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IO at SXSW Pt. 2—Five Questions with Black Tusk, Wild Throne and Kayo Dot

For the second straight year, Invisible Oranges is heading down to Austin for South by Southwest. We’ll be presenting a diverse and pummeling show with Black Tusk, Mutoid Man (members Cave In/Converge), Kayo Dot, Yautja, Wild Throne and Venemous Maximus. If you’ll be down in Austin, we hope you’ll come by—the show is Thursday, March 13, at the Quantum Lounge (303 W. 5th St. in Austin, TX), and those with festival badges and wristbands are welcome, and additional tickets will be available at the door. Doors are at 7pm, and the show begins at 8.

To get to know the bands that’ll be playing our show a bit better, we sent each band the same five interview questions. We want to know what these bands are all about—what’s your favorite Big 4 band? How often—honestly!—do you change clothes on tour? What’s the worst show you’ve ever played? You know, the heavy hitters. Below is part two of our two-part feature—check out our part one with Mutoid Man, Venemous Maximus and Yautja if you missed it, and listen to all the bands’ music here.

BLACK TUSK

photo by Keith Marlowe

What is your favorite venue to play in the country?

Well, there are a couple that I really like. The first would have to be our home bar, The Jinx, in Savannah, GA. All three of us work there in some capacity and we have been going there since we were teenagers, so about 15 years. The room sounds great, Susanne the owner is a close friend of ours, the bar staff are our buds, and she always takes care of us when we play! Another spot that I love would be the HiTone Cafe in Memphis, TN. They have a burger that Athon came up with named after us on the menu. It has every kind of meat available in the kitchen on it and you need to take a nap after you eat one. Saint Vitus in Brooklyn is also one of my favorite stops on tour. I can’t ever remember having a bad time there, or leaving there! The Acheron rules hard too! Bill is one of the chillest dudes to hang with on tour.

The old Emo’s in Austin was one of my favorite venues too. That place was legendary and we were very sad to see it go. I heard they were gonna turn it into condos or something equally as terrible. [See above note. -ed] Then, the Empty Bottle and the Cobra Lounge in Chicago are great place to play too, always a packed house, always a drunken good time, and really rad bar staff! I guess this list is a little long. Hell, it wasn’t even supposed to be a list, haha. There are so many great places to play across the US that know how to take care of touring bands and that are just rad places to hang and play. I’ve got about 5 more coming to mind since I started typing this, so I’m gonna move on.

What are some albums that you guys have been spinning in the van lately?

Hmmmmm, let’s see…These are some albums I like to play when I’m driving:

The Sword – Warp Riders
Turbonegro- Apocalypse Dudes
Witch – Witch
Toxic Holocaust – Chemistry of Consciousness (I haven’t had a chance to rock this in the van yet, ’cause I just got it. But it’s gonna be playing on this tour coming up!)
Red Fang – Red Fang
Waylon Jennings – Greatest Hits (That’s lame, I know, but the album kicks ass!)
Pentagram – Last Daze Here
High on Fire – Death is this Communion

And then Lynn, our merch girl, and I have been listening to the Game Of Thrones books on tape. I think we are on the second one.

What was the worst show you’ve ever played?

The worst show we have ever played would be the ones where we don’t get to play because the cops come, or the venue fucked the show up and we don’t get to play. Those suck.

Which Big 4 thrash band is the best?

Slayer.

How often do you change clothes on tour? Be honest.

Honestly, not that often. It also depends if its winter or summer tour. We all have clothes we wear on stage, and those nasty fuckers go in the trailer every night so we don’t have to smell them, and they can dry. By doing that, your other clothes will last longer. I try to change socks at least every three days. If its cold, ill just stay bundled up and never change, cause i hate being cold.

WILD THRONE

What is your favorite venue to play in the country?

The Shakedown in our hometown of Bellingham. Nice people, good food and always a great crowd. The Bluebird Theater in Denver and Chop Suey in Seattle are close seconds.

What are some albums that you guys have been spinning in the van lately?

The Mutoid Man album rules. We’ll probably be spinning the new Bearcubbin’ record that just came out. Sometimes we’ll throw on Parliament or DJ Quick. Mix things up a bit. We also listen to a ton of podcasts.

What was the worst show you’ve ever played?

Well, let’s see here…We did a tour a few years ago with our friends Lozen and played a show in Long Beach, CA for literally 5 people. Lozen and the local act were both 2 piece bands, and Josh’s dad was there. The venue was set up like a Miami-style night club and the staff didn’t seem to know that anyone was playing that night. It was strange one for sure, but we made the best of it.

Which Big 4 thrash band is the best?

Fuckin’ Slayer!

How often do you change clothes on tour? Be honest.

It depends. If we’re sleeping in the van then we’ll most likely be wearing the same clothes. If we’re lucky enough to crash on someones floor or by some miracle get a motel room, we’ll take that opportunity to clean up and change clothes.

KAYO DOT

What is your favorite venue to play in the country?

I want to give you a few answers to this question because I have a bunch of favorites; there are different tiers of venues (small vs. big), and my experience has been really different playing tiny venues with Kayo Dot vs. bigger venues with Secret Chiefs 3, where it’s not as difficult to find people who will treat you great (because of the economics involved, I assume).

Favorite small spots:
The Mothlight, Asheville, NC
Gramps, Miami, FL
The Stone, Manhattan, NY
Duende, Oakland, CA
Township, Chicago, IL

Favorite medium/bigger places:
Chapel, San Francisco, CA
Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA
Le Poisson Rouge, Manhattan, NY
Mississippi studios, Portland, OR
The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
The Magic Bag, Detroit, MI
The Warfield, San Francisco, CA

What are some albums that you guys have been spinning in the van (or in the practice space) lately?

Skritti Politti – Cupid and Psyche. Japan – Tin Drum. Susumu Hirasawa – Byakkoya. Vaartina – Aitara.

What was the worst show you’ve ever played?

I would say Riverside, CA in 2006 was an extreme low point. I can’t even remember the name of the venue, but that was a super existential day.

Which Big 4 thrash band is the best?

Ugh. Anthrax because they’re the only even somewhat real band out of all of those.

How often do you change clothes on tour? Be honest.

The inner layer (socks, underwear) every day. But then separately, I have only three outfits really. A daytime one, a showtime one, and a sleep one. And those are exactly the same every day, although rotating clothing by function like this actually is a great trick that keeps grime segregated in a super efficient way and keeps it from building up unevenly. Haha.

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