SXSW Interviews: Constant Follower

I spent a lot of last year hyping Constant Follower, particularly around the release of Neither Is, Nor Ever Was. So, I’m really excited to see the band coming over here to play SXSW this year. We were fortunate enough to grab a few moments from the band and have them fill out our little questionnaire, with one of their hits below to sample.

ATH: What’s the name of the band/group? Where are you from?

CF: We’re Constant Follower from Stirling, Scotland.

ATH: Describe your groups sound.

CF: Soaringambientdreampopexperimentalfolkmusic from Scotland.

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

CF: Our debut album Neither Is, Nor Ever Was came out on Shimmy Disc in October. We have an EP coming out in late 2022 and the follow-up album in early 2023. I’ve finished writing the songs and begin recording when we return from SXSW.

ATH: Everyone’s 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?

CF: Our album coming out was the big one. And it finding its way onto so many Best Album of the year lists that was a surprise and an honour. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the album, and how it went to second pressing so quick the opportunity to get it out in a different translucent colour! Apart from that I’ve had the joy of working on some collaborations with heroes of mine I’m not allowed to announce those yet, but its going to be a huge step in my music. And of course getting the invite to SXSW out of the blue. That was cool.

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

CF: It had always been on my radar. I knew the name but not so much about the festival. It was only after being invited that I really began to look into the festival, its roots and the wonderful city of Austin. This will be the bands first time in the USA so were all pretty excited. And the many welcome emails from people in Austin offering their help and saying nice things about the music that was unexpected. We do feel a very warm vibe coming from the people and cant wait to come over and play for you all. Especially our show at St David’s Bethel Hall on the 15th that must be the perfect venue for our music.

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?

CF: Our music seems to have a quality that makes people take a breath and listen. Its gentle, but when we begin to play, people listen. In a situation like this, wed just go on, quietly set up, introduce ourselves, and begin to play the best we can and mean the songs as much as we can. And if anyone talks, well get them after.

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?

CF: I love harps today. What would it be like just lots of harps. And the people in robes. A bit culty? My pal told me about a festival in Japan where they have big fans hiding behind the hill and they blow Japanese Cherry Blossom over, raining them into the valley. Id have some of that going on too. And it would take place as close to my house as possible.

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

CF: We’ve been listening a lot to radio shows like Irene Trudel on WFMU and Pacific Notions on KEXP. I like to hear a lot of new stuff. Things stick on first listen and Ill go buy the album. I’ve been burning a hole in the new Penelope Isles on Bella. And there’s a record by a guy called Andy Aquarius on Hush Hush that’s particularly beautiful and being played a lot at the moment it has a harp.

ATH: There’s been a lot of discussion about Spotify and streaming and all that these last few months where does the band stand? What’s your solution?

CF: Streaming is broken. Artists should be paid fairly for their work. The solution is to use platforms that pay artists fairly and not use platforms that don’t.

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

CF: It’ s called Mozzarella. And it just serves mozzarella. I eat 2 or 3 mozzarella (mozzarelli?) a day. I’d be my main customer.

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