Chicago’s premiere 90s alternative rock resuscitators conjure high-energy music that has everyone from R.E.M. to Dinosaur Jr. and The Pixies in their wheel house. Formed in Dayton in 2007, the band have released a couple of well-groomed EPs, splits and full-lengths and are currently preparing for the release of split 7” with former Friendly Foes/Thunderbirds Are Now frontman Ryan Allen’s Destroy This Place. We caught up with Hospital Garden’s Lucas Hollow before the band’s 7” release shows this week in Chicago and Detroit to discuss his favorite places and events in the Windy City. Here’s what he had to say…
1. What’s your town’s nickname?
2. What’s your nickname for your town?
Dumb n’ dirty.
3. Why do you live there?
It’s active and there is employment.
4. Did you grow up there? If not, what brought you there?
I grew up in Michigan, went to Dayton for grad school and that’s when the band formed. When I graduated we decided it would be fun to try something new so we moved to Chciago.
5. What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you there?
We opened for Evan Dando/Lemonheads. We hung out “back stage” and what not. It was a super weird night.
6. What is your favorite local event or festival?
Taste of Chicago is pretty fun, and I really like the downtown music series at Millennium Park.
7. What is the best time of year to be there?
8. Who is your favorite local celebrity?
My wife and I held the door open for Harold Ramis. He seemed nice?
9. Where is the best place to drink and what’s their specialty or happy hour?
Maria’s (Bridgeport) has a really great beer selection and it’s a pretty cool hole in the wall.
10. Who has the best jukebox (and what’s in it)?
Quenchers. Too much good stuff to name. The downside is that I’m usually there for shows so I never get to listen to it.
11. Do you play music there? If so, where is your favorite place to play?
Cole’s! No cover charge, good beer, and good location. We also like playing at Empty Bottle a lot.
12. Does where you live influence your music?
I guess so, but it’s more about people I think.
13. What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
Empty Bottle books solid shows, has good sound, and has good deals for when you are broke. I went there to see Obits and they had a great show.
14. What is your favorite local band?
The Canoes, of course. We put out a split cassette with these dudes and they rule.
15. What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
Hard to say. For Pizza, I say Damenzo’s, which is near Little Italy. In my neighborhood, I’d say Nuevo Leon (Mexican), and for Chinese/Vegetarian I would say Yummy Yummy in La.
16. What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there? Definitely Reckless Records. I found a first pressing of the Stooges record Fun House.
17. What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine, website or blog)?
The Reader (print) and Loud Loop Press (blog).
18. What is your favorite local shop? Central Bakery (Mexican bakery by my house).
(Hospital Garden will release the split 7” during a pair of shows this week — in Chicago at Cole’s on June 8. then, on June 9 in Detroit at Berkley Front.)