Since 2015, we have asked independent artists to share their favorite memories from their time at SXSW. In just a couple of years, this project has become one of our most popular features thanks to the growing interests of bands and singers from around the world. Forty-five artists participated in this year’s edition, including Mt. Wolf.
The London-based trio have tantalized music fans far and wide, including ourselves, with their cinematic approach to electronica. Breathtaking, tantalizing, transfixing…there aren’t enough adjectives to describe their music. It’s time to get the thesaurus out because their debut album, Aetherlight, will be released on May 26th on CRC Music. Mt. Wolf are Sebastian Fox, Stevie Red McMinn, and Al Mitchell, and the memories provided below are from Stevie.
Many artists will say this, but traveling to America to play shows is basically the dream, and it feels a bit like for the first time you’re in a proper band. If you tell people that you meet you’re in a band, you can often get a questionable look, “Ohh okayy, coool…” And if that person continues to ask you questions about your band and you happen to mention you’re going to America to play SXSW in Austin, Texas, that person suddenly starts taking you and your band seriously. “What’s your band’s name? I’ll have to check you guys out”. Finally once you’re off your flight, through customs and your feet are on American soil, it’s a pinch-yourself moment, and you take a minute to take everything in. We were lucky enough to be going to SXSW for a second time, and a second year running – the first time in 2016 we flew in via LA and this time via New York. Both times it felt like a pretty huge moment for us, and we know it’s just another stepping stone on a very long journey ahead, but both trips I’m sure we will remember for the rest of our lives.
Coming back to Austin, I think it was an even more successful and worthwhile experience. Not only because we knew the city a lot better and felt a little less overwhelmed by the whole experience, but because we were playing more shows and more prestigious shows. All of the four official showcases that we played were really great in terms of the venue and the number of people we had watching us. Our highlights, however, were:
- The British Music Embassy and playing stage alongside some artists we love like Charlie Cunningham & Let’s Eat Grandma, and
- The Javelina Showcase at 1 AM where we had people screaming for more, and we managed to get away with playing an encore. We never realised this before but we have some die-hard fans in Austin, and it’s such an incredible feeling to meet people who live on the other side of the world and know your music so well.
Of the artists that we managed to see at the festival, our favourites were Future Islands, Billie Eilish, Kano, CHINAH, Linying, and Phoria. Our favourite parties were definitely:
- Spotify House – which had taken over a mansion, was offering free everything to artists including food / drink / guitar goodies and massages, and it essentially seemed like the place to be, and
- The Orchard’s party at Pelon’s Tex-Mex, where we ended up boogie-ing with a girl in a panda costume, “Vanda the Panda”, who was shooting money from her money gun. It’s certainly one way of celebrating International Panda Day. Whilst on the subject of furry animals, we also made friends with a man who was out casually walking his ferrets and that is probably a memory that will stick with us for a long time.
Austin is famous for its food, so we can’t talk about our trip there without mentioning how incredible the food is. We pretty much ate Tex-Mex for the entire week, and we had the most delicious BBQ food (from La BBQ) we’ve ever had in our lives. Honorary mentions go to the Don Juan at Juan in a Million, P Terry’s burgers, and the Crab Cake Benedict at Counter Cafe.
On both occasions, we stayed with the most amazing couple, Adrian and Lexi, who are locals to Austin and the nicest / kindest people you’re ever likely to meet. Having their local knowledge and just generally hanging out with them in their favourite bars / restaurants was one of the best things about both trips. We feel like we’ve made some friends for life, and can’t wait to visit them again soon.
Thank you to every person who came to see us at the festival, every stage that booked us, every blog that wrote about us and finally for SXSW for inviting us. We can’t wait to come back!
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