Taylor and Drew of SWELLS (fka The Wild Now) first started off behind the scenes leading Sofar Austin, but now focus on their electronic indie pop project, bringing it to Sofars across the U.S. as performers. Fresh off tour with Max Frost, Taylor and Drew chat with us about being musicians in Austin, some of their favorite artist discoveries and more:
Their Sofar story:
Our first Sofar we attended was in Dallas and had such a different concert vibe than we’d ever experienced before, so we were instantly hooked. When joining the Sofar Austin team, we were just volunteering and then ended up taking over Sofar Austin. The first Sofar we hosted was in Austin during SXSW. The Plain White T’s and Fantastic Negrito played. Quite the lineup for a living room show!
It was really dope leading Sofar and being so involved. Getting to book and host artists from all over the world in the live music capital was incredible! It eventually become too much to juggle our own music career and run Sofar ATX, so we passed it off to our friend Stevie. He’s been crushing it ever since, and we still keep in touch to help out when we can.
Their most memorable Sofar show:
We booked a Sofar show in the Facebook office, had mind-blowing Icelandic band Kaleo perform, and our own band performed as well. It was a moment we will never forget.
Their dream acts to see at a Sofar:
Bon Iver and Anderson .Paak
Artists they’re loving right now:
Bad Child, Masego and SHAED
If they could play a Sofar anywhere in the world, it’d be:
Their favorite artist they’ve discovered through Sofar:
Why they love being musicians in Austin:
It’s a lot more inclusive than you might think. We all support each other, and it’s a great home base as a musician. The only thing that’s lacking is more of the music business side of the industry (major labels, booking agencies, publishing, etc). It’s definitely more of a performance-driven industry.
Their go-to fun “Keep Austin Weird” fact:
There are more dogs than humans per square mile.
How the rise in tech can affect being a musician today:
I think that the internet has made the world smaller in a way, so the opportunities to have your music heard and grow a niche following are more available. However, the downside to better technology is that more people are creating music, and therefore it’s a lot more competitive.
SWELLS has been playing with Sofar for several years now, with their sound evolving during that time. What’s next for them:
We’ve gotten more experimental and electronic over time. Drew’s also been dipping into music production so we’ve been doing more DIY recording.
Coming off three tours in the last nine months, we’re ready to start releasing new music. We have a full album we’re sitting on, so we’re excited to get it out there. And we’re looking forward to getting back in the studio to create more music!