SXSW Interviews: The Ghost Wolves
As we pump out more interviews leading up to SXSW, let us not forget our local friends who will be working hard all over town just like everyone else. One of our favorite up and comers in Austin has be garage/blues band Ghost Wolves. Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Konya was kind enough to offer up his opinion on all things SXSW. Follow the jump to read his responses.
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?
GW: Pay to play is complete bullshit and we all need to make an effort to run those fuckers out of the towns and scenes we inhabit. Any promoter soliciting money from the people they should be paying …ugh…they just represent the slimiest part of the industry. Gross.
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?
GW: We plan to just rock as hard as possible.
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?
GW: We’re big believers in plant based eating as a way to keep our bodies and our planet healthy. Animal agriculture is the #1 contributor to global warming. For the booze side, I love rum, Carley digs on whiskey.
ATH: There are tons of bands coming into town. Who would you ideally like to play with of the 1000s of bands gracing our city? Make your own optimal line-up.
GW: I honestly haven’t hardly looked yet at who’s coming but I do know our pals Tan Vampires rule, we’re playing with them, and also we’re on a bill on monday at Hotel Vegas with American Sharks and Diarrhea Planet, who we’re huge on.
ATH: We are partial to SXSW obviously, but what festival do you feel is the best around?
GW: There’s a lot of nay-sayers about SXSW, but we always have a good time, so many young acts showing up, you’re bound to find something awesome. Midpoint Music Fest was great last year too.
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?
GW: We’re big on crowd energy, so not really sure on that. Hip hop and spoken word are good by us but we pass on the thrash.
ATH: What’s your favorite album to come out in the last year? What’s playing in the tour bus?
GW: I’m not sure if they’re in the last year but “i’m rich beyond your wildest dreams” by Diarrhea Planet was killer. Every song better than the last. We also love records by The Ettes. Nashville’s got some action.
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?
GW: Streaming is fine, it’s not going away, so whatever. It’s funny how many people have mentioned lately they listen to us on Spotify. Hopefully they show up and buy a vinyl at a show. The live experience is still worth something, and that’s what we enjoy most about being musicians, so we really focus on that.
ATH: Day parties have replaced showcases for music discovery? Is the conference really completely upside-down?
GW: Who really knows? I don’t think anybody can really figure the whole thing out. But it’s good for the city, good for the industry, good for everyone involved as long as they’re smart about it.
ATH: Flatstock is a crowd favorite. Have you ever been to browse? Find a print to buy? Find a print from one of your shows you didn’t know existing?
GW: Haven’t been but would like to check it out!
Thanks again Jonathan! Screw pay to play.