Day three of SXSW and things are starting to get a little more hectic. I’m living off BBQ ribs, coleslaw, and potato salad provided by my homies at Blue Ribbon BBQ on 4th and Brazos. I’m getting my veggies from the Taco Shack around the corner.
The day started at the Austin Convention Center and Dave Grohl’s keynote address. He told his story. It tugged at my heart strings. Our paths were very similar: Falling in love with music at a young age, growing up listening to Beatle music, becoming obsessed with learning an instrument (his guitar, mine piano) and then discovering punk rock and having a life changing experience. We both dropped everything to pursue being in a band despite the fact that in the eighties there was no way in hell any of us had a real chance to go anywhere. But that’s not why we were doing it for. We did it ’cause we loved it. Then his band blew up, bigger than mine of course but with Slow we too felt the rush and horror of sudden substantial popularity, it’s perks and follies . And then of course there was the inevitable crash his of course with the death of Kurt, mine member’s of the band outgrowing the music we were playing. He talked about not wanting to do music anymore, grieving the loss of his passion and then rediscovering it. This is where our paths diverge. Dave went on to make a lot more money… and I went on to play in a lot of cool bands!
Well enough time for self reflection, we Evaporators were off to Cheer Up Charlies for the Mint Records party. We played a sloppy but fun set under the hot Austin sun. Andrew WK, who is know an honorary Evaporator joined us for his sports anthem hit Party Hard and then played keyboards for the rest of the set.
After the show it was back to the hotel by pedicab, the most efficient way to navigate the gridlock traffic and wall to wall festival goers of SXSW Austin.
Back to the hotel a quick trip to the Blue Ribbon and we’re onto our next assignment: getting an interview with Snoop Dog aka Snoop Lion. See Snoop and Nardwuar have a long history of great interviews together and the Dog Father is playing Viceland a make shift venue in what appears to be an unused slaughter house a few blocks from our hotel. By this time Nard has been jockeying with Snoop’s people for days trying to setup the interview. At eight pm word comes that Snoop is available for an interview before his show and we should head down. Of course despite having all the right creds navigating our entrance into the kingdom, or liondom would be daunting. Luckily we ran into our friend Nick from Vice who got Nard, John, our friend and camera man Tyler and myself into the venue. Well the parking lot outside the venue but at least we were one step close to Snoop’s inner sanctum. Here we schmooze with publicist’s, marketing folks and Nard fan’s for about five hours. Turns out Snoop can’t do the interview till after his show. The show goes down but I’m only able to catch a few songs the abattoir is at maximum capacity the stage emblazoned with rasta red, green and yellow. I can barely see through the thick smoke and the music is loud. Finally the show is over and we are led backstage. There we’re confronted by worried and aggro security guards intent on kicking us out but we preserver. Getting this close we’re determined to see Snoop. After waiting another hour, this time schoozing with other folks who wanna see Snoop we’re finally led into the movie trailer that’s being used as the backstage dressing room. Snoop is there with his posse, the air is thick with smoke but he’s delighted to see Nardwuar. The interview begins and it warms my heart to see these two old friends sparring and joking. After the interview Snoop just wants to hang out. We talk about the Evaporators. He seems genuinely interested. I think he wants to be in the band! Pictures are taken we make our final farewells and head back into the Austin night. By this time it’s three am but we are excited, a little starstruck and dazed (or was it the effects of the thick smoke?). We head back to the hotel tired and happy anticipating the next day of fun at SXSW.