GB to a bigger venue and really really REALLY do it right.
See them do their thang February 21-23. Tickets for Saturday the 23rd are already sold out, so don’t sit on getting tickets because they’ll be sold out before you know it! $20 bucks a pop. See you there!