Nug Releases Live Performance Movie, Live at Home (Video + Interview)

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    Nug Releases Live Performance Movie, Live at Home (Video + Interview)
    Published: December 14, 2023

    Nug is the genre-bending new band of Dorian Warneck, a former Charlestonian whom you might remember as the original bassist in the legendary local band, Secret Guest. Based in Portland, OR, Nug includes Dorian alongside Tyler Varnau (drums) and Dustin Demoret (guitar).

    The group released a live recording of their first-ever concert as an EP earlier this year, Farewell Show, and now they’re back with a full-length live performance movie from the very same venue, titled Live at Home, which is paired with a tape release.

    Live at Home was recorded at drummer Tyler Varnau’s house during the annual backyard house party that he hosts with his wife, Abbey. It documents a muddy, hectic house show that was almost derailed by rain, but both the audience and the band stuck it out to make for an epic evening.

    This concert recording serves as an excellent introduction to the fuzzed-out, psychedelic, and possibly somewhat improvisational style of Nug. It also offers a lens into a music industry trend that I am absolutely loving these days, which is an increase in the number of bands recording and releasing live albums (and not just jam bands). In the case of Nug, this means releasing live albums in lieu of studio albums, which is especially cool.

    Press play on the video below, and read on to learn more about Nug and the creation of Live at Home, via a Q&A between Dorian and myself.

    Nug – Live at Home

    Live at Home Setlist

    “Chrug” – 00:18
    “Facetime Blues” – 04:05
    “Four Eyed Freak” – 10:48
    “You Got It” (Roy Orbison cover) – 16:28
    “Just What I Needed” (The Cars cover) – 21:00
    “Fashion Boy” – 25:40
    “But Why” – 33:00
    “Gut Health” – 38:26
    “The Final Focus” (Encore) – 42:50

    Who is Nug?

    Nug, the band.

    Tyler (drums) and Dustin (guitar) of Nug have roots in Indiana, and are longtime friends who have been playing music together for years. They met Dorian through mutual friends, and one night that led to a jam session that became the first band practice.

    “We got together to jam one night and it just kind of clicked,” Dorian explains. “I think we wrote most of our first song (Fashion Boy) that first time playing together.”

    When they played their first show in October of 2022, they weren’t sure if they would ever play another show, hence the title of their debut EP, the live release of Farewell Show.

    “We called the first release “Farewell Show” as sort of a joke since it was actually our first show, but also because we really weren’t sure if we’d keep doing it,” Dorian says. “So it wasn’t planned as a one-off necessarily, but we also weren’t entirely sure that it wouldn’t be.”

    On Releasing Live Albums

    With all three band members employed full-time, Dorian with a two-year-old child, and Dustin and Tyler in another band called Heavy Totals, time to practice and record is hard to come by.

    Kye Blessing, whom Dorian describes as a wizard, ran sound at both shows and mixed both releases, while Stephen Blanquie & Mat Rodriguez filmed it, and Dorian himself served as director and editor. The result is a recording that captures both the essence of a house show and a solid full-length release for the group, without the need for a studio environment.

    “On top of all that,” Dorian explains, “live performance videos are my personal favorite way to discover new bands. There’s something about seeing a band play their songs live, but with quality recorded audio that gets me more excited than studio recordings.”

    Dorian specifically mentioned KEXP & Audiotree, naturally, and then called out No Doubt’s 1997 concert film, Live in the Tragic Kingdom, as a big inspiration.

    No Doubt – Live in the Tragic Kingdom (1997)

    “I remember one time ripping the audio from a Built to Spill KEXP session and putting that on my ipod instead of the album versions, because there were these slight mistakes and imperfect moments that I thought were so cool,” Dorian says. “I just love that stuff.”

    Nug will join Trauma Club and Good Will Hunter at Portland’s The Firkin Tavern on January 6, 2024 for a free tape release show.

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