Meet Big White. The Sydney five piece are one of the crop of Australians soon to be heading out to Texas for SXSW this year and ahead of their departure, we find out a bit more about this showcase band who will be making their Austin return in 2016. Elmo Aoyama recalls their first SXSW and what they’re looking forward to this year!
Who are you, what band do you play in and what do you do in said band?
Hey! I’m Elmo from Big White and I play bass synth, synth and [I] sing.
Have you played SXSW before? If so, how many times?
Yeah we played last year as Big White and that was our first time. The whole thing is a highlight, really – you hear music echoing from every direction and in the busy parts all of these sounds collide and spiral into each other. You have an ocean of people flowing down the streets with road closures and generally, a lot of energy.
I hit a low point on what may have been the third day of the festival. I had just eaten what I thought was the worst burger in my life and shortly after, lost my wallet at a house party. It turns out the burger was terrible because it was a self-serve system and I had forgotten to put any toppings or sauce on it, but my wallet definitely did not find its way back to me.
So try not to lose your wallet, and remember to put the toppings on your burger.
What are you hoping will come out of this year’s event for you?
Well last time we didn’t really know what to expect, but we had about half a lifetime’s worth of adventures and encounters in that week or so. I like to approach things with no expectations at all, if you know what I mean, so I hope this year is saving up some surprises.
Why should SXSW attendees come and see you?
That’s definitely a hard question and there’s really no way to put it into words. So I guess that’s why people should come and see us – if they want to know why we’re there or what we’re about, they should check us out with their own eyes and ears.
What would be a track that you think best represents where your band is right now, and what audiences can expect from your sound and your set?
We have a new single called “Down At The Beach”. From out set, you can expect a bunch of songs from our debut album out in March, plus a few new songs.
What made you want to showcase at SXSW?
Last time, everything fell into place nicely and the opportunity arose for us to do it again – we didn’t hesitate to say yes. Playing three shows a day and meeting new pals along the way, we’re looking forward to seeing some of our Burger and Lollipop friends again.
Do you have any dream collaborations?
Big White as Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers.
How much more US touring is on the cards for this year?
A little more after SXSW for us – we figured if we’re going to fly over we may as well stick around a bit longer. We love the US and can’t wait to be back there. We will then be heading to Europe to tour.
How do you think / hope the American crowd will receive your music?
From past experience, it has been pretty well received. They thought we had something fresh, so hopefully we’ve maintained that.
What other Aussie act playing SXSW would you recommend the rest of the world needs to see?
Methyl Ethyl are great. And DMA’s of course.
Please list your SXSW showcases (to now) – where can we find you?!
We’re releasing an album this year in March so keep an eye and an ear out for that. We’ve been sitting on this one for a while now, keeping it warm, so we’re pretty excited for it to be out in the real world.