SXSW Interview: Frontier Folk Nebraska
Frontier Folk Nebraska is a rock n’ roll bunch from Ohio. They’re prepping the brand new Warpig EP, which comes out at the end of March, so you’ll be able to sample some of their tunes during SXSW…which is what it’s all about. But, luckily you can sample that EP below, as well as read up a little on the band as they head to Austin.
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?
FFN: This is indeed our first trip to Austin, and Texas in general. Were looking forward to seeing and meeting like minded bands that we can continue to play shows with or do a whole tour together. Were also hoping to eat some really great spicy food.
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?
FFN: We try to always operate on our own wave length. We dont alter things much because our plan is generally as organic as can be. We never make a setlist, ever. We might decide on the first two songs, but thats as far as we plan ahead. Weve been doing this for long enough to trust our collective instincts and follow that feel of the crowd each night, so hopefully we get some rowdy folks down there to propel us along.
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?
FFN: Weve been known to make regular stops for roller dogs at gas stations all across the midwest, but were hoping for some really good tacos on this trip. Basically the hotter the better. And beer, water and coffee are our fluids. Nothing fancy.
ATH:Describe the music community where you come from – Does everyone work together? Is there lots of competition?
FFN: The Cincinnati music scene is a great place to come from. The only competition is definitely in a healthy attitude of, look what theyre doing, I bet we could do that. We have all kinds of great friends in bands around town. We love and champion Wussy, Noah Wotherspoon, Dawg Yawp, Jeremy Pinnell, Wonky Tonk, Queen City Silver Stars, and countless others whenever were asked.
ATH: What are a few bands we in Austin and the States might not know about that should be on everyone’s musical radar?
FFN: Definitely all the ones we listed there along with: New Old Fashioned, SHRUG, Manray, Salvadore Ross, William Matheny and the Strange Constellations, Ona, Of the Dell, Tyler Childers…
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?
FFN: Have you been following us around silently for the past decade to present us with such a familiar situation? Just kidding…sorta. We’ve all been playing for a long time and try to just be ourselves at this point. Thats kind of the point of playing music for all of us; a path towards self understanding. Were believers that if we present the most forthright and legitimate version of ourselves we can muster that there isnt much more we can do.
ATH: What’s your favorite album to come out in the last year? What’s playing in the tour bus/van?
FFN: Our pals in William Matheny and the Strange Constellations put out a record a few weeks back on Misra Records that we’ve had the privilege to enjoy for close to the past year. Its superbly written and performed. Get it now.
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?
FFN: FFN is really the result of a long friendship between the two longest standing members over a bond formed shopping for records while they were in high school. Were big believers in physical artifacts as a means of getting our music to people and having it be something they can hopefully cherish for its artistic merits sonically and visually. We make the rounds after our sets to sell one on one most nights. That said, we love the ability to so easily be found by people the world over through streaming services and we often find that once our records are available to stream we see physical orders roll in as well. We love Bandcamps model the best and have used it since our second album came out as the most band friendly platform.
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.
FFN: Our past year has been our strongest ever. We got to do our second stop at Daytrotter, played all over the Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, West Virginia, and more, we got to play to the largest audience of our career in Dayton, OH when we opened a sold out show for Boston…yeah Boston. We had a live record come out on Old Flame Records that was our way of making a greatest hits album and we’re very proud of that. We also celebrated our 10th anniversary with a special show at home for a sold out stripped down performance with friends. We met lots of great people and felt a more solid footing of ourselves as a band as people. Baby steps. We ain’t going anywhere but the next show. See ya there.
ATH:Arent you happy we didnt ask about Trump?
FFN: So happy.