Where are days 1-3? The music portion of SXSW ran from Tuesday March 15th till Sunday March 20th. My best friend slash business partner Mitch and I arrived in Austin the morning of Friday the 18th which was day 4 of the festival. Technically it was Day 1 for us, but in SXSW world we were covering Day 4. We landed around 6am Central Time, and when we arrived at the hotel our room wasn’t ready. Considering check-in is usually around 3pm it wasn’t a surprise but we needed to sort out our luggage and get ready for a long day. We got some breakfast and consolidated what we needed into one bag each. We headed to the rest room and got changed there and as we were about to head out, we got the call from the hotel that our room was ready. We threw the extra bags in the room and headed out on our first day of coverage, SXSW 2016 Chronicle Day 4.
FRIDAY 03/18/16 – AUSTIN, TEXAS
Our first interview was with rising pop sensation Alexx Mack. We had just picked up our media credentials at the Convention Center and had scheduled to meet with Alexx in this area. I don’t want to give away too much before the interview comes out but she was really down to earth and her taste in fashion was perfect for Highlark’s style.
We had a little bit of time before the next interview, so we went to the ‘Radio Day Stage’ to see a Chvrches showcase that was about to start. The room was full and although it wasn’t their typical live setup they sounded great. Lauren Mayberry is just so good as a vocalist and was charmingly funny between songs, giving the crowd a good laugh. We were standing next to these 2 media girls from the UK (Lisa Brook, Kate Wellham) who were rocking some cool threads and they were kind enough to let us snap a quick photo on the phone. We were trying to keep an eye out for “The Styles of SXSW” showcasing some well-dressed attendees, so these 2 were the first! It goes to show how global SXSW has become, attracting media and music enthusiasts from around the world.
Next up was our interview with Honduras. We headed to the 6th Street area where the heart of the action was. We saw this really fashionable guy on the way, so we chatted with him for a bit. His name was King Osiris and he is a journalist that photographs rappers, hence Rapographer (Rappographer?). How clever is that!
Honduras was dealing with an issue with the bank as well as hitting traffic, hence running late. We were scheduled to interview Dreamers afterwards, so we headed over to their showcase. Sometimes a 3 piece band can sound thin, but Dreamers definitely did not have this problem. Part of the appeal of SXSW is the ability to play in front of a new audience, but it must be exciting for the artists to see fans in cities they’ve never played in before. Dreamers clearly had several of those who were mouthing the words to their songs. A few songs in to their set, we got a message from the Honduras guys so we stepped outside to take care of this interview.
Honduras had a rough morning but they didn’t let it bring them down. They were cool guys, and we had a nice chat about the scene back home in Brooklyn. We headed back into the venue as Dreamers were wrapping up their set. These guys definitely have that rock star look, but don’t take themselves too seriously and gave us a fun interview. After we left, we noticed a guy wearing a Dope hat. We had just featured that brand before we came to Austin so we had to get a photo of Mista28.
I was pretty excited about who we had scheduled next, Cipha Sounds, who is a house hold name everywhere but especially in NYC. It was cool to see a bunch of people come up to him and give him respect. Although he is known for his DJ and radio work, he was primarily here at SXSW to promote his new line of work which is comedy.
We had a little bit of time before the next interview so we headed back to the Convention Center to catch Hindsperform. The girls from Madrid Spain are killing it right now, even selling out shows in UK. Their music is great, but their fun live show definitely contributes to their rapidly growing popularity. Girls are doing amazing things and dominating the music scene right now, and we were also able to catch another badass chick over at the Spotify House, Alison Mosshart from The Kills. The venue was packed and the crowd was excited to see them perform, promoting their upcoming album Ash & Ice. This was where we met Chelsea, Jaclyn and Shelby, who were dressed to kill (pun intended). We left the show a little early to make sure we had enough time to make it to yet another interview with another awesome girl band, Daddy Issues. They might be one of my favorites right now, especially after meeting them in person. Just don’t mix them up with another band of the same name!
The next artist we checked out was a little bit of a last minute thing. Yoshiki, is a former Japanese rock star and drummer for the band X Japan. He was here at SXSW promoting his documentary We Are X, and is currently a superstar in the classical music world. My sister was and is a huge fan of X Japan so suggested I go check out the film. I couldn’t catch the film but made it to his performance at Paramount Theater. It started to rain and we were already so tired and hot from walking around all day, so it felt so good to sit in this theater and watch his performance. I ended up calling my sister and leaving the phone on so she can hear him play. It was amazing to see a line outside of the theater for him.
It was still pouring when we left the Paramount, but had to make it to Barracuda to interview Diarrhea Planet. Most venues utilized their outdoor space as well as indoor which messed up the show schedules quite a bit. It also eliminated the option to shoot the interviews outdoors. We went into a little shack for Diarrhea Planet where they were hanging out waiting for their late night set. These guys are really funny which you will see when we put up their interview. Luckily the rest of our schedule was at Barracuda including Daddy Issues’ live set as well as our final interview for Day 4, Death Valley Girls. The venue had 2 stages going between inside and outside. They had decided to setup the bands scheduled outside on the middle of the main floor. It actually created a cool setting to see a live performance. After their set, we tried to figure our where we can do the interview. The rain had stopped but it was now pretty cold outside. The venue was way too loud with showcases still going on. They suggested we hop in their tour van so we did just that. I had so much fun on this interview, and I really won’t spoil it yet and it maybe rather hard to explain in words anyway. Just watch it when it goes live, they were great! We ended the day by catching Plague Vendor‘s showcase. We didn’t know they were playing here so it was a nice surprise. They rocked Barracuda with a great high energy performance and we passed the fuck out when we stumbled back to the hotel room.