SXSW 2014 Interview: Juan Wauters

juanJuan Wauters is probably best known for his work with the Beets, but with his release of North American Poetry on Captured Tracks coming this year, it establishes him as a man all his own.  He took some time to answer a few of our questions before he starts his trek down to Austin. Check out what he had to say.

ATH: There was a lot of hubbub last year concerning corporate sponsors and pay to play and what not at SXSW. As a band, what’s your reason for coming to pay at the festival? What do you hope to get out of it?

JW: Hi. We are going to the festival because we have a new project and we would like people to see it. Even though it has its things, it is a good place to go and play a lot and have a lot of different people watch you. What I hope is that a lot of different people watch it.

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?

JW: We don’t have a set list until the day of the show. The show changes by the show. It is not thought out in a way in which you can plan ahead like that. Our attack is to spontaneously play concise show.

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?

JW: It depends on the day. Sometimes I like a smoothie and sometimes I like a steak.

ATH: We are partial to SXSW obviously, but what festival do you feel is the best around?

JW: I haven’t played many festivals yet, but I wouldn’t be able to say which one is my favorite.

ATH: Let’s 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?

JW: If we had agreed to play such show, we would, as always, try our hardest to play a good show for them. One of the things I enjoyed the most within the craziness of SXSW is the variety of crowds the musicians are exposed to. To learn to play to all different crowds is what a musician should stride for.

ATH: What’s your favorite album to come out in the last year? What’s playing in the tour bus?

JW: We listen to Howard Stern in the car. I am not sure about my favorite record of the year since I didn’t follow up the releases that much. I am sorry.

ATH: The digital age is upon us, like it or not. What are your band’s thoughts on streaming services like spotify,pandora, etc.? Blow em all up? Or embrace the future?

JW: I embrace the future while having a sense of what the art in a physical copy of an album means. I like to put on an album and interact with the physical activity and limitations that it has. Different people have different preferences and that is fine. I worry about how these changes will affect the way we interact with music.


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