SXSW – Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Is the US ready for them?

For a country that are a tad over-sensitive at times, are America ready for the riotous, uncompromising and demented electro-punk sensibilities of the Reading four-piece?

“Yes,” says bassist James Rushent, “it’s funny, I’ve been doing a lot of interviews with American magazines and we’ve being getting really positive responses. I’ve been getting calls at three in the morning from crazy American guys saying, “You guys are rocking out the office.” I’m like, “Calm down, it’s just an album.”” He pauses. “Maybe they are just more enthusiastic.” He manages to simultaneously sound excitable and self-deprecating.

And with every record label’s golden phrase of ‘breaking America’ and the prolific nature of the Austin festival looming over them, the band are acutely aware of expectation but, with typical casualness, James shrugs it off. “We’re treating it like any other thing. It’s the only way to do it. Someone will say to you, ‘Right, so-and-so from this place is here tonight and you’ve got to impress them.’ Some bands over think things – that’s where things go wrong.” There’s no such concern for them as it’s their spontaneity of their performance and the mischievousness of their music that are at the crux of the band’s ethic.

As for the SXSW experience, James simply says: “It’ll just be interesting to see if it all works. It seems the kind of festival where you just sort of show up and you’re not necessarily booked to play. We’ll probably end up playing one venue to 1000 people and then another in a tiny record store to one guy.” But you just know that for this bunch, the meandering journey between those venues will prove just as fun for them.

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