SXSW Watchlist: Hurricane Bells

While his longtime rock band Longwave takes a short break from the music world, Steve Schiltz has been working hard to make a name for his new project Hurricane Bells.  This band/side project from Schiltz has been in the works for a few years and just saw a debut LP, Tonight is the Ghost, drop late last year.  That album, while similar to Longwave in some aspects, tones things down just a bit and the songs feel a lot more like a solo record.  Schiltz has since put a band together and plans to stop in Austin during our SXSW music festival.  We had the chance to email Steve a few SXSW oriented questions before his band makes it into town.  You’ll see a musician who is passionate about the industry and hopes you don’t know him as “that band on the New Moon soundtrack”.  Follow the jump for full interview.

ATH: So.  You know we have to ask… What do you think the song on “New Moon” did for you?  Do you think it gained you some new fans or are you just “that cool song in the movie”?  AND ever watch the film?

Steve: Wow right out of the gate with this one! The movie has obviously helped. We did some shows in malls to promote it, and we just got back from India. I don’t think that trip would have happened without the movie. It’s still a little soon to know how many of the people we have met will stick with the group. We are doing our first tours this spring and we will see how it goes.

ATH: What’s the plan after SXSW?

Steve: US tour in April opening for Blue October, then another US tour in May headlining small clubs. There is also the possibility of some overseas dates.

ATH: If you were creating a festival, who are the headlining acts? Who would never be allowed to play?

Steve: Hmm do they have to be alive now?? The most enjoyable live shows I have ever seen have been Radiohead, Wilco, The Flaming Lips, The Mooney Suzuki, all for different reasons. Can they all open for Led Zeppelin?

ATH: Seeing as the whole music industry is in town for SXSW, what you think about the current state of affairs with the music industry?  Does it need to be fixed? Any ideas on how to do that?

Steve: My friend Damian in OKgo just wrote a great NY Times piece about how record labels are shooting themselves in the foot trying to make money off of the internet and YouTube. For a few years now I have felt like the music industry is in the midst of a massive land grab, the real estate being intellectual property and in some cases physical records. The only thing I am sure of is that if it comes down to pure survival, it is going to come down to who owns the stuff. The people writing songs and making records need to understand that – you need to try and own as much of your output as possible. But I don’t know that there is anything to “fix” right now; eventually things will even out. And again, the people writing songs and actually creating music will survive. They can’t do it without us.

ATH: Album of the year so far… GO!

Steve: Spoon, Transference. This IS Austin.

Thanks again Steve for making the time to do this.  Hurricane Bells free show:

Fri. 3/19 – Consequence of Sound day party @ Republic Live(301 W. 5th st.) 12-7

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *