LOL Gallery: South By So What?! Music Festival – Part 4


What: South By So What?! Music Festival – Part 4
When: 3/20/15-3/22/15
Where: QuikTrip Park; Grand Prairie, TX
By: Mercedes Guzman

For full gallery, click here!

LOL Gallery: South By So What?! Music Festival – Part 3

What: South By So What?! Music Festival – Part 3
When: 3/20/15-3/22/15
Where: QuikTrip Park; Grand Prairie, TX
By: Mercedes Guzman

For full gallery, click here!

LOL Gallery: South By So What?! Music Festival – Part 2


What: South By So What?! Music Festival – Part 2
When: 3/20/15-3/22/15
Where: QuikTrip Park; Grand Prairie, TX
By: Mercedes Guzman

For full gallery, click here!

5 Questions With: Fine Fine Titans [SBSW Edition]

We spoke with Michigan post-hardcore band, Fine Fine Titans,
about their experience at South By So What?!, new music, and the best advice
they’ve received! Check out our interview with the band below!

What act were you
most excited to catch at South By So What?! and did they meet your expectations?
It’s difficult to say which act we
were the most pumped about seeing as the lineup was incredible this year but we
can’t deny our love for Circa Survive and, of course, our hometown boys in La
Dispute. Both bands blew our expectations out of the water and after having
known and seen La Dispute for years, we knew to expect a great show but
somehow, they took their performance and musicianship one step further. So
proud of and excited for those guys.

It’s been about a year since you guys have released an EP. Is there any new
music in the works right now? If so, can you tell us a little about what fans
can expect to hear?
We actually just wrapped up recording
for a full length album in January! As the mixing is still in process, we’re
not sure when to expect a release for it but we can say that our direction is
one in which may or may not surprise a few of our fans. The music is more
dynamic and intricate. Maybe not so aggressive as past releases but perhaps
emotionally heavier. It’s a new turn for the band considering a modified lineup
and a natural evolution of us as people and as musicians.          

Where did the name Fine Fine Titans come from?
The original guitar player of the
band was the one who brought the name to us. We never really did pinpoint the
idea behind the name. I don’t think we cared much at the time what our name
was, we just wanted to do it quickly so we could start booking shows. It
definitely doesn’t hurt that it doesn’t make any sense because it causes people
to stop and wonder. It’s pretty ridiculous, really, but I guess that’s us.

You guys have played alongside some incredible bands including Dead Sara,
blessthefall, I See Stars, and Still Remains, to name a few. What is the best
advice any of the other bands you’ve performed with have given you?
It’s been an honor to share the stage
with the bands that we’ve been so lucky to. Over the last few years, we’ve
grown close to T.J. of Still Remains and he’s given great advice when it comes
to vocals, specifically screaming and keeping your voice healthy while on the
road. We’re also very close to our friends in Brighter Than a Thousand Suns and
any time we are having doubts or trouble with the band, those three (Angelika,
Randy and Andre) have really brought us back down to earth and empathized with
us. We often joke that if we could just combine bands, we would in a heartbeat.

What can we expect next from Fine Fine Titans?
An LP! With that album, the
possibilities are endless and right now, we’re in a hurry-up-and-wait
situation. We’re really working on keeping our eyes focused on the future with
open minds. In the mean time, you can keep your eyes peeled for another cover
in the near future in the same fashion that we released our Glassjaw cover on
Youtube. Go check it out!

And thank you, Lucy Out Loud!

5 Questions With: The Maine [SXSW/SBSW Edition]

The guys of The Maine have been crazy busy lately, performing at both South By Southwest and South By So What?!, releasing their new album in just a few days, and heading out on the American Candy tour. We caught up with guitarist, Jared Monaco, about what they’ve been up to, what it was like performing at both South By festivals, and the band’s new album! Check out the interview below!

So we talked with you guys a while back, on the Anberlin tour. Other than the album, what’s new?
Right now we’re at home preparing for the American Candy tour! As I write this, I’m in the middle of fixing up a couple of my guitars to bring on the road.

Not only did you play South By So What?! this past weekend, but you also played South By Southwest. What is the difference in atmosphere between the two
festivals? Do you have a preference in which you prefer playing?
I think South by Southwest has become this weird blend of music and branding and tech stuff and corporate sponsors and yada yada. It’s cool to be there and play a show, but I don’t think we have any interest in impressing labels or agents or any of the industry related stuff that goes with it. Our goal is to play a show for anyone willing to
watch. We were lucky enough to play at Emo’s in Austin, which is isolated from
the hustle and bustle of the main events. It was a great show! South by So What
was cool too! It was rainy and outdoors and messy, but it was punk rock, it was
just a throw-and-go kind of show. I think I lean more towards club shows, but I
don’t mind a rainy festival too.

People seem pretty excited for the new record and singles that have been released thus far. How have you all felt about the initial reaction?
Personally, I’m fired up. It’s nice to be releasing new material, and it’s a bonus to see it received so well. I’ve had such a positive attitude towards these songs ever since we finished the album in Joshua Tree. To me, I felt like I could sense how our fans would react
to the new stuff. After releasing 2 tracks already, I just want to keep this momentum and keep moving forward. All good vibes.

Since both South By So What?! and South By Southwest is filled with tons of incredible acts, were you excited to catch any artists in particular? Did you stumble across any new artists that you are now a fan of?
Yeah! I watched Title Fight at South By So What. It was rad. I love their new album. Also, our good friends in Mayday Parade! Love running into that group of hunks.

American Candy is being released in just a few days. Is there one song on the new album that you’re most proud of or you’re the most excited for people to hear? If so, what song is it and why?
I really love the title track, “American Candy”. It started out as a mid-tempo, piano-based tune, and we had this idea to make it as loud and as rocking as possible. It became more of an anthemic vibe instead, and I think lyrically it conveys one of the strongest messages on the album.

5 Questions With: Fire From The Gods [SBSW Edition]

We spoke with Austin natives, Fire From The Gods, about their experience at South By So What?!, The Alumni Tour, and the best advice they’ve been given! Below is our interview with vocalist, AJ Channer!

You guys are actually
from Austin, TX, so South By So What?! is almost like a hometown show for you
guys. Was there any pressure in putting together a better performance because
of this?
The show totally felt like a hometown
show. There were so many bands on the bill that we have played with on the
past. We each had to step it up when we played in front of our friends as well
the folks from Texas that know the music but haven’t seen fire live!

For those that aren’t aware, Fire From The Gods was chosen to join The Alumni
Tour from over 1000 unsigned bands. Can you tell us a little about the tour and
what your reaction was to learning that you guys had been chosen as the tours
It was a huge honour. We played the
first leg of the Alumni tour earlier this year so we were pumped to play the
2nd leg as well. We have been involved in the headbang program for about a year
now and there are some incredible local artist involved in the headbang set up.
So it was huge for us to get the slot.

What act were you most excited to catch at South By So What?! and did they meet
your expectations?
Oh man there were a lot of bands I
wanted to see all weekend but I was most stoked for Norma Jean and  Beartooth. Perfect blend of heavy with
hardcore roots.

You guys are all about diversity and not fitting into any cookie-cutter mold,
which definitely plays a role into how successful you guys have been thus far.
Everyone has a different way of defining how and when they make it, whether it’s
a radio single or playing sold-out shows. How do you measure your success?
We are pumped on everything right now
as well as all the buzz surrounding the band.
We are still just scratching surface with a lot more to go. Diversity is
a huge part of fire from the gods but we will see in a few years where the
sound is and how that impacts our success.

The list of performers you have played alongside is extremely impressive and
includes acts such as Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Of Mice and Men, The Devil
Wears Prada, Five Finger Death Punch, etc. What is the best advice that one of
those bands has given you?
Great question. Chris met Corey
Taylor at Knotfest and he told Chris to just smile and wave. Most of the dudes
you meet in bigger bands always say the same thing stay humble and  stay busy.

5 Questions With: Courage My Love [SBSW Edition]

We had the chance to chat with Mercedes Arn-Horn,
singer/guitarist of Canadian pop punk band, Courage My Love. We spoke about
their tour with Hawthorne Heights, performing at South By So What, and the band’s
new full-length, Becoming. Check out
the interview below!

You guys have been
crazy busy lately. On top of playing at South By So What?!, you also performed
at Never Say Never Fest, released your brand new album, and joined Hawthorne
Heights’ “Stripped Down To The Bone” tour. What keeps you guys motivated to stay
so busy?
We’re always at our happiest when
we’re being productive, and we really enjoy what we do so it never feels like

What act were you most excited to catch at South By So What?! and did they meet
your expectations?
We all were so excited to see Circa
Survive, because we’ve loved their band for a long time and they put on an
amazing show. Unfortunately in the chaos of signing, interviews, loading and
early van call we missed pretty much every band we wanted to see… But we
heard they were amazing!

Even though you just released your brand new full-length, Becoming, we hear you
guys are already writing and preparing to record a second full-length album.
With the constant touring, how do you find time to sit down and record new
It can be hard to make time for
everything we want to do, but we find a way to do it. Even just writing lyrics
on the long drives on tour or demoing in the hotel rooms at the end of the day.
I find I’m way more inspired to write after a long tour once I’ve had some new
experiences than if I were to stay home and just focus on writing. What would I
write about?

It’s safe to say you guys are also no stranger to festivals, having played
South By So What, Never Say Never, and Warped Tour to name a few. Do you guys
prepare differently for festivals versus any other show you would normally
Festivals are always chaotic and
crazy, but a whole lot of fun. I think you pretty much just throw your gear up
there, don’t get too hung up on how the monitors sound, and just go for it. I
love the energy at festivals because everyone is there to just have a good time
and go crazy, so we try to bring that to the stage too.

What can we expect next from Courage My Love? Possibly a headlining tour?
Well not to toot our own horn or anything,
but I really think the new album is going to blow people’s minds. It’s very
different from our previous releases and i think it’s a major growth in our
sound. I can’t wait to finally record and release it. Working with producer
David Bendeth will be awesome. And we’re already planning some tours in the
near future, so keep your eyes peeled and we’ll see you on the road!

5 Questions With: Redlands [SBSW Edition]

Redlands recently released the first track off their
upcoming EP, Adventurer, and it’s absolutely addicting. Don’t believe us?
Listen to it
for yourself. The band had an impressive 2014 with releasing
their debut EP, performing at a few dates of the Vans Warped Tour and recording
their sophomore EP (to be released this June). This year is shaping up to be just as great with the band playing South By So What?! – needless to say, this is a band you want to keep on your radar. We spoke with the guys about
their new music, their motivation to tour, and their experience at South By So
What?!. Check out the interview below!

In addition to South
By So What?!, you guys have also performed at the Vans Warped Tour. Do you guys
prepare differently for festivals versus any other shows you would normally
Yes and no, there’s not the usual
allotted amount of time like you get when you play a regular theater show so
you have to pretty much be ready to throw your stuff on stage and go.

What act were you most excited to catch at South By So What?! and did they meet
your expectations?
We all love Circa Survive from our
high school days and I don’t think any of us anticipated the show and
performance they would put on. They’re incredible musicians and performers.

It’s been over a year since you guys have released an EP, but you’ve announced
that your new EP, Adventurer, will be
released this June. What sound can fans expect to hear and what else can you
tell us about it?
Some of the songs on this EP are very
different from The Lonewolf EP, but at the same I think there’s similarities
you’ll see tying it together. Expect to hear more indie pop influences, big
guitars, tasteful acoustics, and driving drums. This album showcases yet
another side of our art which we’re very capable of and we can’t be more pumped
to share it.

On top of performing at South By and releasing some new music, you guys just
finished a short tour. What keeps you guys motivated to stay so busy?
You know, we simply love what we do
and we treat this more than just a hobby or any kind of job. This band is a
life for us and continuously pushing it forward is something that helps us feel
like we have meaning to our lives. Making a year plan on a shared google
document is definitely something that keeps us working towards greater things,
staying motivated, and realistic at the same time.

What can fans expect to see next from Redlands?
Well besides our new release
Adventurer coming out, we’ll be heading out on a summer west coast tour in
June/July followed by a fall tour out east. We have a few other things in
between for the inter-webs we’ll be working on as well. Come late fall we plan
on working on a few singles with two different producers we all envy, so it’ll
be a busy year for us nonetheless.

5 Questions With: Hotel Books [SBSW Edition]

It’s rare to come across a new band nowadays that will make
you think “damn – these guys are so different, but so damn great!” Well, that’s
where Hotel Books came in. A spoken word, indie rock band out of Porterville,
CA, Hotel Books has become one of my new favorite bands. We got to chat with
vocalist, Cam Smith, about their new album their writing process, and their experience
at South By So What?!. Check out our interview with Cam below!

You guys are one of
the more unique bands that we’ve heard in a while for the very reason that
you’re a spoken word, indie rock band. What gave you guys the push to form a
not so average band?

First off, thank you! I don’t think we
ever sat down and said “Let’s do something different.” I just loved writing
poetry and decided to use music and concerts as the platform in which I share
my poetry. Through the years, the musicians have come and gone, and I think
this latest installment of Hotel Books is the most diverse band we’ve ever
been. Dan comes from an emo/ indie background, Kaleb comes from heavy music,
and Andy comes from alternative country. I guess the uniqueness comes more from
synergy than anything else.

On top of the new album, you guys
recently toured with Hearts Like Lions before playing at South By So What?! and
you’re about to hit the road with Defeater for a month-long nationwide tour. Do
you guys prepare differently for festivals versus any other shows you would
normally play?

Yes and no. With SBSW, it was tough going
from playing forty minutes each night to a twenty minute set. As far as our
mindsets go, we try to approach every show the exact same way; Let’s play the
best we can and communicate our message of Love as honestly as we can.

You will be releasing your new album,
Run Wild, Young Beauty, on April 7th via InVogue Records. What track is your
favorite or most meaningful to you and why?

This is a very hard question to answer.
My favorite song changes quite often as I grow and face different
circumstances. As of right now, my favorite song would probably be “Constant
Conclusions” but I think the most meaningful song to me would be “I Died With
You”. That song meant a lot to us when we wrote it, and now that I have grown,
I have found even more meaning in it.

What act were you most excited to catch
at South By So What?! and did they meet your expectations?

We were very excited to see Hawthorne
Heights play “The Silence in Black and White” in full. I caught that set a
couple times last year and could not wait to see it again. I was very excited
to catch Cartel, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and The Maine. All those bands put
on a great set, even in the pouring rain. We caught a few bands that we weren’t
expecting to see but really enjoyed; Roam, Dear You, and Chon being a few!

I think my favorite aspect to you guys’
music is how you can really hear your emotions in a song – whether it be anger
or passion or love, etc. What is the process like for putting together a spoken
word song?

I write the lyrics. Dan, Kaleb and Andy
write the music. Sometimes I take a poem to them and they work out
instrumentals around it, and sometimes I hear an instrumental and think “I have
the perfect poem for this” while other times I am so moved by a song that I
write brand new lyrics. When recording, we try to do all vocals in one take. On
Run Wild, Young Beauty, nine of the twelve songs were tracked in one vocal
take. I like to get into the zone, channel the emotions as honestly as I can,
and pour it out steadily. I feel it’s a lot easier to capture the emotion when
all we focus on is emotion, rather than melodies, staying in key, and other
elements that singers deal with.

For more on Hotel Books: Website | Facebook | Twitter

5 Questions With: Bryce Gilbertson [SBSW Edition]

At only 20 years old, Bryce Gilbertson is a Dallas act you definitely need to keep your eye on. This past weekend, Bryce returned to South By So What?! for a second time, playing alongside artists such as Cartel, The Maine, Driver Friendly, and Against the Current, to name a few.

Check out our interview with her below!

This is your second
time performing at South By So What?! Was there any difference in preparing for
your performance, since you have played the same festival before?
The first year I played the festival,
I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t sure what the weather would be like,
what the do’a and don’ts of festivals were, and even if people would watch our
set! This year I felt a lot more prepared. I knew where to be and when, who to
ask questions, and more ways to get the most out of the day. I was even
prepared with a pancho and change of clothes for the weather!

You are currently working on your second EP, which is set to release later this
year. What sound can fans expect to hear and what else can you tell us about
This second EP is something I am
extremely excited about. My first EP definitely had more of a “teeny
bopper” pop feel to it. My style since then has matured quite a bit. This
upcoming EP has more of an electronic dancey feel to it. I have been extremely
influenced by bands such as Broods, Chvches, and Daughter. I can’t wait for
everyone to hear it!

What act were you most excited to catch at South By So What?! and did they meet
your expectations?
The acts booked on South By So What?!
always blow me away. This year I was so excited to see Mayday Parade, Circa
Survive, Lydia, and the Maine. I look up to these bands so much. They all were
so incredible. Seeing musicians surrounded by fans all screaming their lyrics
is so encouraging to watch. It makes me wants to keep pursuing my dream.

When you first began releasing music, you posted a couple of cover videos on
your YouTube channel. If you had to cover one song at every show for the rest
of your life, what song would it be and why?
This question took me forever to
answer. One song?! After a lot of debate I would probably have to say ‘Dreams’
by Fleetwood Mac. They have always inspired me in not only writing, but even
stage presence. This album also has a lot of me memories attached to it. I can
remember being younger and me and my family listening to this album blaring in
my parents car.

Not only have you played South By So What?!, but you’ve also played South By
Southwest in the past. What is the difference in atmosphere between the two
festivals? Do you have a preference in which you prefer playing?
Playing SXSW was such a neat
experience for me. There were so many musicians and shows going on everywhere.
I think one of the main differences is that at south by so what, its like a
huge family. Everyone is so kind and supportive of each other. If you need
help, so many of the bands are willing to go out of there way to do what they
can. We all watch each other’s sets, and we all cheer each other on. You are
surrounded by so many successful yet humble people. Both of the festivals are
incredible. They are each different in the best ways. It’s been an honor being
a part of each of them.