Buffalo bands hit the road for SXSW 2012
blog by Deandra Modica • March 14, 2012 @ 7:00am
This week three of Buffalo’s most buzz-worthy bands are making their debut at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas at the Rustbelt by Sunbelt Music Showcase with The Arkells. Son of the Sun, The Albrights and The Tins have a lot planned for their road trips to the festival and hope to come back home with new friends, experiences and fans.
Son of the Son’s Joseph Stocker (guitar, keyboards), Zak Ward (vocals, guitar), Jeremy Franklin (guitar), Steve Matthews (bass) and Brandon Delmont (drums) cultivated a supportive following in the local area after releasing their first EP, Before the After with I Blame Yoko Records in 2008. The Buffalo News selected them as a Band to Watch in 2009 and their success grew after the release of their first album, The Happy Loss, in 2010. The rock group is in Austin in support of their second album, Almost Not There, and Stocker said they have high hopes for the trip.
“It’s all about meeting people and putting yourself out there,” he said. “From where that goes, obviously we don’t know, but we just try to have fun, keep it fresh, and it usually works. A very simple mentality, but it’s helped us do some cool things. We’re hoping to play some good shows and bring back some ideas from that.”
Stocker’s looking forward to playing five shows at SXSW, but joked that the trip may break the band up. The Waffle House may be their saving grace.
“We’re a relatively healthy lot of guys,” he said. “We just have a blast and try not to break up because, you know, five people in the bedroom snoring is not fun. We never fight creatively, but we always fight if someone didn’t get enough sleep or something. It’s pretty funny, everyone kind of turns into a diva. Keeping the morale up is a big thing to do. Eating at a Waffle House is going to be cool too. We don’t have Waffle Houses here. It’s a magical place. Like I said, it’s the little things that keep morale up. Hopefully no one goes down from the hash browns.”
After the music festival, Son of the Sun hopes to make a few music videos and have shows booked at the Niagara Falls Hard Rock Café (333 Prospect St., Niagara Falls, NY), The Black Oak Tavern in Oneonta and The Bug Jar in Rochester. They also plan to record new tracks for their next album and release some of them this summer.
Matthew Crane, (bass, vocals), Brandon Barry, (vocals, guitar), Joe Donohue (vocals, keyboard) and Dustin Herzberger (drums) from The Albrights have similar plans for SXSW. The group is excited to perform music from their first full-length album, Ask, Tell at the showcase on Friday and on the street as much as possible.
“We’re street performers at heart, so we’re definitely going to keep that going while we’re down there,” said Crane. “We’re bringing a banjo and a ukulele, too. We’re really stoked to stomp around, have a lot of fun and spread the word about the band and Buffalo.”
The Albrights formed in 2009 and found success touring in Western New York after releasing a five-song EP.
They’ve been busy promoting Ask, Tell since we last checked in with them in December and hope to change the way some people view Buffalo during their time in Austin.
“We want to spread the good word about Buffalo and all the good things that are happening here,” said Crane. “You hear sports players put the city down, but you never hear any musicians or artists talking it up. We’d like to do that while we’re down there.”
Crane is happy to be sharing the stage with fellow Buffalo bands.
“I’m really looking forward playing with Son of the Sun because they have a big following and they do a lot of touring,” he said. “They’re kind of a little bit further along in the game than we are, so they’re good role models for us. Building relationships and moving forward is the biggest thing that we’re looking for out of this trip.”
Always planning for the future, the quartet is working on new official music videos and music licensing deals to expose new audiences to their music in television shows and movies. They also have shows set up at the Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St., Buffalo) and in New York, Boston, and Rochester over the next few months.
The Tins have four shows booked at SXSW, but Mike Santillo (vocals, keyboard) said the indie rock trio is ready to play anywhere they can find an audience during the festival. He, Adam Putzer (vocals, guitar), and Dave Muntner (drums) scheduled four other shows on their way to and from Austin and plan to make touring a regular practice in the coming months.
“I’m looking forward to traveling and playing a different show in a different city every night,” said Santillo. “Just to see what it’s like. I heard that if someone likes you at SXSW they might just invite you to play at their house party. It sounds awesome. I’ll play wherever anyone asks us as long as there are people to watch. I’m excited to go on an adventure more than anything. We should probably buy some cowboy hats while we’re down there.”
The Tins formed at Binghamton University in 2008 and were praised across the blogosphere and in England by New Musical Express for their 2010 EP. The group was invited to play at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York that following October and opened for the Sam Roberts Band at Artpark last September.
The band has spent the past year writing, raising money to make their debut album, and recording it with producer Joe Blaney, who has worked with The Clash, Prince and Modest Mouse. The Tins plan to release the album in May and posted a new single, “Vicki,” on their site last week. They have several shows scheduled in Western New York after they return from Austin and are excited for the Artvoice Battle of Original Music Competition on April 20 and to finally release their album.
“We’ve prepared for SXSW and are already gearing up for the release of the album,” said Santillo. “We think it’s a lot better than our EP and hopefully a lot of opportunities will come from it.”