We grab a few minutes with indie-rock hot property Doe to get the skinny on their first ever trip to SXSW.
In among the sweaty shows and vegan burger refuels, they won over Texas, met a hair fetishist and learned why getting a US visa might be the way forward next time…
Describe SXSW in three words.
Dean: Mega kick drum.
Nicola: Hot. Overwhelming. Tasty.
Jake: South By Southwest.
What was the best bit about playing live out there?
Dean: The vibe was totally different. I remember striking the first chord at our first showcase and feeling elated.
Nicola: The energy that comes with knowing you’re playing to a completely different room of people, chances are most of the audience haven’t seen or even heard of you before.
How did your shows go down?
Dean: Everyone was super nice and we made a lot of new friends. It was weird playing through other amps but each show sounded different, which was kinda cool.
Nicola: After the first one we had loads of people wanting pictures/interviews and part of the set streamed live on the SXSW Facebook page, so that was pretty surreal and we all felt famous for a bit.
What was the best band you saw?
Nicola: That’s tough because we made a point of seeing bands we’ve all loved for ages, but Dream Wife were incredible and had an energy that pulls you in. Girlpool were great full band too, I think we all like bands who put a lot of themselves into the performance and don’t just phone it in.
Dean: I saw RYAN Playground and fell in love with live music again. She played a flawless set. I was in awe the whole time.
Jake: There was one show in particular at Cheer Up Charlie’s where Tancred, Slingshot Dakota and PWR BTTM played and they all blew my mind.
Best food experience of the week?
Dean: The southern baked seitan at Counter Culture. Best vegan food I’ve had hands down. If you’re ever in Austin go, but make sure you’re hungry.
Nicola: We had the vegan bacon cheeseburger from Cheer Up Charlies three times (yeah I know we’re gross), it was genuinely the best burger I’ve ever had, vegan or otherwise.
Jake: Both of the above and we also had really good pizza on the last day before flying home. It was proper deep dish and now I sort of understand why they call them ‘pies’ over there. Oh the breakfast tacos at Chilito’s too! So much good stuff.
Weirdest thing you saw/tasted/experienced?
Nicola: On one of the days there was a lady strolling down the main street completely nude which was quite unexpected but also y’know good for her do what you need. It was so bloody hot I’m sure we all wished we were her at that point.
Dean: Everyone kept freaking out over Nicola’s hair. This one kid stroked her for like, a good minute and kept saying ‘I’m weird’.
Jake: There were a lot of people dressed as weed.
Any advice for UK artists thinking about going next year?
Nicola: Get a visa and play as many shows as you can. We only had two this year because of visa restrictions and were itching to play more after seeing so many bands.
Dean: Don’t buy a $4.25 bottle of water at the Gaming Expo.
Jake: Don’t eat two gigantic meals before playing a show. You will feel sick.
Doe received support from PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund to attend SXSW. Learn more about the fund.