NoiseTrade One-on-One

PledgeHouse: Group Interview with Naked Giants, Durand Jones, Vista Kicks, Grace and Rachel, Trupa Trupa, and Stella Donnelly

This year we’re excited to partner with PledgeMusic and Kenneth Cole to bring you, from Austin, TX, PledgeHouse – FOUR DAYS of day parties with over 40 bands across two stages. Taking place March 13th through March 16th at The Blackheart, we’ll open doors at 11:30am each day as we welcome 11 artists across two stages, with our friends at The Current live streaming our indoor stage performances each day.

RSVP for all the PledgeHouse shenanigans here:

To help get you ready for the musical melee of PledgeHouse, here’s our PledgeHouse Group interview with Naked Giants, Durand Jones, Vista Kicks, Gracie and Rachel, Trupa Trupa, and Stella Donnelly

NoiseTrade: If this is your first SXSW, what are you looking most forward to? If you’ve been to SXSW before, what are you looking forward to experiencing again?

Gracie and Rachel: First time! We can’t wait to be in the jungle of music and people and art and to contribute to that ecosystem!

Gianni Aiello (Naked Giants): This will be our third time at SXSW. I think we’re most looking forward to enjoying the tacos and warm weather with our friends/fellow bands/management team. We’ll be staying with our friends in the band Ron Gallo and that will be a great fun party time. Maybe we’ll record an album in the Airbnb.

Raye Zaragoza: It is my first time coming to SXSW and I am so excited to meet other people who work in music! It’s so exciting to be coming to a festival like SXSW, where so many people in music are in one place at the same time. I also can’t wait to have some BBQ!

Aaron Frazer (Durand Jones & The Indications): I’m looking forward to the food! I always make sure to hit Iron Works when I’m in town.

Sam Plecker (Vista Kicks): This is our first SXSW. I don’t know what to expect but we hear it’s like one big party full of awesome people and bands. What’s not to like?

Gregorz Kwiatkowski (Trupa Trupa): It’s just a great opportunity to meet in person the good music folks we’ve only known via e-mail. It’s the first time they will be able to see us perform live. Of course, we are open for new connections as well. It’s the first US visit for half the band, so it’s also a great check mark on our bucket list too. And finally, we hope to play the gigs to a new, interesting audience.

Stella Donnelly: This is my first time to SXSW so I’m really excited to just be part of the whole thing in Austin.

NT: To those who have been to SXSW before (either playing or just attending), do you have any favorite SXSW memories?

Gianni Aiello (Naked Giants): My favorite SXSW memories include receiving an ungodly amount of free Take 5 bars, having a pool party with our managers, and having the guys from Temples say “I hate live music but your set was pretty good.”

Aaron Frazer (Durand Jones & The Indications): I saw Loretta Lynn perform at Stubbs for SXSW 2016. She’s still got it! 83 years old and still commanded the stage like the queen of country music she is. It was legendary.

NT: Are you altering your normal setlist/show in any way for the SXSW audience?

Sam Plecker (Vista Kicks): Every time we perform the set is different. We like to keep it fresh. So yes, our SXSW sets will be no exception. Hell, we might ever throw in a Garth Brooks cover. We’ll see!

Raye Zaragoza: I will probably play my set the way I usually play it – but maybe while I am in Austin, I can write a song about Texas and add it to my set! I love writing new songs about places I travel to for the first time.

Gianni Aiello (Naked Giants): For the most part the setlist stays pretty consistent. We’re trying to deliver the highest quality show to as many people as possible, and the best way to do that is to play what we know the best. That said, if we’re really feeling pumped at a show we might throw in a new song or a Steve Miller cover or something. It all depends on the mood of the night.

Stella Donnelly: Does singing better count?!

Gregorz Kwiatkowski (Trupa Trupa): Yes, definitely. We will prepare a short energetic tracklist that’s our sound and style in a nutshell.

Aaron Frazer (Durand Jones & The Indications): Sometimes a set might only be 25 or 30 minutes, so it’s a fun challenge to figure out how to condense the setlist into the essentials. Putting your best foot forward while reading the vibe of each venue.

Gracie and Rachel: Yes, but you’ll have to come out to see!

NT: Are there any bands or panels at SXSW that you are planning to check out yourself?

Stella Donnelly: I’m really excited to see my fellow Aussies shine over there so I’ll be sure to catch Calmly, The Money War and Jade Imagine but I’m also really pumped to discover some fresh international talent!

Aaron Frazer (Durand Jones & The Indications): I’m going to try to catch Harpooner. They’re a great psych rock act- currently based in Nashville but our bands came up together in Bloomington, Indiana. Hometown homies.

Gianni Aiello (Naked Giants): Usually there isn’t a whole lot of time to check out other shows. It’s a really busy time for bands. But I’m pretty sure our fellow Seattleite Emma Lee Toyoda and their band are coming and it would be fun to see them in a new state.

Raye Zaragoza: I am very excited to see many of my friends from around the country at SXSW including Justin Michael Williams! He’s a friend of mine from LA & I am excited for his showcase. I am also excited to just wander and stumble upon new music everywhere I go!

Sam Plecker (Vista Kicks): Not too sure. We are excited to make some new friends! There always seems to be a lot of cool bands every year.

Gregorz Kwiatkowski (Trupa Trupa): We will let chance decide. Let’s see where the chance takes us.

Gracie and Rachel: Yes! Looking forward to musical duo, Saint Sister. Hoping to check out the Ai Weiwei exhibition as well as the interactive installation “The Future of Secrets” by Sarah Newman, Jessica Yurkofsky, and Rachel Kalmar.

NT: What made you pick the song you did for our NoiseTrade SXSW sampler?

Stella Donnelly: I chose my song “Mechanical Bull” because I have just released a music video for it that we shot in a beautiful old function room in New Zealand.

Gianni Aiello (Naked Giants): “Everybody Thinks They Know (But No One Really Knows)” is probably the catchiest, most right-off-the-bat song we have. It also captures the sense of profound meaninglessness that seems to pulsate through our album. It’s so easy to digest that it kind of makes you question what it really is.

Gracie and Rachel: We chose our song “Only A Child” for its fusion of sounds that we hope would excite people from a variety of backgrounds.

Raye Zaragoza: I chose “American Dream” because I feel like it’s a song that speaks for itself. It is a song that truly represents my artistry and my message.

Gregorz Kwiatkowski (Trupa Trupa): “To Me” is powerful and at the same time lyrical and calm. We’re fond of this kind of blend in art and it demonstrates the essence of our way in music.