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: http://2018.do512.com/pledgehouse
To help get you ready for the musical melee of PledgeHouse, here’s our PledgeHouse Group interview with Becca Mancari, Son Little, Sunflower Bean, Rayland Baxter, Caitlyn Smith, Tristen, Warbly Jets, and Now, Now
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?
Becca Mancari: This is my first SXSW! I’ve always wanted to go, but the timing was never right. Now that my debut record Good Woman is out it feels like the perfect time! The thing I’m most looking forward to is truly playing and meeting some “friends” I’ve been following online for a long time. Now we actually get to meet and enjoy each other’s music for the first time!
KC Dalager (Now, Now): We’ve been a couple times before. SXSW is always chaotic and a perfectionist’s nightmare, but I think that’s why I like it. It forces me to have fun and go with the flow.
Jacob Faber (Sunflower Bean): We went into this thinking we would only do a few shows because the past two times we have done 10+ shows, but what do you know we have 12 shows booked! So, I’m sure you’ll be able to catch us frantically running through Austin with amps and drums in one hand and a taco in the other.
Tristen: I’m looking forward to the tacos and drunken chaos. Also, very excited for all the hats. This year’s SXSW is supposed to have a record number of hats.
Sam Shea (Warbly Jets): This is our second year at sxsw. Last year was a great time. We’re all looking forward to playing and hanging with a bunch of friends again!
Son Little: This is my third SXSW. I’m mostly looking forward to seeing friends I rarely get to see.
Rayland Baxter: This is my fourth time at SXSW. I’m looking forward to a week of malnutrition, the frigid waters of Barton Springs, and hopefully seeing Starcrawler perform.
Caitlyn Smith: This will be my second SXSW and I’m so happy to be back. Last year I played all my shows solo – just me and a guitar. I’m so excited to be bringing my band with me this year and experience the week with them! It’s always more fun making music with your friends. BMI brunch was great, running into random friends at shows, meeting tons of new people – I’m looking forward to it all. Except I’m gonna try and get to bed a little earlier this year.
Julien O’Neill (Warbly Jets): Shows at Hotel Vegas and eating good BBQ.
Nick Kivlen (Sunflower Bean): This is our third SXSW so we know the hustle well. Lots of hectic shows crammed into four sweaty days. It’s a lot of fun. Kind of like a little summer camp for musicians, where you see tons of friends you haven’t seen in a long time. Plus amazing southwestern food.
NT: To those who have been to SXSW before (either playing or just attending), do you have any favorite SXSW memories?
KC Dalager (Now, Now): I think my favorite memory is from the first day we experienced SXSW. We had an overnight drive the night before, drove into Austin, slept in the van for 45 minutes, and then went to our first load in at 9am. We had 3 shows that day. We were so out of it. But I still really enjoyed it.
Julien O’Neill (Warbly Jets): I’d never seen this band Golden Dawn Arkestra before and they were really wild. Also, getting to see Royal Trux was a big deal for me.
Tristen: In 2013, I got to see Depeche Mode play for a small crowd of people at Brazos Hall in 2013. That year, I also saw Emmylou Harris play for about 25 people on a lawn at the Hotel St Cecilia.
Rayland Baxter: One of my favorite SXSW memories is getting my black Jansport backpack. I think I acquired it three years ago and I use it everyday. I hope they are giving away free backpacks again.
Caitlyn Smith: The last SXSW I played, I was a new mother and still breastfeeding. So it made for a wild schedule of “play a show, find a random bathroom/closet/corner booth to pump in, pass off milk to the nanny, play another show…” Mamas gotta do what a mamas gotta do. It was an awesome week and I was happy to do it!
Jacob Faber (Sunflower Bean): There are always so many great memories made that it’s hard to think of just one. I love the feeling right after SXSW when regular tour resumes and it feels so simple.
Sam Shea (Warbly Jets): Last year we got to check out some of Danny Brown and that was tight.
Son Little: My favorite SXSW memory is getting kicked out of a comedy show, climbing back in over the fence, and then getting kicked out again.
NT: Are you altering your normal setlist/show in any way for the SXSW audience?
Rayland Baxter: Because most of our SXSW sets will be short and in the presence of large groups of people high on Lone Star beer, we will play rock ‘n’ roll.
Son Little: SXSW sets are generally a lot shorter than my normal sets. I’m going to play everything much faster in order to cram in all the hits.
Becca Mancari: We are doing a lot of radio programs while we are there and we are going to be stripping down the set a little bit – but it’s still going to feel big!
Nick Kivlen (Sunflower Bean): Each time slot is different, so we need to plan our sets to be short and concise as possible in case we only have 30 minutes to play.
Julien O’Neill (Warbly Jets): We’ll be incorporating some new songs to try out and also bringing out some fun new toys to add to the show. We feel it’s really important to constantly be developing and shifting the shows around. It makes it more fun for everybody.
Caitlyn Smith: Not really, it will be a handful of the same songs we’re taking on tour this April – just shorter sets, depending on the stage!
KC Dalager (Now, Now): From a technical side, we are trying to simplify. But from a playing/creative side, I think we are going to stick to what we usually do.
Tristen: Due to the nightmare of logistics and playing a bunch of shows, we’ve stripped it down to the core four: drums, bass, and two guitars. We’re planning a few covers and special guests.
Sam Shea (Warbly Jets): We’re always trying to alter our show tour to tour. This is the first time in a while we will be trying out some new material.
NT: Are there any bands or panels at SXSW that you are planning to check out yourself?
Becca Mancari: I really want to see Buck Meek, Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers, and Liza Ann!
Caitlyn Smith: Lukas Nelson & The Promise of the Real – love them!
Rayland Baxter: I’m hoping to see Starcrawler. I am intrigued by their lead singer. She seems like an interesting blast from the past. A true freak show performer.
Sam Shea (Warbly Jets): My homies in Night Beats are playing and I’m looking forward to checking them out.
Nick Kivlen (Sunflower Bean): Definitely excited to see all our friends bands and try to catch new exciting music we’ve never heard of before. I love stumbling upon something amazing randomly.
KC Dalager (Now, Now): I haven’t been able to check the lineup yet! I’m not sure how much free time we will have, but I’m sure I’ll end up wandering at some point.
Tristen: I’m very excited to meet and watch my label mates at Modern Outsider, which is an Austin based independent record label. Modern Outsider’s Official showcase is Tuesday night at Cheer Up Charlie’s. This is the reason I am traveling to Austin this year.
Son Little: I’m not foolish enough to think I will see any bands at SXSW. I am considering going to “Bitch Better Have My Money.” I think it’s about finance.
Julien O’Neill (Warbly Jets): I’d like to check out Shame from the UK. Other than that I’ll probably wander aimlessly.
NT: What made you pick the song you did for our NoiseTrade SXSW sampler?
Julia Cumming (Sunflower Bean): We chose “Twentytwo” as it serves as the title track off our upcoming record, Twentytwo in Blue, which comes out March 23rd. “Twentytwo” also happens to be one of our favorite songs off the record. It’s about resilience and rejecting the standards that society and the world puts on you, especially as a young adult.
Son Little: It’s one of my smoother cuts. They love it in France.
KC Dalager (Now, Now): “SGL” is the first single we released when we started putting music out again. I think it represents us and this new chapter. It’s a good bridge between our old material and the new.
Tristen: I picked the song “Glass Jar” off of my latest record, Sneaker Waves. Back in grade school, they used to make us do bug collections. We’d go out into the field in late August when school had just started and pluck these peaceful insects from their enjoyment and seal them in a glass jar with an alcohol-soaked cotton ball. This would poison them and to finish them off we would stick a needle through them and pin them to a piece of paper to be put on display. This is a song about people who make you feel this way in conversation.
Julien O’Neill (Warbly Jets): It’s the most popular shit in the canon. Figured we’d keep face-blasting bystanders with it.
Becca Mancari: I chose “Long Way Down” because it feels so breezy and perfect for the beginning of Spring.
Rayland Baxter: Because that’s the hit. Like Rick Rubin always says, play the hits for the people.