Paul Burch – SXSW Artist Interview

Paul Burch’s decade plus career is a riveting mix of irreverence, respect, and ingenious reinvention of American music forms — all of it recorded with a sense of atmosphere that feels cinematic and “thoroughly modern” (USA Today). With his band, the WPA Ballclub, Burch’s albums are vibrant as they are haunting and seem unmoored to time or continent.  PB will appear at SXSW to premier his new album on Plowboy Records, Fevers, with bandmate and co-producer, Fats Kaplin.

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

What do like most about playing at SXSW?

At SXSW, I especially enjoy meeting music lovers from around the world who come to Austin at great expense, stay awake for four days straight, and sing along to albums I didn’t know anybody had bought.

Are you out promoting anything?

Yes, I have a new album—Fevers—out now.  And with Fats, we will also have a magic show along with a demonstration on how to make excellent homemade sausage in 10 easy steps.

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

I look forward to seeing my Plowboy Records labelmates Cheetah Chrome and Alejandro Escovedo as well as my old friends the Waco Brothers, and the staff of Revenant Records.

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

The temporary resolution to become a vegetarian.

Do you have any survival tips for those attending SXSW?

Move slowly, nap often, and avoid the crowds. The best music is often off the beaten path.

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

I like being in the crowd, hearing new music, and knowing that every person that the band sees in the audience is meaningful to them. It’s not easy to get your footing at these festivals. I try to stick it out wherever I go. But just as you can’t hide when you’ve really got something to offer, when you don’t, no amount of free beer can save you.

What are your SXSW Show Times?

Thursday, March 13, Gingerman, 301 Lavaca St at 5:15pm
Friday, March 14, St. Vincent de Paul  (outdoor stage) 1327 S. Congress Ave at 1:15pm
Saturday, March 15 Official Plowboy Records Showcase Saxon Pub, 1320 South Lamar at 9:30pm

Best way for people to contact and connect:

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I’ve discovered a strange mathematical theorem: whenever I declare I don’t want to play SXSW again, I am offered multiple shows at fine locations at convenient times that result in fleeting fame and reimbursement with little personal sacrifice. However, if I say aloud that I would like play SXSW, I am told that my services are no longer required.  I am neither new or vintage, therefore I must hold on for another ten years until the next generation finds me ripe for rediscovery.

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