SXSW Interviews: Amber Arcades

amberYou haven’t seen enough bands yet? Well, I’ve got another act that’s coming from over sees that I’d like you to keep an eye on, Amber Arcades. She’s making her way over here, her first visit to Texas from the Netherlands. Read on below and meet someone new, won’t you?

ATH:For a lot of bands, this is their first time coming to SXSW, Austin, or even the United States. What are you anticipating for your arrival into our town? Anything youre really hoping to do while youre here?

Amber: Whenever I come to the US it feels like walking into a movie, because of the amount of American culture we consume in the Netherlands through movies and series. Ive never been to Texas, though. Based on movies I would expect some cowboys I guess. And steaks. And sunshine. My top plan is to have a bbq on the porch of our house. Murica!

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?

Amber:All killa no filla, of course. As per usual.

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?

Amber: Were mostly into healthy foods like salads and curries but I think specifically for Texas were all really exited to eat a lot of TexMex food. Beverage I suspect mostly water? Not very rock n roll, sorry…

ATH: Describe the music community where you come from? Does everyone work together? Is there lots of competition?

Amber: The Netherlands is a funny country because its so small. Hence, everyone knows each other and generally everyone gets along. But also the market is very small and its hard to get out of the country so there is definitely also a sense of competition sometimes, unfortunately…

ATH: What are a few bands we might not know about, being in the States, that should be on everyones musical radar?

Amber: Some of my fav bands from the Netherlands: Rats on Rafts, Yuko Yuko, Blue Crime… Very cool people & tunes.
ATH:Let’s say your band has been booked an official showcase at a pop up venue somewhere in the middle of 6th street(where a lot of shows are set up). 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?

Amber: I mean what other way is there than to just suck it up and play the best show you can under the circumstances? Maybe have a beer beforehand and just go with it…

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

Amber: One of my favourite records from last year is Hermits on Holiday from Drinks, this collab between Cate Le Bon and Whitefence. At one point it was the only CD we had in the van so we listened to it about 20 times in a row. Still not bored of it.

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?

Amber: I have a masters degree in copyright law and wrote my thesis on enforcing copyright law online. In short my point of view is that the internet is pretty awesome, Im convinced that being able to access and share information and content instantly is a good thing. Copyrights goal should be to benefit society as a whole, not only authors. Hence it shouldnt be too restrictive, because then it can hamper innovation and creation. Basically Im not in favour of a strict enforcement of rights online. Although obviously its necessary that authors are able to make money somehow too in order to be able to continue their work. I think the concept of streaming is great, because it balances these two interests somewhat, paying for access instead of for individual pieces of content. That being said, there is a lot of room for improvement for streaming services as they currently operate and the way funds are being distributed among artists.

ATH: Clearly coming over to the States to play shows is something a lot of bands are excited about, but what are some other life or musical highlights for you this year? Wed like to get to know you.

Amber: I have a very interesting day job working with refugees from Syria. Im not allowed to discuss it too much, but its definitely something I am very passionate about. Its nice feeling useful in more than one way. Also the other day we had some really good Turkish food.

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Here’s her schedule:

16 – Wed 11:00 AM Amber Arcades Cedar Street Courtyard Dutch Impact Party

16 – Wed 8:15 PM Amber Arcades Barracuda Heavenly Showcase

20 – Sun 6:00 PM Amber Arcades Beerland Panache Hangover Party


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