SXSW Interview: Ali Barter

I love a great Australian voice, and we’ve seen so many come across our pages recently, like Ali Barter, who we’ve mentioned in the past. But, it’s not always easy for acts to get across the pond, so I’m really excited that she’ll be make her way across to the US for this year’s SXSW. It’s never a year without one great Aussie act or another! Last year she released Hello, I’m Doing My Best, and as we see here, she’s in LA working on the follow-up. SXSW seems like the perfect time to work out some kinks. See what else Ali has to say below.

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

Ali: My name is Ali Barter and I’m from Melbourne, Australia.

ATH: Describe your groups sound.

Ali: I call my sound, 90’s influenced grunge pop. Cos it’s heart on my sleeve, raw and rock-y but essentially they are pop songs.

ATH: What was your most recent release? Any planned releases from 2020?

Ali: In 2019 I release my second album ‘Hello, I’m Doing My Best’ which is going great!! I’ve been in LA writing songs for my 3rd record which I plan to release next year.

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?

Ali: Well, when writing a showcase set list, it’s gotta be all killer, no filler. Only the most fun, most loud songs are getting played. Maybe a solo song if the vibe allows. I try to yell as much as possible in the first song too, just to get people’s attention. Then back it up with some wailing guitar solos and big choruses to stay in peoples heads.

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 is growing ancy. How would your band deal with such a situation?

Ali: I would adapt. I can make my set can work in lots of situations. I would ham up the feedback and screaming for the thrash metal band, or strip it back for the spoken word – I love playing solo! If the crowd gets antsy, I just tell some stories, make eye contact and re engage – make them uncomfortable so they listen. Or just yell at them if they are talking and not paying attention. Anyway – I WILL MAKE IT WORK. And if they don’t like it, c’est la vie. My mum likes it.

ATH: There are tons of bands coming into town. Of the 1000+ bands coming into town, who would you ideally like to play with. Which band friends will be here?

Ali: I really wanna see Hotel Lux and Hazy Sour Cherry! Would love to play with either of them. And from Aus I got some sweet friends coming, Alice Skye, San Mei and Approachable Members Of Your Local Community! They are all awesome so check them out!

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

Ali: I have been listening exclusively to Khalid, Sia and Colin Hay. Pretty random mix but all great songwriters! I’m a song nerd, I love the craft. AND I am writing for the next record so always trying to be inspired.

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

Ali: My perfect festival does NOT involve camping. I hate camping. I love day festivals or SXSW type festivals where you can roll around and see heaps of music in different venues. And eat great food! There would be other art forms too, maybe some slam poetry, comedy or performance art. I love seeing people in other disciplines express themselves. It makes me think about other aspects of my own art. And it’s more interesting to have artistic diversity.

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

Ali: I’m not very rock and roll, so on my rider, I love some sparkling water and coffee. And chips! Oh and a French Bulldog puppy. If that’s not too much trouble.

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?

Ali: It’s called ‘Tacosauras’ and all the tacos are dinosaur themed. So theres the Brontosaurus, which is a really big taco. The T Rex which is really spicy but has really tiny arms and the Diplodocus which come with many types of dip. And you can get a side of ‘Neander-sauce’ which is a hot sauce that will eventually take over the taco. Be careful of that stuff.

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