SXSW Interviews: Ancient Warfare

awAncient Warfare should be riding high after all the praise for their 2015 album, The Pale Horse. But, more importantly, the Kentucky quartet is making their way to SXSW for their first time. We caught up with them real quick to get a glimpse of their lives and their expectations coming into town for the festival.

ATH:How many times have you played sxsw/Austin and what’s your favorite/least favorite memory of the city? If this is your first sxsw, what are you most looking forward to?
AW: We are proud to say that this will be Ancient Warfare’s very first time playing Austin. Some of us have played SXSW with other bands, but this will be AWs first. Were excited to see so many different artists – especially those that are new to our radar. There are also some panels/discussions that we plan to attend during our time there. We are looking forward to seeing friends from all over together in one city, finding some awesome street food and margaritas!

ATH:How do you go about choosing which songs to play in the limited time given in a standard minuscule sxsw set?

AW:It can be difficult to decide, especially given the scope of a lot of our songs. Typically we weave the set together with longer intros and outros to establish an overall tone and mood. We will have a set list that is there as a reference point and will sort of feel out the crowd and vibe of the space to give us a direction as to where we take the set.
ATH: Best case scenario, how does your sxsw go?

AW:Best case scenario would be playing really well in front of a crowd that is excited to be there.
ATH:Who have you been listening to/ excited to see at SXSW?

AW:Ive been loving the T. Hardy Morris album and would love to see them live. Also looking forward to seeing The Stargazer Lilies, whom we will be sharing the stage with at Savannah Stopover in Atlanta and at SXSW this year. Girls Names is also another band I came across while looking through through the roster and am really excited to see live.

ATH:Name two bands from your home town that we should listen to?

AW:Beat Awfuls and Bear Medicine – both killer bands out of Lexington

ATH:Also, is the music scene in your city surviving? If yes, how? If no, what do you worry about?

AW:While there are so many creative people here in Lexington, I dont always feel that the scene is surviving, and that has to do with a number of things. I feel like it is getting by. We have many people in the community that are very supportive of local musicians and that is wonderful. Mostly I worry about how much effort is being put forth into making the scene thrive. The potential is there, but it will take more work from everyone to make it happen.

ATH: Describe your latest release in three words.

AW:Heavy, delicate, shadowy.
ATH: Favorite way to pass the time on tour?

AW:Walking around and getting a feel for the city. Sitting down for a meal if we have time. Going record shopping. Playing pool.

ATH: What’s the worst injury you’ve sustained on tour?

AW:Derek, our bassist, takes the cake on this one! If you dont know him, he comes off sort of quiet and shy at first impression. Then hell say something totally hilarious under his breath, which almost always catches us off-guard. One particular night (in Austin for SXSW, no less) he was dancing, being goofy trying to get a laugh or some kind of reaction out of his friends. It the middle of doing this, he lost his balance and broke his leg. He spent the night in the ER and had to play the rest of tour leaning on a stool.

ATH:What’s a festival you’ve yet to play but want to?

AW:Now that SXSW will be marked off our bucket list Pickathon Fest in Portland, OR is next on the list. Ive was lucky enough to volunteer this fest back in 2010 and had a really great time!

ATH:What are your dream festival headliners?

AW:The Besnard Lakes, Low, Nick Cave


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