The Suffers – SXSW Artist Preview and Interview

The Suffers are a ten-piece band from Houston, TX who are redefining the sound of Gulf Coast Soul, intertwining elements of Classic American Soul with Rock & Roll. Their award-winning live show is both sonically and visually arresting, forcing even the most determined wallflower to move their hips. The band’s sincerity and emotion are laid bare in their music which has garnered a broad and loyal following in the short time they’ve been together. The Suffers are fronted by singer Kam Franklin whose massive voice is complemented by Jon Durbin (Trumpet), Michael Razo (Trombone), Cory Wilson (Saxophone), Pat Kelly (Keys/Vocals), Jose “Chapy” Luna (Percussion), Adam Castaneda (Bass), Kevin Bernier (Guitar), Alex Zamora (Guitar/Vocals), and Nick Zamora (Drums/Vocals).

As a lead-up to South by Southwest, The Noise Room is talking to bands and artists performing at SXSW. Here’s what The Suffers had to say:

What do like most about playing at SXSW?

Playing at SXSW is great because it puts music fans into this crazy hyper-drive mode. They know the bands have been working all year to be at their best for this week and I think they appreciate the fact that they’re quite often witnessing something very special. Experiencing that energy from the stage is a high like none other.

Are you out promoting anything?

In the past month we’ve released the initial single, “Gwan,” from our first full-length album which will be released later this year, and a video for the single will be released for SXSW. John Laird of Side One Track One also, very generously, premiered the video of a live performance of “Giver” after seeing us during Austin’s Free Week last month. We’re very proud of the video and his write up.

Are there any bands or musicians that you are looking forward to checking out?

We have been drooling over the bills we’ve seen; Salaam Remi is showcasing! We’re also very excited to see our good friends and Convoy Group showcase-mates The Tontons, Featherface, Wild Child, Ishi, and Holiday Mountain. Although we won’t have much downtime in our schedule, one of the most amazing things about SXSW is that you inadvertently catch sets from amazing artists just sitting at a traffic light or walking to a gig. Some of us have been known to drive by Waterloo at 6th and Lamar just so we can get stuck in the traffic and catch some ridiculous set.

What are the challenges for you or your band when playing at SXSW?

Ha! There are ten of us. If you want to find out how good of a friend someone is, ask them if you and your nine band members can crash at their house for a night. Other than that, we’re preparing as if we’re about to run a marathon. We always challenge ourselves to bring our best every time we get on stage.

Do you have any survival tips for those attending SXSW?

EVERY showcase, day party, etc. is a “you should’ve been there” moment. Don’t sweat missing something because there was a line or you were stuck in traffic, just get out on the street and keep your ears open.

Are you more “stick around, check out music and enjoy the scene” or “play as many shows as possible then get out”?

We are lovers of music and prefer to stick around. That said, for a week like this, our goal is to crush every performance. To that end, we’ll be taking advantage of every nap-time opportunity we can.

What are your SXSW Show Times?

Thurs, Mar 13th – 3:00pm – Symphony Square Showcase (1101 Red River St.)
Fri, Mar 14th – 1:00PM – The Future of Music Showcase – Shiner Saloon (422 Congress Ave.)
Sat, Mar 15th – 11:00PM – Convoy Group Official SXSW Showcase (w/ Wild Child) – The Dirty Dog (505 E 6th St)

What is the best way for people to contact and connect with you?

Is there anything you’d like to add?

Thanks so much for talking with us, we’re all regular readers of The Noise Room; the “favorite” link is sitting at the top of my browser window as I type this. We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of SXSW and can’t wait to get to Austin!

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