ACL Interviews: Reptar

Ever since I first heard the dance inducing music of Reptar, I knew they were a band I had to check out during ACL festival in a few weeks.  As we always do, we’ll be bringing you as many interviews as we possibly can while we build up to the festival date.  You can also expect some sweet interview features coming after the festival with the bands we sit down with over the weekend.  For now, we’ve got a great interview for you with Graham from Atlanta based indie-dance band Reptar.  Follow the jump for more.

ATH: So I’m sure you get asked this a lot, and I apologize ahead of time, but I feel like our readers would enjoy knowing the facts.  Did you in fact name the band after the Rugrats character?  If so, how did the idea for the name originate?

Graham: We think it is funny to come up with stupid and ridiculous stories for how the band started, but here’s the truth.When we first started playing together William had a cat named Reptar (the cat is now dead). That is how we got the name.

ATH: Now that we’ve got that out of the way…. How is the tour going?  As a relatively new face to the national music scene, are the songs being received well?  Are you happy with turn outs so far?

Graham: Touring has been great. Our van has had some mechanical issues lately, but all in all we are really enjoying playing in all these new places. We all enjoy being on the road a lot. We are about to hit the road with Cults and Foster the People in a couple weeks. Sometimes I wonder what a piano submerged completely in water would sound like to an underwater listener.

ATH: Speaking of tours and shows, what can your ACL Festival audience expect or your live set?  Will we be dancing the whole time?

Graham: The short answer is yes and the long answer is older than the universe itself. Millions of years ago, an image of you dancing at ACL was dreamt by an alien being hundreds of light years away from earth. This abstract thought was then psychically broadcast around the Milky Way galaxy, rapidly expanding out  amongst the stars. Both of us (you and me) are simply inhabitants of this alien thought-world. We love Austin so fucking much. It’s going to be a blast.

ATH: Our first taste of your music was in the form of single “Houseboat Babies” which is easily one of our favorites from the year.  It seems like a song tailor made for a dance party.  What can we expect from your upcoming full length debut?  More of the same?

Graham: Well I can’t give anything away just yet, but I will tell you it’s going to be grooving. We have some big plans for this recording. We have changed and matured a lot as a band. Not “more of the same”, but maybe “some of the more”.

ATH: It seems like the Athens/Atlanta area is a hot bed for great bands right now.  Who are some that we should definitely know about?

Graham: Yeah there are too many great bands to list completely. Some of my favorites are: Quiet Hooves, Qurious, Cocorico, Manray, Salsa Chest, Grape Soda, Wowser Bowser, and Bubbly Mommy Gun.

ATH: We know that you’ve performed both at festivals and in smaller venues. As a band, which setting do you think best caters to your musical style?

Graham: I think we prefer smaller settings. I think it is easier to get into the music when the audience is up in your face. Our bassist, Ryan, is the opposite of claustrophobic and hates large open spaces. It is sometimes harder for him to do things like drive through Kansas, or watch IMAX movies.

ATH: In the same vein, have you taken a look at the ACL festival lineup?  Anyone you are particularly excited about seeing?

Graham: So many good bands playing this year. I definitely want to see Charles Bradley, Stevie Wonder, Broken Social Scene, TV On the Radio, and also our friends in Futurebirds and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

ATH: What are you guys jamming in the tour van right now?

Graham: I am listening to Michael Stearns’ “Planetary Unfolding” right now as I type this.

Thanks again Graham for making the time to speak with us.  Be sure to check out Reptar at 1:20pm on the Austin Ventures stage.

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