SXSW 2014 Interview: Cocktails

601398_405080359582896_591050954_nI’m most definitely a sucker for some good crisp power-pop, which is one of the reasons I love the work of San Francisco’s Cocktails.  It doesn’t hurt that some of their work for Father Daughter Records was recorded by Matthew Melton of Warm Soda.  These guys are high up on my list of bands to catch at SXSW, and after reading a few words from the Patrick Clos and Lauren Matsui, maybe you’ll feel the same.

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?

PC: I don’t think any of us have ever been so we mostly just wanted to go for a fun/weird adventure and to help support Father/Daughter Records, who invited us. Everyone seems to kind of have that “It isn’t what it used to be” kind of mindset, but you know, that’s how it goes, NOTHING is what it used to be… So yeah, for us it’s more about just a band hang/vacation. Of course rocking out is part of that. Down to get some free energy drinks or whatever too if they have that.

LM: I’ve never been to SXSW before, so for me, I just really want to see first hand what it’s all about. I went to Chaos in Tejas a few years back and LOVED Austin, so I’m curious to see how nuts it gets for SXSW.

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?

PC: Unless it’s like the E Street Band, it’s probably for the best that bands aren’t allowed to play longer than 30 minutes, like anywhere. But our plan of attack will likely be the same as it is for every show: stack the set-list full of the big ol hits and crank them things up! Alternate plan of attack just in case we realize we have no hits: Cover two Bruce Springsteen songs and that’ll be about 30 minutes.

LM: I think we usually run about a 30 minute set in most circumstances anyway! Pretty sure we don’t have a set list mapped out yet, but we’ll probably start thinking about it as its gets closer. Covers are always fun, plus we he have a lot of new material that will be coming out later this year, so we have lots to choose from.

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?

PC: Personally I’m looking forward to ginormous plates of Tex-Mex. It will be hard to play between all the eating/drinking/sleeping I want to do. I’m hoping you guys have pickle-backs in Austin. I just discovered one can drink like 300% more whiskey when followed by shots of pickle juice, which are amazing in their own right. If it doesn’t already exist, a whiskey/pickle-back cart downtown would THRIVE.

LM: Last time I was in Austin, I was pretty pumped about the amount/availability of Vegan food. While playing, I drink a lot of bud light/miller lite… one of those is a sponsor right? Can I get hooked up please?

ATH: There are tons of bands coming into town. Who would you ideally like to play with of the 1000s of bands gracing our city? Make your own optimal line-up.

PC: Cocktails, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Damon Albarn…. Special guest: Tech N9ne

LM: Cocktails, Black Lips, PROTEX, Gary Numan

ATH: We are partial to SXSW obviously, but what festival do you feel is the best around?

PC: I don’t go to many, but I’m totally hoping we can play at more of them. I can’t say I’m a fan of the ones where you have to go through some gate and hang out with droves of bros for an entire day. But there’s one I heard about last year, the Woodsist Festival in Big Sur, CA, which takes place at Henry Miller Library. I really wanted to go but couldn’t and it sounded like the coolest festival ever: great bands, camping, Big Sur. That one sounded neat as hell.

LM: Was reading the line up for Austin Psych Fest this year, pretty solid! Don’t usually go to festivals all that often though.

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?

PC: I think this scenario genre-wise may be quite similar to our actual official line-up this year… We’d probably just skip the show and head on home to San Francisco. Juuust kidding, we’d of course play some bubble-gum pop songs and try to cheer them up, trying not to get munched by too many bottles to the face in the process.

LM: HA! Just go with it.

ATH: What’s your favorite album to come out in the last year? What’s playing in the tour bus?

PC: For me, it was a tie between that HAIM record and the Kacey Musgraves album. They’re both ridiculously produced but feature super great, well-arranged songs. As for what’s playing on our tour bus (neat that we have a tour bus!) it’s a fine line between guilt and pleasure. There’s probably some Huey Lewis in the mix, and also modern country hits mixed with occasional emo classics like Very Emergency from the Promise Ring, or Weezer’s Pinkerton… Group sing-alongs. It’d be a party bus for sure!

LM: Favorite album of last year would have to be Cabinet of Curiosities from Jacco Gardner. Also though, loving the new Jeremy Jay album that just came out, a close second. Tour bus jams are all over the map, thank Pat for that.

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?

PC: It is what it is, I love using Spotify and such. I justify it by going to see my favorite bands, and throwing down on records to support bands/labels that are going for it. Embrace it, but also help keep small labels and bands alive by doing your part.

LM: I’ll embrace the digital age. It’s definitely convenient for riding the bus… Wont stop me from buying records though.

ATH:  Day parties have replaced showcases for music discovery? Is the conference really completely upside-down?

PC: We don’t know anything about day parties and showcases, this is our first time playing at SXSW. But if that’s the case, day partying is the best. We like to be in bed by 9 or 10 most nights.

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?

PC: Never been, sounds sick though.

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