New Orleans, LA
Richard: The first time my band and I came here was just after Katrina in 2005. It was still a total fuckin’ hot mess. We had a traveling circus van and a tour bus and were like, yeah we can stay at a friend’s house, and we roll up. It was a dilapidated, bombed-out, hell-hole.
So, the band just kinda scattered like rats into the corners of the city. The next day we went and paraded on Frenchman Street. It was a Halloween Party, so it was totally crazy, thousands of people all decked out, dressed up.
BW: What was the vibe like on that first Halloween after Katrina?
Richard: I had never been here before Katrina, so it was my first experience —rebuilding and renewal was a big thing. Everybody was trying to put it back together and make it better than ever--and all the fears of gentrification and losing culture. It was a really vital time, but everybody still came out in the streets. I never experienced a place where you can just start a parade any time of day with anything. I’d never experienced magic like that before.