We’ve got FOUR DAYS of day parties planned during SXSW this year and we’ll be bringing you over 60 bands on both stages at The Blackheart. We’re partnering with Frye for our last two days (Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17) and you can RSVP here: http://do512.com/fryedays
To help get you ready for the musical melee of our FryeDays day parties at The Blackheart (3/16-3/17), here’s a group interview with members of Banditos, The Wild Reeds, Christopher Paul Stelling, Future Thieves, Alice Jemima, Slow Dancer, Baskery, and Rainbow Kitten Surprise.
NoiseTrade: If this is your first SXSW, what are you looking most forward to? If you’ve been before, what are you looking forward to experiencing again?
Alice Jemima: This is my very first SXSW and my first trip to America! I’m most looking forward to playing the shows I’ve got and exploring the SXSW festival scene. I’m not really sure what to expect, but I’ve been told it’s BIG!
Steve Pierce (Banditos): This is our third (or fourth, my memory seems to get some damage after each year, a side effect of all the free booze) time to come back to SXSW, and we still aren’t tired of it in the least. It’s something to look forward to every year. We’ve made friends that are closer than family in Austin, and we love getting to come visit and even share the stage every once in a while at Hotel Vegas and Sam’s Town Point.
Nick Goss (Future Thieves): Last year we played a few unofficial showcases in Austin during SXSW. Definitely looking forward to the people we will meet. So much talent converges on Austin during this particular week, ready to show their best music they’ve been working on all year or longer.
Christopher Paul Stelling: I think this is my 5th SXSW and let’s just be honest, it’s a complete shit show. That being said, it’s a great time of year to be in Austin, eat some tacos, and see old friends and make new ones amidst the ever maddening mating rituals of the Great Tailed Grackles. I’m still a little confused about the logic of playing shows while surrounded with thousands of other shows, but it’s always been a great time in hindsight once the fog of stress has settled. I’m looking most forward to getting to spend some time with the people I work with everyday like Hilary, Hope, Michele, Felicia, Amber, Matt and Mark (they know who they are).
Mackenzie Howe (The Wild Reeds): This is our second time at SXSW. We are definitely looking forward to seeing some friends and bands we dig. We are also looking forward to breakfast tacos and warm weather.
Simon Okely (Slow Dancer): This will be the first SXSW for Slow Dancer. I am particularly looking forward to soaking up the friendly Texan hospitality I’ve heard so much about. I’m also partial to BBQ meats and I’ve been told I’m in for a treat!
Baskery: Honestly, it’s stressful as fuck but the buzz keeps you going. We’ve promised ourselves not to do this again, but here we are. So, as hectic as it is, SXSW is vibey, bustling, never sleeping and amazing due to the fact that it’s actually holding together and you get to play in front of a new crowd every day. The best part is after the last gig, when you realize you’ve made it in one piece and that you’ve had a blast.
Rachael McKinney (Rainbow Kitten Surprise): The madness, honestly. It’s going to be a lot and we’re excited to experience it no matter how hectic will be.
NT: To those who have been to SXSW before (either playing or just attending), do you have any favorite SXSW memories?
Mackenzie Howe (The Wild Reeds): One of our favorite memories from last year was seeing Iggy Pop play an insane set (with Josh Homme and Matt Helders), in support of his new album. I’m pretty sure we all cried and danced our asses off. We also had a beautiful time in hill country at Plum Creek Sound Studio.
Christopher Paul Stelling: Always be prepared to sleep in your car. I’ve never had a hotel room in Austin. I once got drunk as hell under the Highway 35 overpass with my friend John Calvin listening to Malcolm Holcombe CDs. That was a hoot.
Steve Pierce (Banditos): My favorite memory is playing the Bloodshot Records Yard Dog Party (not just because our label organizes it). It’s such a great time, and everyone is in the best mood and has the genuine desire to see a performance. This is strangely rare at some of these showcases due to people needing to network. At Yard Dog it’s just fans and musicians who want to be kicked in the face with a good time. At least that’s how I remember it.
Baskery: After gigging at this dive bar, the owner was so thrilled about our show that he gave us a vintage bottle of Dom Perignon. We enjoyed it on a porch in the Texas sun a few days after, because champagne never gets old and is better served cold.
Austin McCool (Future Thieves): My favorite memory was from The Tiniest Bar in Texas. It was on a Friday night and we had just watched our buddies SunGhosts perform, who we were pleasantly surprised to play with again after being with them at Summerfest before that. After their set it was our turn but a huge storm rolled in and things were put on hold. We kept drinking and the crowd that hung around was a blast to socialize with under the cover of the tent. Eventually, after gear was moved back onto stage, we played and had a blast. So cool seeing all those people hang around just to see some music.
NT: Are you altering your normal setlist/show in any way for the SXSW audience?
Nick Goss (Future Thieves): The set will be completely different from what we’ve done before and will have songs that no one has heard yet. We’ve been writing for months now on the new album and it’s been really inspiring to think of premiering these songs at SXSW.
Steve Pierce (Banditos): Yes! We are playing a great deal of new stuff from our upcoming album. We are still playing some from the first album, but we’re really excited to try some new stuff out.
Baskery: We often write the set list five minutes before showtime, no exception for this occasion really. We always play what we feel like. You don’t have much “play time” at SXSW though, so you need to make sure your show stands out.
Christopher Paul Stelling: I’ll be playing a lot of new songs off my new album Itinerant Arias for the first time, so that’s exciting for me. I’ll also be wearing a different pair of boots than usual. Thanks Frye!
Simon Okely (Slow Dancer): I’m bringing a 3-piece band with me. We have been working on bringing a rich, full live sound whilst maintaining the intimacy of the recordings. Sometimes less can really be more. That’s my philosophy anyway!
Alice Jemima: No, not really, I’ve just put out my first album and we’ll be playing tracks from that. We hope the SXSW audiences enjoy it!
Mackenzie Howe (The Wild Reeds): We are coming off of a tour playing 60-80 minute sets each night so we will be altering our set a bit. It will probably be a condensed, energetic version.
Ethan Goodpastor (Rainbow Kitten Surprise): Definitely. It will be shorter and sweeter.
NT: Are there any bands or panels at SXSW that you are planning to check out yourself?
Gianni Gibson (Future Thieves): My roommate Liz Cooper and her band the Stampede will be playing and we will definitely check them out, we love her sound. Also some buddies in bands like The Weeks will be around. We look forward to just showing up and taking it all in. No specific plans between our shows.
Mackenzie Howe (The Wild Reeds): We are stoked to be playing Luck Reunion because the lineup has many of the bands we’d want to see anyway. We’ve been singing along to Big Thief and The Lemon Twigs in the van this tour, so I’m sure we’ll try to catch them both.
Ethan Goodpastor (Rainbow Kitten Surprise): Definitely Hippo Campus and Lizzo. Probably River Whyless, they started out in Boone as well.
Alice Jemima: In terms of bands, ones I know I really want to go and see are CHINAH, Sofi Tukker, Japanese Wallpaper, Two Feet, James Hersey, Jain, Vera Blue, Xinobi and Maggie Rogers. I’m really excited to hear and see some new music!
Steve Pierce (Banditos): I’ve yet to get to catch any panels since we started going, and I’m really interested in catching a comedy set. As far as bands go, I always look forward to going out to Sam’s Town Point and watching all the Texas two-steppers rip it up while Ramsay Midwood hypnotizes everyone with that solid groove.
Simon Okely (Slow Dancer): I’m really excited about seeing Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever. Funnily enough, they are a Melbourne band too. I’ve just been to busy to catch them at home.
Christopher Paul Stelling: I’ll be spending a lot of time looking for parking and at Torchy’s Tacos. I hope to dip my feet in the river. Making plans besides getting to our shows has always seemed futile down there. I just let hunger and desperation carry me. It’s always worked out.
Baskery: We arrived two weeks prior to enjoy Austin before the party starts. We really love this town and have friends here.
As for catching other bands, we’ll have to wing it. We tend to go to friend’s shows rather than discover new acts though.
NT: What made you pick the song you did for our NoiseTrade SXSW sampler?
Steve Pierce (Banditos): We have an array of different sounds when it comes to our catalog. “Fun All Night” is a good-timin’ jam, and that’s what we plan to bring to FryeDays, a good time. It’s pretty self-explanatory, and it’s got a solid back beat we feel forces you to at least let a backbone slip, even if just a little. We wanna break in these new boots with some new tunes, and we hope you enjoy it!
Elliot Collett (Future Thieves): “Sucker” is our new single and represents where we’re headed sonically. It’s a track we were really happy with while recording it over the winter and doing vocals in Canada. Just a feel good track that people can expect to hear in Austin.
Mackenzie Howe (The Wild Reeds): We chose “Only Songs,” because it was the first single off of our new record The World We Built, which is out 4/7/17.
Alice Jemima: I picked “Electric” as it’s one of my favorites. I love playing it live and it’s a track that will be on my set list for SXSW.
Simon Okely (Slow Dancer): “Don’t Believe” is my brand new single from a forthcoming record. It’s indicative of the record in that it revolves around groove and mood. I hope people enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.
Baskery: This track from our upcoming album represents our sound and energy as a band. It’s a song we usually open our set with and is the kickass start that won’t leave the audience indifferent.
Jess Haney (Rainbow Kitten Surprise): It’s a fan favorite with almost six million plays on Spotify.
Christopher Paul Stelling: Marketing? It’s the newest thing I have out! I’m pretty sure it’s a song called “Destitute” from the new record which comes out May 5th.