SXSW 2014 Interview: Habits

habits-desertdoor-by-grant-gutierrezAs if you were thinking that we had no more interviews left… Silly you!  We’ve got tons more coming your way and today I have a featured one from L.A. based, synth heavy group Habits.  The brains behind the band, Dustin Krapes, was kind enough to offer his opinion on our pressing questions.  Follow the jump to see what he has 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?

Habits: I like playing shows, and I especially like getting away from home to play in different cities for new people. We just released an album, and I’m excited to get it out there. It’s always great to make new friends, and make new connections. Although I’m always open to opportunities that may come our way, I don’t like to get my hopes up about any big things happening. I just focus on putting on a good performance, and having a good time. We’re playing a party thrown by our label Fleeting Youth Records, so it will be cool to meet all the bands that are coming out for that, and to finally to meet Ryan who runs the label.

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?

Habits: We have a loose set list usually. We have a couple openers and closers to pick from. Sometimes we plan it out entirely, and sometimes we just feel it out as we play our set.. Other than that, my plan of attack is usually to just go nuts, climb on things, and sing into the mic.

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?

Habits: Veggie burritos and coconut water for days. Dithy (drummer) likes fried rice.

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

Habits: I’m really excited to be playing Desert Daze this year. The line up is killer. I’m just gonna go ahead and say that’s the best one around, but maybe I’m biased.

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?

Habits: If i’m not feeling it, or notice the crowd isn’t feeling it, I still let loose and try to connect with the audience, or anyone in the audience, and I figure there’s probably someone there who appreciates it. I’ve been stuck in a few bummer situations like that on occasion, and all you can do is suck it up and play.

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

Habits: Kanye West “Yeezus” was my favorite. I love the dirty and minimal production with those beats. Honorable mentions go to Death Grips “Government Plates”, HOTT MT “I Made This” and Danny Brown “Old”. Right now, I’ve got some Bauhaus, Tobacco, Com Truise, Tom Waits, Brian Eno and Boards of Canada, shuffling around on the iPhone.

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?

Habits: I listen to music on Spotify, but as an artist, I’m on the fence about whether I want to put my entire album up there at the moment. I definitely try to embrace new technology and use it to my advantage, but I think some kinks need to be worked out with streaming services in a way that is more beneficial for smaller artists.

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

Habits: It seems that successful festivals are always evolving, for better or worse, as more people become aware of them. I’ve only been to SXSW once, in 2012. So I don’t really know what it used to be like… We aren’t playing any official showcases. I didn’t bother applying this year. Not that I’m against it, I just didn’t have much going on publicly with the project around the time applications were due. SO I didn’t think we’d be accepted anyways. On top of that, I knew if we wanted to play at sxsw, that we’d probably be able to hop on some unofficial parties, which is what we’ve ended up doing this year. Official or not, upside-down, inside-out or whatever, what matters to me is that there is somewhere to play, and people there who want to experience the show.

Thanks again Dustin!

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