Cains & Abels Cains & Abels… A-sides, B-sides and fratricides

SXSW Q&A: Cains & Abels

Published on February 7th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams

It’s SXSW time in Austin, Texas next month, so Rocksucker fired off some carefully considered questions to bands who shall be performing there, specifically those on the really rather splendid roster of artist development agency Solid Gold. Next up, it’s Chicago-based purveyors of atmospheric pop Cains & Abels

“My Life is Easy”

Hello! How are you?

I’m doing pretty well. Chicago winter can’t keep me down.

If you’ve been to SXSW before, what were your most memorable experiences of it? If you haven’t, what manner of crazy crap have you heard about it that you’re looking forward to checking out for yourself?

I’ve never been before. I’ve always felt like I’m outside looking in through a dirty window. I’ve had friends tell me that they have gotten sick of drinking during SXSW, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to walking on the boulevards, which I’ve heard are paved with artists’ one-sheets, which sounds depressing and perversely invigorating. I’m looking forward to being warm, and playing as much as possible. Also, there’s an establishment called Cain & Abel’s, which is very similar to my band’s name. I’m hoping to get a beer there, and hopefully they’ll put a signed picture of me on the wall.

Which other bands are you looking forward to seeing?

Man, I don’t even know who’s really going to be there yet at all. Here are people I would love to see, whom I imagine might be there: Grimes, Lower Dens, Ty Segall, Dirty Beaches, Thin Hymns, Atlas Sound, any Nilsson cover acts.

“Warm Rock”

Have you got a decent place to sleep lined up, or are you going to be “roughing it”?

We semi-have a place lined up, but she’s the type of person that I think a lot of rock and roll type people know, and I think we might be fighting for space anyway. The answer might be “both”.

Are you a fan of festival food? Any particular favourites?

Festival food. I’m not wild about American festival/carnival food. I will admit a slight weakness for funnel cakes. If there are tacos being sold on the street, I will boogie in that, for sure.

Will you be taking any of the following with you: hand sanitizer, baby wipes, earplugs, a fanny bag (or bum bag as we call them on our side of the pond), a flashlight, a miniature fan, a pop-up tent, an inflatable mattress and/or pillow, a fold-up chair, or other (please specify)?

I have a stance against hand sanitizer. I think that stuff is just breeding super bacteria that will eat your guts out.
Baby wipes are a surprisingly good idea on road trips.
Earplugs – wasn’t planning on it, but good idea. Maybe I can get some cool Red Bull branded ones once I’m down there.
Fanny PACK – not a chance. I’ve got pockets in my pants.
Mini fan – please no.
Pop-up tent – not pop up, but I’ll probably bring a tent.
Inflatable mattress / pillow – we’ll see if there’s room in the van.
Fold up chair – no.

“Killed By Birds” (live at The Whistler, Chicago)

Do you have any helpful, practical advice for our readers (SXSW-related or otherwise?)

Once it snows, get a fender for your bike. They’re cheaper than you think, and they totally eliminate the nasty grey splatter stripe up your back.

What else have you got lined up for 2012?

We have a lot of things to be excited about; an LP coming out in March, a single or two, two videos in the works, a lot of shows in the spring and summer, starting with a little mini-tour in the midwest in February.

Do you have any suggestions for additional questions to use in the future should this particular Q&A catch on?

I can’t think of anything right now beside our new record.

Cains & Abels, thank you.

Thanks to you!

“Why Are You Lying to Me?” (live at The Empty Bottle, Chicago)

For more information and a list of live dates, please visit


About the Author

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.