Did you miss South By Southwest in Austin last week? Or were you lucky enough to join thousands of other audiophiles and experience the annual festival and conference? Either way, we’ve got you covered.
Before SXSW began, we asked dozens of great ReverbNation Artists to help us document their time in Austin using #AustinSnapshot on Instagram and Twitter. You can see the whole #AustinSnapshot collage here, but we’ve also picked out some of our favorite shots that showcase everything from Texas BBQ to Game of Thrones pedicabs to all the great shows that happened during the week.
The ReverbNation team had an amazing time at SXSW. We interviewed bands like roots reggae group Meta and the Cornerstones, Brooklynites Highly Suspect, and many more. Read on to listen to their advice for bands who hope to make it to SXSW one day, and more photos and tweets from Reverb bands who were representing at the festival.
Want more? Check out our update from last week with quotes from some of the bands we were able to catch up with, plus some photos from their sets.
Play an unofficial SXSW event with Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas
Location: Austin, TX Genre(s): DJ, Dance, Dubstep, Electronica, Funk, Hip Hop, Indie, Pop, Punk, R&B/Soul, Rap, Reggae, Rock
The High School Nation Tour presented by Aquafina FlavorSplash (PepsiCo) is introducing their first non-official SXSW event and it’s going to take over the streets of Austin! Taking the stage for this epic event will be such superstars as Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), Drake Bell (from TV’s Drake & Josh), Trevor Jackson (Disney’s Let It Shine) and many more. One ReverbNation act will get to join the bill and perform on the Aquafina FlavorSplash Stage. Acts will perform in support of keeping music programs in local public schools in Austin and get the experience of a lifetime. Free attendance to the event will be provided to all artists who submit.
If you’ve heard of Google+ Hangouts, you’ve probably heard or seen Daria Musk. A Reverb artist since 2008, Daria pioneered the use of Google+ Hangouts for musicians when she hosted an 8-hour hangout concert last August (a month before will.i.am from Black Eyed Peas hosted his). On this impromptu interview in front of Kingdom Club in Austin, TX, Daria tells us about her SXSW experience and how the whole Google+ Hangouts experience happened in the first place. She also told us her favorite color.
Much like everything else that goes down at SXSW, I ran into Daria by total chance while walking on the busy streets of Austin. Her bubbly, outgoing and energetic personality made our connection that much better. I’m proud to say we became BFFs for a night.
While at SXSW in Austin, Texas, ReverbNation had the pleasure of catching an electrifying live performance by Vintage Trouble and since we couldn’t get enough, we asked them to sit down for an interview as well. It was especially amazing for me, Mariana, who have been an avid fan (or as they call it, “Troublemaker”) since I first heard them on ReverbNation about a month ago! And I believe after watching the video, reading the interview and listening to their music, you’ll be a Troublemaker too.
Vintage Trouble is: Ty Taylor (vocal), Nalle Colt (guitar), Rick Barrio Dill (base) and Richard Danielson (drums).
RN: Where’s Vintage Trouble from? Richard: [Los Angeles, California] is where we reside although the world seems to be our oyster these days.
RN: Ha! Have you been touring too much, is that what’s happening? Ty: Well, not too much… not enough actually. Although it’s been non-stop, [there’s] never enough touring. We spent most of 2011 in Europe and Australia, and now with the release of our record on April 24th here in the States, we’re finally getting to tour in the United States a lot.
RN: How would you define your sound to someone who has never heard your music before? Richard: We like to describe it as primitive, you know, it’s in the soul, kind of rock ‘n roll genre but we call it primitive-soul. Nalle: We like to take back R&B because, you know, it’s short for Rhythm and Blues — there’s something about when soul and rock music feel together. Rhythm and Blues… there’s something about it. Rick: Ty uses the word “devolve.” Ty: I got it from Richard though. Richard: I got it from Nalle! (laugh) Rick: I mean, it’s great! It’s a devolution of the sound. Instead of piling stuff up, we just keep stripping it down to as little as we can get it and still make it work. Richard: And you can spell Rhythm and Blues with all the letters, rather than just R&B which is a little different today. As Nalle would say, back in the day when Rhythm and Blues was Rhythm and Blues, the line was skewed as to what was soul, what was Rhythm and Blues, what was rock ‘n roll. It was a very interesting time of music and that’s kind of our favorite era.
RN: Tell me about your wardrobe style. Is that to go with the vintage feel of your music? Nalle: There’s something about dressing up for a show. We were all talking about it and we really like it! It just feels like you walk into a show. Richard: A lot of our heroes too would bring their suits to work, you know, sort of like a gladiator, or an athlete, or something. And there’s something about that that has sort of a dignity to it, it feels good. Rick: At least to us. It feels good to us.
RN: Speaking of shows, you guys do something unique in that you make everyone interact during the show. I mean, you had people clapping, you had people jumping, people going down to the floor, and going back up. Ty: Yeah, except for that one guy that wouldn’t go down! (laugh) He was really waiting for me to single him out and then he would’ve gone down, so I didn’t wanna single him out. Nalle: There’s always gonna be that one guy, it’s okay. Ty: Yeah, and it’s usually a guy in True Religion jeans. (laugh)
RN: So what’s the reason behind the fan interaction? Why do you like doing it? Richard: We like to party like anybody else, we like to be at parties and we also like to throw parties. Ty: And we like party favors. Richard: We like party favors, of course. We like to break down that wall between the band the audience and make it less about performance, you know, you watch us and we perform. It’s more about all of us in a room together having a great time, with this great energy back and forth. It just feels very good to be energized in a room like that, that’s what we strive for, that’s what we like ourselves in our own lives. Ty: Plus, we know what that kind of audience reaction does to us as we perform. So it’s almost like getting them to do that so that it can encourage us to dig deeper into what we‘re doing. You know, when you hear someone screaming right back at you or people dancing to what you’re playing, it’s gonna make you groove harder. If you can get them to party more, then we’ll party more!
RN: It’s all about the party. How about this party, SXSW, how is your experience here so far? Nalle: It’s incredible. Meeting musicians from all around the world. People are truly interested and want to make a connection. The time we’ve been here has been amazing. Ty: I love SXSW. But also Austin, Texas, in itself is a huge music city. I would like for us to come back here when it wasn’t SXSW as well because I wanna feel the city… you can tell there’s something underneath. It’s not always about the party, you know that. So I’d like to see what’s underneath the party here. You can tell just by how many music videos are done here that it’s an amazing place — I just want us to come here when it’s a little quieter and then we can really feel what makes this place so special.
RN: I’m so glad I saw you guys! It was a great experience. I love when a band does that kind of interaction with fans like you do. Ty: I’m surprised you are doing this interview! I just thought you were somebody out there jamming hard. I think there have been very few occasions where someone that was doing the interview was partying that hard, so thank you for that.
When we met the bands at SXSW, we were curious to find out how they got to Austin. Some flew, some drove and some flew and drove (like the 4-piece band Mr. Bleat all the way from Medellin, Colombia). Others, like the rock band from Long Island, Blameshift, used a more unconventional method of transportation — a method that serves as an example for many on-a-budget touring bands out there: the super economical veggie oil bus. Watch the video for a tour on the bus and a small impromptu performance, then read what Blameshift members have to say about the life of a veggie oil bus owner.
We bought a Ford E350 Diesel Shuttle Bus off of Craigslist a few years ago. We found out that Diesel vehicles are capable of running on veggie oil, so we started looking into it. We ended up driving out to Salt Lake City on a tour and had the bus converted out there. We bought a 70 gallon tank which we house in the bus itself. We use a pump to transfer the used vegetable oil from the dumpsters behind restaurants to our tank. On a full tank we can drive 700 miles. It took us about 2 years of solid trial and error to perfect the art of veggie oil finding and filtering. It definitely is not easy, but with a lot of determination we now have it down to a science. It’s a great feeling for us as an independent band to be able to drive coast to coast on less than $100 and not participate in increased gas demands and rising prices. It really has allowed us the freedom to be able to tour full time which is our ultimate goal. We have logged over 100,000 miles in this bus… and counting.
Did you go to SXSW this year? Well, these 6 bands did and they told ReverbNation what they thought of it. Watch the video to get a taste of what makes SXSW Music Week so special (hint: awesome live music everywhere, all the time)!
This is just the first of many videos we have prepared for you. Head to our previous blog post about SXSW for a basic recap of our experience at SXSW (and some pictures too).
And just for the fun of it, watch yours truly walking around with the infamous ‘ReverbNation sign’ while saying ‘Occupy South By’ and being thrown around by the wind: