This interview is taken from DIY’s Passport to SXSW. Check out the full thing right here.
After causing quite the stir at last year’s edition of the fest, Bristol’s IDLES are headed back to Austin once again. This time, though, as Joe Talbot tells us, they’re ready to embrace the chaos, and he knows exactly how to track down some of Texas’ most infamous BBQ food.
How did your first SXSW last year live up to your expectations?
Joe Talbot: People warned us that it’s fucking manic and they weren’t lying. It’s chaos. It was a bit more macho on the main strip, but when you get to the specific stages then it’s really cool. But it’s not for the ones who like order. You’ve just got to have a few beers, loosen up and just get involved.
Paint us a picture of what SXSW is like.
It’s a bit like a highly concentrated mess of loads of different kinds of music, under the umbrella of spring break, organised by a spider. With loads of booze.
How does it compare to similar festivals in the UK?
There’s shit there that you don’t see in England. It’s funny. You’re a bit loose, a bit pissed and then suddenly it’s like ‘Someone’s been shot!’ And you have to run inside. It’s Texas – everything’s big and very American. It’s the most American place I’ve been to in America. It’s like a cartoon. But the element of music is great: you’ve just got to run in, watch the band and move on. It’s hectic, but it’s fun; you’ve just got to embrace it.
Any standout sets from last year?
LIFE and Shame were sick. Shame were typically shambolic, [singer Charlie Steen] was running about on the bar and someone [to me] said ‘Hey – are you gonna get on the bar tomorrow?’. Fuck no, I’m not copying Shame! I like that though. It’s the first time I’d seen those bands and it was the first time I felt like we were in a similar ilk of bands that were younger and better than us and I liked that competition. I wanna kick their asses off stage, but they’re really, really good and it’s not easy. I wouldn’t like to support either of those bands.
Give us a SXSW insider tip.
I knew we didn’t have much time there and I violently love food so much, so I devised a list. I looked up about 20 different ‘Best BBQs in Austin’ lists, and then devised my own aggregate list. We only managed to go to two because it was so busy – one was called Coopers and one was called Franklins. But they’re serious about their BBQs. My advice is to get there at 10am, because they start the night before and then there’s queues so if you get there at 2pm, you’re missing it. Those fuckers love their meat, it’s crazy. Oh and Voodoo Doughnuts is the one.
IDLES play at Cheer Up Charlie’s and the British Music Embassy on Thursday 15th March and Barracuda Backyard on Friday 16th March.