ATH Interview: Sweet Talk
The Austin Music Blogger Awards is less than a week away, so we’ve got a few more interviews to help you get to know your local artists. This time I caught up with my friend Stephen Svacina from Sweet Talk; his band is nominated for Best EP with their Flash of Light EP (12XU). Stephen’s a good dude, and in one of Austin’s great pop-punk bands (just don’t tell him that or he’ll threaten you with pyrotechnic violence). Don’t forget to pick up one of the few tickets remaining HERE, and join us February 27th for the festivities.
ATH: You grew up as part of the Denton scene. How does that scene compare to Austin? Details and names.
SS: Well Denton is a college town so there’s always people coming and going and it’s way different there now than it was 5 years ago. There wasn’t a lot to do there but play music, so I feel like everyone I know from that time period are still the best musicians around. (Denton people: Bad Sports, Fungi Girls, Teenage Cool Kids (later Parquet Courts guys), Wiccans, Mind Spiders, ect) Austin is an insanely great place for music, but also kind of a train wreck. There are some really amazing bands, but there is an army of mediocre, laughable stuff. Maybe because in Denton (and pretty much anywhere else in Texas) you play music DESPITE of what everyone says and here everyone is a musician and cradled to some degree. I like having to struggle, good things don’t come easy. So honestly, Austin is like a GIANT bowl of vanilla ice cream. Also Austin has lots of distractions. Like nature. You can’t make rock n roll when you spend all your days at the goddamn dog park. Tear them down.
ATH: This is the first year for the Austin Music Blogger Awards…how do you feel about the event, or even the idea as a whole. Be honest.
SS: Maybe this goes back to my last response, but it’s quite an undertaking. For being such a music city, we deserve a lot better music press. I have faith in you all. No pressure.
ATH: Along similar lines…its hard, even for a collective of bloggers, to represent all the great Austin music. Who do you think deserved a nod for their work in 2013.
SS: Wes Coleman. I saw him the other day at Mohawk and it was amazing. His backing band is so good, but a little rough around the edges, which makes it exciting. Trustees are great. Ghetto Ghouls have been playing a lot lately, and every show they keep getting better and better. I think Church Shoes are consistently one of the best bands in town too. They got that midwestern heart, man.
ATH: You’re a hard-working man…be it playing with various friends, your work in Sweet Talk, or your new project in Jonly Bonly. What’s been the hardest part about fitting all of that in? You have any other projects you’re looking forward to?
SS: The hardest part is responding to all the interview requests.
ATH: I’d probably describe your band as a bad ass pop-punk act. Being lumped into that category, how do you feel about your lineage to acts like Blink 182? If pop punk doesn’t fit, how would you describe it?
SS: Remind me to throw a firecracker at you next time I see you. This is a cardinal sin. Call it pop, call it power pop, call it rawk, call it goddamn dub step just don’t call it pop punk. I have lots of friends who are into decent pop punk and I guess our stuff straddles a line sometimes, but luckily I went through puberty and my voice is about 2 octaves too low to fit the bill.
ATH: What’s the one thing you need to get you through a good rock show or a grueling tour?
SS: Tour: An auxiliary cord, BC powder, and Iphone games. Show: light jacket, a watch, I dunno probably electricity for your amps
ATH: What’s your go-to rock move? I mean, you’ve got to get the fans amped up, right?
SS: I used to think it was fun to fall into the crowd until I gave my friend a slight concussion and broke the headstock to my guitar. Now I just stare awkwardly.