Italian Japanese Italian Japanese… Bison on the cake

SXSW Q&A: Italian Japanese

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 California’s emergent atmospheric popsmiths Italian Japanese

“Le Pony”

Hello! How are you?

I’m doing well, thank you!

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?

Well for me, the most memorable experience was meeting Yoko Ono. I was just standing in a grass field when I noticed she was right next to me. Then I just pretended to not notice her for about fifteen minutes until I got the nerve to say hello. I introduced myself in Japanese…I think. It may have been Spanish intending to be Japanese. She was very nice considering I blamed her for breaking up The Beatles. Haha, just kidding. But she was super nice.

Which other bands are you looking forward to seeing?

I’m not too sure who’s performing. I usually check once I’m out there. I know Bleached are performing and I want to check them out. I will probably wonder around and discover a bunch of new bands.


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

Last year a friend in Austin lent us her house for the week of SXSW, which proved helpful with the ever so popular “after party” haha. We haven’t heard back from her since so that might not be happening again. I’m not sure where we are staying. We like to roll into town and see where the night takes us. Probably the van!

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

Yes! There’s a vegan food truck in Austin and it is amazing. I saw it on the food network a while back and tried it last year. I’m definitely looking forward to the frito burrito. I’m the only vegan in the group but they loved it too.

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)?

Absolutely. I have a tour checklist. Here’s what we usually bring:

– mix CD for the road. Last time it was country and everyone got pissed off. I like old country.
– bottled waters
– bottled mexican cokes
– veggie chips
– bottle of Jameson
– sunblock
– hand sanitizer
– futon bed
– carton of Parliament Lights

“Two Islands”

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

Yes! Check out as many new bands as possible while at SXSW. Get turned on to different genres of music. Try the vegan food truck. What else… Please don’t buy pets from breeders. Don’t watch “reality” TV. Oh, and come see us play.

What else have you got lined up for 2012?

We will be releasing a bunch of singles over the course of 2012, so keep checking our website. We should have a new track up each month. Also, a few tours on the west coast and maybe CMJ later in the year.

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

I don’t, but thank you so much for the interview. It was fun.

Italian Japanese, thank you.

Italian Japanese in the studio

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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.