Boston Band Crush Archived Article: Festival Crush: One Happy Island at SXSW

This article originally appeared on Boston Band Crush ).
Cute indie-popsters One Happy Island answered our questions with their trademark wittiness: 

1. Where/when are you playing?

Brad: We’re playing some house parties and unofficial stuff. The most prominent gig is at Waterloo Cycles on Saturday, March 21. They’re right near the campus at 2815 Fruth, and they are hosting an all-day bash with great bands like Casper and the Cookies and the Besties. It starts at noon, and we’re on around 3 or so. All four of us have actually ridden bikes, so we figure it was meant to be.

2. How did you get your SXSW gig?

Brad: We met Michael Zakes, the owner of Waterloo Cycles at NYC Popfest in New York, and again at Popfest New England. He’s a great guy and a big music fan, especially of quirky indiepop.

3. Is this your first time at SXSW?

Shannon: I have played once in an official showcase, with my friend Scott from Super XX Man. 

Rebecca: I lived in Austin for one SXSW, and I worked at a record store that gave me a full pass, but I never went to any shows cause the parking was impossible and the crowds were really intense. Even if you have tickets to a show, it doesn’t mean you’re gonna get in.

4. If you’ve gone before, have you performed (how did it go) or were you just in attendance?

Shannon: It was packed. Julie Doiron came up for a couple songs – I’m not really sure how that was arranged, but it was kind of cool. And there was a girl standing right in front of us singing along with all the songs in a loud, disturbingly low voice.
5. How important do you think it is to have an “official” showcase?

Clint: It’s hard to say because I’ve never been, but from what I hear, the line between official and unnofficial isn’t really that relevant. My instinct is that there isn’t a difference between an “official” or an “unofficial” fan, anyway. Seems like the official showcases may be a little corporate or major label driven, and if that is indeed the case, then I’ll gladly play at a house party.

Rebecca: I don’t think it’s too important, either. A lot of the audience at the official showcases is on the business side of things. I’d much rather play to a bunch of kids at a bike shop or house party.

Shannon: There are tons of shows going on at house parties, warehouses, abandoned buildings – those were always the shows I went to in lieu of the official ones I couldn’t afford, and I never felt like I missed anything. Well, if I were to think about it, there were probably things I missed, but it’s ok.

6. What do you hope to achieve by playing at SXSW?

Clint: For me, it’s being part of the festivities, seeing other bands, and maybe meeting some people that like our music. Ultimately, though, I just want to have fun with my band.

Rebecca: I just really want to go back to Austin for some 85-cent tacos at Tamale House, but it will be fun to end our tour in a big way.

Shannon: I think Maria’s on South Lamar is a lot better. I’ve heard the old building is gone, but hopefully the tacos – and the guy making them – will be the same.

Brad: I don’t have any goals, other than to have a good time. The best thing about SXSW is that it inspired us to get out and tour. The actual event will be will be fun, I’m sure, but I’m really looking forward to playing in New York, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Chicago, Memphis, St. Louis, and Houston. 

7. How do you plan to use the conference (beyond your show) to promote yourself?

Brad: The only plan is to have a good time and to play as well as we can. If you approach each performance as a promotional opportunity or as a means of furthering your career, the audience can tell and will tune you out pretty fast. That’s not what we’re about. 

8. Are you attending any of the actual conference? Are you attending other shows, what shows/bands are you looking forward to?

Brad: We’re just going to throw ourselves into the town. No conference, no schedule. We’ll just see what happens.

9. Do you expect that Boston will have a strong showing this year?

Clint: I hope that all the good bands have strong showings, and that all the bad bands realize that they’re bad.
Shannon: Well, I didn’t know they were playing, but I’ll be happy as long as they do “More Than a Feeling.” That’s a powerful song. What really is more than a feeling?