SXSW 2017: “I think you can go hard as long as you keep going hard” - Blaenavon talk SXSW

“I think you can go hard as long as you keep going hard” - Blaenavon talk SXSW

This year’s festival marks Ben Gregory’s 21st birthday, so it’s looking to be a big one.

Hampshire trio Blaenavon may only just be out of their teens, but having formed over half a decade ago, they’re no newbies to the scene. Last year marked their SXSW debut – a trip formed of highs (eight shows in five days, including a particularly riotous gig at a college pool party) and if not lows, then certainly some bemusing asides (accidentally staging a photoshoot in the middle of a police scene). But this year, with debut album ‘That’s Your Lot’ finally set for release in April, the band are returning to Austin ready to amp things up, bust out some surprises and stay away from the long arm of the law (hopefully).

“I’m very excited about coming back,” enthuses singer Ben Gregory. “We’re playing the DIY stage of course, and I’m also excited about the Transgressive Records showcase at The Black Heart. [Transgressive label mate] Marika Hackman’s just put out a new song and it is vvvvibrant. We’re gonna try and sort some kind of collab out between us; keep your eyes peeled…”

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As well as impromptu team-ups, Ben’s also got some celebrating to do as he’ll be finally turning 21 at the end of the week. Not that that stopped the band last year… “Last time my manager bought me a cake with ‘20’ on it and all the bar staff were like, ‘what do you mean you’re 20? You need to leave immediately’,” he recalls with a laugh. “So we had to pretend it was some kind of strange British joke and that I was actually turning 22.” Note to any US bar staff out there: this is definitely not a British tradition.

But while Blaenavon may be slightly ropey when it comes to legal matters, their eloquent, brooding indie bangers are exciting enough to win over even the toughest of judges. “People say start slowly and don’t go too hard when you’re at a festival for a week, but I think you can go hard as long as you keep going hard,” Ben notes. Expect Blaenavon to be charging full pelt ahead to glory for the foreseeable future.

Blaenavon play the DIY x Ticketweb SXSW showcase at the British Music Embassy on Monday 13th March. Visit diymag.com/sxsw for more information.