Large-scale festivals like SXSW can be intimidating for musicians who are new to navigating the chaos of the festival circuit.
Thankfully we have Los Angeles-based rockers Deap Vally here to coach us through even the most trying moments. Since the duo comprised of guitarist/vocalist Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards, emerged out of Los Angeles with their breakout album Sistrionix in 2013, they have played many, many festivals, including Glastonbury, Reading, and Bonnaroo and as a result have much advice to share with the rest of us. If you’re even thinking about playing a festival at some point you would be wise to check their list of “Festival Dos and Don’ts for Musicians.”
Deap Vally kicks off the She Shreds x Punctum Records Party at Studium on March 17, and we hear that soon after SXSW 2016 is over they will be releasing the details of their highly anticipated sophomore LP, which was produced by Nick Zimmer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Deap Vally’s Festival Dos and Don’ts, by Julie the drummer:
When I was a late teen I decided festivals were “fest-evil.” I swear. You can read my diary from 1997 stating as much. I had gone to the V Festival in England by myself. Green Day and The Verve headlined. There was a sponsored tea tent. There was a large expanse of soggy grass. There were people. There was complicated public transport. I was a grouch about it. Which brings me to my first Do and Don’t:
DO make new friends, be open to people.
DON’T go without friends if you’re just going to be a negative nancy.
Have you ever been pulling your stage costume on and suddenly you hear your band being announced with much fanfare, followed by an awkward lag during which you struggle to finish dressing and hurry to the stage? Deap Vally has.
DON’T be prematurely announced.
DO wear stage clothing that changes quickly.
Things are already going good because you’re in Denmark, and they only get better if you’re lucky enough to be at the Northside Festival, which by the way has the hygge-est (that means something approximating ‘cozy’ in Danish) artist areas at any festival. Then things get crazy good when you find out Portishead is about to play. No one else chilling in the perfectly amenable backstage area is motivated to go out into the crowd and kneel before the effortless gods of trip hop with you, so you just go out there by yourself and relive some of your best moments of 1998 and even cry a little because they are just so damn good. SO. DAMN. GOOD.
DON’T wait for consensus among your group.
DO go by yourself to see the bands you love.
One time Lindsey and I were kicking around Hurricane Fest in Germany with the guys from Kasabian, who were headlining one of the stages. We all decided we wanted to be side stage for Beck or something (don’t quote me on that– the memory is foggy and morphing as I type). We all headed confidently up the temporary metal stairway to the first platform backstage and were abruptly stopped by a security guard who told us we didn’t have the clearance to be there. Kasabian explained that they were Kasabian, a headlining artist at the festival. The security guard didn’t give a fuck. We were all turned away, and totally turned off, so these last Dos-Don’ts are for all the security guards out there:
DO familiarize yourself with the headliners of the festival. In all likelihood they are selling the most tickets to the event and therefore providing you with an income opportunity that weekend, regardless of what your credentials cheat sheet says.
DON’T ever let Deap Vally side stage no matter what. They are a security risk.
Get a little taste of Deap Vally’s upcoming album with their single, “Royal Jelly”