SXSW Interview: Laucan
SXSW is underway, though the music won’t kick off til next Tuesday. That being said, we’re going to continue rolling out interviews leading up to the fest, with this one coming from Laucan. The London songwriter just released his Up Tomorrow EP (stream it after the jump!) via Sunday Best, and he’ll be playing at their showcase over at Valhalla on March 17th.
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 (again) while youre here?
L:Its my first time in Texas and I cant wait to have a look around Austin of course, and soak up the festival atmosphere, but getting out of town to see some big open space would be amazing. Ive seen pictures of the Hamilton pool, which I definitely want to go and see, oh, and also watch some sports live if possible!
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?
L: The plan is to begin with intriguing instrumental, then follow up with a pop hook and some direct vocal delivery! The cello is always a winner in my opinion.
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?
L: Where I grew up in Lewes in the UK, there is an award-winning brewery called Harveys Best, which is amazing, although Im guessing you cant get that in Austin yet, so Im looking forward to trying some local beers and BBQ. I have a recommendation for the best in the USA.
ATH:Describe the music community where you come from – Does everyone work together? Is there lots of competition?
L: London is a tough place to live for a musician, but it keeps you honest. Theres a great music scene in South London, in Peckham and Brixton and in Deptford where I live too. Lots of jazz, hip-hop and spoken word, I find it all really inspiring. Theres even a DIY chamber orchestra in Peckham.
ATH:What are a few bands we in Austin and the States might not know about that should be on everyones musical radar?
L: Bryan Olson whos doing all the artwork for Laucan has a cool band called Shadowgraphs. Summer psych-pop vibes. He started it along with his brother and theyre based in Charlotte, NC. They have a new record out in April too.
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?
L: Im big into collisions and contrasts of style at the moment, it keeps in interesting. I find Im much more likely to feel inspired by something thats not my style actually. I think the crowd probably has every right to be angry at the world right now as wellI would have another beer and stick to my guns.
ATH:What’s your favorite album to come out in the last year? What’s playing in the tour bus/van?
L: Blieve Im Goin Down by Kurt Vile, might be a little over a year old actually but I love it. I was lucky enough to see him live when he was in the UK. Also, Bonobos new album is amazing.
ATH:What are your band’s thoughts on and experiences with streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, Youtube etc? Are you sticking to services like Bandcamp to sell and distribute?
L: Everyone has their different ways, I guess youd have to ask me in 10-20 years when Im trying to live off the .3 pence Ive earned through streaming. But seriously, I think its a great way to get people listening, then hopefully they come see you and buy a record or a shirt or a nice piece of artwork or whatever. Right now Im just focusing on getting my music out there, Im not expecting any great financial reward.
ATH:Clearly coming over to the SxSW 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.
L: My highlight every year is my trip to Scotland, its beautiful and peaceful and there is always good company to share it with. Plenty of walking and climbing crags.
ATH:Arent you happy we didnt ask about Trump?
L: Im just happy you didnt ask me about Brexit.