Here’s what Harvey Leisure has to say about the bill Nest Egg curated for Hopscotch

On Friday, the Asheville noise rockers will share a bill with PHARMAKON, Jon Mueller, and SPF.

When Harvey Leisure—the frontman of the Asheville, NC-based noise rock group Nest Egg, whose Facebook page lists their genre as “socialist propaganda”—was asked to curate a bill for Hopscotch, he reached out to artists that he personally wanted to see perform. In addition to Nest Egg, the bill includes PHARMAKON, Jon Mueller, and SPF—as well as an emcee: investigative journalist Brian Thompson, whom Leisure recently met while mixing a new record in Los Angeles. Thompson hosts the podcast Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonalds?, which seeks to answer the timeless question, “What ever happened to pizza at McDonalds?”. We spoke to Leisure about his history with Hopscotch and his approach to curating this bill with bandmates Ross Gentry and Thom Nguyen. 

Hopscotch: What’s your personal history with Hopscotch? 

Leisure: We’ve played the last five or six years, alternating between the official festival [and] day parties. [Our] first year we played with Sun Araw at Slims. We did a day festival with Guardian Alien once. We played with Thee Oh Sees and The Brian Jonestown Massacre at the Basement one year. We [played] at Ruby Deluxe one time.

Why did you pick these artists for your bill specifically, and what commonalities were you looking to highlight?

I wanted to make sure that we were putting together something that would push outside of what was expected, and get people out of their comfort zone. I really appreciate what PHARMAKON is doing as far as being really aggressive, scary, and relentless. I’ve never seen her play, so I’m excited. She’s bringing a full band with her, and I’m really excited to know what that will be. I actually just bought one of her records a few minutes ago—I stopped in the record store to drink a beer, and my friend who works there told me that he found it for me.

Jon Mueller is a favorite of mine. The way that he views music has been really influential on me. He’s also a very nice person. He doesn’t seem as crazy as a lot of people—maybe a different kind of crazy. I saw Jon Mueller’s Death Blues a couple years ago, which was really interesting. It was two lap steels, percussion, and vocals, and the lap steel players were banging on their instruments. It was really fantastic. It seemed like they were waiting for something to happen that’d be unidentifiable by the viewer or listener. I bought a CD from him that night that I kept in my car for six months.

SPF is a trio consisting of Adam Keith, Dave Easlick and our old friend Will Isenogle. They met out in the Bay, and that’s where they started SPF. It’s this selfish thing, like PHARMAKON, where I just want to see them live. Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonalds? is a really special thing. He’s actually the emcee for the stage, but since we put together such an intense, heavy lineup, I wanted to break up the vibe a little bit. We were touring Europe in December and we listened to Thompson’s podcast — he’s got 125 episodes that research why McDonald’s stopped serving pizza in the mid- to late-’90s at most of their locations. I’m personally obsessed with it. He’s got some big surprises for the festival performance.

Is there any place you do identify with as a musician?

A lot of things I’ve done with this band, and with other projects, are related to ’70s German music. I think the UK in the last fifty years has been the greatest music scene of all time. I resonate a lot with that.

What should we expect from your performance at the festival?

We’re working on some newer stuff that may or may not be ready at that time. We just finished a new record—it’s 98% finished, and it won’t be out in time for the festival, but it will be out later in the year or early next year and we’ll play the majority of that at the festival.

Catch Nest Egg at 11:30pm on Friday, September 6, at Wicked Witch.