OnlineRock Blog

16 February 2010

SXSW 2010 Preview - Interview with Suzanna Choffel


Austin, Texas

SXSW Show Times:
Sat, March 20th 12:00am Momo's

What do like most about playing at SXSW?
Well I love getting to hear other bands from other places, but most of all I think I just love hearing all of the different languages spoken!  It's so much fun passing by people on the street or in a restaurant speaking Norweigan or Portugeuse or Japanese.  Playing SXSW is great cause your audience has so many different people in it that you wouldn't normally have. It's a nice change of pace and atmosphere.

Are you out promoting anything?
I'm finishing my new album and have a new single "Archer" that we are releasing this week as a digital download from my website.  I'm also starting a two-week tour Feb. 16th as support for Carbon Leaf.  So SXSW will be sort of a homecoming for me.

Are there any bands or musicians that you are looking forward to checking out?
Honestly I haven't even looked at the schedule of bands yet, but what I like to do is check it out the week before, make some notes, and then also get pulled to certain shows by friends of other musicians who know of a great showcase.  In years past, some of my favorite shows were things I kind of stumbled into accidentally.  I definitely love discovering bands I've never heard of from other continents.

What are the challenges in playing at SXSW?
The schedule coordinating can be a challenge - making sure you're able to get from point A to point B in enough time, and be able to lug your gear safely to and from places.  Coordinating with my band can be tough too - just making sure everyone knows where they're supposed to be at what time.  It gets a little crazy, but that's part of the fun too. 

Do you have any survival tips?
Stay hydrated!!!  I cannot stress that enough.  It's easy to drink a lot of alcohol at many of the events, throughout the day into the evening.  Take breaks from the alcohol and make sure you always have water handy.  Vitamins are good too.  And above all, sleep, but that usually doesn't happen a lot for me during SX (hence the vitamins).  Also, don't kill yourself trying to get to too many showcases in one night.  Last year I made my mind up to kind of park myself at a venue all night and it was so much more enjoyable than running around the city plus I ended up discovering some cool new music. 

Are you more "stick around, check out music and enjoy the scene" or "play as many shows as possible then get out"?
Well I have the luxury of living in Austin, so I kind of get to do both.  I always end up playing a lot and checking out a lot of music. Basically I love to play hard and work hard, which can sometimes be overwhelming during SX, but to me, you have to take in as much as you can, because it only lasts 5 days and it flies by.


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