SXSW Interviews: Nap Eyes
We’re just a mere week away from SXSW festival, and we’ve got another interview with one of the acts that’s high on my list of “must sees,” Nap Eyes. They just recently released Thought Rock Fish Scale, which is one of the albums you absolutely must have (in my opinion). We caught up with Nigel to get a few words as they make their way to Austin.
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?
Nigel: Nap Eyes have never played SXSW before (only been as far south as Baltimore), though Brads been a few times with Each Other and Homeshake. I guess most looking forward to meeting lots of music folks and playing and seeing music. Oh yeah and to try the food in Texas, which I bet is pretty good, and different from up here.
ATH: How do you go about choosing which songs to play in the limited time given in a standard minuscule sxsw set?
Nigel: I think its typical for us to vary our set to suit the circumstance were playing in. We have some songs we almost always play, some shorter and longer ones, some which are more rockers and others more laid back but yeah the short form set is a bit of a challenge, to try to be concise is always tricky.
ATH: Best case scenario, how does your sxsw go?
Nigel: Get to play a bunch of shows, meet some friendly people, and see cool music. Yes and maybe go swimming? It will still be pretty cold in Nova Scotia by late March, so itll be a treat if we can wear shorts and T shirts for sure. Oh yes and maybe everyone gets a few hours of nice peaceful sleep.
ATH: Who have you been listening to/ excited to see at SXSW?
Nigel: Shoot I really couldnt even say, there are just so many bands and musicians I was just about to scroll through the lineup and didnt even get through the As. For sure Brad, Josh, and Seamus are tuned in, so I bet theyll have some clear ideas and I can defer to their judgment. But yeah definitely excited to see a bunch of music Ive never heard of.
ATH: Name two bands from your home town that we should listen to?
Nigel: Dog Day and Husband And Knife
ATH: Also, is the music scene in your city surviving? If yes, how? If no, what do you worry about?
Nigel: Sure, always in some form. Halifax is regionally quite remote (a 12 hour drive from Montreal, the nearest big city), so not a lot of bands come here on tour. Yet there is strong and very old culture of appreciating and making music. A lot of bands form, and friends play in each others bands, and lots of shows have only local bands on the bill. So I think a lot of young people here just start to make music, and feel supported by their friends and the wider community. Theres also not much prospect for making it in music business terms, so I would say creative self-expression, friendship, and community are prioritized. On the other hand, it can feel a little isolated, and appear insular to outsiders. Also Canada is geographically huge, with a correspondingly tiny population, but culturally connected, so we get to know people coast to coast who are making independent music, and that helps people here on the East Coast feel connected. So yeah, as with any place, some things to gripe about for sure, but overall a very great place to live and make music.
ATH: Describe your latest release in three words.
Nigel: Patience old friend
ATH: Favorite way to pass the time on tour?
Nigel: Reading a book, listening to music in the car, laughing at everybodys jokes.
ATH: What’s the worst injury you’ve sustained on tour?
Nigel: Nothing serious to date, fortunately.
ATH: What’s a festival you’ve yet to play but want to?
Nigel: Newport Folk, 1965 lol just kidding; no specific fests in mind but just any of the nice ones where doritos and pepsico only occupy one not-so-important dimension of the time and place.
ATH:What are your dream festival headliners?
Nigel: The Clash, Ravi Shankar