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Arts & Life


The Decemberists' Nate Query on Growing Up in Portland


You’re in a world-famous band. You perform in cities all around the country. One night you’re back home, playing the “big stage” in the city where you grew up. What does that feel like?

To find out, we caught up with Portland native and bassist Nate Query of The Decemberists during the sound check before their concert at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The Decemberists kicked off their current tour here at the OPB studios. After a month of being on the road, the band returned to perform in Portland.

Nate’s instrument case and bike

Ifanyi Bell / OPB

Nate graduated from Lincoln High School no more than 2,000 feet from where The Decemberists were about to play for a sold-out crowd, so performing at “the Schnitz” has special meaning for him.

Despite his success as a professional musician, Nate is not particularly interested in being famous. In fact, he actually sort of likes being the guy in the band that no one recognizes. He rode a non-descript, aluminum-framed fixie to the gig and his instrument case, with his “if lost return to” label, bears the scrawled-out digits of his phone number.

Having to obscure his phone number is probably the only change Nate has made since finding success with The Decemberists.

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