SXSW Interviews: Johnny Aries (of the Drums)

You know we love the Drums, so why not start off today’s interviews catching up with Johnny Aries, who will be releasing a solo record later this year via Park the Van. It’s short and sweet, just the right teaser to hopefully get you thinking that Johnny should be on your list of acts to catch while you’re in town…if you’re in town. Also, since its early, hats off to Beck. IYKYK.

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

Johnny: Im Johnny Aries, originally from Margate, England but residing in NYC.

ATH: Describe your groups sound.

Johnny: I’d say this upcoming record is sensitive and beautiful with the occasional fury thrown in.

ATH: What was your most recent release? Any planned releases for 2022?

Johnny: My sophomore solo record is coming out on Park The Van records sometime before June 2022.

ATH: Everyones been focused on the negative aspects of the last few years? What are a few good things that came about for you as an individual or the band as a whole during the last two pandemic-stricken years?

Johnny: I think we are happy to be alive, I think the pandemic was kind of a societal reset. We should appreciate the things we take for granted. We should disassociate from the material world a little more!

ATH: Why play SXSW? Whats the draw for the band? What about this festival will bring you to Austin?

Johnny: I think me and my bandmates here are enjoying having an adventure, leaving NY and hitting the road!

ATH: Lets say your band has 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 is growing antsy. How would your band deal with such a situation?

Johnny: Probably hand out free cans of twisted tea to calm everyone down!

ATH: There are tons of bands coming into town, but if you could create your own perfect festival, who would you have playing? Would it have a sick name? Where would it take place?

Johnny: Check Abysmal Fest in July in LA.

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

Johnny: We all have varying tastes, but we like in no particular order currently: Alaska Reid, Porches, Bill Evans, Ekkstacy, Fred Neil, Oasis.

ATH: Theres been a lot of discussion about Spotify and streaming and all that these last few monthswhere does the band stand? Whats your solution?

Johnny: I think I gave up expecting to make money with music a while ago. Id just like people to hear the work I work hard on.

ATH: The band gets to create their own food truck to take on the road. Whats it called, and what are you serving?

Johnny: Well, Id give Gordon Ramsay a run for his money. Were serving Kebabs, Italian Food, and Soup. Free trip to the Hospital included.

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