SXSW Interview: The Ophelias

Cincinnati’s four piece act, The Ophelias, have obliged us by taking some time out to fill out our SXSW questionnaire. If you’re not on the up and up, the band released their well-regarded album, Almost, last summer, and it’s probably something you should have in your record collection (it’s in mine). Thanks to Spencer for taking the time out to answer our questions.

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

Spencer: We’re The Ophelias, and we’re from Cincinnati, Ohio.

ATH: Describe your groups sound.

Spencer: Baroque-indie-art-rock-pop. Melancholic-moon-music. Nature-punk.

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

Spencer: We released our album “Almost” in July of 2018 on Joyful Noise Records. And I guess you’ll see if there’s anything in 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?

Spencer: We’re trying to include as many of the “album sounds” as we can, mostly through samples and arrangements. There’s a lot of layers and samples on the album, everything from violin drones to voicemail recordings. And just a lot of practice! It’s a matter of making sure everything is as tight as it can be.

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?

Spencer: Honestly, it wouldn’t be the weirdest show we’ve played. I think we’d make some jokes (maybe about being angry at the world?), play our set, and let it go.

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?

Spencer: There areso manybands we want to see. Friends of ours coming into town include Bellows, Sidney Gish, Slow Pulp, Leggy, Halima, Smut, and Florry. We can’t wait to see all of them, as well as Bush Tetras, Cherry Glazerr, SASAMI, Madeline Kenney, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Ratboys, illuminati hotties, Big Joanie, Crumb, Lina Tullgren, Palberta, ShitKid, and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who’s speaking. We’re so excited! The lineup is unbelievable.

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

Spencer: We all have pretty varied music tastes, and we alternate who plays music in the van. Kali Uchis, Lala Lala, Sheryl Crow, that dog. We listened to the Soccer Mommy albumCleanso much we had to start rationing it out. “We won’t listen to it today so we can listen to it tomorrow…”

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

Spencer: I feel like our perfect festival would be abroad, somewhere where the weather is perfect and the healthcare is free. Joanna Newsom, Paramore, Esperanza Spalding, Rihanna, and St. Vincent circa 2011 as headliners.

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

Spencer: Tbh kombucha, we’re all into a good buch. There are these vegan chocolate candies called Unreal that are great, some good ol fruit, vegetables. The rest of the gals are into beer but I can’t have gluten so I’m a cider girl.

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?

Spencer: I Could Drink a Queso You, Darling, and I Would Still Be On My Feet. A little wordy, but worth it.

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