This interview is taken from DIY’s Passport to SXSW. Check out the full thing right here.
Not only are London-based electronic group The Fish Police set to bring their unique mix of musical influences to SXSW and Austin this year, but they’ll also be participating in a panel on neurodiversity in the arts too. The band’s Dean Rodney Jr. and Charles Stuart tell us more.
You’re headed to SXSW very shortly - have you visited Austin before? Have you been told much about what to expect at SXSW?
Dean Rodney Jr: No, I’ve never been, but we’ve been told it’s going to be really busy, a bit non-stop, with lots of people and music everywhere. We were told it’s a bit like six Glastonburys with Notting Hill Carnival running through it, so it’s going to be hectic!
What are you looking forward to most about heading to Austin?
Dean: Definitely meeting lots of different people. It’s also going to be really exciting seeing all the different bands performing. Charles and I are also going to be on a panel talking about neurodiversity, so I’m really looking forward to be being part of that too.
Charles Stuart: I am genuinely excited about performing at SXSW. It’s a festival that I’ve heard so much about over the years so to be a part of it is quite something, especially for this band. I’m hoping that people will get off on the honesty of the music because it’s very honest and perhaps a different way of seeing things.
For anyone who’s never seen you before, what should they expect to discover when they watch your set?
Dean: A big performance with lots of energy! Our sets are funny because I talk to the audience about funny stuff. I really enjoy playing live and having a connection with the audience. The songs we write, they’re different, most bands don’t write about Coco Butter of Black Scissors but we do, so the audience are going to have a great experience!
How important do you think it is for UK bands to be able to go over to the States for festivals like SXSW?
Dean: Very important. It’s important for us to go over there and let people know who we are. We want the audience to come and see what we can do, if people like us then we’ll be able to do more gigs. We’d love to do more shows over in the states.
Charles: Getting to SXSW in itself is a huge achievement. The general feeling is that we just want to be able to play to more people around the world, of course playing this festival is a big step in that direction.
You’re also going to be hosting a panel exploring the positive impact neurodiversity is having on the arts. What’s it like to be asked to be involved in something like that?
Dean: I’ve done some talks before, but not a panel, so I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be interesting because we’ll be talking about how people like myself see the world in a different way. I’ll be talking about the different universes I create in my head and jamming with Robyn Steward, another Heart n Soul artist.
Charles: It feels really good. The panel is called ‘Exploring Music Through the Lens of Neurodiversity’ and we will be discussing many things, including how artists with and without autism experience creativity on a personal level and collaboratively and what the effects of that might be. We are also hoping for a more interactive audience generally across the talk because we want to know what other people’s experiences, thoughts and feelings are on the general subject of autism.
Which other UK artists will you be trying to see while you’re out there?
Everyone! We’re going to try and see as many bands as possible!
The Fish Police play the Flatstock Stage at the Austin Convention Center and The Hideout on Thursday 15th March.
They are performing at SXSW with support from PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund, British Underground and Heart n Soul.