Ask anyone who’s been there before and they’ll tell you that playing and going to SXSW Music Festival is lots of fun. But there’s a little more to it than that. So let’s see how things are going so far at this year’s festival, and see what bands and fans can do to prep for next year.
Yesterday afternoon, I caught up with Chicago drummer Shawn Rios who’s been to SXSW three times before and will be playing with fellow Chicago-based artist Tom Schraeder and several other bands at this year’s festival.
I’ve seen Shawn play several times and I’ve learned a lot about the rhythm of live music by watching and listening to him play live.
So while he was in between shows walking on the streets of Austin, I spoke with Rios via phone (mp3 link below) about:
- How bands balance the fun of enjoying the moment of playing SXSW with the reality that they’re also competing with hundreds of other bands for the attention of fans and critics.
- How he’s using the time at SXSW as a launching pad of inspiration for touring and recording an upcoming album once he gets back to Chicago.
- How a band needs to be versatile and use the unorthodox venue settings to their benefit, since playing at SXSW means you can be playing anytime and anywhere — in traditional venues like Stubb’s or a makeshift venue like a backyard BBQ party.
If you haven’t been to SXSW before or are planning to go next year, Shawn shares lots of other good insights to help give you a feel for what it’s like to experience SXSW as an artist and a fan.
I hope you enjoy our chat. And if you’re there at SXSW and want to share your experience go ahead and drop a comment below.
The Festival wraps up on Sunday, so here’s a list of remaining SXSW 2010 shows were you can see Shawn do his thing on the drums before he heads back to Chicago.
3/20 @ Gypsy …Sun Vintage- 4:30PM (Township Records Party)
@ Scholz Garten- 8PM (South By Southwurst Party)
(Click on the link to listen to the interview mp3.)
Photo by Colleen Catania