Every year around March thousands of bands, music industry folk and music lovers descend upon Austin, Texas for SXSW. The soaring heat, the parties, the tacos and each band playing about 500 shows over the course of a week is what makes the festival so special. One of the plus points of attending a festival with so many bands playing is that you can stumble around and find new bands to fall in love with, rather than sticking to a strict deadline. We're a music site though, and we like nothing more than imparting our wisdom on you folk. We caught up with some of the bands that we think you should out to see how they feel about playing SXSW. Unfortunately we're not heading to Texas this year, but for anyone that is, this feature is for you. A special thanks to Kerry Hyndman (www.kerryhyndman.co.uk) for the wonderful artwork. Photobucket Name: Asobi Seksu [www.myspace.com/asobiseksu] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? Excitement level turbo 10!! Have you been to SXSW before? If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before? Haven't been there in 2 years. Super excited to play and run into friends. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? Twin Shadow, Erykah Badu. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? Love me some tacos! Photobucket Photobucket Name: Times New Vikings [http:/www.myspace.com/timesnewviking ] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? 10. Sunshine, Texas, good friends, free shoes. It is indie rock Summer Camp. Only bummer is bands play for free. Have you been to SXSW before? If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before? We haven’t been since 2008 - That was insane. Played at least 8 shows. Always look forward to going to Austin no matter what time of year. Barton Springs and bbq. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? Mostly excited to see some UK bands. Esben and the Witch, Veronica Falls, and Edwyn Collins. Also, wild flag! Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? Not sure what a SXSW taco is, but I will most likely have some tacos. All Americans love tacos. I had tripe tacos last time in Austin. I think I will just stick with the barbacoa this time. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Baths [http://www.myspace.com/bathsmusic ] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? 9! A little nervous about the sound in some places, but it will be an amazing experience regardless. Have you been to SXSW before? If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before? Yes, and it was rad as hell, but I wasn't 21 yet so I didn't get to see a lot unfortunately. I spent a lot of time at the convention center. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? I have NO IDEA?!? I have yet see who's playing. But I'll be seeing as many as I can. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? I guess so? I haven't heard of them. I am very out of the loop, but I'm down Photobucket Photobucket Name: Windmill [www.myspace.com/windmillband] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? I'm sure there will be some 10's in the group once we get there. Everyone is swamped in organising and fighting the bureaucracy wizard at the moment. He is nearly defeated though... throw thermal pod... Have you been to SXSW before? If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before? No, I have never been before. The closest I have been was touring Mexico, many years ago, with my harmonica act, 'Puffman and the Jackets'. That was tough, as the heat meant both I and the Jackets couldn't produce enough saliva for the harmonicas. Talk about humiliating. I advise people bring extra saliva. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? We have been so swamped in arranging getting ourselves there that I have no clue as to what is actually going on. That should unfold into a marvellous surprise upon arrival. When we realise 'Devon Chocoblock' is playing an intimate, acoustic show, right around the corner. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? Yep. I might even venture south for some Mexican Maize Muffins. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Gallops [www.myspace.com/thegallopsband] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? Definitely a 10. It's probably the biggest industry event in the world. So it's really exciting to be part of it, it's a great opportunity to get our music over to the States. Have you been to SXSW before? If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before? We haven't been before but some friends of ours have. They said to take an extra suitcase because the amount of free shit you can pick up is ridiculous. Everyone loves a freebie. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? The line-up is ridiculously huge so we haven't had a chance to look through it all. But I know Mount Kimbie and James Blake are there so that will be good to check out. There are probably loads of bands we would like to see. We will have to inspect the line-up more closely! Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? Most definitely, we'll try anything once. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Dam Mantle [www.myspace.com/dammantle] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? 7.896. Would be ten but I haven't finished working out what I’m gonna play yet, when I’m there and there’s sun on my face I will be super excited I imagine. I’m also doing a two week tour afterwards so more psyched about that than playing showcase ting I think. Have you been to SXSW before? If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before? No, actually. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? People from places I’ve never been before; Palestine, Columbia, Chile. Joan of arc, think the numbers guys are going out as well maybe. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? Haven’t heard about them, don’t really know much about it all really. I know that I love tacos though. Photobucket Photobucket Name: mylittlepony [www.myspace.com/mylittleponyoslo] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for people going for the first time?) This is our first time going to play in the US. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? Bright Eyes is coming I've heard. Very Truly Yours are also good and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin should be nice. Youth pictures of Florence Henderson off course. Didn't have much time to see what other bands are playing though. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? We most definitely will. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Unicorn Kid [www.myspace.com/unicornkid] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? Probably like an 8. Austin is one of the best places ever during SXSW and it's gonna be fun, but I always find the shows a little weird, because there's so much industry there I guess they're never as rowdy as I'd like them to be. Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before?) Yeah I went last year, It was a ton of fun but I couldn't get into most of the shows because they were 21+, so I guess if you're under 21 my tip would be to hook yourself up with a fake ID. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? I haven't really had a chance to properly look at the full band list but I really want to catch Toro y Moi, Las Robertas and Dam Mantle. Also my buddies Anamanaguchi are playing so I'll definitely catch them. There's so much going on and so many bands playing during SXSW, I could go into any of the venues and probably find something a band I know and like. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? Hell yeah, I love Mexican food and ate a ton of it whilst I was over there last year, this year I'll probably split my tex mex consumption 50/50 with tacos and burritos though. There's this thick liquid cheese called queso which is bright yellow and tastes really good, anyone getting tacos should get queso too. When I first got to Austin last year I met up with my friend and got a taco from a 7-Eleven and it was the worst, don't get tacos from 7-Eleven. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Erland And The Carnival [http://erlandandthecarnival.com/] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? David - 9 Erland - 7.7643291 Simon- 4.5 Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before?) David: Nope. Never even been to Texas. Simon: Yes. I have played twice before. The first time was with Blur. I had replaced Graham Coxon and Alex James failed to get a visa so we had to get a session guy from New York to play bass and he had to learn the set in one rehearsal then do the gig. Very stressful and with only 2 actual Blur members performing I don’t know how happy the stalwart Blur fans were. The 2nd time was with The Good the Bad and the Queen at Stubbs BBQ. Really good gig but someone pinched a vintage union jack that we used to decorate the stage with. Thieving Texans! If you haven’t been to SXSW before – beware that it’s almost impossible to get a drink after 11pm. I had one taken out of my hand by a bouncer as I came off stage. Tip- carry a hip flask. Erland - No, I have a fear of crowded spaces and can't speak American so I'm anxious about the language barrier. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? David - Still to see our label mates Fujiya & Miyagi in action so I look forward to that. Would like to see the mad show from Ebony Bones too. Erland- Anna Calvi and ZEALRapZ. In particular the latter. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? David: Hell yes! Bring on some kick-arsed chillis. Simon: I find Mexican food disgusting. It all tastes and looks the same. Erland: Por supuesto. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Chapter 24 [www.myspace.com/chapter24] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? 10+++ really fucking excited!! Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before?) No, it's our first time. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? Grass Widow, Wild Flag, Thee Oh Sees, Fever Fever and Rolo Tomassi to name but a few... Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? I've never heard of them but they sound amazing, and necessary. So yes. I'll definitely be eating at every given opportunity whilst in Texas. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Adebisi Shank [www.myspace.com/adebisishank] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? Mneomenide! TEN THOUSAND QUADRIQUILLION. We have a lot of old friends to see and new friends to make. Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before?) This being our maiden voyage, we expect nothing less than loss life, scurvy, and the odd mutiny. Nothing's free in Waterworld. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? James Blake, Alcoholic Faith Mission, Le Butcherettes, MSTRKRFT, Pulled Apart By Horses and hopefully an array of accidental discoveries...I'm also very interested in catching a glimpse of Mel Gibsons beaver, as I understand he's planning on exposing it to the public for the first time during the festival. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? Unfortunately not as we're all on strict holographic diets. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Lanterns On The Lake [www.myspace.com/lanternsonthelake] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? I think at the moment it’s probably around the 6.5 mark but I reckon by the time we’re on the aeroplane with a gin & tonic we’ll have passed 10. Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before?) We’ve never actually played outside of the UK before so it’s all going to be a different experience for us. I've heard some awesome things about SXSW though so it’ll be good to see if it lives up to all the glowing reports. We're really looking forward to it. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? I haven’t had a proper chance to look through the line-up but I noticed that Yuck are on so it’d be nice to try and catch them. I think with something like SXSW the bands that you come across by chance who you might not have heard before will be the most enjoyable. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? Yes, we’re all foodies in Lanterns so we’ll be up for trying all the Texan food we can. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Sea Of Bees [www.myspace.com/seaofbees] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? I really don’t know what too expect, I hear stories but I really don’t know... I am stoked just to go and experience it! Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before?) Nope never been, I am curious and excited about everything food, music, women, weed? What bands are you looking forward to seeing? I wish I could see Jenny Lewis and Johnny, maybe Arcade Fire, Conner Oberst. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? Uhhhhh? We’ll see. Sounds dangerous and risky. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Hey Rosetta! [www.heyrosetta.com/] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? Most definitely a 10. We played SXSW last year and it was incredible. Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before?) Yes, we played there last year. I would have to warn newcomers to the festival of all that delicious BBQ. It's good during the first couple of days but after a week you start feeling like garbage. Also, Texas is hot, especially for us Newfoundlanders. Drink lots of water. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? I'm looking forward to seeing Deer Tick, our buddies The Devil Whale, Carmen Townsend, Hollerado and Dog Day, Cadence Weapon, Karkwa, Mother Mother, Owen Pallett, Shad, Teddybears. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? Oh my Christ yes. Photobucket Photobucket Name: La Sera [www.myspace.com/iamkatygoodman] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? I would say I am at a level 9 of excitement. Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before?) This will be my 6th year going to SXSW, my main tip is to go to the east side. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? I don't really know whose playing yet, but I think Thee Oh Sees are. In which case, I'm excited about seeing Thee Oh Sees. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? I will definitely be eating tacos. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Kill It Kid [www.myspace.com/killitkid] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? Extremely-10. SXSW lines up perfectly with the release of our new record and we’re desperate to play it to an American audience. We have made reference to a lot of Alan Lomax field recordings in our next record, attempting something we haven't heard done before on a garage brit-blues album. We wanted to create something with a real honestly and intensity, it seems only fitting that we showcase it to a US audience before its release in the UK. We went crazy there last year and we intend to do it again. Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before?) We went last year but on a much smaller scale in comparison to this year. We have a reason to be there this year. My advice...don't sleep. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? Anna Calvi, The Kills Kevin Devine Jonathan Powell (we met him and his band at MIDEM in Cannes, very nice guys) and She Keeps Bees, who we have a lot of time for. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? Guaranteed. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Harrys Gym [www.myspace.com/harrysgym] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? I think it is a solid 8, we don’t know enough to range it higher. We believe SXSW will be a lot of fun, and perhaps it will open up for some new opportunities, who knows. We’re most excited about playing some shows and going to Texas for the first time - and seeing a lot of new bands. Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before?) It is our first time. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? Chad Valley who just remixed our single ‘Old Man’ will be there, we look forward to seeing him live for the first time. We haven’t gone through the whole lineup yet, but our friends in The Megaphonic Thrift and Casiokids will be there as well. I also recommend the very dark and drony Altaar. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? I read in a blog written by someone who lives in Austin that most of the food there – if it is any good – falls into one of the following categories: barbecue and tacos. In that case I think we’ll go for tacos. I once saw a Texan steak, and it scared the shit out of me. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Ólöf Arnalds [www.myspace.com/olofarnalds] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? 8 Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it and do you have any tips for the people going that haven't been before?) I was there last year. I had a great time. My salvation was to have a place to stay a bit out of the center, and going in to see shows and play shows, but have a calm place return to. What bands are you looking forward to seeing? Sharon Van Etten, Emmylou Harris, FM Belfast, Dennis Coffey, tune-yards, Dum Dum Girls. Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? It depends on the whether I’m playing that day, because eating much and playing has never been a good combo for my music. Photobucket Photobucket Name: Pepper Rabbit [www.myspace.com/pepperrabbit] On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about playing SXSW? Tough to put into numbers, maybe a 7? I'm excited to see most everyone I know in the industry as I know a lot of my friends are going, but big crowds also tend to make me nervous, so it's good I'll have 9 shows to keep the crowds off my mind! Have you been to SXSW before? (If so, how was it?) We went last year, and it was fairly laid back since we only played three shows but it certainly served us well since that’s where our record label found us. Here’s to hoping it won’t be quite as hot this year as it was last year! What bands are you looking forward to seeing? Definitely excited to see our friends play. We are playing a show with two great friends of ours, The Chain Gang of 1974 & Miniature Tigers. Also really excited to see our friends Hands make their SXSW debut! Will you be partaking in eating the famous SXSW Texan Tacos? I actually have never heard of Texan Tacos! But being from Los Angeles, the land of many great tacos, I am excited to sample the local tacos in Austin. It has just hit the top of my list of things to seek out once we arrive.