The SXSW festival merges music, film, art and interactive showcases from around the world and is held every year around the second week of March in Austin, Texas. For one week there are thousands of bands performing at any number of venues in downtown Austin. The streets are jam packed with thrill seekers, industry folks, journalists, tourists and pedicabs. In year’s past we have witnessed monolithic mega-star acts like Metallica, Motorhead and Voivod; not to mention up and coming acts like 1349, Sabaton, Steel Panther, Bison B.C. and Crashdiet who would all go on to establish themselves as forces to be reckoned with. The past two or three years have been sparse in terms of metal. By that I mean legitimate “metal” and not some new-age, dreadlocked, crustified gutter rock or faux-pas hipster rock. We were able to check out some showcases from Bremen, Germany’s crushing two-piece Mantar, the seventies inspired psychedelia of Philadelphia’s Ruby & The Hatchet, Belgium’s hard rockin’ speed freaks Speedozer, South Korea’s glam metal bad boys Victim Mentality and Austin, Texas’ own power metal juggernauts Immortal Guardian. Until next year enjoy the live clips and feature interview with Victim Mentality! Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘SXSW’
Interview with Joel Kaos of Ancestor
Conducted by Robert Williams
Video & Editing courtesy of Sandra Torres
It’s a Friday night in downtown Austin and a small gathering of metal fans have turned out for the rare opportunity to witness Cuban metal bands performing for the first time on North American shores. The SXSW festival is in full swing in Austin, Texas and just making your way to the venue is a challenge unto itself. Well, there’s the whole finding a parking spot thing (Roughly, a sixty-minute investment) not to mention the endless stampede of out of town industry types, revelers, journalists, pedicabbers, musicians and celebrities parading through the now litter filled downtown streets. Inside the club, the air smells like stale smoke and even staler piss. A supposed A-List hip-hop event is roped off on the other side of the club and woofers boom insipid top forty chart toppers. Tonight’s bill is made up of Ancestor, Escape and Agonizer all hailing from Cuba. Joining them are Motor from Mexico, Eminence and Attomica from Brazil. I’ll admit it struck me as a little disheartening in regards to the lack of turnout for such a rare occasion as this (especially considering the sacrifice all participating bands made to get here) but the bands gave it there all none the less and it was a solid night of headbanging to the Latin American Assault. Read the rest of this entry »
Interview with Ida Evileye and Mia Coldheart of Crucified Barbara
Conducted by Robert Williams
Videography and photography courtesy of Sandra Torres
It’s the middle of a sunny afternoon in March in Austin Texas and I’m at an apartment complex off Riverside Drive hanging poolside at a “Heavy Metal Pool Party” sponsored by the Wacken Open Air Festival. Kadavar, Crashdiet, Crucified Barbara and D-A-D are all performing at today’s event. This is more than just another show for the ladies in Crucified Barbara however, this is their debut performance on North American soil and they couldn’t be more excited to be here. I caught up with bassist Ida Evileye and guitarist and vocalist Mia Coldheart and they filled me on the latest with the band…
By Robert Williams
South By Southwest (SXSW) is an annual music and film conference/festival held yearly in beautiful Austin, Texas. In the 21 years of its existence, SXSW has served as a launching pad for many unknown bands turned media darlings overnight. For one week in the month of March each year bands from all over the world gather in downtown Austin and showcase their music, their craft, for record executives, media big wigs, and most importantly in my opinion, music lovers!
This all sounds like a splendid and festive occasion with the exception of one detail. SXSW has almost exclusively all but overlooked metal and its many subgenres for its entire existence.
Now I won’t lie. In years past I have seen some cool showcases. Century Media and Relapse usually cart their bands into town, and scattered about my 12 year tenure in Austin I have seen some notable showcases featuring among others In Extremo, Sol Evil, Children Of Bodom, and Grey Skies Fallen. But when 1,400 bands come to town for one week in March each year, you would hope at least, I don’t know, 50-100 of them would be awesome heavy metal, right?
Well, this year Austin got a fair amount of killer metal. Kicking things off on Wednesday, the 12th I had the pleasure of witnessing my first Municipal Waste concert. A day later I got off of work early and headed downtown with some friends and caught a showcase featuring Enslaved, Mixhell, Napalm Death, High On Fire, and the mighty Motorhead.
Lastly, I witnessed the “It’s Grim Up North” showcase featuring Sabaton, 1349 and Enslaved. I partied like a true champion, saw some really, really good performances and got some really solid interviews. Read on metal faithful and I shall guide you through these conversations in steel conducted in my homeland of Austin….Let’s start at the beginning….