SXSW Interview: Whitney Ballen

Every year we get super-excited about SXSW, and it’s hard to cover everything we want. So, we’ve come up with our annual SXSW questionnaire, and each year we change the questions just a bit, then throw ’em out to everyone we know. Today, we’re happy to share the responses from Whitney Ballen, who released her latest with Father/Daughter Records last year.

ATH: Whats the name of the band/group? Where are you from?

WB: Whitney Ballen – Seattle, WA

ATH: Describe your groups sound.

WB: Indie Rock/Singer Songwriter/Folk Rock

ATH: What was your most recent release? Any planned releases from 2019?

WB: “You’re A Shooting Star, I’m A Sinking Ship” full length released in August 2018 via Father Daughter Records and Substitute Scene Records. No planned releases yet for 2019.

ATH: For most SXSW sets, you get 30 minutes to leave a lasting impression. Whats your plan of attack? You have a set list mapped out yet?

WB: Kill ’em with vulnerability. Will be performing songs from my latest release.

ATH: Lets say your band has been booked an official showcase at a pop up venue somewhere in the middle of 6th street. 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?

WB: Keep on singing, keep on playing, forget about the world.

ATH: There are tons of bands coming into town. Of the 1000+ bands coming into town, who would you ideally like to play with. What band friends will be here? So many internet band friends and IRL friends…

WB:Oh, Rose, Pedro the Lion, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Cumulus, Chris Staples, Madeline Kenney . Been crushing on the following bands lately and would love to play with them- Barrie, Bellows, Doe, Illuminati Hotties, Indigo Sparke, John Vanderslice, Laura Stevenson, Ratboys.

ATH: What has everyone in the band been listening to, or, what plays in the tour van/car/bus?

WB: A lot of the above and we are constant KEXP, Audiotree and Tiny Desk listeners.

ATH: Describe your perfect festival, real or not? Whos headlining? Wheres it take place? Etc.

WB: Takes place close to home (Seattle), but not in the city. Includes camping, coffee, old Modest Mouse hits, Built to Spill, the National and a lot of PNW locals.

ATH: Whats on the bands rider? If were bringing you food and booze, what can we bring you?

WB: Seltzer water! Fresh fruit! Fresh veggies!

ATH: The band gets to create their own taco pop-up shop at SXSW? Whats the name, and what sort of tacos will you have? Any sides?

WB: Soft Taco- vegetarian taco pop-up, served by softies with free avocado as an add-on.

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