The Untitled Interview #35 – SXSW Edition: Starring Simon Balthazar (Fanfarlo)

I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s almost time once again for the annual industry hootenanny known as SXSW. In a few short days, Austin will be taken over and all hell will break loose (and dammit I wish I was gonna be there). 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 in the wilds of Texas.

Our next guest really doesn’t need an introduction. My love for his band is pretty well documented. After all, if you’ve been paying attention lately, you’ll quite possibly have noticed that Fanfarlo’s Reservoir was my runaway number 1 album of last year. It was breathtakingly beautiful, and if you don’t own it yet shame on you. The cornerstone of the Fanfarlo sound is lead singer Simon Balthazar’s haunting voice, warm and lovely and all-too entrancing. His honeyed tones can make anything sound bewitching. Simon was kind enough to break from his festival planning to answer my questions, answers to which are below. If you happen to be in Austin, you just might run into him ‘round the campfire. If not, just make sure you a) go see them live if you can, and b) buy Reservoir.

Les Enfants Terribles: How are you getting to SXSW: plane, train, or automobile?
Simon Balthazar: Boat, hopefully.

LET: Inevitably, you will forget to pack:
SB: Swim shorts, and end up swimming in my underpants.

LET: How many showcases/parties will you be playing?
SB: About 5 or 6 I think... so looking like a relatively chilled out one... although I'm sure we'll end up fitting in as much as we can. We are going to shoot a short film while we're there as well.

LET: Band you're most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
SB: Haven't actually trawled through the schedule yet, but Local Natives who we've bumped into a couple of times and whose stuff we're into. Also a friend's new band Summer Camp.

LET: What's the first thing you plan on doing upon arrival in Austin?
SB: Drink a soy latte and bask in the sunshine.

LET: What was the first festival you ever attended, either as a musician or member of the general public?
SB: Roskilde 2000, which was the year 9 people died at the Pearl Jam show. As a whole it was also rainy and miserable. Put me off festivals for a little while.

LET: Favorite thing about festivals?
SB: Apart from the music? Campfires perhaps, or tea-and-cake tents.

mp3: Finish Line (Fanfarlo from Reservoir)


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