SXSW Interview Questions:
1. Where/When are you playing?
We’re playing three shows this year:
5:30pm on Thurs. March 19th @ Plush as part of the Giant Steps Party
8:00pm on Thurs. March 19th @ The Ale House as part of The End
Records’ official showcase
8:45pm on Sun. March 22nd @ Red 7 as part of Radar Recordings’ SXSW
2. How did you get your SXSW gig?
Well, we applied for our “official” show as part of The End Records’
showcase, the Plush show is run by Giant Steps Productions, who we’ve
worked with a lot in the past, and the Red 7 show was put together by
the label which I co-own, Radar Recordings.
3. Is this your first time at SXSW?
Nope, this is actually our fifth time.
4. If you’ve gone before, have you performed and how did it go?
Yes, we’ve performed every year since 2005. This is our first year playing an “official” show, though. The first year, we applied, we didn’t get accepted, but still ended up playing 4 or 5 unofficial shows during the fest. That went pretty well, so, every year since we haven’t even bothered applying and have done the same thing. The last three years, my label, Radar Recordings has done an unofficial show/party.
5. How important do you think it is to have an “official” showcase?
Well, I guess I’ll let you know after we play this one! Honestly, each year we’ve gone, we’ve played for more people than the year before. I think the actual festival has lost a lot of its legitimacy as far as providing a springboard for young and unsigned artists. So, we’ve gone ahead and done our own thing instead, and it’s gone really well. Our Radar party lineup was amazing last year. We showcased the core artists of the Radar family (such as our band, Constants, Caspian, Adai, and Seneca), as well as a bunch of other like-minded bands, like Russian Circles, Genghis Tron,
Coliseum, Lymbyc System, This Will Destroy You, and Battlefields,
among others. It was a huge success. This year, along with the
Radar bands, we have Pelican, Wolves In The Throne Room, Tombs,
Irepress, Battlefields, and more. It’s something we’ve been really
proud of, that we’ve been able to cultivate this and have such a
great lineup of bands in one place.
6. What do you hope to achieve by playing at SXSW?
The same thing we’ve been doing: playing our music to an open-minded
audience, and hopefully making some new friends and fans in the process.
7. How do you plan to use the conference to promote yourself?
Honestly, maybe I’m a little jaded about this, but I think SXSW is
always so overrun with so many people trying way too hard to promote
themselves in every way possible, and I’m not sure how much of a
difference it makes any more. The most direct and influential impact
you can have is still by playing a good show and letting word of
mouth spread on its own.
8. Are you attending any of the actual conference? Are you attending
other shows, what shows/bands are you looking forward to?
Sure, I’m actually excited to check out some of the actual conference
and see what it’s all about. It’s obviously a critical time for music, and I’m sure there are going to be a lot of people with ideas on how to keep the business alive. I think the bands I’m most excited about are the ones we’re playing with, but I’m also interested in seeing DJ Shadow, Cursive, The Life & Times, These Arms Are Snakes, and Damiera, off the top of my head…
9. Do you expect that Boston will have a strong showing this year?
Well, at our Radar show alone, I think Boston will be decently represented.Artwork above by Matt Gauck