SXSW Interview: Stef Chura
Stef Chura has been writing infectious rock n’ roll hits in Detroit for some time, but her names is quickly becoming well known to the greater indie rock realm. Most of this is due to her excellent LP, Messes, which hit in January. She took some time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions, and we’ve included her SXSW dates below to let you know where you’ll be able to catch her…and her hit “Spotted Gold” too! All after the jump-a-roo.
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?
Stef: I want to jump in that cold ass pool again! The one thats part of a river? I am excited to actually play SXSW (and official) this year! Last year I came to SXSW for the first time but I only hosted karaoke at Mollys Sodas art party.
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?
Stef: We are all going to play topless. And Bottomless.
But actually we will probably play mostly bangers, and maybe some weird woozie stuff to freak people out.
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?
Stef: I personally like Titos. My bass player is addicted to hot chocolate. I dream of an alternative reality where every show there is a juice bar instead of alcohol and they serve hi-quality vegan food.
My drummer will eat and drink anything; he is a human garbage can.
ATH:Describe the music community where you come from – Does everyone work together? Is there lots of competition?
Stef: Id say that Detroit’s music scene is probably all of those things. I feel like the rock community that I exist in is small and tight knit. But there is also a HUGE rap scene where there is a lot of representation and visibility. Its more of a platform for people to become actually famous in. But I don’t see those two communities working together and it is largely segregated in that sense.
ATH:What are a few bands we in Austin and the States might not know about that should be on everyone’s musical radar?
Stef: I would say Mega Bog and Tasseography. Also FLASHER ~ I am newly obsessed with this band. Also from Detroit I don’t see why Bev Love isn’t famous.
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?
Stef: I personally am not intimidated by a scenario like this. I like playing bills of unusual genres and our band is able to tour between a lot of genres itself. For instance we have toured with more melodic bands like Car Seat Headrest but we also play with a lot of punk bands and have toured with Priests as well. Also for some reason sometimes I think we sound a lot better on a shitty PA. As far as deal with the situation I would hand out 100 dollar bills.
ATH:What’s your favorite album to come out in the last year? What’s playing in the tour bus/van?
Stef: Jeez there was SO much good music. I was a fan of Teens of Denial by Car Seat Headrest. I also think the 7 inch by Jay Som with I Think You’re Alright was AMAZING. I think that is one of the best songs to come out in a long time.
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?
Stef: I think it is a luxury to pass up on those services. We do sell our stuff on bandcamp and although we don’t sell physical stuff on Spotify (yet) I consider it an invaluable tool for our generation. Although I agree it ruined the music industry, services like this would inevitably exist, if you are a smaller band you need it to survive. And I feel like a lot of money has shifted to ticket sales rather than album sales.
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.
Stef: I am excited to get to play/tour with a myriad of new bands that I admire and respect: Mac DeMarco, R.Ring, Priests, Flasher, Sad13, Downtown Boys, Sneaks. And that’s only this spring! This is a really special year and I’m so happy our record is out in the world.
ATH:Aren’t you happy we didn’t ask about Trump?
Stef: LoL, no lets brawl.
8pm – Michigan House Showcase @ Stay Gold (1910 E Cesar Chavez St)
10pm – Tiger Bomb Showcase @ Tap Room at Six (117 West 4th Street)
12:15am – Third Man Records Party @ Beerland (711.5 Red River)
2:40pm – Austin Oasis 2017 @ Hole in the Wall (2538 Guadalupe Street)