SXSW Interviews: Alex Lahey
In the last few weeks, Dead Oceans announced they’ll be releasing Alex Lahey‘s B-Grade University EP. You take that, and great quality music, and there’s going to be some buzz for Alex when she comes into Austin in a few weeks. We caught up with her to have her answer our SXSW questionnaire. Click on to read her responses and check her latest video!
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?
Alex: This is my first time playing shows in the US and my first ever to Austin! Other than playing a bunch of really fun shows, my band and I are physically and mentally preparing ourselves for indulging in a copious amount of Texas BBQ. Bring it on.
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?
Alex: I think it’s going to be a balance of giving the sets everything we’ve got in terms of energy, chops and just generally committing to the performances, while not wigging ourselves out and making sure we have a great time. The best shows are the ones that you have fun playing, so it’s important not to lose that!
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?
Alex: Hummus. Lots of hummus. We tend to go through phases of what we like on our rider. At the moment it’s bananas, coconut water and Pinot Noir. But hummus and Coopers beer always remain high on the list.
ATH:Describe the music community where you come from – Does everyone work together? Is there lots of competition?
Alex: The Melbourne music community is the perfect place to get a start. There are so many opportunities for bands to get their first shows and really cut their teeth at venues that are iconic to the scene. As the scene is so small, there is far more an air of collaboration and teamwork among musicians rather than competition. As far as us Melbourne musos are concerned, a victory for any of us is a victory for all of us.
ATH:What are a few bands we in Austin and the States might not know about that should be on everyones musical radar?
Alex: Here are some Aussies for you – Camp Cope, Eilish Gilligan, Bec Sandridge, Middle Kids, Cub Sport and The Football Club
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?
Alex: You’ve just got to run with it. My way of dealing with situations like that is to just go with it and have a laugh, or compare it to far worse situations you’ve encountered and have a laugh. Either way, you’re having a laugh and leaving the situation with a smile on your face. Nothing can compare to the time the South Australian Police found a box of merch with my name on it in a KFC at 4am. That’s always a worthy point of comparison.
ATH:What’s your favorite album to come out in the last year? What’s playing in the tour bus/van?
Alex: Camp Cope’s self titled album was amazing and really challenged my ideas of songwriting and recording. Right now, we’re on tour with Tegan and Sara in the UK, so I’ve been listening to quite a bit of their back catalogue, which is quite a nostalgic experience! ‘So Jealous’ is on particularly high rotation right 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?
Alex: I think that as artists, it’s important to adapt to the new ways in which music is reaching people and people are reaching music. These services are yet another platform that facilitates a relationship between an artist and an audience, which is why I choose to use those services as I consider the purpose of them to be mostly a positive thing.
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.
Alex: As I said before, I’m currently on tour in Europe with Tegan and Sara (I’m trying not to feel too woozy as I type this interview on the ferry between Wales and Ireland…), which is one of my biggest achievements to date! I’m also working on my debut album at the moment, which will be released before the end of the year. The first record for any artist is very much a “bucket list” moment and I’m really excited to share it with the world!
ATH:Arent you happy we didnt ask about Trump?
Alex: Let’s not even go there…