SXSW With: Fatherson


Words and photos: Elena Katrina

When I first moved to Liverpool one of the first visiting bands to the city centre who I interviewed was Fatherson. Since then I’ve enjoyed a fair few shows, cried along to a few songs and thoroughly enjoyed all that they were about. It was, therefore, a no-brainier for me to try and grab some time with them out here at SXSW. I wasn’t expecting to start a whole bean bag game tournament off the back of challenging them to play against Island on day 1 of the festival, but for a day they were the champions and the originators of a whole load of fun (and potential humiliation of other bands who gladly gave up their time to try and steal their crown). So Fatherson then, let’s be having you…

Is this your first visit to SXSW?

Fatherson: No, this is our second visit over here. We first came in 2015 on the back of releasing our debut album. We did a few shows here and then soon after we got home, we had the second album ready for release, and then our third album too. We’ve managed to build things really nicely over in Scotland, the UK, and Europe so we are back now to start doing some more touring around America. So where better to kick it off than here.

So is the purpose of coming to SXSW to build up interest in the American audience?

Fatherson: Yeah, in a way, but we are doing things like putting faces to names with people who we work with over here. Then we are going to play a bunch of shows, meet with the people who turn up there, meet up with some promoters and try to get the ball rolling a bit more. We’ve toured a lot around the UK and built up a strong following, but now America is top on our tick list for coming back to.

Because you’ve been to SXSW before, are there any lessons you’ve learned?

Fatherson: Well last year I was a struck down with fear shit networker, but you’ve really got to approach it like you’re an American and have that bravado. “Hey, I play in this band, Fatherson, do you want to come to my show?”. You’ve got to speak to people on street corners, in elevators, in taxis, everywhere. There is absolutely no point in being here if you only speak to the people that you came with. As much as we hang around as a group, you’ve got to split up and cover more. Today I went and met up with a bunch of people and talked about playing shows. It is really important to do that. Although it’s a festival, it becomes a networking event when you’re not on stage. Don’t be a wee guy in a band who is too shy to do anything. Even if you’ve got a manager or an agent, nothing is better than you going out and building a connection with someone. Firstly they’re more likely to take notice of you and remember you, and secondly give a shit when they they’re talking to you. Ask yourself, who are they going to remember, the guy in that band who they had a beer and a chat with or the manager who said they were going to arrange a meeting sometime a few days later? Just get out there, enjoy yourself, lay your fucking heart out and meet people.

You’ve played two shows so far, how have they gone?

Fatherson: They’ve been amazing. It’s been such fun to play them. And it has been refreshing to actually have fans of the band at the shows. It’s not just been an industry showcase. There have been people who have travelled from Mexico to watch us. It blows you’re mind that you’re halfway around the world, and people are travelling from another country to watch these three wee fellas from Killie. I’m just excited to play the next shows. We’ve only got four shows left. Four shows… Oh God…

Are there any bands who you’ve seen or want to see whilst you’re at SXSW?

Fatherson: We saw Fontaines DC the other day, and I’m going to go to see them again tomorrow because they were amazing. I want to see Sam Fender too. The best part of SXSW last time was just happening upon something you’ve never heard of before and it blows your socks off. So you want to make a plan, but you also need to leave plenty of time free to find the bands you’ve never heard of before that make you go “what the hell is this”. It was fun too to buy a face to the band Island, and we were hanging out with Eliza Shaddad last night too. We are going to go to see Novo Amor on Friday, they’re amazing, and Joshua Burnside too. There are just loads and loads of really great bands playing. And it’s great too to hang out with American bands and become pals with them.

What are your plans for the rest of 2019?

Fatherson: Just get really famous and successful.


Listen to Fatherson here


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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

    All articles written by Elena Katrina unless otherwise stated.

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