Actionesse: Plowin’ down the West Coast

Actionesse at Narrow Scare-O (Photo by Christine Mitchell)

Dearly beloved post-horncore band Actionesse has finagled a repeat: they’re working their way around the PNW and down the West Coast on a tour this spring for the fourth time, hitting venues familiar and new. The first leg of the tour involves a co-headlining run with their buddies, Ten Miles Wide.

The band released their debut LP, The Deep, Bright Below just about a year ago, and a lot has happened since the accompanying tour last spring. They’ve played several major PNW festivals including Capitol Hill Block Party, The Fisherman’s Village Music Festival, Freakout! Fest, and Timbrrr! The album ended up on several best of the year lists, including The Seattle Timeslocal critics’ poll, landing at #14.

Poster design by NODRA

Actionesse achieved all of this organically. They recorded a great album and backed it up with an impeccable live show. And they’ve built honest, heartfelt connections with fans and venues everywhere they go. Seeing them live is transformative, and though their music is hard, dark, and not easily compared to other bands, Actionesse performs with an emphatic joyfulness. And it isn’t an act. For Actionesse, every show is their dream show. And if you’re there, you can feel it.

We asked Actionesse bassist/vocalist Paddy Moran a few questions about how the tour came together, about touring itself, and about building and solidifying meaningful relationships inside and outside the band structure.

How did you and Ten Miles Wide decide to tour together?
Our first (and only) show together at the Clock-Out Lounge last April started it all! Our friends in Ten Miles Wide are quite nice. I ran into Will (their drummer) at American Music right around the time that the idea for this year’s Tour Potion, as it were, was gurgling and bubbling in my cranial cauldron; after reminiscing about that fateful April show, he asked what Actionesse was up to. I mentioned tour, and I think we discussed having Ten Miles Wide play our tour kickoff – then, perhaps some other local dates – and hell, finally, why not a “lil’ run”? “Lil’ run” is musician terminology, by the way. Anywho, we both agreed that sounded fucking awesome, and with no work or planning whatsoever, our tour dates materialized in front of us. Cool, but smelly.

What is the best/worst part about touring?
The best part about touring is spending two or three weeks in a van with your best friends in the whole world. I realize that may sound cliché or like a cop out answer, but we have crazy, stupid, wholesome fun on the road…lots of tickling, naps, the usual pleasures. We also play hella video games together. As far as the worst part, it’s tough! We love being together and performing so, so much. However, in our case, we can definitively say that the worst part about touring is how much money it costs. It costs a lot of money. However, with a budget and shrewd savings we make it happen!

Any venues you’re excited to revisit, and bands you’re hyped to play with again?
The lineup of bands includes a huge cast wonderful friends and comrades from past years’ tours. We would not have such an awesome run ahead of us without the support of these folks! Some bands we are stoked to reunite with include Mondo Deco from Sacramento, our buddies LipStitch from Bellingham, and some friends in the Las Vegas folk punk scene (members of Lawn Mower Death Riders and Bogtrotters’ Union). We also had some awesome help with booking from our friends in YUVEES (Portland) and we will be kicking it hard with them. There are a lot of new rooms on this tour, but we are stoked to come back to 924 Gilman and of course Clock-Out Lounge (PIZZA)!

Any new songs you’ll be debuting?
HELL NO! That is to say, we are working hard on our next record, but we are decidedly churning out some other new surprises instead…more on that later.

What has the past year been like for you all since your album release tour last year?
Extremely hectic, and very fun. We’ve kept ourselves busy with expanding our operation behind the scenes at every level possible. We’ve had a year of career highlights, including many festivals, props from NPR, our episode of Band in Seattle, etc. Above anything, we have spent the last year being outrageously grateful for the time we’ve been able to spend with each other, and we’re in awe of the outpouring of support and love we’ve received from so many people. The principles we strengthened over the last year, which we carry into 2020, can be summarized in three words: schemin’ and dreamin’.

Check the dates below to see if post-horncore is heading your way. You won’t want to miss this. The tour ends with a performance at Fisherman’s Village Music Festival in Everett. We can’t wait.


*co-headlining with Ten Miles Wide

4/21 Clock-Out Lounge – Seattle, WA *
4/23 The Plaid Pig – Tacoma, WA *
4/24 Kombucha Town – Bellingham, WA *
4/25 Octapas Cafe – Olympia, WA *
4/26 Turn! Turn! Turn! – Portland, OR *
5/1 Red Room Lounge – Spokane, WA
5/2 The Regal Beaver – Boise, ID
5/3 Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor – Reno, NV
5/5 Phase 4 – Las Vegas, NV
5/6 Casa Bonita (house show) – Las Vegas, NV
5/7 The Smell – Los Angeles
5/8 924 Gilman – Berkeley, CA
5/9 Til Two Club – San Diego, CA
5/12 The Golden Bull – Oakland, CA
5/13 The Brick – Nevada City, CA
5/14 The Press Club – Sacramento, CA
5/15 The Firkin Tavern – Portland, OR
5/16 Fisherman’s Village Music Festival – Everett, WA

Christine Mitchell has been poring over album liner notes pretty much since she acquired the skill of reading, and figured out the basic structure of rock songs at an early age. Whether it’s the needle popping into the first groove of the record, the beeps that signal the beginning (or end) of a cassette tape, or digital numbers ticking off the seconds from zero, music brings Christine happiness, ponderous thought, opportunities for almost scientific study, and sometimes a few tears. When she started attending live shows two decades ago, a whole new piece of the puzzle clicked in and she has been hooked ever since.