SXSW 2014 Interviews: Big Bill
As we prepare for SXSW, let us not forgot all of the great local bands that will be performing all over town that week. I know some of us Austinites tend to stay away from our local friends since we see them so much during the year, but let’s at least promote their greatness to the world. Today I’ll be doing so by sharing some interview responses from recent discovery and ATH favorite Big Bill. Follow the jump to see what they have to say.
ATH: There was a lot of hubbub last year concerning corporate sponsors and pay to play and what not at SXSW. As a band, what’s your reason for coming to pay at the festival? What do you hope to get out of it?
BB: The holy trinity: Babes, booze, and free sunglasses. We live here, so SXSW is like this tractor beam that draws everyone toward us. We’re excited to meet and see our label mates on Fleeting Youth Records and go to all our friends’ shows and generally make mistakes. It’s all about seeing bands you wouldn’t normally get to see, and folks getting to see you who normally wouldn’t get to. As far as pay-to-play goes, Big Bill is against it.
ATH: For most SXSW sets, you get 30 minutes to leave a lasting impression. What’s your plan of attack? You have a set list mapped out yet?
BB: First thing you do is pick the dude who looks bored and slap the beer out of his hands. Instant good vibes. But yeah, 30 minutes is pretty typical for us at local shows anyway. We write set lists so we don’t have to waste time deciding what to play next. We just try to feel good vibes and be playful and open. Like we do, you know.
ATH: The festival caters to music fans, but food and booze are an important aspect of the fans and the bands. What’s your band’s food and beverage of choice?
BB: Tacos, breakfast tacos, Diet Coke, Topo Chico, Red Bull, apple juice, whiskey-grapefruits, espresso-horchata, and adult gummy vitamins.
ATH: There are tons of bands coming into town. Who would you ideally like to play with of the 1000’s of bands gracing our city? Make your own optimal line-up.
BB: Mom Jeans, Basketball Shorts, Daniel Francis Doyle, Those Howlings, Party Plants, The Mole People, Ice Eater. Daniel Johnston. Steve Martin. Drake would stop in for like three songs. Also, Prince.
ATH: We are partial to SXSW obviously, but what festival do you feel is the best around?
ATH: Let’s say your band has been booked an official showcase at a pop up venue somewhere in the middle of 6th street. The lineup features thrash metal, hip-hop, spoken word, and you. The sound is horrible, the lineup is not your style, and the crowd seems angry at the world. How would your band deal with such a situation?
BB: Who says that lineup’s not our style? We’d cover ourselves in lube and trash our instruments, just like anybody else would do. We don’t really mind weird shows anyway. Everything’s a worthwhile experience, and as long as we have fun it doesn’t really matter.
ATH: The digital age is upon us, like it or not. What are your band’s thoughts on streaming services like spotify, pandora, etc.? Blow em all up? Or embrace the future?
BB: We’ll leave that one to the philosophers and Glenn Beck.
ATH: Day parties have replaced showcases for music discovery? Is the conference really completely upside-down?
BB: The unofficial stuff is the best part. Who needs a wrist band? We tend to not stress getting into the few exclusive shows; there’s so much else going on, it just isn’t worth the anxiety. We also like free stuff.
ATH: Flatstock is a crowd favorite. Have you ever been to browse? Find a print to buy? Find a print from one of your shows you didn’t know existing?
BB: Shout out to local artists like Aaron Eiland (http://www.aaroneiland.com/), Industry Print Shop (http://www.industryprintshop.com/), and our friend Brian Maclaskey with Squid Ink Kollective (http://spiralloop.com/). Our drummer Alan “Baby” Wisdom is obsessed with Flatstock and goes every year.
Thanks again gents for making the time!