SXSW Interview: Small Time Napoleon

For me, since I was 16 and buying my SXSW wristband at Albertson’s, the festival has always been about discovery, about stumbling upon something gorgeous and new. Luckily, it still is, especially with our SXSW questionnaire. Today I’m pleased to introduce you to, Kentucky’s Small Time Napoleon. Don’t you wanna know who they are?

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

STN: Small Time Napoleon from Louisville, Kentucky

ATH: Describe your groups sound.

STN: Our sound is a mix of jazz, singer-songwriter, and Americana.

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

STN: Our most recent release was in 2017, Too Big To Fail. We have no releases planned for 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?

STN: We haven’t written a set list yet, but we have a few ideas for tunes. We can be someone deceptive when we get on stage. We wear suits and have an over all jazz ‘look’ to us. But, we are able to rock pretty hard and people seem to like the surprise.

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?

STN: We have played a variety of shows in the past with bad sound, gear, etc. We’ve pushed through sick, with killer hangovers, and broken strings. If the crowd is angry, we’ll play something angry.

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?

STN: I don’t think we have many friends coming through town this year, though some have played SXSW in the past. We’re big fans of a NY group called Upstate, any excuse to play with them, we take.

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

STN: We listen to everything from Tom Waits to Elvis Costello to Paul Simon. When it gets late and we need to stay awake for the drive, we turn on some System of A Down or Rage Against the Machine.

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

STN: Our ideal festival is outdoors, warm, headlined by Costello or Waits and features The Woods Brothers. As far as location, probably Red Rocks.

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

STN: The band’s rider was recently mixed up with another band by our booking agent and included dried fruit, sun chips, juice, water, and trailmix. Which ended up being kind of nice. We’ll eat almost anything. As far as drink: water, bourbon, and sour beers.

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?

STN: Our taco shop is called: Small Grind Neapolitan, we sell basic tacos featuring no more than 3 ingredients of your liking. Sides include Three cheese nachos and three bean dip.

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