The Untitled Interview #31 – SXSW Edition: Starring H. Walker (Kerretta)

I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s almost time once again for the annual industry hootenanny known as SXSW. Just over a week from now, Austin will once again turn into the flame for thousands of musical moths. To celebrate the impending week of absolute havoc, Austin-style, we’ve thrown down the interview gauntlet to see what some of our favorite bands are going to be getting up to whilst gettin down and dirty in the wilds of Texas.

Yet again, our guest stars hail from the Other Land Down Under, New Zealand. Kerretta, however, are fairly unique among their countrymen. Come to think of it, they’re pretty special in general. They create a seriously far-out instrumental sound, full of sonic confusion, crunchy guitars and an all-encompassing feeling of (rather pleasant) darkness. There’s some definite fierceness in their music, and their slightly menacing, aggressive sound is darned appealing. I get the feeling that seeing Kerretta live might make my brain explode, since this sounds like the kind of music that can get to bone-rattling decibels. Among bands they’ve played with are Explosions In The Sky and Mono, two wonderfully noisy bands. If you’re lucky enough to be in the path of their first US tour, I’d suggest you go check ‘em out. And let me know how long it takes to regain your sense of sound. And if you happen to see the band in Austin, please make sure they’re looking the right way when they cross the street.

Les Enfants Terribles: How are you getting to SXSW: plane, train, or automobile?
H. Walker: By aeroplane.

LET: Inevitably, you will forget to pack:
HW: Step-power transformer. It converts 220 Volts to 110 Volts. Without it we are resigned to either a lot of battery power or our first adventure into handclaps and acoustic weaponry.

LET: How many showcases/parties will you be playing?
HW: At this stage we have no idea. All the best parties are largely unplanned though right?

LET: Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
HW: Maybe GZA or Liars.

LET: What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival in Austin?
HW: Ensuring we look the correct way when crossing the street (we drive on the other side of the road in New Zealand, you see).

LET: What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
HW: Big Day Out, as a ticket buyer. It was kind of like the Lollapalooza of the South Pacific. Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins and The Breeders played. The rest were local artists as the international ones had rinsed the promoters’ budget I think.

LET: Favorite thing about festivals?

HW: Enjoying a band you never would have likely purchased tickets for. Eg. The Flaming Lips; live it was a weird and engaging mix of heavy swung drums and a kids TV programme. Truly amazing.


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