Deleted Scenes – SXSW Artist Interview

DC art-rock quartet Deleted Scenes are preparing for the release of third album, Lithium Burn, playing music that Paste calls “nearly Impossible to categorize.” During a recent show with The Dismemberment Plan, Travis from the band tweeted “‘Stutter” literally propelled me out of the dressing room to watch, I couldn’t believe what was going on,” and Pitchfork called the track a “neuron scrambler” and “full-body freakout.”

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

What do like most about playing at SXSW?

I definitely always enjoy playing in Austin. After touring for many years, Austin stands out to me as one of the most interesting cities in the US, and SXSW is the event that best represents the spirit of the city. That spirit is one of an active and enthusiastic nurturing of entrepreneurship, the arts, and the interface between the two. The city has really committed itself to attracting people who want to “do cool shit” in big way, and they’ve set a great example for other US cities by doing so. They made a boldly conscious decision to make live music the centerpiece, insisting that it would attract a lot of other talented people to the city. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. So what I like most about playing SXSW is simply being part of that spirit.

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

Future Islands is playing and while I’ve seen them many times before, but I always get excited for them. It’s going to be a big year for them for sure . Also, really looking forward to Tinariwen, Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Cloud Nothings, Hospitality, and the Coup. Last but not least, DC homies GEMS and Tereu Tereu. I’m sure I’m missing a million other awesome bands, but yeah, those all jump out to me.

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

Well, I’m not telling any secret here, but with how big the festival is at this point, and how the city has to set things up to make it all work, loading in and out of shows has to be the most challenging/painful part. For bands with drums, amps, guitars, keyboards, etc., be prepared to walk many city blocks, which are crowded with people, with all of your gear both into and out of shows. And you have to do it FAST, because the bills have to run like clockwork to get all the bands on. It’s just draining to do that particularly if you’re playing a lot of shows down there.

It’s also very challenging to feel comfortable delivering a set because everything is so rushed, and the audiences are so overloaded with stuff. At this point, we know the drill, and we know to try to simplify as much as possible to lower the insanity a bit.

Do you have any survival tips for those attending SXSW?

For bands, in relation to my previous answer, find/make some friends to help carry gear and get you set up and broken down. You will love them forever for it. Also, focus on having as much fun as possible. That’s all that really matters.

For spectators, also have fun of course, and don’t drink alcohol too much too early, and do drink a lot of water. Lastly, be curious and kind. It will all be amazing if you stick to that.

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

As time has gone on, we admittedly have become more of the latter. But we always make sure to spend some time checking out new stuff, hanging out and searching for new inspiration. It’s an ideal situation for those 3 activities.

What are your SXSW Show Times?

3.12 – New Granada Showcase @ Gingerman 10:45PM
3.13 – DC Versus the World @ New Movement Theater 3:45PM
3.15 – Music Saves Lives @ Firehouse Lounge 4PM
3.15- Official Showcase @ Quantum Lounge 9PM

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

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